I just purchased a Samsung LED-LCD display (UN60D7000) which is 3D capable. I've never tried the 3D output from the S570 before, but I've read here about problems with certain 3D displays. Will the player work with this display?
Receivers operating within their tolerances, and driving speaker loads of which they are capable, will have equivalent performance.Yes.Not if they're functioning properly. Room correction algorithms and equalizers do make a difference, however.An external DAC offers no advantage other than connectivity flexibility. An external amp is only necessary if your onboard amps aren't capable of driving your speaker load.
Peachtree Audio makes a hybrid integrated amplifier that combines a DAC, tubed preamp stage and solid-state amp stage, and it's available in two different wood finishes. That would get you your DAC, preamp and amp, and leave you about $800 for speakers.
The AV40s are alright...but I find them lacking the more I listen.
You're making the right decision by focusing on your speakers, which is the most important part of the audio chain.
For $500, you have several excellent choices. You could audition the Paradigm Audio Mini Monitors and the PSB Image B4, B5 and B6 (depending upon how large a speaker you need), as well as the Audioengine AP4 that you've already considered.
I'd also recommend a digital connection between the MacBook and the receiver, using the TOSLINK-to-mini-optical cable (the MacBook's audio output jack can function either as an analog or optical digital output). Your receiver has a perfectly capable DAC, which won't be the reason your music lacks bass.
I'd plan to concentrate the bulk of your resources on the speakers. I know nothing about Denon receivers, but assuming a "middle of the road" model costs $300 to $400, that leaves you with the ability to find a very good pair of speakers. You can build the rest of the system down the road.I'd try to find a local shop that will allow you to audition speakers in your home. You've been given several good brand recommendations, including PSB, Paradigm and B&W. I'd add...
Since you have an iPhone, this is my recommendation:
Rip your CD collection to Apple Lossless files, using iTunes
Purchase an Apple Airport Express, which can be connected to your Denon receiver through either its digital or analog inputs; if you use the digital input, the receiver will do the digital-to-analog conversion
Use the Remote application (free from the iTunes App Store) on your iPhone as a remote control for iTunes, to select your music; you will "connect"...
You'll have several excellent choices in the $800 to $1000 range. PSB Image T5 and T6 come to mind, as do the Energy CF-70 and the Revel F12 speakers. Not knowing the power of your amplifier, I'd look for something fairly easy to drive (i.e., a sensitivity of at least 89 dB).
The JBL L880 and L890 speakers might be available well below your price range, and are also worth your consideration.