This is my first post in the technical 'scary' part of the forum so please be patient with me!
My 20 year old Technics system has just died and to be fair it has been on it's last legs for a while and I recently hooked it up to a pair of Gale bookshelf speakers, which improved the sound a lot.
I work at home in a small office and my current listening is: a) mainly CDs; b) sometimes i-pod and c) increasingly flac files - my choice means of new music which I purchase and store on my laptop. Currently b and c have to be through headphones.
I am looking for a complete solution for under £400 that enables me to listen to everything with and without headphones. I am willing to transfer flacs to CD - as flacs or as 320kbps mp3 tracks but i don't really want to have to burn lots of my own CDs again. i am happy to keep the Gale's or will consider new speakers - but the room is small.
From initial research I was considering:
a) the Marantz micro system with a front mounted usb for those 320kbps mp3s perhaps (or I could hook it to my laptop)
b) the vita Audio R4i that looks good but does it sound it?
I have discounted the Brennan as I really do not have time to fill it - having just filled (and backed up) a 160GB i-pod.
My main musical tastes are opera, classical and jazz.
I would really appreciate any advice or suggesitons on systems. Many thanks in advance.