What's the most you've spent on a piece of audio equipment?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by GuySmiley'sMonkey, Jun 28, 2023.

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What's the most you've spent on a piece of audio equipment?

  1. < $199

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  2. $200 - $499

    5 vote(s)
    4.2%
  3. $500 - $999

    10 vote(s)
    8.4%
  4. $1,000 - $1,499

    17 vote(s)
    14.3%
  5. $1,500 - $1,999

    11 vote(s)
    9.2%
  6. $2,000 - $2,999

    19 vote(s)
    16.0%
  7. $3,000 - $4,999

    30 vote(s)
    25.2%
  8. $5,000 - $7,499

    6 vote(s)
    5.0%
  9. $7,500 - $9,999

    6 vote(s)
    5.0%
  10. $10,000 - $14,999

    9 vote(s)
    7.6%
  11. $15,000 - $19,999

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  12. $20,000 - $29,999

    3 vote(s)
    2.5%
  13. $30,000 - $50,000

    1 vote(s)
    0.8%
  14. > $50,000

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

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    There's lots of talk here and elsewhere about high-end audio equipment (for a given value of "high end").

    I've often wondered how expensive people's real world tastes actually are. Does the proportion of high-end discussion on SBAF reflect how members are actually spending their hard-earned?

    Please complete this anonymous survey by indicating the most you've spent on a single piece of audio equipment SINCE (and including) 2018.

    The value indicated in the survey question is US dollars. There will no doubt be questions of interpretation relating to this survey. Use your common sense in providing a response. Oh, and if the item is generally sold/used as a pair (such as speakers, mono-blocks or tubes), please indicate the price of the pair.

    Not everyone will feel comfortable disclosing details such as the total cost of their current speaker/headphone/portable rig, but for those who are willing to share these details it would almost certainly generate some interesting discussion. Do you have a "do-not-exceed" amount? How did you arrive at this figure? What factors have influenced the amount you spend over the years?

    Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2023
  2. bixby

    bixby Friend

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    How many pennies will you be paying for this data? :)
     
  3. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

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    LOL

    If anything can be monetized someone will find a way to do it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2023
  4. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I guess I'm one of low spenders. My entire cost of audio system comes within the first four or five lines.
     
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  5. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    Another consideration, beyond money, is time - in other words, how much do we spend over how long?

    I mention this because my father, who loved his 2-channel setup, blew a month's salary, when young, on a Quad amp (and lived off gruel for a while). But he kept it for the rest of his life.
     
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  6. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    If you're capping it at/since 2018, that might skew the results a bit since there are some older folks here who made a lot of their higher ticket item purchases when younger, but it's still an interesting question.
     
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  7. caute

    caute Lana Del Gayer than you

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    If you spend a little over a kilobuck on your (and im talking used or even vtg) source, DAC, amp, and hp, you could have a reeeeally good f'ing system.

    4 grand, let's say 5 for cables, interconnects, a rack and other accessories, like SD cards or 1:1 trafo whatever--and you wisely choose your components with synergy in mind, you can have something that sounds better than a haphazard 10K system imo.

    ...though, I will say it's a little tough to find a good 1K tube amp these days, random USAM EC Super 7s don't come up that often.

    But say I was making a sys from scratch, I would get:

    - a vtg Phillips CD880/960 - $800 (w $200 modifications)
    - new Abbas .11SE or used SFD-1 mkII - $850 (w $150 in modifications for SFD)
    - used Moth OTL - $1.2K (going off an old FS listing here, a bit more than 1K, but hey, it's a top-tier tube amp)
    - black silk JAR600B - $1.2K (if you think this is too much for 6x0, I'll say you get for what you pay for, and if you know, you know)
    - 2x Pangea AC9 power cords, 1:1 cinemag trafo, Pangea XLR cables, furutech RCA cables, magikal Abbas coax cable etc - $1K
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2023
  8. dasman66

    dasman66 Self proclaimed lazy ass - friend

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    yes, but prices for of higher ticket has changed considerably... in both directions. TOTL headphones now generally cost a lot more than years ago while companies like Schiit have made getting outstanding sources/amps much more affordable. I'm not sure it would be meaningful to compare what someone spent in 2011 to someone else in 2020.
     
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  9. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Similarly, there's likely some folks that bought HD600 back in 1997 for $400 and may still be rocking an old Headroom Max that are blowing apart the value-for-money aspect of this regardless of inflationary effects.
     
  10. Priidik

    Priidik MOT: Estelon

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    Does DIY count? I blew about 7k all in (tools, xo parts, drivers, materials) to build my speakers.
    This got me level up in speaker building and eventually a door opened to where I work now.

    Ready product? It's probably the EC 2A3 or Genelec 8050A.
    Hard to compare due to inflation and trading negotiations.
     
