What matters most? How to best spend your money on an amplifier, player and speakers
Reading time: 3 minutes
A question often asked by HiFi enthusiasts, is how much money to spend on each component of a new HiFi system. How to best split a given budget to cover an amplifier, source player and speakers?. In the 70s, a common recommendation was to spend about 50% of your budget on speakers and the rest on an amplifier/receiver and the source, which at that time was mainly a turntable. Starting in the late 80s, the turntable was replaced by the CD player as the major music source, while in the 2010s, music streaming services took this position. For some years now, vinyl and turntables have even gotten back on the shortlist of many.
While the situation changed over time, music lovers today often still own a decent selection of both CDs and Vinyls, and at the same time want to enjoy high resolution online music streaming. They want the best audio quality from every source. Marantz sound engineer Rainer Finck, whose expertise of source players dates back to the 1980s when he was working on the first CD Players, has some clear advice:
Invest in the source!
No matter if you are into analogue (e.g. turntable) or digital (compact discs, locally stored music files or online streaming). Spend more money on the source!
Why? In the case of a turntable it is very obvious that a good turntable with a good cartridge will technically get the most out of your record’s groove, as it picks up and reads the information more accurately. Whatever gets lost here will never reach your ears – no matter what amplifier or loudspeakers you have.
In the case of a digital source the data has to be loaded, read, converted properly and thoroughly to an ‘analogue’ music signal. There are many variables that can have a negative impact on the audio signal, such as a poor circuitry or the quality of the D/A (digital-analogue) converter chipset. Again, whatever gets lost in this process will never reach your ears.
If you spend 30-40% on a good source component and 30% on amplification, it will always give you a great result. Maybe some will say that the shortcoming in such a system is the loudspeaker, but the above truly proves the importance of the source.
Try it yourself!
Marantz has a long heritage of class-leading and award-winning source players. Reach out to your local retailer to get a demo of the most recent models in every price class: The CD6006 CD Player won the WHAT HIFI Best CD Player Award three times in a row. The step-up ND8006 CD and Network Audio Player won the prestigious EISA Award in 2018, and to bring it to the top, the high-end machine SA-KI Ruby will shine above them all, with its super-sophisticated, patented signal processing circuits.
And all of them feature fitting amplifiers to build a great system.
You will hear the difference!