Background: old mathematician, worked in IT and as a radio broadcaster. Just retired.
What I listen: classical music, classical guitar, jazz + 70s
What I would like to achieve: be able to listen to good quality music (headphones 80%, speakers 20%) mainly FLAC, Spotify, SkyFM, Internet radio (70% time), CDs (30% time), create audio books and some programs for my grandson and friends, convert my old recordings from cassettes to digital format.
My equipment: 2 desktop PCs (one with Asus Xonar Essence ST soundcard), laptop, TASCAM USB-122L USB audio/midi interface, Mann M21 professional condenser mic, Fostex PM 04 studio monitors, Senheiser PXC 350 headphones, very old Technics system (I would like hook it up to TV for my wife and only take cassette deck when needed)
Budget: < = 5,000 AUD$
Implementation (in stages):
1 Buy really good quality headphones to listen to FLACS, CDs, 320kbs streamings and a second pair of low impedance headphones to listen to Internet radio and/or music services as well as monitoring of my recordings. Should I really buy monitoring headphones for my recording projects?
2 If I cannot get satisfactory quality of music using my PC with Asus Xonar Essence ST sound card buy a good DAC with headphones amp and a CD player
3 If quality of sound from Fostex PM 04 is still below my expectations buy new, better powered speakers but I've got some restrictions. My room is only 10 square meters (volume 25 cubic meters) and it would be rather complicated to put new speakers on stands
4 I'm not sure what else I need to convert my old analogue programmes & recordings. Definitely I would like to avoid redundancy of my gear. As of a software I think about Adobe Auditions. My old version of Steinberg's Cubase seems to be too complicated.
I hope you will be able to give me some valuable recommendations to achieve all my goals.