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  11. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    True for the most part I think. I think @yotacowboy got the gist of what I was going for: It depends where in your audio journey you are. I've read that there is a contingent of folk who have basically sworn off headphones & listen to speakers, which may or may not have been purchased prior to 2018. I guess I'm not sure what the survey is really trying to tally, or rather why the 2018 cutoff. I'm still curious as to the results.
     
  12. Riotvan

    Riotvan Snoofer in the Woofer

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    It’s a tie between my speakers and dac, if time is money then well shit. Also the amount of money i could have saved if i right away bought or stuck with stuff i eventually preferred then.. well again shit. But what fun is there in skipping the journey?
     
  13. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

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    @Jinxy245

    The purpose of the thread/survey:

    To determine how relevant some of the threads on SBAF are to the majority of SBAF readers in so far as they relate to expensive equipment. It was prompted by the thread on the Elrog 300B tubes which are more than $2,000 for a pair. I wondered how many people would be contemplating such a purchase in 2023. Perhaps the results of the survey might assist in the planning of SBAF content, assuming that one of SBAF's purposes is to assist users in making audio spending decisions. At the end of the day, I created the survey out of interest and thought others might be interested as well. Don't read too much into it.

    The reasons for the 2018 cutoff:
    1. Inflation could skew the results
    2. Given the purpose, I wanted the survey to reflect recent spending habits
    3. One of the best indicators of future (spending) behaviour is recent behaviour

    The survey isn't perfect. It was created in about 20 minutes without any real forethought. It wasn't commissioned by experts in market research and there's no hidden agenda. Make of it what you will but I'm still finding the results somewhat revealing. Great to get a taste of how passion and priorities translate to actual purchases as opposed to tyre kicking and drooling.

    Edit: Obviously also reflects disposable income
    Edit 2: No one should take the purpose of this thread as a criticism of the quality content we're privileged to have at SBAF and generate for each other.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 1, 2023
  14. Jinxy245

    Jinxy245 Vegan Puss

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    Gotcha...makes sense. I'll add that even though I wouldn't personally buy many of the higher ticket items, there is a certain curiosity as to what is the best out there. Worthwhile to peruse occasionally IMHO, especially if you might know someone in the market for something more...extravagant. That's my take anyway.

    Either way, thanks for trying to initiate a conversation.
     
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  15. Walderstorn

    Walderstorn Friend

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    Very interesting. I didn't vote yet but this got me thinking "wow it was before 2018 that i spent most of my money", then i started to think about all the small gear, dacs, streamers, amps, that came and went...i spent way too much but that's how it is when you have no way to try stuff.

    For me was Yggdrasil.
     
  16. GuySmiley'sMonkey

    GuySmiley'sMonkey Almost "Made"

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    I made a once-in-a-lifetime purchase last year in the form of the speaker setup in my signature. The most expensive component was the ATC SIA2-100 (100 W class A/B integrated speaker amp) at about $2,500 (ex-demo). This was made possible by access to my superannuation due to forced early retirement. Most of it has to go towards other stuff, but I allowed myself a luxury that I hope will see me through many years to come.

    Yep, the once-in-a-lifetime audio purchases of some respondents will be left out because of the 2018 cut off date, but others will have spent up big in the same window of time. If sufficient people respond to the survey I think it will capture a reasonable cross section of SBAF consumer behaviour.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2023
  17. Senorx12562

    Senorx12562 Case of the mondays

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    I just realized that in my answer to the survey, the component I was thinking of was actually purchased in 2017, so as Emily Littella used to say, nevermind.
     
  18. Serious

    Serious Inquisitive Frequency Response Plot

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    When counting Amon, my diy OB project using Voxativ drivers (which started in 2017) it would be close to 5k, actually. Things get expensive quickly when going from nearly finished to finished. This is without tools, just materials.

    Otherwise I'd say KEF LS50 Meta at 1050€. Or Hathor which should be XXXX [redacted] and I used some parts I still had, etc.

    The rest of my system is older than that. UERM, HD800, HD600. Gungnir Multibit A1, Ragnarok 1. DAC Upgrade would be welcome.
    AirPods Max at 420€, AirPods Pro at 300€ and Q-jays at 180€ IIRC. Not really worth mentioning.
    Might aswell mention the projector I bought for 200 used and the projector screen I got for 80€ new.
     
  19. Armaegis

    Armaegis Friend

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    My ex is an opera singer. Broke the bank on that one.
     
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  20. bobboxbody

    bobboxbody Friend

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    I have felt this almost finished to finished price gap. $500 project nearly done, maybe just tweak a few caps and signal wire *poof* there's another $500(or more). I have since leaned away from uber-boutique caps. Great performing NOS Soviet/Russian caps are still available for reasonable prices if you're willing to wait a long time for shipping and possibly break trade embargoes.
     
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