Eliminating our system does make it a bit tougher.
I would like to try a Mac MC352/C42 combo; I don't pay real close attn to speakers, I may look at some Coincident's, (The Maggie 3.6's would be interesting if they would work in my room); I like my CD player a lot, so coming up w/another of same value, maybe look at the Gamut or Cary players; not sure what I would replace my tuner with; cabling, yikes!! ...I can't do it, I gotta stick with the AZ's!
Disclaimer: This system may appear slightly more expensive than my current!
Wow, nice question. Keeping the same budget I would go from my current system (see link) to:
Speakers: Revel M20 + REL Sub (Strata)
Amp: Plinius SA-100 Mk III
Preamp: Hovland HP-100
Cd Player: Naim CDX-II
In my room, and I think in all rooms really, the sub sat combo is the way to go. I can tune my bas respnse much liek I tube roll. It makes it an and overall a better system. Leaving my blue circle gear makes it tough on the electronics tough. I like the warmth and power of the Plinius gear and the Hovland pre is the closest approximation of the musicaility of the BC3. I love my Meridian 508.24 but I have heard good things about the new Naim CD player and no one does digital like Naim. I think it's their real strong suit. The Revel were a tough call I think theyr are a bot boring sonically but they are dead accurate so O can tweak the electronmics to get a different sound. I may even go with the Sonus Faber Electa Amator II is I want something a touch more euphonic than my Dyn 1.3 se. Cabling I'm not so sure on. I would try JPS Labs or a mix of Cardas Cross or Neutral Ref. SO there it is, an alternative...
I posed TWL's question to my wife. She said she's perfectly happy with her stainless steel Kitchen Aid convection oven with glass top and her stainless steel side by side Kenmore refrigerator with ice maker in door. She sees no need to upgrade! When asked what type of music she likes she would tell you both types, country and Western. It isn't easy getting a straight answer out of her sometimes. Hope this helps,
Dave & Gloria
My current system is solid state/electrostatic based and relatively complex, so if I were to do it over I'd want something very different, if just for the experience.
Speakers - Classic Audio's Studio IIs (w/ double woofers)
Integrated Amp - Pathos Twin
DAC - Audio Aero Prima
Cables - whatever works
Rack - Grand Prix
The digital source component would be similar to what I have now, a computer based hard disk server. There's no way I can ever go back to a single or multi disc CD player.
I would go with tube amps, Lamm or Tenor, rather than my current Ayre/Pass SS amps. I would try a passive pre-amp, like the Placette. I would spend the money I spent on my CD player on a great record player, like a Simon Yorke, and the money I spent on my record player would go towards a reasonably priced CD/SACD player like the Sony XA777ES. And I would absolute make sure that there is enough money left for a Koetsu cartridge - I love their looks but have never actually heard one. When it comes to cables, I have to pass. I cannot image replacing my NBS Omegas with anything else.
VTL 750 REFERENCE amplifiers
Now this is an interesting thread. My gut said Magnepan, but I would probably go some tube-high efficiency combo. I am sooo sick of being limited to amps with high power and stability in to tough loads.
I have been a tube snob so long that i surprise myself. I think I would go with an all Spectral system. Not sure of what speaker. A good friend of mine just bought a pair of Joseph 33 speakers. I was amazed at the sound he got out of these small speakers. Using a Pass 350 or something along that line. I hated that amp. He offered it to me for a couple of weeks. I listened to it for a few days. Couldn't take any more. What a dramatic difference this combo made. I would still opt for Spectral amps, pre, and CDP. As impressed as i was with the 33, maybe I would go with Josephs pearls or an ELS that had dynamics I could live with. What a great thread. I get to go day dreaming once again. Looks like i need that help from from Detlof. Looks like I need it bad.
Here is my list using the same approach that I did when putting my current system together, simple, musical, and non-fatiguing(current equipment).
Plinius 8200 mkII integrated (Redgum RGi120s)
Rega Jupiter 2000(Arcam cd92)
Soliloquy 6.5 ***I cheated here a little***(Soliloquy 6.3)
Zu Cable Wax (Acoustic Zen Satori)
Kimber Select 1011 (Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference)
Hmmmm...interesting proposition, as I have just completely overhauled my system over the past year or so. So, this is more of a what if game for me. What if I'd gone for the Audio Aero Capitole Mk 2 instead of the EMC-1? A Teres turntable instead of a Nottingham spacedeck? A Shelter instead of a Dynavecter cartridge? A Pass X-350 or Gamut D200 instead of a Plinius Sa-102? Kharma speakers rather than Piega? HMS rather than Jena Labs cables?
One cop-out--in its price range, I can't imagine what I would get instead of my beloved Supratek Syrah preamp. Anything I might consider would cost three times as much.
I know I must be fooling myself, but I believe I am set for a good while. The system is sounding nice. It is fun to look back and wonder what if, though. Nice thread.
Getting too many components in my system like preamp to amp, cd transport to dac, turntable, tuner, and tape player in addition to extra preamp as a backup, I wish to have a very simple system. The system I have in mind would be:
Pathos Twin Integrated
Audio Note Integrated CD Player maybe 3.1X
Opera SP3 Speakers
Kimber Cables-Interconnect & Speaker Cables
The total costs is going to be much lesser than what I have now.
