Help me spend $100,000 on a new system

I’ve recently been considering moving and downsizing my home. While exploring how much I might sell my house and land for, I was shocked that I might have an excess of $100,000 after selling and buying a smaller new home with less acreage. I’m 71 years old and can’t take it with me, so I’m trying to figure out how to spend that potential resource.

One possibility would be to purchase a new stereo system with all that cash. I would like to demo a system costing that much to see what sound quality you could get for a stupendous amount like that. But I don’t have any idea what brand/model components to look at. Perhaps you could suggest components you might consider if you were setting up a system at that price point. Also how would you budget the total amount per component including wiring.

I am not interested in adding streaming or anything else I might not already have to the system. I would be open to buying separates to replace any single component such as the integrated amplifier. Maybe a separate DAC, phono stage, preamp etc. Please tell me what you would do.

Following are the components I already have to upgrade. My system consists of Magico A3 speakers, a Luxman 507uX MK2 integrated amp, a Marantz Ruby KI CD/SACD player, A VPI Classic 2 turntable with a Fatboy tonearm and a Lyra Kleos cartridge. Wiring consists of Audioquest Rocket 88 speaker cables, and VPI house brand wires that connect to the tonearm. I forget the brands of the other wires and cables, but they are of similar quality to the above.

I also have a Shunyata Hydra Denali 4000 power conditioner with a Venom power cord (I think) that I will continue to use without upgrading.

I would welcome any of your suggestions and utilize them next time I go up to Washington DC to visit dealer showrooms for demos. Thank you much.

It does sound weird to consider spending that much on a system costing over three times what I paid for my first home, so I hope I’m not sounding uppity here.






Mike skyscraper

You are welcome. I wish I would take my own advice or be able to overcome indecision! I would like to do what you are doing. @tomic601 referred to speakers with equalization, and since he (and I) are Vandersteen owners (and he’s the relative expert) maybe he was talking about the Quatro CT, which have built-in powered woofers with their own equalization. Very easy to tune to your room, and easy to drive because the amp only drives the midrange and tweeters. Cheers.

laoman, will do. Thanks.

mapman, spending money just because I can may not be the wisest way to go, but letting it sit in a bank account might be even less wise. At this point I’m just exploring options for best utilizing that possibly available cash to best enjoy the remaining years I’ve got left. And among other things I do love a good sound system, so I’m considering that possibility as a luxury I unexpectedly may be able to afford.

Andrew, I’ll look those components up. Thank you.

knock1, things might look a bit differently to you when you hit your seventies. If you’ve potentially got the money to spare, why not spend it on the things that give you the most enjoyment for the time you’ve got left to enjoy them.

ghdprentice, sorry, no streaming, gaming, or cell phones for that matter. I’m guessing if I spend $100,000 on equipment none of my current components would be up to snuff. I really need to listen to higher end equipment to see how much better it would sound compared to my current set up to see if it's worth pursuing. I will look into the brand equipment you mentioned. Thanks.

Initm, appreciate your suggestions and will look into them.

audioman58. if I decide to go this upgrade route I will contact you. Thanks for offering your assistance.

tomic601, nice to hear from you. What exactly would be a transducer? Your a bit over my head there even after I googled that term. What monoblocks might you recommend. I hate to admit it but your statement about " having monoblocks and speakers with 11 bands of EQ below 120hz" was lost on me too. Could you explain what you mean to me, a lay person on these matters. Thanks. Upgrading to a better Lyra Kleos makes perfect sense. And yes the Fatboy tonarm does have that upgrade you mentioned, I was thinking a better turntable could be in order however in a $100.000 system.

bigtwin, I’ll check out that video you suggested.

Thanks all,


P.S.: I’ll reply to the three posts that came in while I was typing the above replies tomorrow, as it’s getting kind of late here. .

I think you're already looking good there. 

I would honestly not go through the headache of rebuilding a system from ground up.  A lot of heart ache and stress can result, not worth it at age 71. 

If anything, I would decide which part of the system is in need of an upgrade.  

Maybe you need a better turn table or cart.  Maybe you would benefit from going to the Magico S3 mk 3?

If you're really into digital and streaming, maybe get a better dac.  

I would suggest small improvements rather than large sweeping changes. 


Sorry, @hilde45  ,  that was just airline industry talk and I didn't mean anything by it.  That's just what we always called it (like LaGaurdia was "LaGarbage", and so on) and it just got to where it was second nature without even thinking about it.  The dealer I was referring to was a guy from David Lewis Audio, btw.

My own journey has been leading me inexorably down a “less is more” path, so higher efficiency speakers with fewer drivers and simpler crossovers, which of course opens up the possibility of lower-powered tube amplification.  I find that this approach connects me to the music more effectively.  I liken it to going to the Big Apple Circus instead of Barnum & Bailey.  There’s an immediacy and intimacy to a small circus that is completely lost in a three-ring extravaganza.

So if you had come up to the Capital Audio Fest outside DC 3 weeks ago, at that budget I would have directed you to the Highwater Sound room, where they were running Cessaro Wagner II horns ($65k) with a TW-Acustics turntable, phono pre, pre and amps; no digital.  Beautiful sounding room.