I am new to good audio, I have a set of low end Grado's, and a pretty mediocre sound card and that's about it.
A new Co-worker of mine maintains a Hi-fi from Quad and an extensive library of 15in/sec. tape that combine to melt my soul. I cannot hope to get close to that, but I like the idea of having speakers that will no longer make me cringe and I would like to double the benefit by getting a DAC/amp that can drive my Headphones well.
My budget is about 600 USD, a number that seems reasonable after looking at combinations like the Audioengine D1 and the Audioengine 5+ or comparable speakers with the Schiit Modi/Magni combo.
I am willing to do some trial and error, though I will probably live with whatever speakers I get for a while so I'd like to base the choice on some better advice.
I will also mention that I am more concerned with the DAC/Amp than the Speakers because I'd like it to handle an upgraded set of cans in the less distant future.
With that, I open up the floor.