How to Split a System Budget ?

Excitable Boy

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2011
30
0
18,540
Visit site
I know there are no hard and fast rules here but am interested in your views. Say you had £3,500 to spend on a new cd only system, how would you split it up between the cd player, amp, floorstanding speakers and finally cables ? Thanks
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
With that budget I'm not sure I'd get floor standing speakers. About £1000 each on the components, leaves £500 for cables (interconnect and speaker cables) with a bit left over should you wish to spend a little more on the components.
 

Womaz

New member
Dec 27, 2011
88
0
0
Visit site
Some interesring replies on here, I was always told to spend more on the source and amps than on the speakers?

At present I am however considering doing the opposite as may be splashing out on some upgraded speakers.
 

CnoEvil

New member
Aug 21, 2009
556
14
0
Visit site
Womaz said:
Some interesring replies on here, I was always told to spend more on the source and amps than on the speakers?

At present I am however considering doing the opposite as may be splashing out on some upgraded speakers.

IMO There is still some sense to this. The source was/is more important if it's a TT....but if a CDP, it still needs to be good enough so as not to hold back the rest of the system.

Personally (all things being equal), I would rather spend a bit more on the amp than the speakers; and a bit more on the speakers than the CDP ie:

CD £800; Amp £1500; Speakers £1200....this of course isn't set in stone and is flexible. If you can get an ex-dem amp, it leaves more to spend on speakers.
 

WinterRacer

New member
Jan 14, 2009
34
1
0
Visit site
I'd spend about £3000 on some active floorstanders with a DAC and pre-amp built in, then add a source. For me this would be something like a Squeezebox Touch, but could be a CD transport.

I think the idea of spending most on the source is rooted in the past and probably marketing rather than engineering led.
 

altruistic.lemon

New member
Jul 25, 2011
64
0
0
Visit site
£500 for cables? Don't know where you get that idea from, mate. You'll always get them for free if they think you're not going to close on the deal. That's why I have 10m of NACA5 at the moment. You'd need rocks in your head to do otherwise :p (old aussie expressie not in the least offensive but expressive of incredulity).

Response to the good doctor lodge, of course.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Womaz said:
Some interesring replies on here, I was always told to spend more on the source and amps than on the speakers?

At present I am however considering doing the opposite as may be splashing out on some upgraded speakers.

Guess I'm an old stick in the mud but this is the strategy thats alway made sense to me and proven true. Paying particular attention to amp and speaker matching is the thing that seems to show most dividends, otherwise you'll never exploit the full potential of the speakers. Cheaper amps never seem to fully flesh out or drive more expensive speakers properly, just my experience.
 

margetti

New member
May 29, 2008
134
0
0
Visit site
Personally, I'd start on the premise of 1/3 on each, and go from there... if after a demo you end up splitting it otherwise then so be it - every combo is different...

I'm also not convinced that spending more on any one component does anything other than lead to an excuse to develop a serious case of upgradeitis a few months down the line :) :wall:
 

Roby

Well-known member
Jan 17, 2012
75
10
18,545
Visit site
I don't know if you can folow a rule on this...

I bought my set about 8month's ago folowing the rules 'spend more on the speakers, they are the weakest link' an believe it or not this is true I think sertenly because it's the end of the chain.

But if the source Amp, cd, dac... is not good of course thespeakers will never perform on there best...

So now I end up choosing a new amp (provably the MF M6i)

I demoed other speakers on my nad 356 pro arc D18 & Vienna acoustic 'Bethoven' (olso the cm9 B&w but didn't really feel like an improvement)

An to be honest it was an improvment.

But than I tried The M6i on my current speakers B&W 683. An the improvement in sound was much bigger (subjectively 10X bigger) than when I keep the amp an change speakers.

So I think the source is most impotant.

Because is if your amp is missing some body or soundstage your expensive speakers will never perform on there full potential.

An in the budget you want to spend spending 500£ on cables :O Comoon don't you take agood middle class cable shoul be fine so 100£ soun'ds more like it. (don't forget that most dealer's offers like 6 or 10 m of good speaker cable when you buy the speakers so thos 100£ would be for a couple of RCA's wich is a lot but woth it.

Persenaly I bought 3 pair of rca's (audioquest 'sidewinders' i think) 125€ (should be arround 100£) wich instead of 150€ an I only bought theme because I had a good deal.

So I can only sugest a lot of demoing an let your ear's be the juge.

Good luck.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Visit site
£500 on speakers (that would have cost the equivalent of £5000 in todays money when new).

£250 max on a DAC. That would be if I bought it new. Maybe I'd get one cheaper 2nd hand. I'd use the CD reader in my PC or laptop. Maybe I'd spend £200 on a water cooling kit for the PC to make it quieter.

For amps, budget would depend on whether I went for valves or solid state. For midrange quality or bass quality combined with cheaper running costs. For valves I'd spend about £1600 on a good 2nd hand SET amp. For solid state I'd spend £800 on an amp that cost 1 million yen when it was new.

£0 to £20 on cables.

So that's a total of £1550 to £2570.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
altruistic.lemon said:
£500 for cables? Don't know where you get that idea from, mate. You'll always get them for free if they think you're not going to close on the deal. That's why I have 10m of NACA5 at the moment. You'd need rocks in your head to do otherwise :p (old aussie expressie not in the least offensive but expressive of incredulity).

Response to the good doctor lodge, of course.

I was being a little tongue in cheek...could take this as either (a) dont skimp on cables: I didnt actually say spend £500 on cables, rather don't skimp and from the £500 you should have some left to spend on one or other components depending on your whim. Alternatively (b) get the best freebie cables from the dealer thrown in, you can always upgrade at a later date.

In the end, I would suggest have a rough split in mind, but go by what the demos reveal. It might be that a certain pair of speakers blow you away and if they are the thick end of £2k, then cheaper cd/amp combo will be needed. I quite like the idea of an all-in-one active speaker with dac, should get more bang for your buck in theory.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
This is such a pointless argument. If the speakers are too good, then the CD player and amp wont get the most from them. If the CD players too good, the amp and speakers will ruin it. If the Amps too good, the CD player and speakers will be ruining it?! Dont forget to factor in mains purification though. I recently moved close to a nuclear powerstation, and have noticed my hifi sounds a bit cold and clinical compared to where I used to live (near a coal power station) so I bought a mains purifier and now cannot stop telling everyone how amazing they are. The sound has just become so much cleaner its unreal.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
1
18,890
Visit site
Based on a CD player, I'd spend about £1k on the CD, and use £1k and £1.5k on the speakers and amp - which way round that would be would really depend on the speakers and what's needed to drive them. I'd start off whith fairly basic cables, as these can be upgraded at any future point, and auditioned when the system has settled down.
 

TRENDING THREADS