What of your gross annual income is your system?

It's the old case of my eyes & ears wanting more than the wallet will permit. . . I realize that to the degree that music is important in your life will influence your spending on system components, tweaks and music. What % of your annual gross income would you say your system is worth? Moreover, how have you allocated your system investment (as a %) to amp, pre-amp, speakers, wires, source etc.? THanks for your input.

Approximately 50%.
To replace everything with new components (most of my system was purchased used), it would be about 40% of my gross yearly. In decending order (most expensive first); Pre-amp, Transport, Speakers, Phono-pre, DAC, Amp, TT plus Cartridge, Cables & Tweaks. There was no "planned" budget, this is just the way it turned out.
About 40% in equipment and 75% in lp's and CD's (not all bought in one year!). You need one anchor in your system which will not change much in the future so your first priority sould be to buy the best preamp you can afford, then the speakers and amp, then CDP's and turntables. Save the tweeks for last and spend your bucks on the best basic equipment you can afford.
About 20%. In decending order (most expensive first( Room construction, Front proj. speakers, amps, video proc. pre-amp, cdp, cables and tweaks
Assuming I had purchased my system at retail it wound have cost about 37%. You must understand this is a work in progress, thus, the manner in which my money is allocated is quite odd. Ibeleive i will elect to list as Constraveler did (in decending order). Pre-amp, cables, speakers, amp, cd player, subwoofer and tuner.
I guess that it's not what you make, but what you do with it. I've been putting things together for about 5 years. The most that any one item cost was around $3200. Speakers around $3200 x 2 (used), tube pre-amp $1500 (used), SS amp $2700 (used), tube amp $800 (used), active tube xover $2200 (new), tuner $2000 (new), dozens of NOS tubes ($?$?$?), power cond/cords $2500 (new/used), speaker cables $1800 (new/used), interconnects $3000 (new/used), trans+dac+jitter $3000 (used), room treatments $200 (used) and misc probably $1000 give or take. Throw in source material and the total is probably around $30,000. All new gear might be twice that amount. Averaged out per week over 5 years that's about $115/week. If I could do it all over, I would do things differently. I'm very happy with what I have. But I now know that I could build an equal system for less, that I would enjoy just as much.
I might be a little light at about 15% -- time to upgrade!!