I'm with Ohlala. I'd love to try a lower powered triode with a high efficiency horn speaker.
Living in Nashville, I appreciate Davehrab's wife's comment. :o)
The grass is always greener...
If held to a similar budget:
Merlin VSM speakers; Atma-sphere M60 MkII amps; Bent Audio transformer pre-amp; Hagerman Trumpet phono amp; Teres 255 TT w/ Expressimo arm & Shelter 501(?) cartridge; Sony 777ES SACD; Cables - not sure what would work best but would start with trying Cardas or Van Den Hul or Acoustic Zen.
If I won the lottery budget:
Rockport Hyperion or Kharma Exquisite speakers; Tenor 75w Amps; Boulder 2010 pre and 2008 phono amps; Rockport Sirius III TT; Clearaudio Insider or Koetsu Onyx Platinum cartridge (or both, to play depending on my mood); Audio Aero Capitole II CDP; Modified Sony xa777ES SACD; Nordost Valhalla cables or Purist Dominus or Transparent Opus or Siltech G5, depending on which sounded best; a dedicated listening room.
WOW "Twl", this makes for an interesting thread. A fun one too, I might add:
But now, if I didn't had my current system, and I had to build a new system from scratch with the budget range I am working with right now (from $5,000.00 to about $15,000.00), then here's what I would spend my doe on:
Speaker System: Vandersteen 2Ce Signatures (endcaps in lacquered cherry or rosewood)
Power Amplifier: McCormack Power-Drive DNA-0.5 (Special Edition)(used)
Preamplifier: McCormack ALD-1 (Special Edition)(used)
FM Tuner: Magnum Dynalab Etude (with gold face plate)(used)
FM Antenna Amplifier: Magnum Dynalab Signal Sleuth
FM Antenna: Magnum Dynalab ST-2
Compact Disc Player: Sony SCD-777ES (used)
D/A Processor/Converter: Musical Fidelity A3 (for redbook CD playback)
Phono Stage: AcousTech PH-1 (Special Edition)
Turntable/Arm System: VPI TNT Jr./JMW Memorial 10.5
Phono Cartridge: Grado Reference Master
Cables: MIT Shotgun Series (both interconnects and speaker cables)
Power Protection and Conditioning: PS Audio Power Plant P-1200
But now, if I were to either come across an inheritance from a rich relative or should I ever win the lottery, then this is what I would blow my riches on:
Speaker System: Sonus Faber Amati Homage (in maple)
Power Amplifier: Mark Levinson No.33H Monoblocks
Preamplifier: Mark Levinson No.32 Reference
FM Tuner: Magnum Dynalab MD-108 Tube/Solid-State Hybrid Tuner
FM Antenna Amplifier: Magnum Dynalab Signal Sleuth
FM Antenna: A Professionally Installed Roof Antenna
Compact Disc Player: Accuphase DP-85
Phono stage: Aesthetix lo (Signature Version with its own volume control)
Turntable/Arm System: VPI TNT V-HR/JMW Memorial 2.2
Phono Cartridge: Clearaudio Discovery
Cables: Cardas Neutral Reference (both interconnects and speaker cables)
Power Cords: Cardas Golden Reference
Power Protection and Conditioning: Equi=Tech Model 5Q
These components just listed would be the ones I would buy today if I didn't already have a system installed in my residence, and if I were to put together an audio system from scratch. Both, a "real world" system and a very expensive "super" system are both listed. And those would be the systems I would assemble if I again, did not have a system already installed in my home, and would buy if I had to make due with a "real world" system, as well as the system I would buy if I was rich.
Now.......... was that fun or what?????
Okay, I guess it's my turn to divulge my alternate choices.
If I didn't have the Teres, I'd buy either a
Redpoint Audio TestaRossa, or a
Progressive Engineering turntable.
(Cost no object, would be a Walker Proscenium)
If I couldn't have a OL Silver arm, I'd get an
(Cost no object would be the arm included on the Walker)
If I had to change cartridges from my Shelter 501, I'd buy a
(Cost no object would still be a Shelter 901)
If I didn't have the Cotter MkII step up, I'd get a
Shelter 411 Step up transformer
(Cost no object would be a Expressive Technologies SU-1)
If I didn't have the MFA Magus preamp, then I'd get a
Counterpoint SA-5000 (if cost were no object, I'd get an Aesthetix IO phono section with volume controls)
If I didn't have the custom Berning amp,anything in the world would be a step down, but I guess I'd get a
Berning Siegfried Single ended 811 amp
(Cost no object would be the amp I have now, Berning custom)
If I couldn't have Lowther Voight Pipes, I'd buy the
Lammhorn 1.8 with AER drivers.
(Cost no object would be Lammhorn 1.8 with Reps-1 drivers.)
Fun, huh? Decisions, decisions!
Well...I would keep it very simple...Linn Classik amp/cd unit...Reference 3a speakers.....