My TT Including Tonearm & cartridge is worth 70% of my Speakers. I buy mostly 2nd hand.
TT is Denon DP80/FR64S/ART9 $3.5k vs Revel Gem + Sub $5k
TT is Denon DP80/FR64S/ART9 $3.5k vs Revel Gem + Sub $5k
Count me as one who doesn’t subscribe to the Linn philosophy. I still believe the speakers should be the most important and therefore expensive component. Also you don’t mention if the price is MSRP or what was actually paid. In this case I will assign percentages based on MSRP...
TT/Cartridge/Phono Stage (main turntable) - 38%
Speakers - 62%
Count me as one who doesn’t subscribe to the Linn philosophy. I still believe the speakers should be the most important and therefore expensive component.+1. The self-serving Linn philosophy, that the turntable is the most important part of an analog playback system because it is first in the chain, and therefore the downstream components cannot correct for its shortcomings, is flawed in two ways:
1)While it is true that the downstream components cannot correct for the shortcomings of the turntable, it is also true that the turntable cannot correct for the shortcomings of the downstream components. So while both statements are true, neither has any significance.
2)The Linn philosophy totally ignores the **degree** to which different parts of the chain may adversely affect the sound.
In my case, MSRP of the turntable/tonearm/cartridge/phono stage was about 40% of the MSRP of the speakers. However the turntable and tonearm are vintage, and were purchased when prices were much lower than they are today .
I was just throwing it out there , i was considering msrp .I often wonder when i see some of these killer anologue setups what is down stream .. I consider my setup no slouch but one mans floor is anothers ceiling .. My vpi classic 1 w/10" and a benz with cables sounds pretty sweet through my az adagios az ref cable 👍 Most of the time my sunfire gathers dust ..
Seems as if I'm in the minority here. I never really heard of the Linn philosophy but my TT and cartridge is 60% and speakers/cables 40% of overall costs (msrp). Guess it's time for some better speakers :)
VPI Prime with Valhalla tone arm wire and Lyra Delos
PSB T-2s with Clear Day double shotguns cables
Each of my two turntables (Garrard 301 and SME 10) including tonearms (Ortofon RS 309D and 10A) and primary cartridges (Benz Micro LPSmr and EMT JSD s75) cost about the same as my speakers (Proac Response D-40r).
I don't really whether it is meaningful. I guess some would say the balance is just right and others would say I need more expensive speakers ;-).
I really like the way my system sounds now so I don't know if I am going to make any more big changes.
So for what its worth my speakers and LP system including all accessories in both cases cost about the same, but both together are only 30% of the total cost of my system -- CD Player is another 25% (it takes a lot of money to make CDs sound half decent), amps 25% and other accessories (stands, acoustics, power conditioning) the rest.
In my experience while I tend more towards the GIGO/Linn philosophy I'm probably even more a believer is to find a set of components that work well together and then to spend whatever is needed to optimize the hell out of them -- room, power, cables etc
Is there an implied suggestion that price automatically denotes sound quality?Bdp24, no, certainly not on my part. And I should probably not have included the words "and therefore expensive" in the excerpt of the statement that I quoted from the earlier poster.
Obviously many people can and do achieve excellent results by spending more on their analog front ends than on their speakers. And vice versa. There are of course many paths to both success and failure. My point, though, is simply that the "Linn philosophy," as originally promulgated during the 1970s by Ivor Tiefenbrun of Linn, is logically and technically flawed, and is therefore of no use as a guide to assembling a system.
Got it, Al. And completely agree, with both your posts. Though it perhaps needed saying when Linn first did (that information, once lost, could never be recovered, no matter the quality of downstream components), to say the source is therefore more important than any other link in the chain is obviously an over-simplification. I think it was Peter Moncrieff who, in his comparison of the Linn to the Oracle in IAR, mocked the idea by suggesting a system of a Linn, quality pre and power amps, connected to a pair of strings and tin cans for speakers!
