Spending a month's salary

I don't have much experience as an audiophile. Based on my research, the bulk of spend should be on fine speakers. I have $20k to invest in either a superior AMP, DAC or pair of speakers. What to do?

My room is on the smaller side, listening position is about 7-8ft from the speakers. I suppose bookshelf speakers are appropriate. Right side speaker is very close to side wall <1ft. Left side is open to 6-8ft. Back wall is about 10 ft from listening position. Speakers sit about 3ft from front wall.

My current setup:

Revel 106 speakers

Parasound P6 pre and A21+ amp

Node 130 streamer w/ upgraded Teddy PS

AQ cable loom.

I prefer bookshelfs given my room. Separates are ideal, though I would like to consider an all in one like a Boulder 866.

Which component is most important. I'm not looking to have an unbalanced system. Eg. $15k speakers and a $500 DAC.

Appreciate any insight.




@tee_dee I’d definitely be looking at better speakers and a better DAC and quality streamer/server solution. I don’t see you listing any vinyl rig there, so I’ll assume you are intending this to be a purely digital setup. If so, I’ll strongly recommend the following, which would fall under your budget.

T+A DAC 200 - I’ve posted about this a lot in the forums and continue to testify that I think it’s the best DAC under $15K. A really great video review of it was just posted here: https://youtu.be/VKqMzj75FwU, and there has been a bit of chatter about it on the forums. Best of all, it as a great preamp and analog stage so you can hook it up direct to your A21+ and I’ll bet the preamp will outdo your P6.

Aurender N200 - In my opinion, the best value for your money towards a digital source. Again, lots of chatter on the forums on this, just search for it.

Scansonic MB-2.5B - These are compact floorstanders that do well in smaller rooms because of their small footprint and the fact that they are bottom ported, but they will also scale to medium to large rooms without hesitation. They are a trickle down of the engineering and design of much costlier Raidho speakers, and both are owned by the same parent company. They play much bigger than many floorstanders double their size, and they won’t take any more room than a bookshelf on a stand. In my opinion, though the real walnut veneer option runs $1K more, it looks way more premium in real life vs the white or black satin finish. 

With any remaining funds, should you really want to spend the full $20K, I would look into a quality power distributor or conditioner, room treatments, or cabling.

I am a dealer for T+A, Aurender and Scansonic and would be happy to answer questions if you want to PM me, but a number of folks on the forum can likely share their thoughts as well.



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@tee_dee  I'll just throw this in as food for thought. Look at a used Hegel H590 for a terrific integrated amp with a world class DAC. Money raised by selling the Parasound equipment means not a huge whole in your budget. Then in the used market again for a pair of Acoustic Zen Crescendo Mark ll speakers. You should be able to do the whole system with some money left over. It just a thought, but will give you a great sounding system.

Thanks for the replies. 

@vonhelmholtz $20 is the budget. I haven’t accounted for any cash raised from selling my current set up. 

I’m happy with the amp but I know that balancing the level of components is important.  It wouldn’t be wise to buy $20k speakers and power it with a low/mid range amp and pre. 

I stream so no vinyl here.