I don't *have* to spend 9K, spending less is still an attractive proposition! And as you say, it leaves $$$ for elsewhere. I've been round and about with TTs, I'm not that interested in going down the rabbit hole again. I think cart options might expand in future, but i'm not convinced I need to chase that bunny either in the near term. meanwhile the whole thinking was a beautiful amp/pre set-up at the heart and then long term the speakers will no doubt become a consideration.
I've been looking seriously at the rotel 1581 monoblocks over the last couple of days, hard to find much on them but on paper they look good, and gobs of power, so they open up options for speakers in future. and if they're good SS, they'll be clean and clear, and the pre will be the star of the show.
If this was easy there wouldn't be a multi-billion dollar industry with myriad choices and confusinations!
I sort of agree with this.
While the 740A (which I've owned) won't be getting the most out of the 414's, which are VERY capable speakers, my gut feeling is that if I had 9k to spend it wouldn't be solely on an amp.
If you are keen on keeping the 414s, then I'd get something along the lines of the Rotel and upgrade the front end. Leaves plenty of money for something much better than the Blue. Or even a new TT....