cost differential

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Wayde_R, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I've read about a sort of law or orthodoxy regarding cost distribution of HT gear as a sort generalization. It's intended as advice for a newcomer to HT so they get an idea of where to apply costs for best possible chance of complimenting each component. I was wondering if anyone can enlighten me as to what it is, where it came from and if you agree. It goes something like this.

    Decide your HT budget and figure on distributing the cost as follows:

    50% speakers
    20% receiver/amp/pre-amplification
    20% playback device
    10% cables

    Does this sound about right? If you've seen different versions of this law please share. And is there a name for this? Is it like, