$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.


Speakers: Revel Salon 2 speakers can be had on the used market for around 10K-11K, which makes them still one of the greatest values on the planet. The Revel Salon 2s can still compete with most any, and I mean any, of the current outrageously and ridiculously priced speakers on the market today. I just can’t speak highly enough about the Revel Salon 2 speakers, they never disappoint and are pure performance loudspeakers for the ages.

Amplification: The Salon 2s need high power amplification to be driven properly. If your room is more moderately sized, you can (as I did), drive them with the extremely powerful and absolutely reference quality sounding Hegel H590 integrated amp, which sells on the used market for around 6.5K, and you’ll be well on your way to a system that will absolutely blow your mind and knock your socks off!!!


Since you liked your previous Harbeth's, if your room is large enough, you can purchase a used Harbeth 40.1 or 40.2 for about half or less than original price. Add  good solid state amps like  Classe monblocks, a good tubed preamp like Audio Research or CJ, a quality turntable/cartridge and you would not even spend 1/2 of your proposed budget





@toddcowles Can you elaborate more on your previously owned "beloved 2 channel system" i.e price paid , why not just replace with some upgrades ? I know this is the route I would take , with little to no hesitation. Unless you are looking into a multi channel HT system in place of a 2 channel setup.

See what happens then is you can satisfy the itch to get back into the audio pool & more importantly exercise some restraint at not embarking on a spending spree , just because it is possible now to do so.

Did you not gain any wisdom from the experience , rather unpleasant it must be, to have such serious family financial problems at your door & resort to extreme means as a temporary solution. The bigger picture scenario might require some sacrifice here and there to yield better long term financial stability.

Hi Todd.   .       .                                                                        Follow ghdprentice advice.He is 100% right.Just adding my 2 cents.If you hear a less expensive system you like then good luck to you.More money doesn't always buy happiness. Synergy will!However,if the cost is little more,then save some more and build a system your ears had approved.If you are still undecided, then buy the best of Harbeth and Pass.Consider buying used if possible.

Obvious idea is redo what you had !

Alternatively, do what I use here for mastering every style daily. Evolution MM3 +Exact (used $23,000 +Exact), Allnic Audio A-6000 linear tube amps (used $10,000). DA options are Berkley Audio Design Ser III, Bricasti M1 SE or Mytek Manhattan II (new: $12,000, 9000, 4500)

I buy used, depreciated, broken in, when possible !