System building -budget $15,000

My friend and I are trying to put together a system with a budget of $15,000 as per request from another friends wife as a 50th birthday gift for her husband. The guy who will eventually own the sytem currently uses run of the mill components and is not really an audiophile. The wife is very keen that something nice should be put together which is simple to use even by her as she also likes to hear music from time to time.

The current list inclues following short listed items but not yet final. We are looking for some pointers in the right direction as far as matching the amp and speakers are concerned. The only other thing we will add is a CD player.

The list includes the choices as follows:


Porac D25 or D38
Kef Reference 203


Jeff Rowland Conceto Integrated
Mark Levinson 383 Integrated

What do you guys think about the choices and what is a better match in terms of speaker and amp from the list above. Those who are familiar with either speakers or amps listed above should know better, so if you own either equipment please share your own experience about how you went about auditioning any of the above equipment and what sounded better to you in terms of matching.

Any input would be be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.
13d5240d 7c21 49df 913e 932722645ed8quadophile
Thanks guys for the input.

Bundy: agreed auditioning is one way but the components selected make it difficult to go to one shop for auditioning.

Marco: The speakers selected for the reason that my friend is familiar with Proacs sound and thinks very highly of them, the Kef were my choice as I already own the Kef Reference Two. The person who will have this system may not be having a good or even decent system but sure appreciates music reproduced from high end system as they frequently pay visits to others friends homes and are most of the time exposed to good systems. My friend who is helping it put together has the Alon Adriana's being driven by Cary 2A3 amps, Wadia CD player and TNT turntable (to be upgraded to Graham's soon). Between the two of us we basically want to put together a simple but very reliable and flexible system. The integrated amp is chosed as both of them can be upgraded if needed in future. The system will definitely not be used for background listening. They may not be into high end now but sure enough they know what is high end when they listen to one. The room is fairly decent size where a floorstander can easily be accomodated so that too is not a concern, we have done the pre feasibility after which we arrived at the short listed components.

We will certainly not skimp on the front end, one player that we did consider was the Arcam 192 but that is yet to be decided.

As far as Musical preference goes, they listen to variety of music which includes but not limited to Jazz, Classical, Soft Rock, contemporary from the 60's and 70's.
I don't know if you can determine this without asking him, but the first thing we did before buying anything was to audition one tube system and one SS system at a high end audio dealer. I knew what I liked going in, but we needed to find out what my wife's preferences were. Had I gone ahead and assembled a SS system, I would have had to sell it all and start over. Choosing between the two (or a hybrid amp) may not be an issue with your friend, but it is for many listeners.
Happy Birthday to your friend. That is a wonderful present!
B&W Nautilus 802's $5700
Krell FPB 300Cx $4700
Cardas Golden
Reference bi-wire speaker
cables and interconnects $1700

TOTAL $12100

That leaves $2900 for a cd player and dac.
Excellent system, all bought used here on Audiogon. If he doesn't like it, sell it all at no loss.

Tim Reed

Thanks a lot, but the idea of buying a birthday gift means you buy brand new and not second hand, it would look foolish on anyones part giving a present which is second hand. :)
Speakers: Egglestonworks Fontain II $5500
Integrated Amp: McIntosh 6900 $4500
Subwoofer: REL Strata III $1200
CD Player: Music Fidelity SACD Player $1400
Cables $600
Power Conditioner- Shunyata-2 $400
Music- $1400 gift certificate to
Total $15,000.... happy husband- priceless