Moving up to the higher end and having separates should result in better performance, and sound. BUT, a pair of 200.00 speakers won't justify the expense, nor will they likely benefit from the change.
A good speaker system can sound much better with a pre/amplifier combination.
Movies are recorded with a very wide dynamic range, from the softest whisper to an explosion.
A good system will sound good, you will hear almost everything, some quiet moments you may have to strain to hear, and explosions, although loud, may be straining the output of a receiver.
Separates, in most cases, will sound much better.
The whispers don't require you to lean in to hear, the dialogue is always clear and explosions or other effects seem to be alive.
This is mainly a question for the sake of curiosity. Stewee got me wondering with his question about analog vs. digital audio....
I know a bit about amplification, but mainly from online research. For example, I know that "better" amplifiers are bigger, heavier and more efficient. I know that means that the power output into a 4-ohm load should be roughly double the power into an 8-ohm load for a very efficient amplifier, for example. I also know that "cleaner" power is less likely to damage speakers and that more power, ultimately, translates into louder playback depending on speaker sensitivity.
What I don't know, and I'm hoping people can provide references, links or just good stories about, is what happens to sound quality as you move to better amplification? Does it improve imaging or soundstaging? Will a simple separates setup (e.g., pre/pro + 5.1 or 7.1 integrated amp) make a big difference over a receiver amp of similar power rating? Finally, what kind of incremental gains do you get moving to monoblocks?
I'm asking partly because I'm really quite happy with my receiver/amp and the sound quality I currently get from CD, DVD movies/concerts and DVD-Audio. It's hard to imagine the sound getting much better, but then that's been true of every improvement I've made so far, and those kinds of surprises are always pleasant.