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.





Lot’s of great advice here, including maybe save half for a rainy day or an impromptu adventure.

This is not good advice, IMHO.

Assuming 7% taxes we have 15k left for vinyl. This is easy your cartridge will be an Hana Umami Red for 3950… you won’t beat it unless you spend over 10-20k and it will barely be beat! It’s my favorite cartridge.

It may be someone’s favorite cart but it can be beat for the same money, never mind 10-20K. (Not a Hana hater - I enjoyed the $1200 Hana ML for a year or so and sold it for $700)

and neither is this...

Turntable I would get a Rega planar 10 for $6345. You won’t beat that beast unless you spend over 25-100k.

Your current VPI/Lyra is likely equal or better.

My dealer who sells Million dollar systems and sells Rega and Clearaudio would not let me buy the in-stock P10. He told me to wait a few weeks and get a ClearAudio for $2500 less, which I did. Conversely, the Technics SL-1000RE at $20K is likely one of the best in that proposed price range that eclipses the P10 and my CA, (Just one example)

Also, be open to tube and SS amplification. I made the mistake of being stuck on tubes and bought speakers that didn't play well with a $17K tube amp. A $12K SS integrated made the speakers work as they should. Synergy is key, and my mistakes were expensive.  

"Phono stage is also easy Parasound JC3+ phono. $2200 don’t laugh for this system it will be perfect. It beats phono’s I heard for quadruple the price."
If your ears are made of tin then this is possibly true.

I'd go with some Japanese "minimalist" audiophile style, like JBL Paragon and Shindo gear etc ...

Hi Mike,

What an exciting project!

Since you already have an elaborate system, I assume you have a good understanding of the kind of sound you like for the kind of music you listen to.

Perhaps you could triangulate from the sound of your current system. If you could imagine your system doing something different or sounding a different way, how would you like to improve it? How would you describe what it is not doing that you would like to do? How do you imagine improving its sound in concept?