Most of my system costs are in the speakers (33%) then the amps/preamp (purchased as a package at about 30%) then the speaker wire (10%), cd/dac (7%), room treatments (6%)and then all other. Stumbled into some great deals so my allocation is not really where I want it to be. The source systems, interconnects, room treatments and power supplies need more attention. But then, I'd really like to move to a tube preamp too. Lots of upgrading ahead! I can hardly wait.
I like Newbee's approach! I always suspected that I was ill. I'm at about 2x G.Y.S. at the MSRP. Obviously, I didn't acquire everything in one year, but it does add up rather quickly. It's not the destination, but the journey that counts.
We're developing a "keeping up with the 'Goners" complex! I don't know if I'm curious or scared to see the first member who spends 100% of their income on gear.
my annual tax paid is 3x the price of my rig.
audio video system: 25%
Well check out my system threads and
then you can do the math...
I would say that 30 to 40% of my Gross
would cover a replacement system...
Happy Listening,
Custom Audio LLC
I am a hopeless collector of old Dynaco and HH Scott tube equipment, as well as Philips and Rega turntables. I use most all this stuff, with at least five or six systems set up at all times. Just depends on which room that I am in.
I still have the Marantz 1030 amp that I purchased in 1972. So, as you can see. I hardly ever get rid of anything.
You can also see my current reference system that I have listed here on Audiogon.
When I totaled up all my equipment, and LPs and cds, recently, to see if my homeowners insurance policy would indeed cover everything, Allstate canceled my policy, stating that they could not cover it. They compared it to owning to much jewelry, etc.
Luckily, State Farm stepped up, after actually coming to take pictures, because they did not believe that one person could own so much, and wanted to make sure that it was not a recording studio.
So. In answer to your question, I guess that I have more than 100% of a years worth of income in equipment.
I would also add, though, that I am self-employed, single (no wife acceptance factor), with no kids, and my house is paid for.
I am not trying to keep up with anything or anybody. Music and equipment have just been a passion of mine since about the age of three.
I often wonder, though, how many other crazies like me are out there. None close to me that I know of
It's not how much you spend but how you spend it. I have heard a lot of expensive systems that I thought sounded awful, but they were not put together well. A cheap, but properly set up and interfaced system can outperform an expensive conglomeration of stuff that is just thrown together. Pick a reasonable budget that still allows you to have a life and some money left over for music. Listen to some live music that you like and gravitate towards stuff that mimics that sound. Consider your room characteristics and constraints. Also pay attention to the way components interact with one another.
About 15% for my main system. Four other systems in other rooms total maybe half as much.
Thank You Joe B. It takes no talent or skill to spend money and i've heard plenty of systems that reflect that. I am always impressed by those that can do the most with the least. Then again, none of my systems reflect that idealogy, so.... : ) Sean
Hey Sean, yo gotta be some kinda businessman beyond being an audiophile to catch a good deal or to sell good as well, so...:)
The equally interesting question would be "What average percentage of your net income goes towards equipment and software (LPs, CDs, DVDs, etc.) over a period of, say, the last few years". Or, the simpler version: "Is there a household item on which you spend more money than on audio/home theater equipment and associated software" (in my case, the answer seems to be "no" as I recently found out - I am not sure whether to my delight or dismay).

Most of us build up their system over time so the sum of the new equipment prices can become quite a high percentage of one's annual income. As we expericence sooner or later, the value of our systems in terms of resell value is typically much lower than what we originally paid (unless you kept some vintage tube gear around for a few decades).

To answer your question: A year's income would not buy my system at list price - but I bought much of my stuff second-hand or at a heavy discount.
And here is my answer to your second question (first number calculated based on list prices, second number based on actual amount paid because items were used or discounted; numbers are not corrected for inflation ;) ):

cd player: 8% (13%)
pre amp: 5% (9%)
power amp: 7% (12%)
phono pre: 3% (4%)
turntable: 6% (3%)
cartridge: 1% (1%)
stands: 3% (5%)
speakers: 21% (23%)
speaker wires: 14% (6%)
nf cables: 20% (11%)
power cords: 12% (14%)
if my record collection is part of my system than it stretches to the half of my after-tax annual income.
Over 100%! Since I currently have virtually no gross income. Luckily I start the new job after the first of the year.
Great thread! Hope it runs a LONG time.
Justin Thyme
Agent #24192
Internal Revenue Service
Department of the Treasury
Retail = 70%
What I paid (combination used and retail) = 36%

.... yikes!
Retail = 44%

But retail prices aren't really fair. If you just figure the ESL's, tubes, and my cd front end. In used dollars I paid 18%. Retail would be 41%. Any DIY stuff is added at parts cost, just to be fair.

Add the tuner, tape deck, more interconnects. Used I paid 20%. Retail would be 44%. That's the whole system.

HT gear (by itself) adds up to new and used 8%. Retail 10%.

amp 26%, pre-amp 13%, speakers 19%, wires 16%, source 10%. the remainder is the rack and power conditioning.
About 5% ... yikes what a scrooge ! Add in my vinyl and CDs and it's about 10%. Never mind the low cost I still love it, and I love even more that it's completely paid for and debt-free.
What's annual income? I think I used to have something like that before I got into this crazy hobby, but I don't remember now.
About 20% in hardware for my main rig at new prices (EVERYTHING bought used, man am I cheap), 7% in my half-assed HT, about 5% in software (better go buy some more music, quick).
Exactly 50 percent!
No wonder my wife wants a divorce!