I'm looking to get a turntable. I've always kinda wanted one, but that was back before I knew what I was doing and talking about. Now that I know a little something, I'm kinda taken aback by the prices. I just saw a used turntable on audiogon for 22,000. While I'm sure it's pretty awesome, I'd like to keep the whole thing around 300. I wasn't even aware, until recently, that you need a "phono stage" with a turntable either, so that's yet another expense.
It seems there are some decent looking options from Music Hall, ProJect, and some others around my price range.
So my questions are:
1. Does the turntable make a difference or is it the cartridge? Can you put a great needle on a crappy turntable and get good results? What is it that's going to effect the sound the most? The table or the needle?
2. Does the phono stage make a huge difference? Will a budget one work just fine for now?I just dumped a ton of money into a Valhalla, Bifrost, and some HD650's, so the cheaper the better.
3. Is 300 a realistic budget for a decent turntable and phono stage setup?