[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. noahjld

    noahjld Der Wixxer

    Garbage in, garbage out.
     
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  2. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    True, but in the end, everything is going to come out of the speakers.

    The percentages, will all depend on the amount spent on the entire system.

    In general, being a speaker guy, I would favor the speaker's, followed by quality amplification (which would include a DAC in an integrated amplifier, like a Peachtree unit).

    With good speaker's and a good integrated, you can use an inexpensive CD or a streaming box as transport's.
     
  3. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo Music gives me Eargasms

    Don't worry, it will re-allocate itself..... :idea:
     
  4. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    After 88 votes, the average is:

    Sources 30% (-1% from last check)
    Amps 28% (unchanged)
    Speakers 42% (+1%)

    About one-third of voters (28) prioritized Sources above baseline/balanced (which is 33%).
    About one-fourth (20) prioritized Amps above balanced.
    About two-thirds (59) prioritized Speakers.

    The most popular poll choices (by far) remain:

    Balanced 33%/33%/33%
    25% Sources/25% Amps/50% Speakers

    (no need for further checks, this ain't gonna change much.)

    Seems like the average audiophile goes for a roughly 30-30-40% split between source/amps/speakers. Your own personal mileage will vary..
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  5. Ezd

    Ezd Forum Resident

    If you are buying used, cost percentages do not really apply because you can come across bargains.. If you are buying everything new, then it becomes debatable.
     
  6. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Occurs to me that maybe this should've been TWO polls, one for analog-source dominant systems and one for digital ones.

    While some digitalistas can and do lay out big sums for DACs and transports, spending more on the source is more common for analog folks (while at the same time not really spending less on amps, because of the need for a good/great phono amp).

    So, a final aggregate result of roughly 30%/30%/40% (source/amp/speakers) might mean closer to an avg of

    40%/30%/30% for analog-dominant systems, and
    20%/30%/50% for digital-dominant ones.

    While the poll avg result of 30%/30%/40% might make sense for mixed systems (analog AND digital, with neither being treated as the redheaded stepchild/afterthought).

    Just rough speculation, of course.
    .
     
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  7. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Knowing what I know now, I choose the 75% source, the rest I could get by on for awhile.

    M~
     
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  8. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    This is where my system is sitting currently, but I think it’s lopsided considering most of my music listening is analog...

    Sources 14%, Amp 25%, Speakers 61%

    After the next couple of upgrades I have in mind (turntable upgrade, phono upgrade, adding subwoofer) I should be here, which I think is closer to ideal:

    Sources 29%, Amp 19%, Speakers 52%
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2019
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  9. Sugar Man

    Sugar Man Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hermosa Beach
    You left out 15% of your budget. Unless that was for Bailey's Irish Cream for your coffee. :righton:
     
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  10. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Maximizing the source as much as possible is like laying the cornerstone for a building. Get it right, and everything else is relatively a piece of cake. But man, if you muck that up, you're toast, it will "never" be right after that. But this is just a hobby, do what makes "you" feel good.

    M~
     
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  11. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    True, but performance-per-dollar may not be the same ratio for sources, amps, and speakers. So the dollar allocation percentages don’t necessarily indicate what is most important. That said, turntables get expensive quick. However, good speakers are also a must. Great source through garbage speakers isn’t going to sound good, either.
     
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  12. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    What you say is true, but the reverse of your argument is also true. You have to do what makes you happy, after all it's your money.
    When I started out, my first system consisted of the following:
    1. Yamaha NS1000M
    2. Sansui 9090DB
    3. Phillips GA212 turntable.
    4. Teac 400 cassette deck (the one with the piano keys)
    5. Grado "whatever" for $100.00
    6. Monster cable interconnects
    7. Fat looking speaker cable
    It took years to fix that mess.

    LOL


    M~
     
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  13. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I mean, ideally I want it all to be really good. If I'm going as high as 75% on a turntable vs. what I already have for amp and speakers, though, I need to/get to buy a really, really nice turntable!
     
    macster likes this.
  14. macster

    macster Forum Resident

    Location:
    San Diego, Ca. USA
    Buying "used," open box etc, helps the dollars to go further. I'm buying my Vandersteen Quatro's used when I make the plunge.

    M~
     
  15. I don´t think it´s a linear equation, I mean, I do not think fractions should stay equal as you spend more money... 50% speakers, 30% amp 20% sources could work for an amp that cost 1000 u$s, but once you´ve reached the 3000-4000 u$s amp, you can inprove your system in a better way if you put your extra money on speakers, sources and connectors, my humble opinion. You might differ in fractions, but still, I don´t think it´s ok to keep the original 50-30-20 (in my example) as you go up the chain.
     
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  16. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Also, most people aren't going to upgrade every stage of the system at once. So upgrading speakers significantly will change the ratio by quite a bit until the next upgrade of a different component. Unless you are "finished" building a system and don't intend to make any upgrades, the ratio is going to change with each purchase.
     
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  17. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Early on, I would go for better speaker's.

    As my system progressed, my amps and sources got progressively better.
     
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  18. That as well, still, my opinion is that I do not think it´s a linear equation, I think speakers will become more and important as you go up in the chain, also, other stuff like connectors, that might not important if you run a cheap amp, might become important if you spend some more money... Therefore, I can´t state fractions to spend on any component in the chain unless "I´m given a certain amount of money to spend"...
     
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  19. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    That's basically what has happened. I'm really only about two years back into spending any real money on stereo equipment. I was gifted a budget turntable, but decided early on amp and speakers should be higher level than that to ensure I wasn't bottlenecking the system anywhere other than the turntable until I can get away with upgrading it. My amp and speakers should be fine through at least one upgrade at the source (except phono stage, since we're considering that an amp in this poll). At this point, though, the speakers are by far the most expensive piece.
     
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  20. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Regardless of what may be residing upstream, the sound is going to come out of the speaker's.

    As specially when starting out, get the best pair of speaker's you can afford.

    There are all kinds of amps that you can buy that will be workable.

    You can start off with a low cost digital streaming source or CD.

    There are some great sales on Polk speaker's at present on the RTi line and the LSiM line.
     
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  21. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Also, in my case, the turntable is not my only source, vinyl is just my preferred format. Most of the music I own is still not on vinyl, so it made sense to first make upgrades that would also benefit my digital sources. Digital sources are far cheaper from a performance-per-dollar standpoint, so they don’t add as much to the source budget as just getting good speakers did to the speaker budget.
     
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  22. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    My digital streaming box cost me $49 on close-out back in 2011. Sill in use in 2018.
     
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  23. bradleyc

    bradleyc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Midwest
    Lately it seems as if nearly 100% of my total budget for everything has been going towards sources, amps and speakers. :help:
     
    avanti1960 likes this.
  24. Socalguy

    Socalguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    CA
    That was the tip
     
  25. Cyclone Ranger

    Cyclone Ranger New old stock Thread Starter

    Location:
    Best Coast USA
    Heh, sucker. Don't you know it's all about $10,000 interconnects? :unhunh:
    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2019
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