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The Ratio of your expenditure!

shafesk

New member
Sep 18, 2010
136
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0
Hello there,

while there is no set theory regarding how much one should spend on individual components, I've heard many people spent half the money on their speakers, and a quarter for the amp and the final for the source. I often hear about others who have spent half their money on their source and spend the rest on the source and amp.

In my case, I've bought the Mezzos for 1200 pounds (including delivery to Bangladesh), about 800 pounds on my Cayins and only 220 pounds on my dac magic which is my main source. That would mean that I have spend 54% of my money on speakers, 36% on my amp and only 9% on my main source! (Although, prices vary in Bangladesh according to demand so Mezzos actually should've cost 700 pounds and the Cayin 1500 pounds)

The question is, what is your expenditure ratio (just components, no money on tweaks and cables or rack or stands)? Given your particular expenditure ratio, where do you think you should invest more in the future?

For myself, I'll be changing my speakers and dac as I feel they are holding back my amp despite them being good vfm.
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
493
325
19,270
My amp was the most expensive part of my present system, with my CD player purchased 2nd hand quite a long time ago for £150 and my speakers being £179. The Squeezebox Touch was similarly priced at £180. That said I feel it is a well balanced set-up and nothing really stands out as letting the system down.
 

relocated

New member
Jan 20, 2012
74
0
0
I can't work out the % but 90%+ on my speakers. But then they are AVI ADM 9T and come with pre and power amps, DAC, remote control, power and connecting cables.

I use an old dvd player, because it sounds much better than a lot of other transports, or a tweaked Marantz CD50SE that is years old and still eclipses many other players. I purchased @ £100 worth of stands and ballast and the AVIs were £1075 delivered.

It is the most satisfying system I have ever had and I no longer feel the need to investigate tweaking and cable bunkum is another welcome loss.

The value for money is staggering but the biggest plus is that I now listen to the MUSIC not the 'EDITED' system.

:cheers:
 

power

Well-known member
Apr 11, 2011
52
0
18,540
Interesting topic. When I upgraded my system to the current one I didnt even think about the ratios you are talking about. I went around auditioning the different hardware to choose the ones that best satisfied my needs. The rsult was that I ultimately spent about 300% of my budget.

Regarding the ratios I will split as follows and I have converted Rands to Pounds as I am in South Africa: 5.1 Speakers=2875 pounds=50%, Receiver=2400 pounds = 42%, Bluray player= 500 pounds=9%.

I didnt work on ratio formulas but what appealed to me as I demoed the different hardware.
 

RobinKidderminster

New member
May 27, 2009
582
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0
Expert opinion appreciated but I recon speakers/amp 60/40 is about right. Other kit somewhat less than half amp cost. Interesting speculation.

(dup unpublished by mods)
 

RobinKidderminster

New member
May 27, 2009
582
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Expert opinion appreciated but I recon speakers/amp 60/40 is about right. Other kit somewhat less than half amp cost. Interesting speculation.
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
135
10
18,595
My ratio is approx 20/40/40 (source/amp/speakers).

A good amp and good speakers deserve each other hence the 40/40 split. I think speakers are the worst value for money, but probably the most labour intensive to make hence their high cost relative to the other components.
 

ID.

New member
Feb 22, 2010
207
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0
I understand about spending the most on speakers, and I should give it a go someday, but for some reason I always think of the amp as the heart and soul of my system (no logical reason for that though...)

My first system was approximately AU$2000 on the amp, $600 on speakers and $600 on CDP.

My current system (converting from yen to pounds) about 2000 for the amp/cdp (all in one unit Esoteric RZ-1) and around 1000 for the speakers, so I suppose it balances out pretty evenly for what I've spent on each part, although when I spoke to some salesmen they were trying to convince me that for the sound I wanted I really should match it with B&W 805D which was a bit more than I wanted to spend, so never even had a listen to the combination.
 

hoopsontoast

New member
Oct 1, 2011
12
0
0
It really depends on if you are buying new or S/H. More on the specific component matching, rather than the amount you spent on them.

As of last week it was: (~£900)

Speakers 8%

Amp 65%

CDP 5%

TT/Cart 22%

And IMO the main part that was holding it back was the amp.....

This week its: (~£450)

Speakers 16%

Amp 28%

CDP 10%

TT/Cart 46%

The biggest improvment, IMO and IME, in my room will be getting the Amp right, then fiddling with the TT/Cart.
 

power

Well-known member
Apr 11, 2011
52
0
18,540
I have already highligted my ratios on my earlier post but I just want to contribute some more since this topic is very interesting. I think the heart of every system is the amp. You can have very good speakers but you wont realise their potential without a good amp. A good amp can make a bad speaker sound better.

The speakers are very critical as they are responsible for displaying the prowess of the amp so its important that they be very good also. The spend between an amp and speakers is likely to be +-50-50 in a good system. I just dont think one should use a formula when buying hardware but go on what makes your heart warm.
 

power

Well-known member
Apr 11, 2011
52
0
18,540
I have already highligted my ratios on my earlier post but I just want to contribute some more since this topic is very interesting. I think the heart of every system is the amp. You can have very good speakers but you wont realise their potential without a good amp. A good amp can make a bad speaker sound better.

