Source vs Amplification where would you put the 35000$

Wharfedale Diamond 12.1 & 12.2 Speakers

essrand

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A hypothetical scenario:

You have a decent system. And now you have a 25L (35,000$) to put in either the best amplification you have ever heard (for me that's Engstrom Arne) or the best Source you have heard (for me that's Nagra HD DAC, it could be analog as well). But fill in your own blank.
What would you do?

Rules in this hypothetical scenario:
- Yes, there are other ways to spend the money, but for this scenario these are the ONLY two choices.
- No, you cannot split the cash towards upgrading both or either or speakers etc.
- Assume your system is good enough for you to hear the differences.

It boils down to, if you had the means to only buy a world-class source or world-class amplification (amp + preamp) what would you do?
 

panditji

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If I already have a decent system, I am assuming I would already have a good amplifier. Since I want to hear every detail in the music, my vote goes to the best possible source...
 

sidvee

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I would go with the best source - however before you invest that much in a source please make sure there is proper and documented customer support.
Cheers,
Sid
 

Kannan

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Split and spend on source and on the very best of CDs, vinyls, reels and cassettes
 

Bloom@83

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Honestly , if I had that much dough , I would bug the living hell out of vinyl collectors and acquire the best , the absolute best pressings of my favourite albums in the best physical condition. The UK first mono pressings having double digit catalog numbers of Beatles studio albums alone would exceed this hypothetical budget.If I had any left I would get the highest end VPI.

It’s the source media that makes or breaks the sound and one should spend the maximum possible budget on it, IMHO.
 
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Nikhil

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Source ... whatever that may be.

In digital, I might add the DAC is not the only component that comprises the "source".
The transport also needs to be looked at with a lot of care as does the source material.

This is a great topic. Will be interesting to see what others have to say.




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RRR

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Yes very interesting....all have recommended source, only one for amplification :)
 

ssf

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Even with little exposure to electronics, I can make out improvements to source than with amplifiers. So, source it is.
 

spaace

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Best amplification would be my bet since

1. There is a lot more happening at the amplification to justify that allotment.
2. Since we are assuming the speakers are world class and resolving enough, Iam.assuming we are talking about lot of clean juice here and that's a lot of clean power we need
3. At 3000$ range a good dac / source seems to be had at least at the limits of human hearing and keeps improving much faster than amplification land scape. So an amplification which can keep up with new advances in DAC fidelity seems to be a good idea.
4. I would also split it but on amplification itself (so that I don't step outside your restrictions) such that half of it is spend now and the other half is used to.upgrade amplification another 12 yrs down the line or whenever a new breakthrough is bound to be achieved in that area.
 

oldmonk

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How about getting a new transformer and an exclusive line from your state power grid just for yourself ?


Have your own power source and eat it too ??
 

Gerry_the_Merry

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Amp. 1) if you have more than one source, you will get more out of both with a better amp 2) DACs are improving at a serious pace and big money spent on it now will depreciate faster compared to money spent on an amp.
 

essrand

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Best amplification would be my bet since

1. There is a lot more happening at the amplification to justify that allotment.
2. Since we are assuming the speakers are world class and resolving enough, Iam.assuming we are talking about lot of clean juice here and that's a lot of clean power we need
3. At 3000$ range a good dac / source seems to be had at least at the limits of human hearing and keeps improving much faster than amplification land scape. So an amplification which can keep up with new advances in DAC fidelity seems to be a good idea.
4. I would also split it but on amplification itself (so that I don't step outside your restrictions) such that half of it is spend now and the other half is used to.upgrade amplification another 12 yrs down the line or whenever a new breakthrough is bound to be achieved in that area.
Almost everyone has said source (or source material <---doesn't count, it is outside the parameters of the question), but there is very good argument here.
Amplification seems to be far more future-proof than the source (digital especially). A 10 year old SOTA source that cost 20,000$ (say an Esoteric K-01, which is sold for 5-6K now) will not hold as much of a value as say a 10 year old amplification (say a Nagra VPA which has actually appreciated in value, used to sell for 12,000$ in 1999, now retails for 28,000$ shit!).

But let's say you are a fire and forget kind of a guy, this is a one-time thing, that you know is a keeper (both your fav world-class amplification and world-class DAC/Analog). Does that even the playing field?
 

essrand

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How about getting a new transformer and an exclusive line from your state power grid just for yourself ?


Have your own power source and eat it too ??
I had read this one a while back. Man! I thought I was cuckoo, but these guys take the cake.

Outside the parameters of this question though, although might prove far more effective than either source or ampli :)
 
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