If your whole system costs $40,000....

how much will you invest in CD player with that sum?

I have been wondering my CD section is the weakest link, its around 10% of my system cost. I wonder people who are using some $10k players how much their whole system costs roughly...... Anyone can share their experience in upgrading their CD players?
You have a 40k system and you're asking someone else how much you should spend on a cdp? Am I reading this wrong or am I missing something here?
Order of expense payed for components. Most first:
TT and tonearm (no cartridge yet)
Preamp/phono & Pair of amps (close to same cost)
Another pair of amps
all bought used here
Verdier La Platine, Grandezza Reference arm
Nain CD555 PS555
Doshi Alaap & Wavelength 45 silver
Wavelength Cardinal 300b
Beauhorn Virtuoso
Magnum Dynalab 106T Signal Sleuth

Yes, you are right. Say for example, $4000 for cdp, $36000 for others e.g. speaker, amp, pre, cables, etc. Thats spending 10% of whole system.


Great form of reply, thanks! If you are able to state individual costs would be more informative, but may taking you too much time though.
In other words, I would like to know most of you how important do you treat investing a CDP is among the whole system. Especially a ratio on SPEAKER : CDP, I know this is not scientific, but I just really wonder I am too far from average, my speaker $7500, my cdp is $2100. My pre-amp is $4100, my amp is $3500.

My idea is upgrade a CDP to get more analytical detail and extensions on the bottom, am I on a right direction or what?
I did not devise a formula prior to building my system, it just came out this way. I do place importance on source.
If you have $40,000 to drop on a system, you have many choices for a good CD player. Try some well received ones and see. Buy used so you can sell and change without taking a loss. Start with the Cambridge Azur 840c (a very solid performer) and go from there.

The only thing else I would add is also consider going to a music server and DAC with possibly a network music player if needed if you are not uncomfortable with dealing with computers. OR maybe investigate integrated music server devices that target audio enthusiasts, but expect to pay a premium for teh extra convenience mainly.
Actually I am not asking for advice of what CDP to go for.

I might need to clarify the purpose of this thread, how important is a CDP among all the items in your systems, in what ratio do you put your money into CDP vs SPEAKER, AMP.....

Thanks for reply anyway.
Seems you are fooled into thinking $40K will get you a great system. I have experienced system in the $10K range that blew away $100K systems. With the right room, $10K will get you great sound. Talk to Jim Smith before you spend another dime.
A system is only as good as the weakest link.

Most modern CD players are pretty good. You have to have a very well tuned system in other more problematic aspects first, especially in regards to amp/speaker/room/listening position integration.

Then you are in a good position to judge the value proposition of different CD players at different price points.
Simply put: research and more research what is available with your requirements. Decide on your "BEST", and patiently wait for a good example to come up here used...... and SNAP IT UP!!
I am trying to conduct a survey here in order to give myself a reference how one with spend on a CDP vs the rest of his system.

Who is willing to share? I had posted mine earlier here.
All good points above. The better, all the better. Don't compromise on your source. Choose one you will never let go of.
Buy once. Be patient.
Cd players are still selling. But if I were in your situation I'd consider putting it all on a "music server".

I bought a DCS stack of the previous generation for under 10K USED several years ago and that seems about what I'd spend if the rest of my system was 40K. Enjoy, the music. Peterh
There was a thread on cabling %$ suggested. In other words, I should add up total cost of my components and choose whatever cable brand/model that costs closest to 10% ???? I give up!!
Grand tech, you posted some prices. Is that retail or what you paid used. I think you would get better responses if you listed your actual components and what you are trying to achieve, what type of room you have and the size, what you value most in the sound, and what type of music you listen to. You ask us to take the time to share yet you divulge very little.

How can anyone determine your weakest link if we have no idea what you have? Why are you asking about $4OK when you only listed about $15K, and your whole approach is from the wrong angle. You need to build a system that fits your room and your tastes and your budget. An arbitrary % for a component just doesn't work.

"What we got here is failure to communicate.
Some men you just can't reach":)
"if your" system costs $40K, not mine, for a reference to start the topic with. It is retail, if it is USED, too many factors involved in pricing.

