[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. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Oh, records dwarf my system in budget allocation, no question!
  2. Kyhl

    Kyhl On my break

    That's the problem with looking at this. It suggests that I need to look at speakers, or downgrade something else to bring the speakers up.

    I totally spaced the sub along with the speakers. That where the other 1% went. :D
    Big Blue likes this.
  3. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Oh man, when you start putting ideas like “need to” in my head, it makes the restraint so much harder!

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Tucson, AZ
    Arbitrary is arbitrary. I never follow any rule as it comes to this. There are plenty of high priced components I do not like and plenty of lower priced ones I do like. It takes trial and error and lots of experience to get a system that satisfies enough to make you stop searching.
    Tullman likes this.
  5. Boltman92124

    Boltman92124 Fish tacos.

    San Diego
    Reality is people should spend as much as they can afford on their speakers they audition and like the most, then build around them. But it ends up that over time, people blow a lot more money on different sources and amps (Cartridges can be prime offenders!). Speakers can be a one time, longtime purchase if you max out when you are able.

    SKATTERBRANE Forum Resident

    Tucson, AZ
    However if your source is a turntable, I would put most of my money on the turntable/tonearm/cartridge as that is the hardest to get right. It was the first thing I spent money on when I decided to go from mid-fi to high-fi. And nothing after that made as much difference as the turntable did.
    russk likes this.
  7. Brother_Rael

    Brother_Rael Forum Resident

    Scottish Borders
    I think you need to stop pi**ing about with your Caps Lock.
  8. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Some interesting points here.

    I am in agreement, that speakers should never be tipped-up in the high frequencies.

    With a proper source connected, there should be no listening fatigue within normal volumes.

    Speakers should just sound "natural" no more or no less.

    Most of those BBC inspired English speakers are designed to sound good, even with mediocre sources.

    That is one of the excellent selling points, they sound good with most any source or any kind of music.

    With great sources, they sound even better still.

    But I cannot find myself in disagreement with tarnished ears on the fact that excellent speakers can be revealing and if you drive them with truely sub-par source material, yes, they can sound less than pleasant to listen to.

    I don't think that is a much of a problem today as not that long ago, when digital music was consisted of poor recordings, coupled with low sample rates and not very good DAC's.

    My "end game" speakers are my vintage Altec Lansing custom A7's and I listen to them all day with streaming Pandora and don't encounter listening fatigue issues.

    Starting off with "end game" speakers sounds like a first rate idea, and it is, but not that workable in the real world, not as I have found anyway.

    That having been said, always start out with a good pair of speakers in relation to the cost of the initial investment in your system.

    What are good speaker's? Simply put, speaker's that sound good and are not prone to induce listening fatigue over extended listening sessions.

    Too many speakers that sound dynamic and detailed are actually overly dynamic and way to detailed to listen to for an extended period and will induce listening fatigue. Avoid them.

    Then, there is a problem of just what "end game" speakers are?

    Speakers are so completely different in how they sound and what environment they function best in and what kind of program material they pair well with. End game speakers can mean many different things to many different individuals each with their own listening preferences.

    If you look at the world of high end audio porn, most of the truly outstanding systems are not something that you can just go out and buy.

    The real high end speakers tend to be very large, very custom, very expensive and have a W.A.F. of ZERO.

    The are also driven by uber expensive components all the way up the audio chain.

    Really learning about and building a great audio system that is perfect you you, is like taking a trip by automobile across the country, from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast.

    During this trip. every now and then, looking down at the map and noticing "You Are Here!".

    The main difference with audio is that you don't have a map. you have a starting point and you don't know where your finial destination will end up taking you.

    Along the way, you will discover new and more wonderful audio things, with every mile you take.

    With each addition or upgrade of the right gear, you will have a noticeable sonic improvement.

    But there is not way to know what endgame is until you experience it for yourself.

    One day, you will plug in that final piece of gear, sit back and listen. It is if you were driving and you crested a hill and the Pacific Ocean was there, right in front of you and you realize that you are there.

    Even then, there will always be other journies to make.

    One piece of advise. When you are starting off, there are two roads, one tube and with highly sensitive horn speakers and the road that you should take, which is with one or more digital sources, solid state amplification and readily available direct radiator speakers, either the British shoebox style or the American tower style.

    Learn to achieve perfection, or near perfection with digital and SS gear, then branch out into the world of tubes.

    They are two entirely different paths and the best speakers for tubes are not the best speakers for solid state.

    Once you gain a first hand understanding of SS gear, then you might want to test the waters with tube gear.

    One last bit of advise, do buy your speakers first!

    Do some due diligence and find your dream speakers. Then find some speakers that are a lot like your dream speakers, but ones that are somewhat more affordable to your wallet.

    Then find some speakers that are like the ones that you can almost afford, but are on sale, go with them!

    Once you have your speakers, then find a good integrated amp with sufficient power to drive your speakers, hopefully one with a built-in DAC, hopefully one that is on a close out sale or pre-owned.

    With you speakers and integrated in place, proceed on with your digital source or sources.

    Sit back and enjoy... Until you reach the next part of your journey.

Share This Page