What is the ratio of your power amp $ value / your speakers $ value?

Currently, I have a $10k power amp driving $5k loudspeakers. That is a ratio of 2 (amp / speakers). It seems the trend is to have a ratio lower than 1. Lately, I saw a review of $21k Dynaudio Confidence 30 in Stereophile, and the reviewer used power amps from NAD and Benchmark each selling around $3k and then used 2 of each in monobloc mode.

  • Do you find it reasonable to apply a ratio of 7 or even 3.5?
  • What is your current amp / speakers ratio?

I have M1200s driving Magnepan 3.7is with DWM bass panels. That’s about a close to a 1:1 ratio as you can get. It doesn’t hurt that both are very high value for the dollar either.

1 Like

Speaker cost at least 1.5x greater than amplification cost. Example: $10k amp/pre combo → $15k speakers.

Unless speakers are a very difficult load, then maybe you need to spend a higher ratio than above on amp.

I’d more likely go with speakers that were double the cost of my amplification than I would to spend equally on each, although there could be situations where I’d do the latter.

This a very basic breakdown won’t apply in all situations just a simple rule of thumb and ymmv. If you prefer a different ratio I wouldn’t argue tho I might disagree


I have M700’s driving Focal 948’s most of the time and LRS’s some of the time so .3 or so and 3 or so.

1 Like

The best way to look at your system, in my view, is to get speakers. You are satisfied with and build from there.

1 Like


I am not sure I get it. Do you suggest buying good speakers, then find matching electronics?

I have not added BHK preamp. That would make the ratio even higher in favour of electronics. :roll_eyes:

Yes, if you are not satisfied with your speakers you will never be happy.


The reason I believe in the ratios I stated is that I believe speakers overall by far most important component to overall system sound quality.

Start there and build out. Sure amps sound different but there is generally less variance in how quality amps sound than there is in speakers.

This is a huge generalization of course.

What do I mean? There are probably cases where one would have a difficult time in a blind test distinguishing between a good $3k amp and a good $50k amp. A good $50k speaker will always trounce a good $3k speaker though. Sophisticated listeners would get both right, but the speaker call would be much easier



1 Like

This is always a good topic and I find as a rule of thumb, speakers should be about 50% of the total cost. Always calculate on full retail price and ignore the turntable money-pit. Current system is:

Speakers 46%
All-in-one amplifier/DAC/Phono/Streamer. 34%
Conditioner 13%
Power and speaker cables 7%

I would promote a very different shift, depending on the reached cost of amplification.

Until one reached amplification cost of 30k and cabling cost of 10k, I’d promote speakers make up to 35% of the setup. After reaching that amplification level, I’d promote speakers begin to go up to 40-50% or maybe more if money is no big matter.

Rule of thumb as always is there is no rule of thumb–for me.
Right now, I’m listening to $5K speakers with a $5K amp.
Soon those speakers will be replaced by $20K speakers, still the $5K amp.
And at times, for late night listening, where at 55-65 db, we’re using maybe a milliwatt, I’ll happily use a 2 watt $1K amp with the $20K speakers.
HIFi is like a box of chocolates.


Looking at these ratios, my system is all over the place :wink: especially speakers.

You choose your flavour!

I have BHK 300’s and Wilson Sasha’s the ratio worked out to roughly 1:3.

The reason I don’t like to limit things with ratios is every situation is different.

The first rule of hi-fi is:

If it does not fit, it does not matter.

This can apply to speakers and electronics. In your particular situation (room) a pair of Wilson Audio Alexx V’s might not fit, so they don’t matter, even thought you might love the way they sound. You can however fit a pair of Sasha DSWs.

Building on the speakers, you find you like PS Audio amps. You have space for a pair of Stellar M1200s but not a pair of BHK 300s.

Keep going along this logical path and you will end up with the best system for your particular situation.

$3300 to $1450 (M700s and Maggie .7s).

1 Like

That is close to my current ratio :slightly_smiling_face: