So if I were to improve my setup, what suggestions would you all have, keeping in mind that my budget is not unlimited. Say, for $500 or less, what would make my stereo system really amazing?
Here is what I have:
Technics-SA-EX140 receiver--it has a built-in phono amp, so I am using that. Is that sufficient? Would a stand-alone preamp make a lot of difference? What about a tube preamp (I like the vintage sound). I used to have a Kenwood KR 6160 and I hate that I got rid of it, though the Technics is a good receiver. But the Kenwood had such a great sound (I also miss the midrange). Unfortunately, it did not have nearly enough input/output in this day and age of home theaters. The Technics has 100 watts x 2 (stereo) into 8 ohms (40-20,000 Hz) at 0.8% THD. I also have a CD player and DirecTV plugged into it.
Dual CS 505-3 with Ortofon Red 2M. Just got this all tuned up and new cartridge, so am set for the moment. One day, I will own a pristine Thorens TD 124 that belongs to the 'rents. Have to wait on that
Sony SS-MF315 Speakers. I will one day have the 'rents Altec Santanas (cant wait for those!) but these Sonys are supposed to be decent. I've had them for 12 years or so. 3 Way Floor Standing Magnetically Shielded Speakers feature a 6 1/2" HOP Woofer, 3" Hi-Polymer Coated Cone Midrange, a 3/4" Tweeter, and 150 Watts Maximum Input Power.
I mostly play rock, but am beginning to enjoy some classical as well.