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.





There's no way to purchase a complete system for someone else, best thing would be spend a little of that money to make a dedicated listening room, and I would do that with double layer drywall and green glue between the layers.  Measure the room so you don't have any excessive standing wave problems at the same frequency from all three directions.  

Then take what you have into that room and see how it sounds to you, if something bothers you, then you upgrade it, if nothing bothers you, then you don't buy anything.  


Spend some of the money to invite parents with children from your neighborhood and show them what it is to have a beautiful stereo sound, it's something that most people have never heard, you are in the Audio .01%. 

Mike, here's what I would do if I started over in my space with all I learned over the last few years and knowing the impact it had in my room (and in my opinion that's a huge variable for your new space)

Turntable - I have a Rega P8 at the $100k system I'd go for the Rega P10 or their new Rega Naia.  I'd get the Rega Aura Phono stage.  I'd go this route because it's a good value and hard for me to screw up.  (PS: I'd also get an Audio Desk record cleaner)

Preamp/Amp I'd go tubes with ARC 6SE and 160S.   I do prefer the simplicity of solid state so I'd be more likely to go with Moon's new 891 and 861.  Note this would introduce digital to the system .  (If that's a no go I'd go Boulder)

Speakers - I'd go for the Sonus Faber Amanti G5

I'd also spend money on Isolation (HRS SXR), interconnects I like Kimber Kable and have been impressed with Nordost) and power management with Shunyata. 

The funds remaining would be on some room treatments and good glassware to drink beer and whiskey while I listen to tunes.

One word...horn.

We are born, play abit, and we die, can’t take it with us. If I were you I’d get the JBL Everest 67000. You can even use whatever upstream equipment you have for awhile to figure out next step. If 80k on speakers are abit over the top, try their K2 then. Still beryllium compression drivers.

Everyone like different sound, sure. But I’d wager that , all of us audio lovers, if given an option of whether we like our system to sound as close to the real live events we are listening, we’d mark that checkbox.

Dynamism is the key to sounding real. Horn+beryllium is one of the combo that’s closer to that than anything (to me).


He doesn't want to deal with tubes. Another point, after choosing speakers, is whether to go with integrated or separates. Boulder 866 is about $16k, I think, and Gryphon Diablo 333 about $25k without optional dac and phono stage. DartZeel is probably even more expensive and D'Agostino Momentum would be out of reach. Some mentioned Audionet. Accuphase is about $25k, I guess, for both class A and top class AB integrated. What else..? Nagra, Soulution, Vitus. Quite a choice.

I don’t have any experience with tubes so probably will stick with SS.

Oops!  I missed this when you posted it.

I think you ought to just maybe give them a listen before you rule them out.  They really are not all that complicated and with the disposable funds you are talking about you could do yourself right in the tubular regards. And who knows?  You are seem to be looking for a change from what you are listening to presently (as good as I bet it sounds!), and a real top notch tube system might be the change you are looking for.