Is it better to go for a pair of bookself speakers + subwoofer or a pair of floorstanding speakers at the same cost , for music listening ?
I am thinking of going for NAD C350 amp + pair of B&W DM303 + B&W ASW 500 . Will it better to go for a pair of floorstanding speakers within same cost as the speaker setup above.
Also will the above setup be an overkill for a source such as Santa cruz sound card? ( i don't plan to buy a cd player right now)
Bookshelf plus a powered sub will almost always sound better than floor standers. A couple of reasons for this. One, the powered sub will reproduce the low frequencies better than the floor standers. Two, since your amp and speakers are relieved of the low frequency duties the mids and highs will sound better. Three, speakers in general and low frequencies in particular are very location sensitive and the best location for your main speakers is probably not the the best location for the sub. Four, if you plan to play moview through a DVD player having a sub for the LFEs (low frequencie effects) is very importent. Bottom line, its a no brainer, get the sub.
This seems to be a good match of amp and speakers. There is one more dimension than bookshelf/floorstanding. It is if the speaker is placed close to the wall or in free space at least one feet from the wall (floorstanding or small speaker on a stand). Your generally get higher quality bass and a more spatial presentation in free space, wall placement increases the bass but also bass/room resonances.
If it is a small room and/or you can't place the speakers away from the wall, the B&W combo might be the best. Otherwise you can consider a pair of floorstanders placed away from the wall.
Just looked at the specs for the DM303, recomended placment is 10 - 15 cm from the wall and best on stands.
If the sound card sounds OK on headphones, it should work in this setup also, and you can upgrade later.