Is there a ceiling limit on what you are willing to pay for an audio component?

A very informative fellow on youtube reviews high end audio gear. He pays an insane amount of money on ampifiers, speakers and digital sources. He tells you what he thinks about quality, price, customer service and performance on such brands as Magico, Boulder, Wilson Audio and many others.

So here is the question. What are YOU willing to pay for a pair of speakers? An amplifier? A DAC or turntable setup? I am interested in what you WOULD PAY, not what you have paid in the past.

For me, I cannot see myself paying over $5K on speakers and likely not more that $3K on any other component.... even if I had the kind of money Elon Musk has. Am I crazy in saying that?


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baylinor's avatar

I often bought used, traded, flipped stuff but I am at a point where my kids are grown and my bills are low.   That said , about two years ago I started a major upgrade.   

I spent more than i originally budgeted , but I am at the point where it sounds so good and I get so much enjoyment that it's immaterial.    

Biggest and best  purchase was a 300b amp by Toolshed Amps. I saved for over a year for that one.    Worth every penny.   It is a fantastic sounding amp.   The tone and transparency is addictive.   Build quality is over the top, heirloom quality.   It was a little more than my ceiling of $5000. That ceiling was broken when i spec'd Amorphous OPT  and a few other options .   It is so good I am having Matt from Toolshed build me it's companion DHT preamp.   

I expect this to be my last amp / preamp combo so I'm already saving money by hopping off the amplifier merry go round.  

.... just trying to explore the myriad of routes we will go down to enjoy the music

Everybody's budgeting is different, doubtful if learning other routes matter for your decision process.  Some budgets are fixed while others can be flexible which usually correlate to each person's financial situation.  

My budget is flexible, but I have other financial commitments.  I've blown my budget a few times, usually trying to hit close to end game component. 

  • I was over double my budget for my pre+amp because I wanted the reviewed reported sound included in TAS 50 Greatest Bargains in High-End Audio.  
  • I went to AXPONA last year to audition speakers to purchase.  The 2 speakers I was targeting had tradeoffs - better high and midrange vs better balanced but muffled.  Another speaker that sounded great was double my budget. After the show, my dealer went to bat for me to get the great sounding speaker.  So I was over my speaker budget by 40%, but got a great deal on these demo speakers
  • Never heard the storied Koetsu Coralstone cartridge which reportedly is the best Koetsu stone cartridge.  I was disappointed that the Coralstone is recently discontinued.  But I got a fantastic deal on a mint Coralstone Diamond so I purchased it justifying that it may be the very last opportunity to hear this cartridge.  
  • After optimizing my analog chain, I'm working on my digital chain.  Top DACs, that can sonically be satisfying as analog, usually start around $40k : MSB, Linn, Aries Carat, Wadax, Lampizator, etc.  But the same Linn Organik DAC card in their $42k streamer+DAC is offered as a $7k upgrade for older model streamer+DAC.  So I purchased the Linn DSM/2 with the Organik DAC card upgrade.  I hit the sonic lottery!!

Bottom line - everybody's spending is different

The spending in our High-End Audio hobby is between sane and insane, systems costing equivalent to a car, house, and beyond.  Non audiophiles think we're crazy the way we spend, but that is the way of hobbies.