Originally Posted by Onioner
Dude upgrade that preamp before thinking about speakers. Pretty much any built in preamp is automatically shitty. A Cambridge 540p phono stage will do the trick nicely for only 80 bucks.
Are you looking for hi-fi tower speakers or computer speakers? They're both completely different markets.
If there's one thing I've learned from my time studying audio engineering and working in a studio, it's that the most significant stages of the signal path are from the bottom up. Meaning your low-budget turntable is pretty much gonna make your whole system sound low-budget no matter what speakers you get. What model turntable do you have exactly?
I really can't agree enough with what Onioner just said. Preamps in speakers, or turntables (there's a built-in preamp in that Audio Technica LP-120 that was mentioned), are bad bad bad. It's better to just remove them completely and send the signal straight into a real preamp. On the Audio Technica there's no way to bypass the preamp; if you don't want the signal to pass through it you have to remove it completely. That's one of the big disadvantages of that table.
Also, the "bottom up" theory is true in my experience as well. In the audio chain, importance goes in an order similar to this:
Vinyl itself > stylus > turntable's other components, such as its arm > preamp > power amp > equalizer if you choose to have one > speakers
I would invest the cash in a nice turntable and a nice stylus (most nice turntables already come with nice styluses), and find a relative or someone that has a pair of old speakers they never use anymore that they're willing to give to you.