The 10 Question

There have been some recent threads regarding the cost of putting together a high quality system and this is a variation on that theme.

Put together a system, real or imagined, that you would consider to offer excellent to outstanding performance. This system doesn't have to ultra expensive, but don't let cost issues limit you. Then put together a second system that only cost 1/10th of the first system, but one that substantially equals the musical satisfaction of the first system. In other words, the second system won't be your dream system, but one you could, if you had to, live with and be more or less happy.

For simplicity please limit your systems to 2 channels with source components, amplification and loudspeakers. If you desire, throw in a single dollar figure for cables, cords, footers and other assorted tweaks.

Here's my examples:

#1 -- Coincident speakers and amplifiers, Pure Reference Extreme loudspeakers, Statement preamp, Dragon mono amps with an Esoteric K-01 CD player. Throw in some money for cables and whatever and I'm at roughly $70,000.

#2 -- Kef LS50 speakers, Ayre AX-7e integrated amp and Sony HAPZ1ES digital player. With cables and speaker stands I'm slightly over $7,000.

Clearly, one system is far better than the other, but both system are capable of a high level of musical satisfaction.
F0d04d7b 6026 4f4b bf28 8679c8416f66onhwy61
Fun with Very Basic Combinatorics

System 1
1. Ayre Ax-7e $3500.00
2. Meridian G98DH CD Transport $6500.00
3. B&W 803D Speakers $9000.00
4. Berkeley DAC-1 $5200.00
5. Empirical Audio Synchromesh with extras 1648.00
Sub-TOTAL: $25848.00
Add 10% for IC cables: $2584.80
Add $35000.00 for Transparent Opus Speaker Cables:
Total: $63432.80

System 2
1. Denon 2807 (used) $250.00
2. Sony Bravia XBR TV $2200.00 (in 2009)
3. Pioneer SP-BS41LR $125.00 on closeout
4. Sonos Connect $350.00
5. Sony S770 Blu Ray $250.00
6. Cambridge Audio 540D Universal Zone (used) $100.00
7. Roku-3 $100.00
8. Apple TV $100.00
Subtotal $3475.00
Add $2868.28 for Transparent Cable ICs and Speaker Cable
TOTAL: $6343.28

Essentially, if you can leverage the cables high/low as a soak-off you can manipulate totals via calculating bottom-up. FWIW, I actually OWN System 2, minus the fancy cable. :-) It's a second system in my Media Room. It's strictly mid-fi, but it works just fine for streaming and movies.
The vintage take;

System 1

Altec 19 $3000.00
HK Citation 2 $2000.00
HK Citation 1 $1500.00
Thorens TD124 $1500.00
Ortofon 309 tonearm $1500.00
SPU cartridge $1000.00

Sub total $10,500.00
zip cord, patch cords $12.73
Grand Total $10,512.73

System 2

JBL Lancer 77 $300.00
Stromberg-Carlson ASR-433 integrated $400.00
Thorens TD150 MK2 $300.00
Stanton 500MK2 cartridge $50.00

Sub total $1,050
zip cord, patch cords $12.73
Grand total $1,062.73

Both systems seem to avoid common wretched excess.
According to Courant, as long as you don't use top priced cables, your system can be 10 times cheaper.
Hi Czarivey,

"as long as you don't use top priced cables, your system can be 10 times cheaper."

No, not at all. I'm simply leveraging the pricing of expensive cables to stay within the 10X boundary of the OP's game as presented.

I also happen own a number of the components in my denoted System-1. I have the Ax-7e, the G98DH, and recently sold a pair B&W 805D's. Currently, I have Harbeth C7-ES3s connected to the Ayre. I'm also debating whether to get the SychroMesh, and/or upgrade the ZDac I have for a Metrum Octave or Hex (but that's for another thread). My primary system completely smokes what I have in the Media Room, but it's apples & oranges.

For serious music-only listening I have, what I like to think of as, a High-End leaning HiFi system. For movies, I think I can get by with a less expensive system that still provides high-value within a mid-fi tier. For a number of reasons, I simply don't think I, myself, need to own 2 High-End systems.

At the same time, if I choose to upgrade my Primary System odds are good that the Ayre will replace the Denon in the Media Room. For now, I'm very happy with both my HiFi and MidFi systems. As always, YMMV.