I found a pair of Amber series 70amps running in mono for a price of less then 300.00 bucks is a killer.
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I second mapmans experience as I just went through it and came to the same conclusion.
i did a pretty analytical analysis of where the money goes. i sold the stuff that was not core. i resolved to design a much simpler system. my bias is that it is the ic's, pc's, tubes and tweaks that kill you - so i got rid of all that stuff
i also resolved to take advantage of new technology that in theory outperformed more established gear at a wildly discounted price. My DAC costs 1/40th of the old one (when comparing MSRPs not real money). My speakers cost 1/3rd. My amp costs 1/3rd. I shed a couple of grand in ICs, power cables and things like BDR the shelf.
I kept the stuff i valued and already owned - one way to go broke is to keep buying and selling ICs and PCs... I kept my favorite tweaks and power conditioner. Most of all I kept my hard drive full of music.
Like mapman I have created an entirely different system that is every bit as enjoyable. where one was refined and polite, this one is a bit raunchier with a much wider sweet spot. where one required AC to keep the room cool, this one is solid state. And on
You (should) get the point. But change is hard - especially if you are parting out a lovingly assembled system. BUT If you still need convincing look at Audiogon. Surely you do not own everything here. And surely others hear have built anything from satisfactory to great systems from all kinds of gear...
Finally I found that the process reminded me that the reason that I do this is to listen to music, not to buy toys. Which is a good thing to remember when you are trying to figure out for yourself what it is that you most value in this hobby.
Great thread--I never up-sized, so I can relate to the synergy concept, and totally agree with Mapman and CKorody. Room dynamics and speaker placement are areas for modification and are totally free! I wanted a Parasound Halo Universal disk player when my fully modded Samsung HD841 died, but settled for the Oppo 980H, and am quite satisfied (I listen to LPs mostly anyway). Many times I,ve felt, when listening to a well recorded record on my Clearaudio Emotion (with Soundsmith rebuilt Clearaudio Virtuoso cart.) through my modest Rotel receiver, that it sounds about as good as it can get--as good as I can imagine it to be.