I need some advice.
My girlfriend is moving out of a teeny apartment of three to a cute and historic single bedroom. Pretty exciting stuff we think. She is a bit retro as far as fashion and furnishings, and a music lover. Her new place has a great living room that I bet will even better for listening to her vast collection of vinyl. Her tunes are played on a garage sale turntable, a 70's Lafayette LR3500 receiver that is in great shape, and a pair of Advent Mini's. The new apartment will show off her sound system much more prominently, and will (in my opinion) require a larger more powerful speaker. I'd like to get her an apartment warming gift and this is where I need some advice.
There are two directions I can see going:
#1: Speakers: I'd love to find a pair of attractive wood grain speakers that have good to great sound. If I wasn't already using a pair of Allison's that would be a perfect match (sort of retro, handsome), but I think it would be more fun to mix it up and should we move in together down the road. I'm happy to search ebay, craigslist, goodwill, and forums for the right pair. I was thinking $250 or so max. Some possibilities I was considering:
Bozak's, RDL (same as Allison but different), Wharefdale (not my favorite look), and Rectilinear (also kind of unattractive). I wouldn't be against newer stuff either, but the $250 tag doesn't help with newer speakers though I have been looking at AV123/Onix (as immoral as that may be) and the rare NHT wood grained options.
Do you have any other or more specific suggestions that fit this vague criteria?
#2: Turntable: Her turntable is junk as far as I can tell but it works. It's automatic and doesn't allow you to choose a track, you have to listen to the whole record from the start. Again, due to the visibility in the new apartment, a nice looking turntable would be a big step up. I have been looking at older Pioneer's and Marantz's but the nice looking ones get expensive quickly. Yamaha's seem to carry less value but are often in better shape and look nice, but people must not want them for a reason.
To some degree I am looking for a diamond in the rough like everyone else, but wonder if there are brands and/or models that I am not searching for that I should know about.
Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks!