What is the current retail cost of your reference system?

It would be interesting to share this as I am not sure some of us understand how decisions are made within the framework of cost and resolution. Please avoid used prices as that muddys the water significantly. Also cabling costs would be revealing as well if willing to share. 


It's a number I don't say out loud 🤣.  Being a little bit anal about my system cost, I run an Excel spreadsheet that follows all my additions and subtractions where equipment is concerned.  I like to follow the "true" cost of my system.  So, I buy a set of speakers for $10K and two years later sell them for $8K.  I replace them with a pair I pay $12K for.  My "total cost" spreadsheet sill show the cost of the new speakers to be $14K as I need to include the loss of $2K on the previous sale.  Otherwise, I just fooling myself as to what I actually paid for my sytem.  Even with all the "losses" along the way, I'm still below the total MSRP cost of the equpiment still in use.  😁

Current cost is $1,000,000

Cable cost is $250,000

Next question, what should I upgrade next 🤔

I have an extra million lying around and I’m thinking about a new amp, suggestions?

PS- The OP question makes no sense so neither does my answer.


@jpwarren58 , I realize you are a newbie, not trying to be harsh but this question is beyond vague. Are you looking to start a build or what?

About $18000 for mine with about $800 in cabling.

Again this is current retail. Virtually everything I own is used.


The question makes perfect sense as most folks own Sonos, Bose. Home theater, receivers. In that context discussions of cables and even speakers have little relevance.


as most folks own Sonos, Bose

Most folks who would be replying to your post are members who typically use those products as a secondary system, not reference.

If you can share what you are trying to achieve with your system specifically it would be easier to answer. Do you just need to set a budget for a build or to buy something?

Approximately MSRP new , say, $65,000 +/- rounded …pre-tax …

integrated amp: $15000

cdp/ DAC : $15000

digital files player / streamer / network player : $5000

matched stablemate DAC for digital player $ 5000

fully rebuilt high-end FM tuner: $1000

speakers and stands : $9000

bespoke walnut stereo rack : $1500

ICs $5000

speaker cables: $6000

power cables $ 4000


Current system cost is approximately $140k broken down as follows:

Speakers - 16%

Preamp - 13%

Phono pre - 13%

Amp - 16%

Turntable and cart - 12%

Dac - 11%

Power treatment 2%

Room treatment 3%

Cables 11%

A lot of people on here are spending way too much money on equipment, 

Most of my equipment -  except for Magnepan 3.7i's and Technics SL1200 turnable - were bought used.  

The used equipment includes a Conrad Johnson amp, Apt-Holman preamp, and Marantz SACD player. as well as all used equipment in my second system, except for Magnepan 1.7i's.  

Main system 50K+, office system 22-25K.  Details on my Virtual System page.

It's too old and perhaps will require extensive research on proper inflation ratio to figure that out.

Pioneer receivers of 70's 80's may really equate for several thousands$ for basic one in todays funds.

I have to keep that number secret. My fear is that I’ll die and my wife will sell all of my stuff for what I told her I paid for it. . . . . .

Post removed 

My security program prohibits posting such details on the internet. 

I'll go back to polishing my weapons.



mine is somewhere around 6K (new prices) for the one in my living room.


Replacement cost would likely be in the range of $20K-$25K, depending on how you price replacement for items no longer made. Speakers comprise about half of that.  My electronics have lots of DIY upgrades, but would still be near $5K to replace. Most of my wires are either DIY, or basic decent lesser name stuff.  I try not to pay for marketing.  

RRP for current nearest equivalents would be Amp Cayin CS55a, 2 months old, paid AUD$1950, current price AUD$2500. Lindemann Limetree Bridge 1 year old, $1000/ $1500. Denafrips Ares 2, 1 year old,  $1100/ $1400. Audio Physic Sitara 25, 2 years old, cost $3000 (down from $5500) nearest equivalent today a staggering $15000. Rule no. 1, never pay full price. 

Total cost for main system (I do not listen to vinyl) is about $15,000 and cables are another $2,500.

~$150K. About $25K in cabling and interconnects.


But built over a period of over forty years of upgrades every seven years or so. Most audiophile do this as few are well healed enough as youngsters to go out and buy what they want.




126 posts


A lot of people on here are spending way too much money on equipment

That’s not really for you to say, now is it?



My main system (CDs, ripped files and streaming) about $15K, including $2K for cables. A second system (streaming only) about $4500 including $500 for cables.

@ozzy62 of course it is. 

it is one of the most selfish way to spend money and time.  This post proves it. It is a self-serving, genitals comparing thread with pretty much 0 purpose. Who cares? In most countries you cannot legally make and save this much money (let's say 5 figures) that you then can spend on shiny gadgets. It is enraging on so many levels.

But, we are privileged in the US and we love music, so why not? You can be enraged about the injustices of the World and indulge yourself in the same time. 



What difference does it make? I enjoy it and can afford it. That’s all that matters.

My mother told me it is impolite to ask someone that question. We have the same last name, but obviously not the same mother.

@randymaqp  Now that's just funny.  Best post I've read today.  Thanks for the chuckle.  

+1 @ozzy62 

@grislybutter   In most countries you cannot legally make and save this much money (let's say 5 figures) that you then can spend on shiny gadgets. It is enraging on so many levels.

 Is this the world in which you would choose to live? It is not your fault you have the money to enjoy this hobby and whatever else you choose to do legally. It's much more likely you can enjoy it because of hard work. Why punish yourself for the fruits of your labor? Other people aren't poor because you have the money, and they don't have money and options because you do, at least here in the U.S. In the countries you cite where these choices to buy and do what we want are taxed exorbitantly or forbidden except for the people in charge do you think they are on the right track? How do you think it helps? How many people are employed and make money to feed their families through our hobbies? Do you think of them? Self-righteousness and altruism are easy with other people's money.

And please make sure your address is easily found so we prioritize our targets 😁

Around $35k not including room acoustics or home.

This of course assumes $20k of that is in speakers, if they had a brand name you’d pay around that much, but since I made them, the parts cost was $3K.

So, reality was around $15k but you literally can’t buy what I have from a store and I would not trade my speakers for anything. So, priceless?

I make no claim that my system is better than yours.   Just better for me. :-)

how decisions are made within the framework of cost and resolution.

Seems the OP is asking cost/benefit which is subjectively different for each of us. I originally started listing what I purchased and why, then I realized that everyone goes through the same cost/benefit exercise but under different preferences snd circumstances

If this is just to satisfy curiosity, seems to open the door to financial judgement from others with no upside in helping anyone.  

I’m not sure throwing out a figure representing the retail value (or actual amount paid) tells you much. What about the person who has purchased equipment in considered fashion, perhaps ten years ago or more? Is that a lesser system, qualitatively, than one that someone spent double the amount on? Would you make that determination based on the retail price of the equipment? What if some of the gear was truly vintage? Retail pricing was very low compared to today, for that same thing.

If you are about getting a sense of the demographic, how much people are willing to spend, I’d say it is all over the map. I have a system running that emulates what I was running in 1975. Some of the components in it were purchased even earlier than that date. My sunk cost is almost nil, and the cost of refurbishment was trivial considering the quality of the gear.

My main system was pricey but well thought out. It is not the same as other systems that cost the same because the particular choice of components, set up, etc. all vary by user/room, etc.

What is it that you are trying to find out, OP?

If it is the "philosophy" behind building a system, how does the grossed up retail price tell you anything about that?

The best system , I ever had:

- Thorens 124 /2 : 4500€

-phono-amp .:2500€

-CEC sdt: 3200€

-Moon Mind 2: 2500€

-Metronome Technologie C6 (dac): 8000€

-Daniël Hertz M6L: 12000€

- Mal Valve 2: 18000€

-Ilumnia Magister: 27000€

- Ilumnia Magister sub: 18000€

-Cables 8000€

-rack and others: 6000€

Well, the integrated I'm using cost $20 new, in1957. But then a live birth at a hospital with an overnight stay for the mother and infant cost less, so what does money even mean? That plus speakers, laptop, dac, turntable, and cart are about $4500

how should we account for the 1961 MC240 ?….. I watched it and other toys come in the door…..in 1965……


I would say that it depends on were you live . Got my chord music speaker cable this week and did not pay anything close to what the US retail is , since I don't live in the US . On the other hand ARC gear is almost twice the money and that goes for the most made in USA stuff. 




















































































































About $217K for my system.

Source equipments: $32K

Amplifiers/Preamplifiers: $120K

Speakers: $45K

Cables: $20K


When people ask I give them the price excluding all the cables, power distribution, tweaks and ancillaries, just so it does not sound so insane.