Firstly I would like to apologize for being sporadic.
So I recently purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD428s's. I was immediately blown away at how crisp and clean everything sounded. Immediately began reripping my entire cd collection to 320 kbps mp3 or .alc for my favorite albums.I can't believe that i never realized what a HUGE difference this makes, and that I've almost abandoned my cd collection. This has pushed me to research equipment and how audio quality is affected. From what I've seen it appears I need a portable DAC to get the most out of my headphones. I'm assuming I could also use this to improve the quality of my pc setup which is just a onboard soundcard a Altec Lansing 2100 sub which is pushing a pair of Kenwood crs-177's (I'm very happy with these speakers for $3)
As the title would suggest I'm just starting out and I have a thrift store hobby which is how I obtain most of my electronics. Any specific things I should look out for? perhaps a better standalone cd player? (i have the first model playstation since i also collect video game consoles but i don't buy into all that hype) A standalone amp? piece together a 7.1 setup? brands to look out for? most bang for the buck is the main concern.
On another tangent I have a decent collection on vinyl i have never had the chance to enjoy. the only thing i have to listen to them is a Ion Quick play LP which is probably a piece of garbage but it was cheap at a thrift. My dream would be to have a vintage console player to go with my console tv (takes me back). but it's hard to find one in working condition that isnt way overpriced and I'm not sure i would get the quality out of something like that without frankensteining the hell out of it.