Do You Tell Others How Much You Have Invested in Your System?

Putting security and personal safety issues aside, do you share with others how much you have invested in your system?

I can see cases when we share with those who are generally interested what the "tariff" is for superb audio reproduction. Or, those who are already know how tall you have to be to ride the ride.

Can you think of any other reasons (accountants, lawyers, insurance, etc)? Afterall, when your spouses second cousin pulls in the driveway in their Minivan, bragging about fact that you have $10k invested in cables may not be the best way show common interests?

What say you?


As my systems have been assembled for about 50 years, money value has become meaningless. I only buy on the cliff edge of major improvement anyway.

Pretty meaningless!

No. Not even if they were to ask. Actually few of them have any real interest and would be too polite even if they cared.


"You invested 10K in cables?"

Where did that come from? Nobody said anything about that. 


I like your "logic" here.  And, my old cars that are worth considerably more than what I paid for them have cost me nothing.


Okay, fair question. I’m sticking my neck way out there and assume that there are audiophiles who have considerably more than $10k invested in their cables. I used that element as an example of a potential "shock factor" among the unintiated.

If you’re asking me, personally, I hover far south of that range in total investment in cabling. But, I probably did overspend on outdoor seating around the firepit -- and, weatherproof speakers.

I for one have no strong opinion on cables. I was just wondering.

E.g. do component and speaker manufacturers test and optimize with top of the line cables?

most people I know have bluetooth pill speakers. They usually ask: "you still have albums? weird... you mean you listen to them?"

So at that point telling them about why I upgraded my amp seems pointless.

I have a few friends who brag about their XYZ tower speakers (the bigger the better), stuck an inch from the wall, with a thick bush of  Begonia on top, and the sound is an absolute torture to my ears and then I again I politely compliment them. 

I once told a neighbor I spent $1,200.00 on speakers (peanuts for most audiophiles) and he was shocked and told everyone. So, never again. Especially now that my latest pair are closer to $10k.

And I also learned not to ask my wife how much her purses cost…..

It's like the classic audiophile cartoon with two men talking over a system and one says, "When I die I sure hope my wife doesn't sell all this for as much as I told her I paid for it."

@deadhead1000 , the first thing I do is ask how much she paid for that new purse, if not it would be like giving her cart blanche. Enjoy the music

@russ69 the difference between an investment and throwing it into the wind is in the speech when you tell your wife what a great investment 10 feet of speaker wire is. 

Occasionally it would come up and I always tried to be vague.  People thought I was crazy.  And by the standards here (on this site), I really haven't spent that much.

I once told a neighbor I spent $1,200.00 on speakers (peanuts for most audiophiles) and he was shocked

@deadhead1000  I can relate. 

Good post and two points .......I have listed all my equipment along with the serial numbers as well as the the retail cost of each piece on legal paper. I do this so when it changes the list can be updated. However, in the event of a fire I also have pictures and all that information. So, the total cost of the system is there and is safe. I put that in a sealed envelop and goes in a fire proof box in the basement. I told my wife when I die that is how much the system and each piece of equipment x is worth and don't sell it for all that much less if you can. The heck with the rest of the stuff in the house 

Second Point .....if neighbors or friends ask how much ...which I personally think is rude, I give them the brand name and what model and then say ; go look it up on yuor phone or home computer. They never ask again.        

No need to tell, those who are fellow audiophiles know those who aren’t don’t care.

I once had a customer that put a $5k system in layaway.  Each payday he would pay a little more on it.  When the balance got down to about $2k he was there to pick it up, accompanied by the lady of the house.  I was instructed to let HIM do all the talking about the price, and keep quiet.  I quickly walked thru the system with both of them giving "a short pitch" on the system components.  When I was finished, he looked over at his wife and said: "See honey, that's A LOT of stereo equipment for $2,000, huh? "  She nodded along with him.  I took his $2,000 and loaded up the system.  And, yes, kept my mouth shut.

i don’t even bring up my hobby to ’civilians’, but some friends know about it, some fellow workers know about it, and my family knows. but few have been in my room which is in a separate building from my house.

if they ask me about the investment part, i just say it’s like a sailboat, or summer home, and leave it at that. it’s up to them to relate that to dollars.

audiophile visitors mostly know, and rarely ask. it comes up sometimes but i never get too into that subject. in on line forums price is a huge thing of course, and clouds communications. people cannot get past it many times. but face to face people are civil and respectful (this difference is so amusing to me).

for my part, i have not done the math myself. obviously my wife knows all about it and it’s understandably a little bit of an issue. she is more understanding than supportive. we have been married for almost 49 years.....

