So, updates since we've last discussed things:
I have not gotten speakers yet, instead decided to explore vinyl a bit first, so i picked up the audio-technica at-lp120 for about $215. Obviously spent about half of my budget there. Anyway...
The first logical step was to hook that up to my logitech x530's which i already had... still super unhappy with the boominess of the low end, everything else, etc.
I hooked up my girlfriend's sony CMTMX500i mini hi-fi system (receiver with two bookshelf speakers, ~4" drivers) to the turntable using line level outputs (from the turntable's built in pre-amp)... had to turn volume to over 80% of maximum to get decent output from vinyl source. It's output more than acceptable with iPods (which is how we used it in the bedroom prior to this experiment). Alright, so that's out of the equation as a quick fix.
Then, a friend lent me a pair of yamaha HS50M powered monitors to try out (5" drivers). I love the sound, right amount of bass for now, and could add a sub (with some difficult wiring configuration?) and it's perfect for my space since there's no need for an extra amp to clutter things.
i can get those new for $260 for the pair.
Also i hear great things about the pioneer andrew jones' designed sp-bs22-lr bookshelves which are back to the 4" driver (like the sony's i tried earlier). If i got those with an AVR (about $180-200 refurb on accesories4less... yes i have decided that if i go that route it will be an avr rather than the emotive or something similar) it would put me right around $300-330.
so. obviously if i throw studio monitors into the equation I know there are many more options than the yamaha's i am currently auditioning that i should consider as well. BUT, my main question is: If it's only 50 bucks more for an AVR + passive bookshelf system, which would allow almost limitless system expansion and simple future subwoofer integration, that should be a no brainer right?