How have you allocated $ in your system

Wondering how people allocate their total dollars among their systems. I just stepped back and totaled up the places I have put money into my system. (I am using the actual price paid not MSRP. Some of my stuff was purchased used.) Here is my current percentage allocation in my system. Frankly, I may have put too much into certain areas and not enough in others. Feel fee to question my allocations. What are your allocations in these categories?

% of System				
20%	Speakers / Subs / Transducers		
17%	Power Cables / Power Regeneration (e.g. P15) / Power Conditioning			
14%	System Rack, Platform, Vibration Mitigation Devices			
13%	Preamplifier			
10%	Amplifiers			
9%	Digital (DAC, Server, Cabling, Library Management)			
6%	Room Acoustic Treatments			
5%	Analog  Setup (TT, Cartridge, Phono Preamp)			
3%	Interconnects 			
2%	Speaker Cables			
1%	Tubes/Wear Items

Very interesting post. I’m curious though, are those percentages based on MSRP or the actual prices you paid (i.e. heavily discounted or used)? I think there is value in both.

So, creating a “Value” percentage rather than a “Price Paid” percentage will give you a better sense of gear hierarchy in your system. For example, my loudspeakers would cost $30K if I purchased them new. I however got them for $10K. They are wonderful speakers and can definitely hold their own in a $30K+ category, but would be incredibly understated if I was to create a percentage on my list based on the $10K price I paid.

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My allocation can best be described as higgledy-piggledy.
For example, right now I’m listening to a $1000. amp that is fed power with a $3000. Power Cable.
(I capitalized “Power Cable” because at that price. they deserve to be).


I was assuming price paid not MSRP. Most of my stuff I have bought new discounted below retail and used. I have paid full retail on some things.

I also see how you might want to adjust the allocation up for stuff you got a great deal on. That might make the allocation more realistic and also show where you got the best value. It is a good exercise to go through to make you think about potential future purchases and possibly past mistakes.

I am guessing you have Shunyata issues?

Here’s mine. This is msrp-based and doesn’t include racks/stands or room treatment. Reason is I cut/paste from audiogon thread and didn’t want to add that stuff or convert to price paid.

Reference System ($20-25k msrp):
Speakers: 46% (L,R, and sub)
Amp: 27% (integrated)
Source: 9% (streamer/dac)
Power Conditioner: 5%
Cables: 13%

Secondary System ($10-15k msrp):
Speakers: 42% (L, R, and sub)
Amp: 32% (power amp)
Source: 15% (streamer/dac/preamp)
Power Conditioner: 3%
Cables: 8%

Office System ($1-5k msrp):
Speakers: 65% (L, R, and sub)
Amp and Source: 25% (super integrated, all-in-one with streamer)
Power Conditioner: 4%
Cables: 6%


Hello. My name is Ron. I’ve had Shunyata issues for several years now.


Main system MSRP $55-$60k.

Speakers/Subs - 30%
Amps - 25%
Regen - 16%
Source - 15%
Pre - 8%
Cables/Tubes/Misc - 7%

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Hiiiiiii, Ron.


Very interesting and I hope others hop in and share. In my opinion, I think your breakdown is pretty idealistic and what I would strive for if starting out fresh. Opinions will differ, but I think speakers and power management should be at the top.


I started a thread on audiogon just like this called “The System Percentages Thread” but it didn’t really take off too much. I think either it is too geeky for people to think about in terms of percentages, or they get bummed when they actually calculate how much they have spent, haha.

I love looking at these breakdowns though. A big factor is if you are buying everything at once so that you can really plan a sensible allocation carefully, or buying things piecemeal over a long period of time so that it really evolves as you go along without too much overt focus on % allocation (which I think the vast majority do).

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Speakers 100%
Amps 100%
Pre 100%
DAC 100%
Cables 100%
Power 99% :slight_smile:
Turntable 100%
Cartridge 100%
Phono pre 100%
Vinyl 90%
Qobuz 10%

It’s just plane crazy ludicrous but I can’t help it…


If you are looking for an apples to apples compatison, comparing presentage of total system MSRP is the closest thing to get you there. In my system:
23% speakers & powered subs
21% amps
9% preamp
17% digital front end
15% power regenerator
15% cables, supports & accessories


Also based on MSRP at the time of purchase:

31% On Speakers/Subs
17% Amps
12% Preamp
18% Digital Front End
10% Power
12% Cables, Accessories

This does not include running 2X20A and 1X15A circuits into the listening room, my listening Chair, Equipment Rack, some minor acoustic treatment or the Cell Phone I use as a controller.

Category % of MSRP
Speakers 25%
Analog Frontend 17%
Amplifiers 16%
Power: Regen, Isolation, Cables 15%
Digital Frontend 11%
Preamplifiers 6%
Tubes / Wear Items 4%
System Rack, Platform, Isolation 3%
Speaker Cables and Interconnects 2%
Room Acoustic Treatments 2%

(edit: updated to use OPs categories)

Paid	Full retail

Speakers 13% 15%
Electronics 34% 40%
Conditioner and power cables 15% 12%
Speaker cables 1% 3%
Interconnecting cables 0% 0%
Turntable, tonearms, carts 38% 30%

All this proves is that Harbeth are great value and vinyl is a bottomless pit.


Like Ron, I have Shunyata issues as well but have taken it even further. My power cord for my P20 exceeds the cost of my speakers. My quest for getting the gear and cables right has taken me to a
BHK/TS rig with Iconoclast cables and Shunyata cords. All this powers lowly Maggie 1.7’s. But, I am climbing out of the rabbit hole towards some better speakers…someday :roll_eyes:.


Don’t forget the .005% cost additive to any system that makes it sound better, that is, the proper drink or smoke, or both.


Focal Sopra No. 2 loudspeakers 36.8%
BHK300’s 27.6%
ARC LS28 preamp 15.7%
Tara Labs RSC Air Evolution 8 ft speaker cables 7.4%
Tara Labs RSC Air Evolution 1.5M XLR (LS28 to BHK300’s) 3.6%
Tara Labs RSC Air Evolution 1M XLR (SCD-XA5400ES to LS28) 3.2%
Sony SCD-XA5400ES Player 2.8%
Luxman T-4 AM/FM Tuner .9%
Balance: misc cables, Term FM Antenna, etc.

Prices paid
Focal Sopra No. 2 loudspeakers 30.9%
BHK300’s 31.2%
ARC LS28 preamp 17.6%
Tara Labs RSC Air Evolution 8 ft speaker cables 5.3%
Sony SCD-XA5400ES Player 4.7%
Tara Labs RSC Air Evolution 1.5M XLR (LS28 to BHK300’s) 3.74%
Tara Labs RSC Air Evolution 1M XLR (SCD-XA5400ES to LS28) 3.1%
Luxman T-4 AM/FM Tuner .84%
Balance: misc cables, Terk FM Antenna, etc.