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I don't even tell myself how much I spent on my system.


If I was to add up all of the expenditure I've put into this hobby...nah, let's not even go there!

Was hoping to have a little fun with this topic.  Got a lot more than I asked for.

Thanks for the posts.

I have told my insurance agent when renewed it.

She asked me pictures  and names …….

( my insured vehicule is a 1999 pickup truck )

I usually get that question after they see the system or after viewing a picture. I give a range of spend 

My wife has a list with current values. She will likely give it all

to relatives when I depart. Why did I bother to put values on it?


I always made a habit of selling anything no longer in use.

People ask "How loud will it play"? They are like the people who check 

the speedo on your car to decide if it goes fast.


They never ask what it costs. 




As with all consumer products and services, the prices audio consumers are willing  to pay for sound quality is determined by their unique perceptions of the inflection point (knee) where the diminishing returns on their monetary investments in audio equipment equals the enjoyment they receive from their investments. And that "knee" of diminishing returns varies by a plethora of independent variables. That said, I don't hesitate to tell anyone that my investment in audio gear now total ~$20,000, And at this point, I have every reason to think that I'll be satisfied with the SQ mis system gives me will satisfy med for the rest of my life (I'm 71 years old). Nevertheless, I'll always remain curious about the other equipment options I might be able to afford if I win the Powerball jackpot. An old tune by the Isley brothers included a lyric that applies to my approach to audiophile, "Love the one you're with." So I love the SQ my system offers me; and I choose to spend my hard earned money on the highest SQ recorded music media available to me--vinyl LPs. That is all . . . for now.

I have never discussed the value of my system with any friends or relatives, although my audio buddies have some idea of what my stuff costs.  It would seem crazy to anyone not in the hobby, but, to me the amount some spend on cars or other things, like a kitchen renovation strikes me as crazy.  It all is a matter of personal priorities.  One of those audio buddies was telling me about a house he is renovating.  When I asked him about the Sub-zero refrigerator he has on order he told me it costs $15,000.  My response: “That is almost as much as a good interconnect.”

Lol I had a guy over that was  bragging about everything he had was bigger and better  when he got to bragging about his cocktail  glass that was time to take everyone for a listen  to Louis Armstrong  Ella Fitzgerald 

 One loo and it was humbling  for that fellow nothing had to be said. Lol.

If they ask, sure why not? It’s not a state secret. The price of any component can easilly be accessed online. Of course I’ve never understood why people are so secretive about money and financial matters. Part of our culture I guess. I must have missed that lesson somehow, or maybe growing up my family hadn’t enough money to have that kind of information to withold .

Larryi. sounds like you’re hanging out with some high rollers.


No, but my wife seems pleased with her gifts every time a new component arrives....

Nope no way. I tell if they ask that I got it all at a pawn shop and that it is all old stuff. 

People ask "How loud will it play"? They are like the people who check

the speedo on your car to decide if it goes fast.

@jeffseight going on 30 years ago I bought an entry level tube amp & some other entry level stuff, and a friend I worked with got interested in the brochures I had on my tool-box, and he jumped in with both feet. (He was a California transplant with a lot of $.) To make this short, I turned him on to my dealer in Filthadelphia who sold him a pair of Cary 805s. a Cary SLP 94 (which was Cary’s best pre at the time), the tubed CD player Cary was making at the time, a pair of Metaphor speakers (don’t know the model) & quality interconnects & wires. The bill came to 20k or there-abouts, and as this was near 30 years ago and in the society of airline mechanics this was sheer unheard of madness,  he caught some serious abuse.

So anyway, I guess being as how this guy was my friend, someone else came up to me one night & asked me what Killer’s stereo would do for 20k. He said something to the effect of, "I can piss my neighbors off with mine, what will his do what mine can’t." I tried to give him the quick explanation, but it was a waste of time.

 It would seem crazy to anyone not in the hobby, but, to me the amount some spend on cars or other things, like a kitchen renovation strikes me as crazy.

@larryi  absolutely!

No, but my wife seems pleased with her gifts every time a new component arrives....

@jomonhifi  my first"big buy" about 30 years ago cost me a new refrigerator (we still have it, believe it or not) and an upgraded wedding ring.  (I THINK she still has that.)

In 1999 I started working overtime.