Want to try Analog :

I've got a fairly nice 2 channel, 5.1 system based around Martin Logan Odyssey Speakers, Sunfire Cinema Grand Amp, Nuforce Avp 16 receiver, which doesn't have a phono stage, Benchmark DAC-1 and a Theta data basic II cd transport. I think it sounds pretty good.

My dad recently gave me about 150 albums of mine from a long time ago and most of his, but I don't have TT.

Been reading alot of the posts in the archives to get my feet wet but feel that maybe I could get a little more help from you guys on what to buy based around my present system. I kind of only want to buy used and don't want to get crazy. I've got a lot into my system already, for me at least, and just want to try it out to see if I get the bug. I don't mind tweaking, actually I like it, but if I don't have too, that would be great, as I'm not at all familiar this area of audio.

Budget is around 500.00, tops $1,500.00

Any help on a system, phone stage, TT, cart that would match well with each other and with my system would be greatly appreciated.
A great starting point is the Rega P3. It's affordable and easy to setup. I've used several with the Naim LineStage with excellent results. Cartridges are like speakers, very subjective. I highly recommend finding a dealer that specializes in analog and spend some time listening. The worse thing you can do is get a setup that doesn't show how good analog can sound.
Make it easy on your self. Find a Denon 47F with a Denon 160 cartridge. No fussy set up, just great analog sound. If that pleases you, move up. General the 47F is about $250. It was some automated features, hence the 'f' designation. Enough to really get started without much hassle.
You will get lots advise on Turntables. The big three will be Rega, Project and Technics. All good. A good phono pre-amp is all important. I use to have Musical Fidelity X-LPS v3 phono preamp before getting a full function pre-amp. I would have saved myself a lot of time and money if I'd started with it. Great unit.
Good luck
How would the x-lps compare to the 640p or a Bugle phono. Would vpi also be in the mix? And do any of these TT's play 78's?
I was looking at a PRO-JECT RM-9.
Looking for a 1200 but they seem to have gone up alot in price. Around 500.00 used and maybe would need a new cart. Could I ask if anybody has compared the 1200 to maybe a REGA P3-24 with an Exact 2. I know that the Rega is more expensive but is it alot better? Much appreciated.
The Rega P3-24 + Exact 2 + TT PSU is one of the best under $2000 turntables packages on the market!

To start you could add a Rega Fono MM pre for about $350 US!

When you've decided that you really like analog, you can always go up from there....