After years of downloading free music by the bucketload my conscience has finally beaten into my head that I need to be contributing financially to the bands that provide me with so many hours of listening pleasure.
With that in mind I've decided if I'm going to spend money on albums again (I spent a hefty amount of coin on my retired CD collection) that I want to really experience them in all their glory......thus I'm purchasing an entry level vinyl setup.
Looking through information and reviews of tt's I've narrowed it down to the Denon DP-300F, AT ATLP120 and the Rega RP-1. I'm inclined to go with the Denon DP-300F simply because of the fully automatic function of the tone arm. I'll most likely be setting this system up in my basement workshop (where I make decals, no sawdust or metal shavings are created so you can recover from your heart attack now) and will be listening to the records as I'm in the middle of other things and I don't want to add excessive wear to the stylus if I'm not able to jump up right away and grab the needle at the end of each side. From what I've read I've determined that I should be able to greatly increase the sound quality from any of these three tables with a cartridge and stylus upgrade anyway and being that I'm new to vinyl I'm thinking I'll be more than happy with the sound I'll get from the DP-300F after the upgrades. If you feel differently or have a suggestions for a table that I haven't listed but is in the same price range (under $500)with an auto return feature please let me know.
With that in mind the question is what cartridge and stylus upgrade should I be looking at pairing up with the table. I listen to a broad variety of genres but the majority of what I listen to falls into one of three main catagories: heavy metal (As I Lay Dying, Between The Buried And Me, Pantera, Zao, etc.), hip-hop (Aesop Rock, Living Legends, Common, Blackalicious, The Roots, etc.)and modern folk/acoustic (Iron & Wine, Pedro The Lion, Damien Jurado, Mike Knott, etc.). Heavy metal is the genre that gets the most spin time followed by equal amounts of hip-hop and folk/acoustic. I'd like to optimize the table/system so it's makes the most of the heavy metal without sacrificing too much sound quality in the other genres.
I'm also taking suggestions for speaker/amp/preamp combinations that would probably suit me well too. I'd like to keep it under $1500 for my complete starting setup.
Sorry for the long winded post and I thank you in advance for your advice.