I have a small starter system that I have been assembling through trades and upgrades since a coworker introduced me to the world of hi-fi with his Devore/Naim system, and I almost cried it was so amazing (not really, but if I was a crying type of guy...who knows?).
So I stared with some old NAD gear he let me borrow, and have since upgraded to a NAD C320BEE, the first Rega Planet CD player, and a pair of Kef Q50's. I also have a pair of Energy C-6 Connoisseurs that, on KBK's recommendation, I will be attempting to repair. Most of the music I listen to is on CD, or on my iPod, with a Monster brand 1/4" to RCA cable (don't worry, I use FLAC or ALAC exclusively). My taste ranges from Classical to Jazz to Bluegrass to Hip Hop. I love just about any music that is interesting and skillfully presented.
Here's where you all come in: I would like to upgrade my system. However, I am on a strict budget of no more than $200-300 per month available to these pursuits (I am 26 and just bought my first house, so money is tight).
I would like to add the capability to play music from my computer, I have about 400GB of mostly live recordings in lossless format.
I would like to add a headphone amp, possibly tube, and pair of reference headphones. About headphone amps, most of them have line level ins and outs, do these go in between the source and the pre? How does this affect sound quality?
I am thinking about getting into vinyl. DUN DUN DUUUUUNNNN. I have a Marantz 6300 TT in unknown condition (garage sale purchase), since the NAD does not have a phono stage. I know the world of vinyl is a rewarding one, but having no idea how to set up a TT or maintain one, I am hesitant to start spending money.
Also, I am always searching to upgrade my current gear, so any recommendations would be helpful, although, based on my reading it seems like the C320BEE is hard to touch in terms of SQ:$$.
Other than that, I am in Tacoma, WA and would love to know if there are others around with the same affliction as me, namely craving better sound, or shops in the area where I might get my fix.
Please excuse the long windedness, and I sincerely appreciate your time and any advice you may have.