Cost break down of hifi system

Hello, just curious on what you guys recommend for the cost breakdown of a hifi system ? I have heard a lot about 15%-20% for cables and roughly 30% on speakers. Right now I am in the middle of building my new system. I currently have pass labs xp-12 demo model and an x250.8 NIB from Reno Hifi. I got a hell of a deal at $13500 for both. I also got a very light demo pair of Dynaudio contour 60i for 25% off. Based off what I have given, could you guys give me a breakdown on what I should spend on source and cables ? I was leaning at the Cardas cyngus cables. For dacs I was looking at the all in one lumin t3 or an aurender n200 with the chord qutest dac. I am also debating which audioquest niagra to get, the 1200 or 3000 ? Seems the me the 1200 does everything.  I’m open to suggestions so please tell me if I am off track. I wanna get it right the first time. 


@hilde45 -- You are not the first person I consider sensible who has found that changing cables was an improvement.

Since now my (balanced) interconnects are 7 m long and the speaker cables 50 cm, it is too expensive to try many different ICs, and the few times I’ve swapped speaker cables, it has not made a noticeable difference.

In the past, I tried other (fancy) cables, and though they sounded different, it wasn’t always clear that the difference was an improvement.

Being retired now, I have to be prudent. It’s a blessing that I haven’t heard significant returns from what might be a significant cash sink.


Building the room was a lot of work but well worth it. Happy listening!



My two cents, based upon my finally paying attention, recently, to cabling on my 3 systems: 

1) Though my experience tells me cables can make a significant difference, just the thought of having to experiment with multiple different cables sucks the life out of me.  I am therefore willing to rely on reviews, reputation and word-of-mouth (Audiogon?) to make my decisions.

2) The amount I am willing to spend on cables should be correlated with the amount I spend on cables.

3) I hate the idea of buying cables from a company whose “flagship” products are multiples of what I’m willing to spend.  I’d like to feel like whatever product I choose is at or near the top of that company’s product line, no matter how little I spend.

With those principles, I’ve made the following decisions over the last several months:

1) Budget System (Triode Corp integrated amp, Acoustic Zen Adagio Jr. speakers, Okto DAC/streamer, Pro-ject turntable) - QED interconnects and speaker cables, with Anticables power cords.

2) Vintage(y) System (Leben integrated amp and phono pre, restored/modified Altec Santiagos, restored/modified Thorens TD-124) - Triode Wire Labs interconnects, speaker cables, and power cords.

3) Big Rig (Synthesis integrated amp and phono pre, Audio Note AN-Es, Gold Note DAC/streamer, restored/modified Garrard 401) - Audio Note Lexus speaker cable, Straightwire power cords, interconnects TBD (will be experimenting with Triode Wire Labs)

Btw, for my vintage system, I too was considering the Cardas Clear Cygnus line, but I experienced profound sticker shock at what the entire loom would cost.  Hence my decision to go with Triode Wire Labs, for a savings of close to $2000!!

Oops, principle #2 was supposed to amount i’m willing to spend on cables should be correlated with amt i spend on system..

@hilde45 I was leaning at the Cardas cyngus. I have talked to a few people that say they would do Cardas clear but that it’s a lot to just start with in my opinion. To top it off I have not had a chance to here the system yet. I was also looking at the dragon cables from moon audio as a place to start, that and they are cheaper then the Cardas cyngus too. I don’t wanna go crazy out the gate but I also don’t want to feel like the cables don’t bring my system to its potential.