[Poll] What Percentage of Your System Budget Should go to Sources/Amps/Speakers?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Cyclone Ranger, Feb 14, 2019.

  1. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Explanations, for the sticklers/OCD ppl: :idea:

    Strange increments/percentages in the poll?
    It's as granular as I could possibly make it considering the limitations of polls here (no more than 25 choices).

    My ideal/preferred percentages don't match up exactly with any poll choices.
    Just choose the poll options that's closest, or choose 'Other' and post what your percentages are.

    Your poll is WAY off. I really want to choose 1% sources, 1% amps, and 98% speakers, as God intended.
    You are a dangerously insane outlier, but you too can just choose 'Other' and post that.

    Are carts and DACs part of sources?
    Yup, I'd think so.

    Are phono stages considered amps?
    Yep, they are.

    Halp, I'm into receivers!
    The tuner section goes under sources, and the rest under amps (whatever you feel the $$ split should be for that).

    Are subwoofers part of speakers?
    Yes, unless they're active, in which case guess you could split them between speakers and amps if you really have to (OCD much?). And of course this assumes that you think everyone should have a sub.

    What about speaker cables?
    Part of speakers, I guess.

    Interconnects?
    Part of whatever they're connected to (from source to amp, split between those two, amp to amp is amp).

    Tone controls, equalizers?
    Heck if I know, man. Whatever you philosophically feel like. And should everyone have these?

    Room treatments? Racks?
    Sigh. Separate issues/added cost outside the scope of the poll. It can only do so much. Though I'd say a TT isolation platform would go to your Sources budget.

    The magic harmonic crystals that I put on top of all my components for better sonic performance?
    Shaddup.

    This poll is totally and completely invalid because 'it depends' and blah buh blah because blah (college PhD thesis follows).
    Uhh, maybe this poll isn't for you. Go on and make yer own.


    ps – I'll probably total up and average the percentages for each category from time to time, and post those results (on occasion).

    kthnxbai. :)
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  2. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Location:
    Scottish Borders
    Had I been still using vinyl, I'd have allocated more to the source budget.

    As it stands, I don't think you need to go to such lengths for digital sources and these days, using actives, I've no amps to buy either! Okay, I'm being slightly disingenuous here given the amps are on-board with actives and there's four of them!

    With that in mind, I went for Other and 40% source / 60% speakers.
     
  3. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    I'm not sure what it should be, but mine is

    35% speakers
    20% amp
    20% source - 2 sources
    7% power conditioning
    18% cords and cables
    about $100,000 CDN- plus music, platforms,treatments and a few extra's.
    Probably sounds like a lot but it's far less than it was. :ignore:

    Should have added this is the main system.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  4. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    Location:
    Westfield, IN USA
    Over the years my opinion on this question has changed drastically. I used to be a 75% speaker guy, and I still feel speakers are the piece which have most impact. What throws my calculations off is how easy it is now to find quality used pieces at bargain prices. This is especially true for amplification.
    The percentage of funds dedicated to the source has moved up for me over the past 10 years.
     
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  5. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    Seriously? Who minces things into increments like this? And why?
     
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  6. Tim 2

    Tim 2 MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Almost everyone that has an audio system. It's a serious investment, you don't want to know where your moneys going ?
     
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  7. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    I picked 33/33/33 just cause.

    I am more like our old and beloved Iowa Hawkeye coach. He said to scratch where it itches, and that's how I approach it. I don't try to spend any particular proportion of my investment.
     
  8. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    I'm a believer that spending the most possible on speakers will get you the best sound possible, followed by a good amp.

    Then when the budget allowed, I'd ad a component...
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  9. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Where I differ most from the herd is in interconnects. I think I get much more bang for my buck by investing in high quality engineered solutions via diy cables, not purchasing the high buck offerings with no technical advantage other than sales jargon and very long break in times. My opinion and it seems to work quite well in practice.
     