The speakers are very critical as they are responsible for displaying the prowess of the amp so its important that they be very good also. The spend between an amp and speakers is likely to be +-50-50 in a good system. I just dont think one should use a formula when buying hardware but go on what makes your heart warm.
 

hoopsontoast

New member
Oct 1, 2011
12
0
0
I would say, use the right amp.

Be that a T-Amp, 2wpc SET or 200w Muscle amp :rofl:

I have mentioned it before, but gear selection should be (IMO and IME)

1. Find Speakers that suit the room

2. Find Amp that works with the Speakers

3. Find source( s ) that let you play the media you require

4. If you are unhappy, go back to point 1. and repeat

I would have no problems spending more than £1k on my £75 speakers if I had the money, and the amp worked especially well with them.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
IMO the most important equipment is the source as it handles signals of very low current. A little bit of impurity and error will be magnified in the later part of the equipment.

In my view ratio of source: amp : speakers should be 40% :30% :30%.

But in my system the ratio is 33% :42% :25%.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
My ratio excluding cables and laptop, approx:

source 1 - deck 7%

source 2 - cd transport 7%

source 3 - streaming system 9%

dac - 22%

amp - 30%

speakers - 25%
 

AlmaataKZ

New member
Jan 7, 2009
295
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0
source macmini 5%
dac/pre 9%
amp/speakers 52%
av receiver 4%
surround speakers 6%
sub 15%
tv 4%
pvr 1%
bluray 1%
control 4%
 

RobinKidderminster

New member
May 27, 2009
582
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0
I guess some are thinking 2ch, others 5.1ch. There surely is a guidance formula but not ignoring reviews, personal pref, matching, room acoustics, listening etc. Looking at WHF 'systems' should give some clues.
 

AlmaataKZ

New member
Jan 7, 2009
295
0
0
the OP is a very good question because it is about the fundamental approach to building a system - and that depends on what kind of sound you look for and how you think it is achieved.

I am after uncoloured, full-range and undistorted sound at realistic SPLs so my school of thought is that with today's level of technology (digital sound formats, integrated circuits, very user-friendly interfaces) the sources normally and easily achieve very high fidelity of playback at very low price. So any difference sound wise with competently designed and built sources is miniscule so sources should be chosen on funcionlaity and ease of use.

the above is also true for amplification - very high quality of amplification is available at very low budgets.

with speakers, however, it is not that uniform. they have the highest impact (orders of magnitude more than any of the above) on quality of sound (because they are electro-mechanical devices), its character (colouration), they vary performance-wise very significantly from model to model and also have to interact with the room so choice of these is the most important thing.

a variation on the speakers theme is active designs and these have additional advantage of the owner not having to worry about matching the amps to speakers so I think this is the best approach sound-wise but with very limited choice of domestic models.

my above post is an example of implementing this philosophy.
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
445
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0
My previous main system was £800-£900 speakers, £1300 amp, £500 DAC, squeezebox receiver.

So almost half on the amp.

Since then I got the ADM9Ts and a BK sub (1600) and use the squeezebox and the PC.

Having done lots of experimentation with amps, I reckon that such an expensive one is unnecessary. My £300 AV amp is "almost" as good.

If I was buying passive again, which I would only do for an AV system I would spend the most on speakers. Quite happy with PS3 as blueray player. I've seen a couple of high-end models in the local store and I don't think the picture is any better in any way (via HDMI). The only improvement I saw was in DVD quality on a high-end Denon player, but again, the Blueray picture was imo identical.

If I was buying a passive stereo only system I'd look at half the cost on the speakers,biggest chunk of the rest on amp, and the least on source.

Again, from my own trials, I think differences in sources once you hit £200 are tiny. A DACMagic or Beresford and a Squeezebox, or even a WD TV Live or Apple TV(Although the inflexibility of that would discount it for me).

As for cables. Cheapest that are fit for purpose. They make almost no difference and digital ones make zero difference.

So I would recommend (on a £2000 budget), £1000 speakers, £600 amp, £200 DAC, £200 streamer. plus £50 cables

Or better still £1300 active speakers, £500 DAC/preamp, £200 streamer. plus £30 cables.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
2
0
Upstairs system:

45% source - turntable / arm / cartridge / phono amplification

45% amplifiers - volume control / active crossover / power amplifiers

10% speakers

Downstairs system:

28% source - turntable / arm / cartridge / phono amplification

2% amplifier

70% speakers

Almost all components are 2nd hand where spending ratios go totally out of the window.
 

Alec

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2007
478
0
18,890
Indeed the ratio idea also flies out the window when a PC is teh source. And, even though some conisder the DAC to be the real source, how do I price it up when it is built into my speakers?
 

fr0g

New member
Jan 7, 2008
445
0
0
Alec said:
And, even though some conisder the DAC to be the real source, how do I price it up when it is built into my speakers?
Don't forget there isn't a separate fancy case, which for the average £200 DAC would be the single most expensive part and probably more than half the manufacturing cost. So my guess, no more than £20.
 

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