What percentage do you spend on each component?

I think I remember a similar thread here but I couldn't find it. Just curious to see how others have allocated funds toward their system. What percentage of your total system cost have you spent on each component (based on new prices).


Front End (CDP) 27%
Preamp 0% (None)
Amplification 40%
Speakers 24%
Cables 9%
It sounds like your system is a 2 channel deal. The percentages I am listing are for a theater/2 channel system (as if they can really be integrated, right.....)

Front End (Cal Audio DVD) 5.7%
Processor (Cal) 12.3%
Amp (Cal) 17.1%
Speakers (Aerial) 53.2%
Cables 6.4%
Conditioning 5.3%

Clearly there is a problem here.................

I never used a percentage to base a purchase on, rather just bought what I liked. Well, that & how much money I had.

CDP--------19% (includes $600.00 mod)
This happened completely by accident...no thought given upfront...

Turntable, Cart, Phono pre=22%
Cables, PC's, Power Cond=25%
In the old days, most people thought you should put the most money in the speakers. Then came along the new audiophile who re-thought this proposition. Now, many advocate putting a large portion of your budget into the amplication or the front end. I personally don't think of percentages because with so much gear I get bogged down. I have a pair of mono tube amps, a tube line stage preamp, tube phono preamp, reel to reel, cassette deck(yes, I still use it), tuner, sub-woofer, turntable, etc. So just buy what you like and it will work itself out.
I should add, my decisions were definitely not planned. I bought what I liked and the ratios (posted earlier) played themselves out.
Jim is right. The old rule of thumb was 50% on your speakers and divide up the remaining half amongst everything else. Then the pendulum swung to the "source is everything" perspective. Now it seems to be swinging back a bit and perhaps will settle in the middle. That being said, it is the easiest thing in the world to demonstrate that speakers have more impact on the sound than any other component in the signal chain. That doesn't mean you need to spend huge amounts on your speakers, only that you should choose them with care.

I did not pre-calculate a budget, but here is what I've got:

TT/arm/cart - 31%(DIY kit)
CD player - 13%
preamp - 15%(heavily DIY modded)
amp - 25%
speakers - 14%(DIY)
cables - 1% DIY)
room treatments - 1% (DIY)

Obviously, I am heavy into the front end, which reflects my philosophy on system design. The rest is pretty balanced. But, my speakers are DIY, which would definitely cost alot more if they were factory made. Same with the cables and room treatments. The TT is a Teres kit, which saved me a bundle compared to the performance level it provides. My total system cost is about $12k. It would have been much higher without DIY, and I am very happy with the results of my DIY performance at lower cost.I estimate that if I had to buy equivalent performing products that I did not DIY, the system cost would have been close to $24k(double).

Nobody, including me, has included the cost of their music in the budget. Interesting.
I actually mistated my question a little. I didn't mean to say "what did you allocate?" but rather "how did it end up?", since I don't think most of us plan how much we're gonna spend ahead of time.
just happened this way
vpi tt 44%
krell phono 9
pass pre & power used 22
cardas, straighwire & kimber 11
focus audio speakers 13
5 cd changer .005
nikko gamma 1 tuner used .005
Here's what I ended up with:

Speakers: 20.8%
Amps: 30.7%
Preamp: 16.4%
Transport/DAC: 3.9%
Cables: 20.6%
- I/Cs
- pwr cords
Misc: 7.5%
-pwr condr
-bybee spur

This was an interesting exercise in that I have not looked at my system breakdown in such a manner. Some observations: I maybe a little light on the transport/DAC components (Is that's why I want a new transport?..any suggestions in the up to $3.5K range??) Also, I maybe a little heavy on the cables expenditures.

Well I'm here to skew the numbers for you all.

SCAD player: 11%
pre-amp: 6%
amps: 15%
speakers: 14%
cables/conditioning: 49%
tweaks: 5%
Oh,yeah. I forgot to put in power conditioning. I have a large solar power generation system that keeps a large battery bank charged for all my daily uses, including my audio system. None of my stuff runs off of street power, since I'm not hooked up to the power pole. I provide all my own electricity. My entire audio system, except the CD player, runs off 12vdc batteries. No grunge, no RF, no ripple, no step-down transformers, no rectifiers, and no power failures. Just flat clean DC power. And no power bill, either.

