You've Won the Lottery: Your Dream System, Now.

For this exercise, you don't HAVE to spend lots of money....but imagine if price were absolutely no object....

...and you weren't trying to show off, impress your neighbors, be loyal to your dealer, blow lots of cash needlessly or experiment with the latest Editors Choice or Class A recommendations.....

but rather, using everything you have ever learned in this hobby and in this forum, were honestly, genuinely, simply and sincerely trying to achieve the most "high end", 2 channel, musical nirvana ever in the history of audio..

..where you could buy new or used, as you wish....

With no constraints to the budget, of course you can have a perfectly restored Levinson HQD, Infinity IRS or Quad/Entec system.....the giant Apogees...or the latest mega Wilson's or any other well marketed, latest top of line speakers, however overpriced they might be....

Brand new or classic Audio Research reference....LAMM....Pass Labs...analogue, digital, WHATEVER YOU WANT under the sun.....

Rives tuned room, Shakti stones, exotic power conditioning devices.....just say the word and it can all be yours right now.

Here are the only rules:

ONE source
ONE system re pre amp and amps (bi or triamping optional)
ONE set of speakers
Cables exactly as you wish
As many tweaks as you like
All CDs and/or records FREE

Tell us your design for the perfect system, the last audio system you would ever need to build to live a long, happy, musically enriched life....the system you would never need to change or upgrade and the system which would enable you to die happily.

Good luck. Have fun.


OK, I'll play:

Walker Audio Proscenium Black Diamond turntable
Air Tight PC-1 Supreme cartridge
Aesthetix Eclipse phonostage
Aesthetix Eclipse line stage
Atma-Sphere MA-2 Mk.III amplifiers (or MA-3 if Ralph would build one for me)
Avalon Acoustic Isis speakers
Silent Source Music Reference cables throughout
Walker Audio Velocitor power line enhancer
Walker Audio High Definition Links
* Dedicated 24' x 30' room with 10' ceilings designed & fully treated by Rives, along with three dedicated 20 amp lines
* Speakers: Dynaudio Evidence Master
* Amplifier: VAC Phi 300.1 bridged monoblocks
* Preamp: VAC Phi Beta linestage
* Cables: Stealth (Indra IC's, Dream speaker cables & pc's)
* Unlimited tweaks from Silent Running Audio
* Source: $15K set aside for a computer based digital setup with top of the line Accustic Arts DAC
I'd simply hire D'Arcy and Whitaker and tell them to select
the equipment and build whatever they wanted without compromise. Make it
better than anything else they have done. I'll readily admit I am no expert so given the money I'd let these experts decide everything. Also if I had unlimited funds I'd build all this in an exotic location, hire the best technicians and invite the bands to come with their producer and record at my house!

One caveat - the band would need to bring their groupies. (I'd hire Simon Cowell to narrow down the selection first - to keep air travel sensible, as I am an environmentalist at heart)

One problem - I'd think I've died and gone to heaven!
In spite of believing that true happiness is being happy with less than you have...

First someone would have to explain to Mike Lavigne why he has to move so that I can put my system in his room...

After that:

Galibier Stevlio Turntable
Triplanar and Schroeder Reference Tonearms
Dynavector XV1-S Stereo Cartridge
Miyabi Mono Cartridge
Tron Mono Phono Preamp
Messenger Preamp
Serious Stereo Amplifiers
Oswald Mills Speakers
It's long been a thought of mine if I hit the Red neck retirement some Saturday night, what would I do?

First I'd buy a new home and hire some experienced soul to build me a dedicated room for audio and one for video each one, acoustically treated of course.

Then I'd travel. I'd visit as many of the high end designers as I could stand to see, or their dealerships and audition till I was completely confused or my socks get blown off and buy the rig that did it.

I would have to go outside these rules somewhat though... as I'd want both an outstanding SET system, and something with more guts. Sorry. it just seems odd to place constraints on unlimited funds while chasing a dream for audio bliss.
I would keep my budjet system and buy the largest lp and cd collection that I could find. One with every known audiophile and non audiophile LP and cd that my heart could desire. Then and only then would I consider and buy an all out what ever money can buy system.
I thought of a new purpose built house to put my new mammoth system in as some others did, but I’ll stick to a reasonable lotto gain and what I could actually imagine to fill my present room with.

The "Only One Source"-rule vexes me, though: should I rather do without the wonderful LPs that never made it on CD (or in a miserable state only) or without CDs that are never going to be released on LP???? Oh well, I'll accept the prize and find me someone to digitalize my cherished LPs and burn them on discs then.

