Having lived for so long with just bad quality audio equipment, and having a want for a higher fidelity experience, I have decided to take the plunge given I now have more disposable income than I ever had in the past.
Given the fact that my ears are "used to" bad audio reproduction, I have decided to take a pragmatic approach to entering the HiFi realm; giving more weight to versatility and all around performance while I "find my sound" and narrow in on exactly what is right for me as I upgrade down the road.
These are the components I have tentatively chosen to build my first 2 channel HiFi system, staying if possible within a $2500 budget:
Loudspeakers: JBL ES80 @ 700/pair
Subwoofer: None, have not found anything that resides within my budget that gives a significant benefit over what is produced (apparently) by the ES80's, that being said I'm open to suggestions if something can be had for ~300 that will compliment the chosen components.
Amplifier: Marantz PM6004 @ 600
CD Player: None, when not listening to Vinyl I will be listening to my digitized vinyl rips and other CD rips from my collection over my home network through a custom built music streamer.
Turntable: Music Hall MMF 2.2 @ 450
DAC: Schiit Bifrost w/ USB 2.0 input @ 450
Total cost: 2200
As a comparison, I offer the following list of current hardware being used:
(Not so Loud) Speakers: PSB Alpha B (B stands for currently blown spider in the left channel, so back to the Pioneer CS-53's) Paid 150 for the PSB's, 50 for the Pioneers
Amplifier: Pioneer SA-6500II, paid 60
CD Player: None
Turntable: Sony PS-T33 w/ rebadged Goldring Elan cart (aka "RedEd"), paid 125
DAC: Built in soundcard on motherboard of current HTPC
Total cost: 385
As far as my musical preferences go, the majority of my vinyl and CD collections are comprised of 70's to current metal, rock and 90's to modern alternative, some Hip Hop (I don't listen to it for the tooth rattling bass, but more for tight clean bass and good vocals), electronic (House, Wub-Wub's and DnB), and have only recently started to enjoy Jazz, Soul and Classical.
How are my choices looking? Are there any suggestions? Thanks in advance!
PS, Living in a remote area precludes me from auditioning any of these choices for myself so I am forced to rely on reviews and your fine knowledge and experience :)