The $10,000 Question

I've upgraded my upstream components, and am in the hunt for a new amp and speakers.  There is a dizzying array of choices, and one could go bankrupt with the buy-try-return method.  I'm looking for some guidance on amp-speaker combinations, either used or new, in the $10,000 range for both.  If I can narrow the search down to two or three amp/speaker choices it would make the buy-try-return plan much more reasonable.

I prefer tubes and space is limited to an integrated amp.  My room is 15'x15', and and I primarily listen to classical music at modest volumes (which would allow conversation if my wife yells at me to turn it down).  I'm replacing 20+ year old Forest Totems and a Prima Luna Dialogue One amp.  My upstream components are a Cambridge CD transport with a Jolida Glass FX III DAC, and a refurbished Sota Star with a Jolida JD-9 phone stage.

Thanks in advance for your insight and guidance.

John Cotner

New Ulm, MN




@jrcotner, as you live in Minnesota, I love New Ulm, you should give Bill Soderholm a call at Stereoland in Bloomington, MN. I’ve been buying audio gear from him since the 70’s since he opened his store in Minneapolis. He and his team were super helpful when I put my most recent system together in 2021 during the pandemic. If he doesn’t have what you want, he can definitely get ahold of it for you. 


I also have a Prima Luna integrated amp.  It's paired with the Focal 936's.  The pair are honey to my ears.


Alta Audio Alyssa paired with Rogue Cronus Magnum iii dark edition (upgrade) would put you right around your target number. Joseph Audio would be a great choice too except their current stand mount offering, the Pulsar 2 Graphene, is $10k. I found an old pair of the original Joseph Audio Pulsar speakers on Reverb and pair them with the Rogue Cronus Magnum iii dark edition, after being blown away by this combo at CAF 2023. I have a similar size room and our wives could be sisters. ;)

) paired withbthe 

Some Audiovector speakers would be great.


I live close by, I would be happy to take you to the Twin Cities for a day of audiophile shopping.  Glad to help out another hobbyist as we are relatively few and far between where we live. Message me separately if you want.