Zanden Model 2000 CD transport + Model 5000 Signature DAC
Tidal Preos preamp (2008 incarnation)
Tidal Impact Monoblocs
Tidal Contriva Diacera (2008 incarnation)
Tidal Drum subwoofer(s), not in the product catalogue anymore, but Joern might have a couple left
Copulare Sial stands
Silent Running Audio Ohio XL+ for all amps and source components
complete Purist Audio Design 20th Anniversary with LE powercords, Virtual Dynamics Genesis 1.1, Synergistic Research Tesla Series (ask Ted which ones) or Argento Audio Serenity Master Reference SE cable loom; can't decide that until I would have compared which ones fit my new system best (this bit may look like a bit of overkill, I suppose)
HMS Energia Definitiva and have a dedicated power line installed to feed it
a decent stock of NOS replacement tubes for the DAC
Transparent Acoustic room treatment installed by Dmitry
Solid State:
Bryston pre-amp and DAC
Wadia 170
Apple iPod
Thorens 160 tt
ATC 20 active speakers

Shindo amp
Shindo pre amp
Harbeth 40 speakers
Shindo Garrard tt

Some really great Maui Wowie
First I'd get the best and most powerful Class D amp for my system. Then I would buy and set up my ultimate listening room.

From there, who knows?
Lamm tube monoblock amps
Brinkman preamp
Walker, Triplanar, and Linn tt's (Linn for nostalgia)
Manley Steelhead phono stage
speakers: ATC, Avantgarde, Tetra depending on music

A variety of cables so vast none of us can even imagine
ONE source : Concertgebouw Orchestra

ONE system: Concertgebouw, Amsterdam

ONE set of speakers: Haitink and Jansons welcoming me to the house in Dutch and Russian.

Cables exactly as you wish: Something friendly like: "Congratulations" or funny: "Please help me with my parachute" (from GM CEO).

As many tweaks as you like: A Dutch beer and the monetary clout to bring in Chailly from the bullpen.

All CDs and/or records FREE: CDs, Records...oh please!

Thank you everyone for your very interesting replies so far.

Schipo, remember: for the purposes of this exercise all music is FREE.

The question I have posed seeks to eliminate the natural audiophile tendencies to chop, change, trade, tweak and upgrade endlessly and/or argue about the merits of spending money on equipment vs. music vs. listening rooms.

Through this exercise, we might identify and short list a hall of fame of components that might bring happiness for a lifetime.

(Of course, in real life, none of you might want to settle down and get married to one system.....but that is another story.)

Maybe its just me, but I also note that I have never heard of some of these suggestions. So as usual, I hope recommendations are not being corrupted by dealers, who should refrain from shameless, surreptitious marketing and/or disclose their identities please.


F the system, I sure would have a nice one but being money is of no object I would be seeing too many live shows to fuss over the system much!
But if I had to do it all I probably would find myself with great reliable products from established companys in a super well built and tuned room, Dartzeel, Walker, Aesthetix, Esoteric......and maybe soon to be Vandersteen model 7 comes to mind.
I would have to audition all the products that I have dreamed of owning and it seems like there is a new and better one every month after looking at the new Stereophile, Absolute Sound etc. However, it would be a pleasure to make myself crazy by indulging myself in such a manner. Of course, my search could not begin until I had my perfect listening room built inside my huge mansion on my 20 acre country estate.
Second, I would have the means to audition all of the equipment that catches my interest!
I think it would be nice to audition any piece of equipment you could want to, but ultimately I think I would want to get to a place where I didn't want to change out anything. Isn't that bliss, rather than changing out equiipment all the time?

After re-thinking all this, and sticking to the thread's thrust implicitly, I'd go with the gbuilding of a dedicated room inclusive of acoustic treatments, and then travel and audition gear until I found the one system that kept my jaw on the floor the most.

tubes or SS... dynamic cone or panels... SET or lots o' watts... I don't feel it would matter much to me at that point, as one could attain something quite outstanding without regard to design topology or methodology. But most certainly a digital source, and very likely server oriented.

never having heard the mega dollar gear, like Tennor, Cord, SF Strats, Wilson's Max, etc., only by traveling would I find the answers.... and I've not been to Europe for such a long time it would be great fun I'm sure, this go 'round. I'd probably wind up buying stuff from right here in the U.S.A. anyhow. Maybe.