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.





"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?

ronres, it’s hard to state conceptually what I’d like to accomplish. What I can do is listen to some of the higher priced equipment some of you are suggesting and then figure out how and why it is sounding better or not. then figure out if the improvement in sound is worth the financial outlay. I haven’t heard a lot of higher end systems, but do know some sound more three dimensional, almost in person live and that’s a direction to move towards. Dealing with room size, design and acoustics will push me in that direction as well as buying better recorded CD’s and records.

Thanks for your thoughtful reply.

bobby phischer, I’ll look into the brands you recommend. I did start my audi0phile journey with JBL speakers, their original (now reissued) Century 100’s if I’m remembering the model correctly

laoman, I’ll look up the Parasound JC3 phono stage you recommend. Thanks.

macg19. I’ll definitely pursue synergistic equipment as a number of you have suggested, and can hopefully avoid expensive mistakes by asking advice and careful research.

inna, some more excellent advice from you, thanks. I usually avoid used, but it’s hard to imagine how cables could be misused, so probably a safe bet there outside of possibly getting fakes. $25 -$40,00 sounds like a pretty good price range for speakers to demo. I agree with your idea of seeking brand names with a good track record, especially thosr that have been around a while, and not too esoteric.

mapman, I’ll look up those MBL Omnis, as well as the KEF’s and Ohms you mentioned. Thanks

terry9, I love DIY, but am afraid of getting in over my head with audio gear, and auto mechanics for that matter. I wish they taught those subjects when I was school age. I will hang onto to those cables as you suggested earlier.

crustycool, I’ll check ino omnidirectional and dipole speakers as you suggest. Any particular models you might recommend looking into? I would like a bigger room next time than my current 14 x 28 with 12/12 pitch cathedral ceilings, so yours is a good idea in that regard.

loomisjohnson, at 71 I’m also not into the saving for the future approach either, or avoiding risk taking. At age 71 the future is now, so why not go for it. A high end DAC sounds like a good idea. Any suggestions in that regard. 

Again, thanks all for every ones replies,