Did a breakdown of the total investment in software and hardware. Found that about 75% of my money is in software. Of the rest:
Pre amp: 15%
LP Playback: 13%
CD Playback: 19%
Now what exactly does that signify?
Just taking my best system at the moment, and contrasting with the last configuration;
cd player 34% 27%
speakers 24% 19%
ttbl/cartridge 16% 13%
preamp 13% 23%
amp 9% 15%
cables 4% 3%
Actual cost. The retail price of the cdp would make it an even larger percentage (I paid about 60% for a demo). Although my wants do take overall cost into account, I pay what I have to pay to get what I want. I went to a less expensive preamp and less expensive amp because I liked the cheaper ones just the same as the ones they replaced, but the current preamp is easier on tubes and the current amp takes up less room in the rack.
Except for the price of the cd player, the percentages correspond with where I place my priorities. It just so happened that I was never really satisfied with a cheaper cdp, though I think today I could probably find something cheap that would be fine. And, I would pay a lot more for speakers if I had to, and would own the speakers I have even if it meant I had to use a $200 minisystem to drive them. (I've tried that and it wasnt that bad.)
I don't buy anything brand new. The first percentage reflects the price I actually paid for the items (and the entire system), while the second reflects the retail cost of the same items. I don't know what relevence this may have other than giving an idea of where the best deals I got were
CDP/DAC Digital Front End 20%/28%
IC's and Speaker Cables 16%/8%
Pre amp 11%/10%
Power Conditioners 8%/5%
Power Cords 7%/10%
DIY Isolation 6%/4%
I was surprised how much I'd spent on cabling. I got a fantastic deal on my LaScala's from a local audiophile, so the purchase percentage is not really a realistic relationship of the value of that component in my system. The retail percentages (the second numbers) are more a realistic representation of where the value of the actual components fall against one and other, and are a pretty good reflection of exactly how I'd rate their priorities for my use. I'd probably put the pre-amp on the same level or above the amps, yet I'm very happy with the synergy between the components I currently use.
I've done this before in threads here on A'Gon, but not recently:
1. Speakers--------------- 27%
2. Transport + DAC-------- 27%
3. Amp + Pre-amp---------- 18%
4. Dedicated AC system----- 3%
5. CDR & Tuner------------- 3%
6. Rack-------------------- 2%
7. ICs, spkr cables, Active
Shielding, power cords,
Thanks to those who replied to my post so far. For those who asked, what I'm mainly interested in is how much of your system's value is attributable to stuff such as cables, racks, tweaks, power conditioners, etc. I was quite surprised to realize that close to 40% of my system's worth is due to such items. Have I gone overboard or is this ratio "acceptable" or widespread among audiophiles?
analogue 35%(including phono preamp)
diy preamp 4%
tweaks(including vpi16.5) and wires 12%
DIY instruments including Weller Soldering station $150; NOS Oscilloscope $600; Hickock tube tester $150; Digital RS multimiter(measures capacitance as well); helping metal arms and magnifying lamp $100; Getinax-Cooper blank circuit boards, breadboards and many more helping electronic assembly tools are not included in the system but more and more act as a part of it when upgrade bug bites.
I think you are going to find answers all over the map that will result in no helpful answer. There is no guarantee in this hobby that more money spent in one area over another will result in better sound.
All major components in about the same price area is a good place to start. Since everyone above is hovering around +/- 20% each, seems to indicate this. I have spent more on cables than most.
Whether you have gone beyond the pale, so to speak, on your tweeks, rack & cables depends to a great degree on how much you have invested in your electronics and speakers. If you have 50K invested and 20K is in tweeks, I want to get to know you better, I need some money! If you have 10K invested and 4K in stuff thats not nearly as disproportionate. What would really facinate me, is the $ ratio of equipment to software. I always have the impression in this forum that the ratio is very high on the equipment value end.
Mephisto; it seems to me that if you have a $5K system, 40% ($2000.) would be a LOT for wires, racks, tweaks etc., IMO, as it leaves less money for good quality speakers, main components etc. But if you have a $50K system, $20K or 40% for wires and tweaks might seem a little excessive, but at this price level it still leaves plenty of bucks for high quality primary components and speakers.
So it's kind of relative to the total value of your system. Because they (usually) cost less per unit, it seems easier to buy wires and tweaks etc., than high bucks major components.
In going through this exercise, I see I have about 25% in wires, rack, and tweaks and I don't consider it excessive (most is in wires)-- this is based on a low $40sK system (MSRP). In fact I think it was money well spent-- just my perspective. Cheers. Craig.
Vinyl playback: 40.1%
(incl. phono stage)
CD playback: 14.3
Power cords, etc. 5.2
.....I should also note that it surprised me to see that I had about $10K mostly in various "wires"-- but, it works for me. Craig
It seems that Newbee and I were posting the same thought at the same time. Great minds run along similar channels-- right? Cheers. Craig
My system's worth (based on MSRP) is close to $25K, which means I spent around $10K on cables, rack and tweaks, and $15K on my CD player, integrated amp and speakers. I'm glad to see I'm not that far from what the others posted. As for Newbee's question, my $ ratio of equipment to software is 63% equipment and 37% software. I do buy CDs on a regular basis but it does take a lot of CDs to make up for the purchase of a piece of wire in these days!!
70% software - 30% equipment (Plan to widen gap even more)
Equipment (actually paid , MSRP)
Anolog - 26.0% , 18.5%
Digital - 6.5% , 6.5%
Pre amp - 18.1% , 19.4%
Power amp - 19.5% , 27.8%
Speakers - 15.6% , 17.6%
Wires - 14.3% , 10.2%