most audiophiles consider the tipping point of excellence at a system above $15,000
I'm curious how you arrived at this generalization.
I created an office system over the last 20 years. It is not shown, as are my others under my user ID. I find an office system has different requirements than other systems. For me… a turntable is definitely out… an office is to work… think… if I get interrupted every 20 minutes the whole problem or thesis collapses in my mind and I have to start over… kind of like rebooting a computer… only if it is complex thought it can take a long time to reload all the facts and think back to the point I was interrupted. So, no turntable. Absolutely no radio… ancient history. Streaming is now and the future… no CD player or TT.
BTW, the sound of this system is quite amazing.
I have 2 systems in my main office and a newly built headphone only system in my 2nd office. The system listed below is my older headphone system and it is about $12K. I think it is in a class by itself. Does not sound like regular headphones nor 2-channel. If someone has a crappy room for an office (maybe way too small) I recommend this system over ANY 2-channel.
RAAL VM-1a headphone amp | RAAL SR1a EARphones | Benchmark DAC3B | Sonore OpticalRendu streaming
I have 4 tuners in the house because I have one of the best radio stations in the world over the airways. KCRW. I also have a predictable but decent and good sounding classic rock station.
I love KCRW for the music but last week one of the DJ’s did something that would make people here happy. He started playing a great Stevie Wonder track and about a minute and half into the song he stopped it and said sorry I am playing the wrong version. He said, "this one is some compressed crap version. I meant to play this uncompressed version". They also spin records when they have them.
@mervo I think GREAT radio is essential when you are working. I recently bought a very expensive Magnum Dynalab MD108T tuner. It think it is about $8K and I bought it to listen to KCRW. I paid $5K with a trade-in of a MD102 tuner It sounds great BUT I later learned that the sweet spot for tuners are the vintage ones, especially if it has been refurbished by some experts.
I bought a Sansui TU9900 for $700. It was refurbished by a Sanusi refurbisher in Oregon and it sounds excellent. A tiny bit warm but I have it on my Benchmark stack so a good match.
I also bought a Accuphase T-101 for $1100 from a superstar refurbisher. He sells on A’gon and I met him in person to pick it up. This unit is incredible. Not as warm as my tube MD108T but so engaging and CD quality sound.
I also have a $500 Sony XDR tuner modded by this star, www.xdrguy.com I need to use a $500 RCA cable to make it shine but it is an excellent unit and has the best reception of all my tuners. I use MD ST-2 antennas on the Accuphase and MD108T.
Radio is still a huge part of my work day, especially from 9AM - 12PM when KCRW plays music only.
I also have Qobuz and Tidal and 3 Sonore OpticalRendu streamers. So I know all about streaming. A lifetime ROON user from 2015, before they had a product.
I'm a little embarrassed to think about what I have invested in my "office system" since my main source is FM radio and it the volume almost always down pretty low, since I work in my office and that often involves phone calls. I'm guessing about $5K-$7K.
Almost everything was purchased pre-owned except for a 5 disc CD player I never use and a Music Hall 2.2 turntable that also is almost never used.
On the occasions where I can turn it up a little, it sounds great and I wouldn't be embarrassed to have most of it in a main system. Maybe the turntable. Two or three pieces were in my main system at one time.
I was using "The Absolute Sound's" editors choice wherein they started at about $15,000.You will note that I also recommended a below $10,000 system also. I used new prices because used/pre-owned equipment varies in price, from Audiogon to US Audio Mart to eBay, et al--the prices fluctuate by several hundred dollars or more depending on the system itself.
For the record, I also have a smaller hifi system in my daughter's playroom which is less than $7,000 all in and includes a McIntosh MA 162 and a Cambridge Audio Alva TT turntable pushing KEF LS50s. If you enjoy your music, the floor to enter into starts anywhere.