Azjake would you care to elaborate a little on your setup .. Just curious thats all .iI wasn’t try to start a linn anti linn battle , i was just curious what people were running comparatively .. Of course amp pre cd dac etc etc is part of the equation but i posted in the anolgue just to get some feedback 👍
Bdp24, no, certainly not on my part. And I should probably not have included the words "and therefore expensive" in the excerpt of the statement that I quoted from the earlier poster
I am the poster Al who wrote "therefore more expensive".
Not being a subscriber to the Linn philosophy, I meant this in the context that the loudspeakers are more important than the source and therefore, most likely would be more expensive than the source..
This is certainly the case in my system as I stated a 38% vs. 62% difference in favor of my speakers.
I am not implying that price automatically denotes sound quality. Just giving my reasons for the allocation of funds in my system. Others may be at an exact match of vinyl source to speakers and yet others may be polar opposite of mine. And for those that are, I am sure that Mr. Tiefenbrun is smiling.
My philosophy has been for a long time...I will never spend more than $5,000 on any one component, and If I can do it for less great! I have achieved my goal (and then some). And I must say that when it comes to speakers in the $5000 range it seems to me that we had a lot more choices 15 years ago. But to answer the question I’d say I’m about 45% TT (purchased 2015) to 55% spks (purchased 2003). I think the dates of purchase are very relevant here as well. Kinda makes you go hmmmm.
Here's a different perspective. My turntable setup has a MSRP of $30,500. This includes one table, two arms and two cartridges. My two pairs of speakers are harder to calculate but I paid a total of $5650. The speakers include a DIY unit so that throws off the comparison a bit. But if I just use the commercial set of speakers, the total speaker investment was $4000. Granted that was 15 years ago, but the current model (supposedly not as good) is $12,000.
Any way I look at it, I have considerably more invested in LP playback than in speakers. And the vinyl numbers don't include the phono preamp. That would make the ratio even more lopsided.
I certainly wouldn't recommend that everyone should have more invested in LP playback than in speakers. That is a personal decision each person has to make for himself. However, I can say that if I had the same money to spend on a new system, I would probably make the same choices. I would definitely choose the same speakers even if I had a much larger budget.
My cartridge cost the same as my speakers (in my "reference" system) and both cost me more than any other component, by a lot. The turntable adds more, and cost more than the speaker cables, so in the end the analog front end cost a bit more than speakers.
I didn't set out to do things that way, but in hindsight it probably makes some sense. The cartridge and speakers are the two transducers in the system, and changing energy from one form to another (mechanical to electrical and back again) is arguably more difficult to do well than passing the signal along and amplifying it. So if that's true, then spending more on those two components would be justified.
"Inna, Spending as much on a cartridge as on speakers would not be my approach, that's for sure."
What is your approach? Do you have a formula? I have never really thought about it that way. If I hear something that sounds great and has synergy in my system I will usually buy it. I have three primary cartridges. Each one is about 1/3 the cost of my speakers. So based on what I have done, without thinking about it ahead of time, is that each of my turntable/tonearm/cartridge stumps cost about the same as my speakers, not including tonearm cable or phono preamp.
I would be interested in your thoughts on this.
I don't have a formula but I have a few rules that I try to follow.
Analogue front end should be very strong or all will be for nothing. I believe that the table itself is the most important part of it, then the arm, then the phono and then the cartridge. Good $350 MM cartridge sounds excellent in $1500 arm and $4000 table through $1500 phono. That's what I have. One day I will upgrade the catridge and the phono, preferably at the same time and preferable to something about three times more expensive.
The speakers. I keep them for a very long time, 15-20 years, so they must be good. I don't think that there is anything under $10k that I would really like to upgrade to, so for now I keep my 17 year old speakers that used to cost $1500 new.
I buy everything used except cartridges.
So yes, as you said, whatever sounds great, taking the cost into consideration.
Inna, your rationale makes sense to me, especially the table and arm importance. For me, the most difficult choices are analog front end and especially speakers. I believe my dealer did me a favor years ago with my entry into analog getting me into the Basis line of tables. I have since moved up the ladder with Basis and can't imagine why I would switch. Also, I have always been a fan of Thiel speakers since I heard the 3.6 way back when, I think the mid 90"s. I have tried /owned other speakers but once you get so accustomed to a sound it is engrained in the head.