I said, I am not trying consult what to upgrade with, I know exactly what I should go for if money no object, but I wonder what fellows out there do, especially while money is a subject. For mentioning a reference point of $40k system, I was trying to narrow down to hear from a certain level of enthusiasts here.
In my case it is about 5%, (a Resolution Audio Opus 21, in case you're wondering).

However, you failed to tell us if this CD player is going to be your primary or secondary source, (or your sole source). If primary, you should probably spend a higher percentage. If secondary, then, (obviously), you should spend less than on your primary source.

(FYI: My primary source, my turntable/tonearm/cartridge, costs about 11% of my total costs.)

My two cents worth.
I'd estimate my main system (digital source included only) cost about 15-17K retail.

The cost to me was about 8-9K.

My main digital source is computer music server, DAC, + Squeezebox Touch, total cost ~ 1.6K with main and backup disk storage.

That's about 10% of total retail cost.
Find a pair of speakers that knock your socks off and then an amp that matches well.

After that, it's downhill all the way.


I see you just don't get it. Trying to peg a percentage to a component is an exercise in futility. As far as retail my system is probably 60% speaker, 15% amp. 15% turntable/cartridge, and 10% digital source/preamp. How did that help you?

I was trying to answer what you initially posted and the only way to even begin to help is if we know what you have ....

I have been wondering my CD section is the weakest link,.

good luck
Excluding speaker cables, ICs, and power conditioners et al, I have three systems that meet your criteria. For the CDP in each, the cost percentages are 8.2 %, 11.4 %, and 22.1 %. Figures are based on retail costs for new gear and what I actually paid for vintage gear. The CDPs were all purchased new; two of them are current models.

"how much will you invest in CD player with that sum?"


As much as it takes so that I enjoy listening to the music thru it. It so happens that at this time, it's around 10%.

I would consider it foolish to limit myself to a certain % of say, at or about xx%. I once put an extra system together a few yrs ago that paired a $900 2a3 SET integrated with a pair of %550 single driver speakers. Those are "msrp" prices, not street or used. The CD player was $3000. That works out to 200%. I really enjoyed it. I doubt I would have with a $150 (10%) player.
Personally, I would never spend more than about $2000.00 for a new CD player, no matter how good the rest of my system is (I assume you are using cost as a proxy for quality -- always a risky assumption in this hobby). I've had any number of CD/SACD players (I bought my first CD player in 1984 or 85, I'm not sure which, at the "breakthrough" price of $400.00), with purchase prices all over the map. My experience has been that once you pass $1500/$2000 MSRP, the incremental increase in reproduction quality is so ephemeral, and subjective, that it doesn't justify the expense. I wouldn't be too surprised to find that we have folks with $40K systems out there that are happily tooling along with $700 or $800 CD players.

Some of the folks here just answer exactly what I am asking, especially the recent post of MAPMAN, its around 10%. I am not going to use it as a limit, but I just want to know what is happening in others situation.

My CDP is SIMAUDIO CD 5.3x as some of you were asking. I am not sure how good it is, I haven't change to other cdp since I put up my systems 3 years ago.

My gears total up $29000 retail excluding cables ICs, and power conditioners.

Welcome and look forward to more post of your spending experience......

p.s. I may start a new thread to consult all experience fellows if I want advises for solving my system issue.
I recommend the PS Audio Perfect Wav system. Hi rez memory player DAC combo ($6K). For an additional $800, you can buy the music server piece for the DAC. For best sound I recommend a turntable setup, but that will cost you much more when you consider a good table, arm, cart, phono-stage and records of course. I use the Perfect Wav for my occasional digital playback. Hard to beat that combo for the money, imo.

No, you accepted the answer you wanted to hear, some said 10%, some gave other amounts, some gave a dollar limit.

If you think 10% is a good answer then more power to you but IMHO and others it is a worthless piece of information.

An affixed price on Love or Happiness cannot be set.

Love is about $100 for 15 minutes, happiness is a bit more.

...once again - same people have a response to just about every question asked here on this forum, and usually only with another question and never add any value to the OP question or sitaution. Okay ...about $100,000 and the front end digital retails about $30,000 which includes cables. So about 1/3 or 33% of my system's cost.
Thanks Garebear. Are you happy with the digital? Or moving up in mind already?

Garebear, you are absolutely correct. The fact we now know you spent 1/3 of your budget on your digital front end adds absolutely no value to the OPs situation. With answers from a few percent to over 200% how is your 33% helping him decide what the correct % is.

