$5k budget tube system

So my friend doesnt know much about Hi-Fi but just loves my tube system and wanted me to put a component list together for him with a budget of up to $5k. My system came in a bit above that, even buying many pieces used off Agon, so certain items will have to be downscaled.

I definitely think the speakers should be Omega - for the money I don't think there is anything better in highly efficient single driver speakers (plus certain models like the XRS don't even require stands).

Here is my list of components for him along with prices (new or used). Anyone here have any suggestions? Don't want to steer him wrong.....

Omega Super 3 XRS ($950 new)
Marantz 8001 CD/SACD player ($500 used)
Cary SLI-80 integrated tube amp ($1800 used)
Hudson Audio R speaker cables ($250 - Louis at Omega tried a bunch of different speaker cables and thinks these sound best for the money).
Kimber Silver Streak interconnects ($200 used)
LAT International AC2 Power Cords (3 required - $750)
PS Audio High Current Ultimate Outlet ($200 used)
Salamander Archetype 3.0 Rack ($180)

Totals out to $4,800
For wires I would suggest the Paul Speltz anti Cables..Cheap ( though I don't know your suggested brand ) and a fabulous cable for the money..Just in case you need to squeeze a few more bucks,these are quite a bargain.......
Outlet: Great inexpensive cheap plug: Porter Ports Cryo plugs under$40 and check the feedback on these puppies...Just another bargian for you...
I'd spend the $2,000, and get him exactly the same speakers you own, if he loves you system...cut the corners on the cables. Thats WAY to much money to spend on power cords for that system?

agree completely with dave. at that budget ALL your $$ should be going into the equipment, not the cables and certainly not the PCs. also, if your friend has the ability to put his music on a computer hard drive, you might consider a USB DAC instead of a CDP -- it won't play SACD, but it may be a better investment in the long run. finally, check out Devore 8s as an alternative to Omega. You could probably get a used pair for close to what you plan to spend on new the Omegas, they are comparably efficient/tube friendly, and they blow the Omegas away. Good luck. Are you getting a commish on the deal?
I would suggest you and your friend visit some local audio stores. Just because he likes what you've done doesn't mean that would be his preference, given options.

Other good budget options: PSB, Totem, Manley, Rogue ... and a ton of sources that might not include SACD.

He should spend his money on the system and worry about PCs, accessories and tweaks later.
The Cary SLI80 is a great unit to build around. I would delete the power cords and the ultimate outlet and put half that $1000 into upgrading the tubes in the SLI80. Upgraded tubes will greatly outweigh the benefit of power cords with that amp. The new gold lion KT88's ($200) are wonderful in that amp. I would put the other $500 into your speaker/source budget. Your friend can add pc's down the road, if needed.
Thanks for the suggestions.

You guys are probably right on the power cords. He could do without them or the ultimate outlet (although he still needs surge protection) for now.

As for speakers, I've never heard the Devore 8s, but there's a great deal on Agon right now for some SuperHemps with the custom skylan stands included for $1750.

I was thinking the SLI-80 was a good all around amp choice for him given his music taste (mostly rock and pop so he probably wouldnt be satisfied with the 8wpc that my 300b amp puts out). They seem to be readily available used and can be upgraded with better tubes down the line.

Jeffrey, no commission or anything, just helping a friend pick out the right gear. The are so many options available its pretty bewildering for someone looking to put a great budget system together.
Look at Rogue Audio integrated...big bang for buck, lots of others also. He won't need a lot of power...just good sound!


The Superhemps are a big step up from the Super 3 XRS and worth the additional $1K. If you keep to Omegas, you must use tubes. Solid state does not work as well with Omegas, Red Wine Audio partnership notwithstanding.

Your cable cost for this type of system should be in the $400 - $500 range (10% rule). I owned the Omega Super 3 for a number of years. I liked Signal Cable Silver Resolution for the interconnects and Signal Cables basic speaker cables with the Omegas. For power cords, go with Naim power cords at $25 each, hard to go wrong at that price.

Other alternatives to the Cary would be the Prima Luna Prologue 2 or Dialogue 2.

Regards, Rich
Hi Rich,

I agree with you on the SuperHemps vs. the XRS. I listened to the XRS at Louis' facility and they sounded great but lacked the bottom end of the Supers. My friend would be better off to go with the Supers from the start and upgrade the cables down the road.
What kinds of music does he plan to listen to? And how loud?

Ask Louis for a recommenndation, also.

Although not for everyone, I've found a Decware SE84ZS (2 w/c & much less expensive) with small group jazz, acoustic & chamber music to be more than enough. Of course I don't listen to rock or classical music at anywhere near concert levels.
Rogue Audio Cronus +
Vandersteen 2CE +
Rega Apollo (or other good sub $1000 cdp) +
Audioquest wires (synergistic w/ Vandersteens) +
Musical Enjoyment
Used prices:

If you have the room for planar speakers:
Magnepan 1.6 QR: $1000-1200 with mye stands
innersound esl amp late mark 1 or mark2: $1000
lector zoe tube preamp:$1000 (all the tubes you will need)
dennon 2910 or modded sony es555 etc CD/SACD: $500
apex speaker cables: $125-225
silentaudio interconnects: $100
k-works, cryoparts or TG audio power cords: $300 for three
powervar conditioner: $150
OR forget the amp and preamp and get a good Luxman R117 receiver ($250+) and save nearly $2000 and still have incredible sound without tubes.