Does this count toward my audio system budget percentage? If so, I am pushing 50% for power conditioning, and my system cost just jumped to about $25K.
I purposely left out power conditioning as a component since people with a setup like TWL will move the averages quite a bit. I guess we might want to include PCs in the calculation though. For me that's only about 1%. I want to add up the numbers when we're done and see, on average, where people have spent the most money.
cabling 30% (valhalla/quattro-fil)
Speakers 21% (eidolon)
turntabl 13% (basis 2500/ruby2/gram 2.2)
amp 10% (ayre v1x)
pre 5% (bat vk5i)
cdp 7% (full bore audiomod scd1)
computer 5% (custom hd record/playback)
phonosta 3% (pass ono)
cassette 0% (aiwa-a consumer reports best buy in its day)

Speakers are the most important component since they define the voice characteristic of the system. They also determine what amps and to an extent cabling to use. You can get cheaper speakers (like magnepan 1.6's or 3.2's ) that perform at a very high level so cost isn't that closely related. My cabling bill is ridiculous.
Victrola 100%
Speakers 35 %
pre 24 %
amp 18 %
cd 23 %

Chose not to include cables and
room treatments.
In order of expense, greatest to least.

Speakers = 68.5%
Integrated = 15%
CD Player = 11%
Cables = 5.5%

A bit extreme, but surprisingly well-balanced.
This is speculation based on planned purchases during this month, and includes NO tweaks.
Speakers 15%
Wire 25%
Amp 28%
Source(cd only) 32%

Didn't plan it that way at all just sort of happened, seems pretty balanced- I am shocked!
Well with me, since my system seems to be well balanced, I cannot determine exactly how much I have spent on each component. But if I were to give you a wild estimate, here's how I think my system would break down:

Speaker System = 20%
Power Amplifier = 10%
Preamplifier = 23%
Tuner = 10%
CD Players (I have two of them, a Pioneer Elite DV-37 and a JVC XL-M509TN) = 25%
Turntable/Cartridge System = 8%
Cables (both the interconnnects and speaker cables) = 6%

Of course, it wasn't planned that way. But that was the way things sort of fell in place.

Front (CD/DAC/ETC) 19%
Pre. 18%
Amp. 16%
Power conditioning 16%
Speakers 14%
Cables 08%
Turntable/ step up 05%
Tuner 04%

This has been an ever evolving system. Like most peolple on this thread, I never actually planned out my expenses, they just sort of happened. The speakers are the oldest thing in my system. At one time 6 years ago, the speakers were 40% of the cost of my system. The cost of the rest of my system has grown 300% since then. It looks like it's time to upgrade the speakers now.
As with everyone else, things just kinda happened this way:

Actual 'Won-The-Lottery' Wishlist?
Amps: 42% (used) 17% (same amps)
PassivePre: 8% (used) 16%
CD/SACD: 16% (demo) 16% (same w/ mods)
Speakers: 19% (used) 31%
Wire/Rack: 15% (usd/new) 21%
Total : $X $X x 2.5

Just for kicks, I tallied up the expected cost of a 'small' bedroom/office 2nd system (smaller lottery payout) and amp/spkrs/front were 25-30% each and the rest was 15%.

Average music expenditure: about 2-3% of 'Actual' total per month.
speakers = amp + pre + cdp.
That's just how it worked out. I could've gone with a better CDP but whatever improvements there were, weren't worth the $1,700 it would have cost. ($500 maybe).
...and my figures and response would be exactly the same now as then:

"dunno what you'd wanna do with this kinda info but for your amusement,here goes-
(the same system with % based on a single source):

Vinyl-(primary source):
source(incl phono stage)-40%

CD-(secondary source):
22% - Front End (CD/TT)
05% - Preamp
05% - Power Amp
18% - Speakers
34% - Cables (speaker, IC, power)
06% - Power Conditioning
10% - Rack/Shelves

Pretty odd eh? I downsized my setup some time ago (amp & DAC), but did not sell any of the cabling. Calculations are done on the actual cost of goods (not retail prices) and they are based only on the gear that we currently "use" in the living room system (not on everything listed in my system).

Is everyone basing their %'s on actual cost? Might be interesting to see them based on MSRP as well.
Based on price paid, here is what I have spent (percentagewise) on my 5 channel home theater:

Speakers 53.82%
Amps 7.14%
Speaker Cables 0.51%
Interconnects 1.62%
Processors 3.33%
A/V Sources 15.32%
Video (TV/Projector) 14.76%
Screens 1.43%
Power 2.06%

I didn't add in the really cheap interconnects, nor even the mid priced ones, as I don't remember which ones I am using and how much I paid, since I have a HUGE amount of interconnects.

I am heavy on the speakers, but it will probably stay heavy there unless I sell my IRSes, which isn't going to happen.