Help Needed: Is my system balanced?

I have just bought a new system, part of the equipment is used, and I am uncertain if I made the right decisions. My problem is to define ideal percentages to be spent in each component. My system is the following:

Arcam DIV A80 Integrated Amplifier ($1300)
Naim CD5i cd player ($1600)
B&W DM602 S3 Loudspeakers ($600)

Do you think these three equipments match? Are they compatible? Will I get the most from their potential? Should I have bought more expensive loudspeakers and a less expensive CD player?

Is there a simple, definite rule to determine which percentages of the total investment should go to each equipment? What does the literature on this subject tells us?

Good system. Yes, they are compatible. I think you did right by getting a really good CD Player(which the Naim is Excellent). Many audiophiles say that the Source is the most important in the chain. After all, good amps and speakers won't make up for a lousy-sounding player. But, like I said you made some really good choices in my opinion. Happy listening....
It is fine as is. If you have not done so, get some decent speaker cables and interconnects to go with it.

The next time you get the upgrade itch start with the speakers.

The 602s sound great when used with good sources and power by a good amplifier. Having said that, the CD and Amp are good enough that you will notice a further improvement with even better speakers.
Thanks...I think that 2 years from now I'll start thinking about an upgrade. Maybe a pair of open box or slightly used B&W 805S's , what do you think?

I bought the following cables:

interconnect: Van Den Hul "The Source" 0.8m
speakers: Kimber Kable 8VS (10" pair)

They're not too expensive but were highly praised by Hi-fi Choice. I hope they'll be enough!

I think if you frequent your local hifi shops you will want to upgrade a whole heck of a lot faster than that...I started this hobby about two years ago and have gone through more than one pair of speakers...Take a look at my system now...I started with the B&W 602 S3's too!

Take care,
very nice system
Upgrading the speakers would be the next step I would take. They will make a big difference in sound quality.
600/2900 = 21 percent of your system cost was on speakers.

Just my two cents: this is too low to be balanced.

Speakers are were the rubber hits the road. Turning electrical signals to sound vibrations in the air is where nearly all the major distortion and limitations occurs.

Speaker distortion at high levels and particularly in the base can easily be far above 1% THD and therefore quite easily audible.... while many ordinary amps are rated better than 0.01 % THD, which is 100 times less and probably below audible levels....notice that few if any manufacturers will give out distortion figures for their speakers!

It is also not just a distortion issue there are many other factors that make speakers a big limitation on the overall system...

CD and amplifiers have a large dynamic range....not so with speakers which will compress your sound - typically around 60 db dynamic range, which is much less than electronics.

Speakers interact with your room significantly more than other components.

Speakers control evenly sound is distributed within the much floor and ceiling reflections etc.

Phase accuracy alignment is largely a speaker issue

Frequency response and bandwidth...again a speaker issue.

Intermodulation distortion ...I have not seen figures...but it is well known that speakers introduce a lot of this too (as all those mechanical vibrating surfaces/systems interact)

Mechanical systems have inertia...therefore they have resonances...speakers are mechanical systems and suffer from resonances....

Cones suffer from break-up and ringing like a bell.

Voice coils heat up causing a drfit in reponse from low levels to higher levels....called "thermal compression"

I have tried a wide variety of CD players and SS amps, all of which have proved satisfactory to my ears. My personal experience is that today's SS electronics are all pretty good (even at low prices) in terms of accurately producing and amplifying the electrical audio signal... ABX testing seems to support my impression (good equipment with similar specifications are difficult to tell apart). Speakers, however, so very far from perfect, are where the greatest audible differences and improvents can be had.
Shadorne, I agree, it is the speakers where the biggest differences will be found. But I am curious on what differences you have found on all the CD players you have had and what would you recommend as good buy? I currently use a cheap DVD player.

You may be ok with your cheap DVD player. I have compared the digital ouputs of my cheap Sony CD mega changer players through my $3000 Anthem AVM 20 preamp DSP processor (Burr Brown amp and 192kHz/24-bit DACs)....and frankly I hear no difference between this and the analog output of the CD changers themselves (provided levels are matched).....

The Anthem AVM 20 had good reviews and at a list of $3100 it was said to be like $5000 equvalent my mind if this is not enough to spend on a DAC, a DSP processor , and multi channel preamp electronics in order to hear an improvement ....then I am not prepared to spend the kind of money that it must be necessary to actually hear an improvement....for the time being my trusty "low fi" Sony CD mega changers will do just fine!

I may simply be lucky...others report huge differences in transport/DAC's...I just haven't had the same experiences...but, admittedly, I also have not tried $5K and higher cost transports/ maybe I am missing something... no doubt some people will think I am missing out....I won't lose sleep over it though...I am glad I spent most of my money on the speakers.
I think you definitely need better speakers. The difference you will get between a Rotel RCD-1072 and that Naim CD5i for 1k difference in price is much much smaller than the difference you would have gotten by getting a B&W 703 or 804 speaker, though the 804 is way out of your budget, it would make the best upgrade path for you to sell ther other stuff in the future and hear nice benefits as you upgrade.

I tested most of this gear before I moved on to more expensive stuff myself and the Rotel CD player with much better speakers would have been a huge sound difference over that Naim player with B&W 600 speakers...

The simple way to figure it out is to test more thoroughly. The Rotel RCD-1072 with a B&W 703 would have been the best choice IMO. The Arcam integrated unit should be fine if it allows you to use a bypass mode for the CD player. You would have to come up in spending though.

B&W 703 pair = $3000 (804S is $4000 per pair)
Rotel RCD = $600
Arcam DIV A80 = $1300

Total = $4900 (if you must, save more money)

There is no definite percentage. Like Shadorne said though, you get more from your system by spending more money on speakers than most other components. This doesn't mean buy crap for the rest of your equipment though. That Rotel at the price is one of the best source deals out there IMO, unless you are willing to spend 6k like I did on the Ayre C-5xe.

Also for $1600 dollars you could get the Arcam Solo instead of a separate CD and an integrated amp. The Arcam Solo is an integrated receiver and CD player all in one. This makes sense to me if that is what it takes for you to get a better speaker like the B&W 703.

Starting at this price level, if you are thiking of upgrading slowly, I wouldn't bother. I would buy something you can listen to and enjoy for a few years, then buy some really nice gear with the plan of upgrading slowly further down the road. That's just me though, most people probably won't agree. It is just a very low price point to start at, and you will do better with good companies gear that is highly integrated over separates.

If you go with the solo you can probably do the best, all USD:

$1600 = Arcam Solo (integrated amp/receiver/cd player)
$3000 = B&W 703 pair

$4600 = Total

Or you could have a total of $5600 if you get the 804S speakers instead with the Arcam Solo, which would leave you a very nice upgrade path to work on with the rest of your gear.

The Arcam Solo has been getting kudos for all it offers in an integrated package at a great price. The B&W speakers always get awards at all levels... but the higher up you go, usually the better the speaker is.

Well that is my advice for what it is worth.

Thanks for the reply, 1/2 of the cost of my system is in the speakers.