I've been dabbling in vinyl for a while now, swapping various components my father and I have acquired at flea markets, garage sales,etc but I'm ready to have my own proper setup. Currently I am using:
Power Amplifier - Quad 405-2
Pre-Amplifier - Quad 33/Kenwood Basic C1
Turntable - Pro-Ject Debut III SE w/Ortofon OM10 cartridge
Speakers - B&W DM601 S2
Cables and interconnects - unbranded.
I plan on keeping the turntable and speakers for a while, so I will probably need to upgrade the cartridge at some point (help?). Also going to upgrade to an Acrylic platter or get a Herbie's Turntable Mat very soon (only $50 difference between the 2, not sure which one would offer more improvement).
I really like the 405 and am considering getting it revised if I go the power/pre route. (new opamp, capacitors, etc). This would cost $350.
I've also been looking at passive preamps such as the Icon Audio Passive to get the most from the 405. This costs $500 but would also mean I would need a separate phono stage, headphone amp (thinking a Graham Slee or Schiit model would suit my HD650s) and things like attenuators, etc. More equipment and more money (sound familiar? haha). I have looked at active preamps but really don't know where to start with new gear as most of the good stuff is out of my range. I am interested in getting into valves but no hardly anything about them. In terms of new valve gear, I really like the Icon Audio and Prima Luna range as its within my price range. Would consider recommendations for good quality integrated tube amps (new/used) up to $2000 (my price range for all this gear).
My main question is there a substantial difference to having all this equipment compared to a good integrated? (I'm sure each person will have a different answer to this). Put simply, I want a nice sounding >$2000 setup that will allow me to play vinyl through the speakers and headphones mentioned. I would also like the ability to add a digital source such as a CD player or iPod dock later on..
Any help with all this would be great.
Edited by coolguyalex - 6/12/12 at 3:25am