Hello all. I'm wondering what will help my sound more. I currently have a Denon 1805 receiver which is the lower end Denon surround sound receiver. Would replacing my current receiver with a higher end receiver like the Denon 3805 or adding an integrated amplifier like the NAD C370 help my sound more for music (Stereo)? In other words, should I upgrade my preamplifier or amplifier?
From a music point of view, you should get a better result by going for an external integrated amplifier and play your CD player and other 2-channel sources (tuner, turntable) directly through that. If you don't have a dedicated CD player, you should get better results by using the 2-channel analogue outputs of your DVD player directly through the amp (on, say, the CD input).
There is then a question of choice of amplifier! There is a whole galaxy of brands out there which specialise more in 2-channel music reproduction. The NAD is probably a fine amplifier, but there's lots more to choose from, and for a distinctly different flavour, try the American and European brands which bring something to the party that escapes most Japanese based brands (and NAD is one of those even though it's owned by Lenbrook).
incidentally, there is one feature which could be interesting if buying a separate integrated amp as suggested. Unity Gain or Bypass. This is an input which can be set to bypass the volume control so that the amp acts as a power amp slave to the surround amp. This means that once setup, all you need to do is switch the integrated to the bypass input (often labelled A/V) and let the receiver act as master volume control for surround sound.
Sorry, I'm in the UK and we have very different price structures to you guys on the other side of the pond. Here are a few brands to consider, but there are many others. Also, if you are willing to buy 2nd hand (or previously cherished), you could pick up a 3 or 4-year old item which would have retailed for $1800 or so and give you far more quality (if reduced life) than you can get buying new. Of course 2nd hand means no warranty which is the downside.
Arcam Creek Cyrus Exposure Musical Fidelity Naim Audio Rega Research Sugden
I rate Naim, Arcam, Rega and Cyrus in that order for musical prowess. Prices vary from fairly expensive to very expensive...
Audio Research Bryston Krell Mark Levenson McIntosh Moon (SimAudio) Parasound Red Rose
In addition to Frank's suggestions I would add NAD to the list.
NAD makes great power amps...the NAD C-272 is not as expensive as the others listed above yet they sound absolutely fantastic especially for music.