  10. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    Speakers are most important thus I recommend spending at 50%. An amplifier is also very important and a good tube amp is budgeted at 37% that includes tube upgrades. Source is simply vinyl & a FM tuner. 12% buys an excellent vintage TT and a good cartridge. I use an electronically rebuilt Luxman PD-272 TT and VM540ML cartridge. A Nagaoka MP-700 is my next upgrade. If I bought the Nagaoka, my TT budget would be higher. The budget on the source would also be more if I bought a VPI Prime Scout TT, but I believe the Luxman with the Micro Seiki TA-1 tone arm plays about as well as a VPI Scout thus saved a lot of money.

    I saved about $6K on my system by purchasing used gear in like new condition. (I stole the speakers for cheap). I also rebuilt and upgraded the vintage tube amp myself- huge difference in performance. If I bought all new equivalent gear, it would have cost about $8K.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
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  11. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    This morning at breakfast I spent 37% on bacon, 21% on eggs, 18% on hash browns, and 9% on coffee. Now I’m wondering if I should have allocated differently.
     
  12. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    It’s not an investment, it’s a hobby.
     
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  13. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian Forum Resident

    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    Little high on eggs, little low on coffee, but you did good with appropriating biggest bucket for bacon. You should be proud.
     
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  14. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Personally, I blame my blue meth addiction.

    But, 'I can quit any time I want'. :righton:
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  15. Dream On

    Dream On Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Maybe someone who is buying everything in one shot.

    In practice we know that many audiophiles start somewhere low and then upgrade piece by piece. When I am upgrading something I don't look at it's relative cost. I simpy determine how much I want to pay for that item at that time and then see what's available at that price. And my focus would be on my approach to sound, not relative cost. So...tubes vs. SS, push/pull vs SET, Class A vs AB, open baffle vs box, high efficiency vs low efficiency, transmission line vs ported, etc. That will often help determine the budget. So if someone is like me and runs transmission line speakers, powered by a Class A integrated, and wants to run a tube phonostage as well that can handle both MM and MC, well I think those choices determine my relative costs and my various options more than anything else. Want Class A and transmission lines? Probably can't skimp on the speakers and amp. If running AB then a lot of amp options open up and less can be invested there.

    In contrast, I also have a pair of AN AX-Two speakers that I got used for just $200. Great quality speakers but if I used that in this discussion it would look like I don't value speakers as much as I actually do.

    In practice then, how everything works out cost wise isn't as simple as throwing out a few numbers, which is simply a theoretical (not practical) discussion.
     
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  16. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    For those who are curious, the averages so far (off 23 'non-Other' votes)...

    Sources 30%
    Amps 27%
    Speakers 42%
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2019
  17. x2zero

    x2zero Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brooklyn USA
     
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  18. Ezd

    Ezd Forum Resident

    I think you definitely went high on the hash browns, potatoes can be bought cheap in bulk, so can quality coffee beans. I would use the savings towards toast, butter, jams, sugar for the coffee (unless you drink it black) and some toothpicks.
     
  19. Helom

    Helom I'll take the monkey coffins

    Location:
    U.S.
    Usually I'd agree, but some of the speaker bargains now available from DTC manufacturers have turned this around.
     
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  20. freesole

    freesole Forum Resident

    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    I don't know that there is a right answer here. Sometimes you get lucky with used deals as well and get a bargain where you don't expect it so you end up spending a bit less on a component that you would have a higher budget for. In my system, I would say it ended up being closer to 35% speakers, 35% amps, 30% source.
     
  21. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    I don't think Naga makes an MP-700 yet... unless you know something we don't. :shh:

    .
     
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  22. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Location:
    Sweden
    The general rule is that speakers are your game changers.

    But if youre into vinyl then personally I would start out with a good table and cart, not because its better soundwise but because Id want the records to last.
     
  23. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Location:
    MI
    Oops, meant MP-500.
     
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  24. Fruff76

    Fruff76 L100 Classic - Fan Club President

    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    This is a good point. I’m using an Adcom GFA 555 ll that I got for $500, and my speakers were 4K. Sounds great and I feel no need to upgrade.
     
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  25. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Yah. But, now I want an MP-700. :oops:
    .
     

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