amp question

Here a question thats interest's me and was therefore hoping anyone else has an opinion or personal experience on.

With budget of around $10,000 -$12,000 for a pre/power amp. Has anybody, after of course auditioning several suitable options. Decided to instead of spending the complete budget on what ever particular pre/ amp they decided on. To purchase a cheaper model possibly from same manufacture in such a way as to leave enough budget to be able to buy as well a 'state of the art' support for it, such as made by SRA, Silent Running, Vibraplane etc along with say a very specialist power cable again just for example, Nordost Valhalla etc. In either the believe or from actual experience that this alternative approach to the budgeting has given better results. For example.Buying a Pass Labs integrated with a specialist support and cable instead of their cheapest seperate's with just a normal type rack and cables.
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Personally I've always spent every drop of budget on the major components...and then proceeded to experiment with cables etc. and thus exceed the original budget.
..maybe a bad habit, but I've been unable to break it so far.

However, I've never spent $5k on a power amp and then bought a $3k power cord for it.

If I had to estimate, I'd say on my current system, the cables etc. probably comprise 10-15% of total system cost.
Spend 80% on your hardware. The rest for tweaks.
Dude, don't waste money on a "Magic" power cord. Get a good power cord to match a great piece of equipment, I say spend 90% of your money on gear, including a power conditioner, which I consider a component. But no high end power cord improves sound. As long as you have a solid connection, and there is a free flow of electrons, the sound will come from the brilliantly designed circuits in the amp and the upstream components.
your pre and amp are exceptional
At last finally back of work! I rather rushed the original question during the last 5 mins of my lunch break ( hence the uninspiring title!) To clarify. This is not necessary something I'm considering doing. I was just interested in hearing from anyone who had gone this route. I think for example that Roy Gregory based on his writings would be a proponent for the cheaper component with more expenditure on supports and cables .
One often reads review's that say how an often much cheaper model in a companies line very nearly matches the top of the line models. Of the top of my head an example would be the Audio Research LS26 versus Ref 3 line stages, price difference between the two= $4000 .
Well my question is which would provide the better performance for the same price? The LS26 with say a custom Silent running audio's Ohio class or a Minus K platform or even a whole HRS SXR rack . Or the Ref 3 sitting on say a wooden chopping block!
As no dealers near me carry such specialist devices. I'm unable to do the comparison myself. We've all read the reviews and forum posts that basically say " I have the ....Vibraplane etc and it made my...... amplifier... sound much better" But what I'd like to know , and its mainly only really out curiosity sake is did it made a cheaper but similar component perform equally or better than its higher priced stablemate?. Or is it all baloney!
Philip, I'd think you'd get better sound regardless of stand/component quality if you just moved it out from behind your left speaker. A full Shindo or Crimson system wouldn't benefit from that location!

If your question is does good setup matter, then yes, obviously, regardless of the price of the components.
Expensive cords? Over the last fifty years it has been proven that only double blind testing is the way to compare 'cords'. Absent that way of doing the compare, you are being left open to spending money on non existent differences. ARC make great products, first spend all the money on their components, then get 'cords' on loan to check for improvements. Also, read Floyd Toole's comments in his book 'Sound Reproduction'. Floyd covers the problem in hi-end audio wherein just knowing who the product manufacturer was bias that compromised an honest comparison.
I don't think it's baloney at all those devices do work but they won't make an LS-26 sound "better" than a Ref 3. They will help components sound "better" in that they clean up the sound, less vibrations effecting the sound is a good thing although to much can be a bad thing.
Id never spend money on most of the little tweaks out there, specially the high dollar ones. Unless you just have money that you dont know what to do with, putting your money in better speakers, and equipment, is by far the best move. Even budget gear has gotten good now days, but some of the more costly speakers out there make a remarkable upgrade in sound from most of the cheaper speakers(although for me Magnepans sound quality is fantastic, even at there budget prices).
Oh well with eight reply's none of which really addressed or answered the specific at all. Ive come to the conclusion that it's 1) it was a rather lousy and pointless question, not worth asking in the first place! or 2) no one so far has really ever done such a comparison/ test to be able to report back on. ( I think the answers no 1)
I agree with Rayooo always buy the better unit and tune with tweaks later.