Ok, I'll shut up, this whole conversation is as useful as discussing what speakers to buy and knowing no other information.

have fun

Frankly I'd sell any high end CDP for whatever you can still get for it (while you can) and put the money into a PC/MAC - DAC based source. CD players are likely going the way of VCR's - there just won't be much of a market for them in five years time. And burn your existing CD collection to lossless PC audio files.
I have just been thinking about it......How about a LINN DS, say Akurate DS/1.....
if i had a 40k system. I would know that i was most likely got hit by lightening. You ask y? Because when I open my wallet and take a dollar out. Washington takes a deep breath and says mmm fresh air...
1) Speakers

2) amps that match and compliment speakers

3) preamp (choice to compliment 1 & 2)

4) Sources
a) analog source (table and phono preamp)
b) DAC and some server or disc spinner. I wouldn't waste money on a stand alone disc player.

5) Power conditioning (if needed in your area, some don't)

6) Cables (I'm a firm believer in simplier is better cost vs benefit)

7) Tweaks - cleaners, sound deadening, etc....
Would spend no more than $5000.00 new or used. A bigger concern would be tube or solid state player. In my system, which cost half of your proposed system I would be hard pressed to spend more than $2500.00 and it would have to do everything accept walk on water. Even if you decide on computer based music audio components having a good cd player would be always be welcome.
IMO...you can get near state of the art for $4-5K (used)...=~10-15% of total - on a $40K system.
Herman - that you for your input which re-inforces what I said - you added nothing. In fact I did answer the question as about 1/3 was spent on my front end of my system as I tried to keep a pricing balance bewteen all parts. I stayed away from recommmending what player as that is subjective and a personal choice but gave the OP what I was thinking in setting up a system.....aside from price I used a 1/3 third rule and it has worked.

Quite the contrary. I added that in my considered opinion allocating percentages for each component is a waste of time. Others have agreed and as I pointed out the responses of between 5 and 200% reinforce that idea. I'm happy your 1/3 rule worked for you but evidently you are the only one so far with that arbitrary ratio. The OP seems to like 10% as he first suggested it and then thanked someone for agreeing with him.

It is, in my opinion as well as others, a silly way to build a system. If the OP would take that advise he would be the better for it and I would have indeed added something. Since his mind was evidently made up going in the whole thing has been a waste of time.

take care

Herman is right, of course.

But I suppose if the op is synthesizing the data properly and everyone is having fun, being right once again doesn't really matter?
I still don't get the point of this discussion. If you have a 40k system, why are you asking people how much you should spend on a cdp? Did you ask how much you were supposed to spend on your other stuff?
TP gettin' real!!

I thank Garebear for "...once again - same people have a response to just about every question asked here on this forum, and usually only with another question and never add any value to the OP question or sitaution. "

I did not suggest 10%, I was guiding fellows as an example to make the topic clear.

You took me wrong in the first place and I didnt want to spend time argue with you, since you open your mouth again while you said you would shut up, I am unable to let you confusing fellows here anymore, yes, I suggest you to shut up and quit this post, thanks for your contribution to this thread.
TP, I dont know what do you mean if your have $40k then I dont need to consider how much to spend on a CDP. Is that you are say $40k is good enough for anything in this AUDIO world? A CDP is easily gets to 10K or over not to mention a descent pair of speaker can easily get to 30K-40K a pair.
I almost have 2 systems. If you're looking at retail

Amp retail 5000
other amp retail 2900
Speaker retail 7500
Preamp retail 7500
Other Preamp retail 1100
regenerator retail 2500
sub retail 1400
sub retail 1200
sub retail 1200
cdp retail w/ upgrade 6000
cdp retail 1200
cdp retail 400
cables retail 2200

Total retail 40,100

There you go.
There is a chinese saying A frog under the well, TP

I am very much appreciate some folks are reading the topic carefully and answer what was asked, which helps. Only People with good level do that, e.g. Garebear.
Grandtech, guys here could have given you a break since you seem to speak English as a second language and were simply trying to conduct an impromptu survey on spending habits. But guys in the audio forums love to blast and bash. The nature of the hobby I'm afraid. I should say some guys.
Very simple. Spend as much as you can afford to spend on the best player for the amount of money that fits your budget.