$50k - $80k Budget…Opinions please.

Long story short, I sold my beloved 2-channel to reduce family debt. In about a year-ish, I’ll be in a position to rebuild with a hefty budget. I loved my Harbeth + Pass Labs combo. My REL sub died before I really got to integrate it, so opinions wanted there as well. I fully understand the diminishing margin of returns when moving into some arenas, but that’s ok, opinions are strongly encouraged.

I listen to a lot of Miles Davis/Coltrane, Radiohead, Tool, Pearl Jam, Brent Cobb. I’ve often preferred “organic” or neutral, not sure how technical that is.


Start with the room.  This defines what speakers you can fit and work with.  How big is it?  How is current damping?  Can you treat it, etc...  Once that is defined I suggest selecting a speaker as your choice will be a function of the room and your taste both visually and sonically. 

Once the speakers are selected, you then need to wisely select components to feed those speakers to achieve your perfect sound. 

There is an infinite number of items available and if you just buy expensive stuff without thinking of synergy, you might get lucky or you can end up with a sad system.  I have heard some very sad expensive systems and some modestly priced systems that are jaw dropping.  Key is synergy.  

Going to listening rooms is fun and can give you ideas but more than anything, the speaker needs to fit the room.  

Since you mentioned "organic" as your main criterion, you should audition both darTZeel and Gryphon integrated amps (both in $25K range). I heard both through Wilson Sabrinas. Having auditioned both, I went with darTZeel based on what I considered to be the most organic (I listened mostly to acoustic music and vocals). 

I realize that 50-75k is a moderately expensive system, these days, but it's STILL a huge chunk of money! I'd put 5k aside as a travel budget and go to several dealers (don't forget manufacturers who have in-house systems or who sell direct (PS Audio, Magnapan, etc). Listen and choose based on YOUR preferences and tastes. Remember reliability and brand history!

At that price a dealer should offer home set-up and/or exchanges. Choose 1 source at first, listen and judge, again, by YOUR taste. Keep 10k aside for longer term changes.

If you're not sure your ear is discerning enough, you shouldn't be spending this kind of cash until you are!

if any of you click on his system photos: he has a room.

He also had a zillion shiny boxes, I am not sure how he can start from scratch - mentally

 50-75k is a moderately expensive system

that's not how I see it, but we are all sitting on vastly different bank accounts