Help a clueless student!
So I have been incredibly fortunate to inherit my dad's old hifi set up which consists of a Linn Wakonda, LK (can't remember the exact series number) and keilidh Speakers. As someone who is heavily into their music I am over the moon
Now I have been working out how to realistically play my music through the system. I have some stuff on my iphone and have a good dock to rca cable which I plan to use however I envisage my laptop to be used by myself and my uni housemates to choose music on the fly. Most of my stuff is 320 mp3. Spotify and the like will probably be used too. I understand that these sources aren't ideal and will not get the best out of the system however being realistic that is how it is going to get used/I cannot afford anything else.
So I've been doing some research and it appears to me that the best option is to get an external USB dac (or perhaps soundcard?) as currently all I have is a 3.5mm headphone jack and hdmi as audio outs from my laptop which doesn't even have a dedicated soundcard, it's just on the motherboard. As with all things it seems you can spend absolute silly money on these, figures that I can't even get my head around! Yet at the same time I am aware of the fact that my dad has kindly passed on a incredible (well for someone in my shoes!) to me and I want to do it justice. I don't want to skimp if there's going to be a considerable, easily noticeable difference in sound quality.
I've stumbled across the behringer uca202 numerous time nows and it's apparently a bargain at its price point. Also been looking at the hifimediy sabre dac's which are supposedly good value for money. My dad did a quick search and came up with the Arcam RDAC and HRT Dac music streamer both of which I googled and are pricier than what I've found so far, but perhaps more appropriate!
So I guess what I am asking really is how much money am I going to need to spend to get decent sound, bearing in mind I am already somewhat limited by the source. Just a bit confused by the whole thing at the moment.