I sold the technics 1200 series a while back. Good turntable. It's more of a DJ table then an audiophile one, but it's well built and the tonearm can handle most cartridges. Do not use the mixer. It will not improve the sound at all and most likely make it worse. You don't mention what cartridge it comes with, which will make a big difference in sound and cost. Also you don't mention your speakers/preamp, but I am assuming with a tube amp, you have a decent system. This would be a good table to start with if you are trying to decide to get into, or back into, records. You can check average prices on Audiogon/ebay and other sites, I saw many for sale.. Should be in low-mid hundreds, depending on the cartridge and condition. I would not spend more then that as you can get a better table once you get to the low thousands. Hope this info helps.