I will in all likelihood always have Basis and Thiels at the front and back end and everything in the middle is up for grabs. I am also getting too damn old to be moving 100+lb amps around so I am hoping great things start coming in smaller packages!
I am enjoying this discussion .. For me i truly believe as difficult as it may be at times in our lives switching rooms or houses, that it all starts with the room then the source ( just like i mentioned my guitar) then downhill just my opinion it all matters and syncronicity of choices are key i have heard 1k spkrs sound amazing and 25 k spkrs sound weak
I want to disagree with almarg's characterization of Linn's philosophy. I'm not sure he has thought it through completely, or listened to systems with a poor turntable and great speakers versus the opposite(by opposite, on speakers, I'm not talking about poorly designed ones, just cheaper ones.). A turntable that preserves the rhythm of the music can still be enjoyable to listen to, but I don't know of any speakers that could make up for a lack of rhythm, and due to that, the system will be less enjoyable to listen to.
)While it is true that the downstream components cannot correct for the shortcomings of the turntable, it is also true that the turntable cannot correct for the shortcomings of the downstream components. So while both statements are true, neither has any significance.
Agree both of these statements are true. In my opinion both statements are significant.
If anything that confirms what I have learned at this point in my journey. Your system is only as strong as your weakest link. My analog front end (table,cart, phono) cost 3.5 times more than my speakers retail. Yes this is not ideal but I am not in a permanent space so dropping $$$$ on speakers in a room that will change is something I am not ready to do.
I will say that every time I have upgraded Table, cart, phono or power amp the speakers have made a jump in performance.On the other side of the argument the speakers are probably not giving me everything the analog front end is capable.
I guess my point is a balanced system seems to be a good goal. I eventually will balance my system. I do think spending $$$$ on speakers and then low balling everything else can’t be optional. The speakers are capable of much more I promise you,.
Darkstar1, I agree completely with the chain is as strong as its weakest link philosophy, and I’ve stated exactly that in a number of past threads. And I am in essential agreement with everything else in your post.
What I was disagreeing with is the notion that a turntable has any particular likelihood of being the weak link in a system, compared to the speakers and electronics, AS A RESULT OF being first in the chain.
Mmakshak, assuming that you’ve read both of my earlier posts in this thread (the second having added clarification to the first), and assuming that both posts came across clearly to you, we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Although I recognize that there are many audiophiles who would agree with you, and that the Linn philosophy did gain significant traction over the years, after Mr. Tiefenbrun introduced it.
Mostly unrelated to all of that, but having some relevance to the original question, I would add to what has been said the thought that for a given level of quality what a speaker can cost often tends to vary dramatically depending on its maximum volume capability (or more specifically, its ability to comfortably handle high volume dynamic peaks, such as are often found in well engineered minimally compressed recordings of classical symphonic music), and also depending on the deep bass extension the speaker can provide. And the extent to which those capabilities are necessary or can be compromised will of course vary greatly from listener to listener, which is one of the reasons why the ratio of speaker cost to front end cost tends to vary so much among different listeners.
Mostly unrelated to all of that, but having some relevance to the original question, I would add to what has been said the thought that for a given level of quality what a speaker can cost often tends to vary dramatically depending on its maximum volume capability (or more specifically, its ability to comfortably handle high volume dynamic peaks, such as are often found in well engineered minimally compressed recordings of classical symphonic music), and also depending on the deep bass extension the speaker can provide. And the extent to which those capabilities are necessary or can be compromised will of course vary greatly from listener to listener, which is one of the reasons why the ratio of speaker cost to front end cost tends to vary so much among different listeners.Couldn't agree more. Some of the high dollar speakers I have heard had deep bass, played loud and had hyper resolution. Lucky for me ultra resolution and playing really loud don't do it for me and I can easily compromise on bass. So yeah I can be satisfied with a cheaper speaker than many people. Probably why my analog has more money in it than the speakers. The speakers never seemed to disappoint me when the cheaper source did.