Intriguing world of Analog

I am an aspiring audiophile and have enjoyed the forum postings on Audiogon over the past few months. I am impressed by the number of people with such advanced knowledge on audiophile subjects and who are willing to share their knowledge with others. I have become intriqued with the seemingly complex world of turntables, tone arms, cartridges and many other itemes related to analog music. I've seen pictures of turntables having numerous tone arms associted therewith and I am curious as to why one would need multiple tone arms. Many years have passed from the day I had a record player and we would tape a penny to the tone arm above the cartridge to keep the record from bouncing off the record. I'm sure the analogophiles reading this post are clutching their chests and gasping for air at the thought of it.

Somehow I feel another obsession coming on.

If I wanted to make an initial foray into the analog world of music what would be a good starting point? Is there a turn-key solution where you purcahse a table, tone arm and cartridge in one fell swoop? I would be willing to spend from $1500-$2,000.

My current sysem is as follows: Classe CA 200 amp, Classe CDP 35 preamp, B&W Matrix 802 series III speakers, and a Yamaha RX Z11 AV receiver. My preamp has a phono location on the source knob.

Will I need a separate phono amp or can I use my Yamaha reciever?

Your help and recommendations would be greatly appreicated.
Papajoe, there are definitely options well within your price range for a turnkey analog rig. For example, you can buy a new Rega P3-24 turntable with the RB301 tonearm and the Elys cartridge for $1,000. For a bit more money, you can upgrade the cartridge and add a VTA adjustment mechanism to the tonearm. Or you could go with a gently used VPI Scout/JMW-9 or Basis 1400/RB300 and a very nice cartridge within your $2,000 cap. There are other alternatives as well.

You should have a look at your Yamaha owner's manual to find the level of gain offered by the phono stage along with the recommended minimum cartridge output level and related specifications (e.g., input impedance and capacitance loadings). With that information, we can get you pointed in the right direction with respect to cartridge options. As Undertow pointed out, you will probably find that you need to stay with MM and high output MC designs that offer output levels at or above 2.5mV.

Another thing you will want to consider is the overall quality level of the Yamaha's phono stage. I don't have experience with the Yamaha AV receiver, so I can't help with this assessment. However, it's important to strike the appopriate balance among all the links in the chain. Your phono stage is VERY important to your sound, so you will want to understand its limitations before choosing a turntable, tonearm and cartridge.

If you decide to really get into the analog game, you will probably eventually be looking to upgrade your phono amplifications given the relative inflexibility of one that is built into an AV receiver. If you can swing it, you might want to break free of the AV receiver right away and work a phono stage into your budget.
If you've been reading this forum for a few months I think it's safe to say you have a strong interest in vinyl. It would surely be too boring for anyone who didn't. I would encourage you to give it a try. You'll likely find it addictive. There's a lot to learn. I still learn things every day on this forum and audio asylum. That's part of what makes this so interesting.
Myself, I'm partial to VPI products currently. Others disagree but I think they offer great performanance at their price points and are easy to upgrade when you're ready. For the money your talking about you might consider the Scout or even Scoutmaster with a MM cartridge if that will work with your Yamaha for the time being. You could do the rest of it as budget allows but in the meantime not compromise quality by trying to buy it all at once. A lot of used tables(of all brands) show up here and that may offer a good chance to get your foot in the door with some nice stuff too.
You have two choices in that range a vpi scout or a project 9.1.Add a cart of your choice and you will be well on your way to listening nirvana.
multi arms are a shortcut to using mono vs. stereo cartridges. Also when two different stereo cartridges will be used, say one a MM, the other MC.

A used VPI, with arm and cartridge installed, is the way to go, providing you can pay cash and pick up in person, wherein the seller must demo the unit as fully operational and functional.