So I want some help/advice for upgrading my setup, and have had difficulty really finding appropriate answers to my questions.
I'm a student so I have never had very much money to put into this stuff - all my stuff is pretty low end. As such, my setup is pretty damn crappy/ghetto (although I use it all the time). I just have the Audio-Technica LP60(usb) going to the cd/phono in on my bass guitar amp (!) going to dell A525 speaker system that I commandeered from my mother's computer system a few years ago (they are actually pretty decent sounding). Anyways, this is clearly not doing my records any justice...
I spend almost all the money I earn on records, but I've finally saved up about 200 dollars over the past year to put into audio gear. On top of that, I was just given the Aiaiai TMA-1s for my birthday (the Audio Technica M50s might have been wiser since I'm not a professional DJ, but regardless, they are awesome!).
My question is: how best can I distribute my cash to upgrade my setup? To me, the thing that seems most obvious to do is switch out the bass amp for a real receiver of some sort, but I really have no idea what to look for in a receiver, what sort of extra stuff I don't need, what would be right for my needs, etc. Right now, my ideal set up (I don't know if this is plausible or not?) would be: turntable-->small, dedicated receiver/amplifier of some sort-->headphones.
The reason I say headphones at the end of the chain is because I figure instead of buying new speakers, now that I have a pair of killer cans, they could be my primary listening tool. I don't know if this is stupid or not though, maybe it is better to look into investing in good speakers.
The other major factor is that I will be moving to other side of the country next September. That's why I put "small, dedicated" in that middle link of the chain. All I want for that middle link is something that's sole purpose is to bring my turntable up to headphone capabilities. I'm not going to have much space, but my dad offered to get me the same turntable I currently have. As such, I want to minimize the size of stuff where I can, so having something dedicated to doing what I am describing would be great.
In writing this, I just realized that my turntable has the ability to switch from phono to line level... I guess I could just go get an RCA female --> 1/8th inch female and just plug my headphones into that. I feel like this would compromise quality though... I guess the only way would be to test it out. The problem is, without something to bring the phono source up to the headphones, I'd have nothing to test the line source against, so I don't really know how this would affect quality. If I did this, since I'd be spending almost no money, do you think it would be wise then to get a headphone amp to insert in there?
I know it sounds like my situation for playing records isn't the smartest, but I'd really appreciate your help/advice as to what to do. Thanks a lot.
Edited by hofstadter - 11/29/12 at 5:57pm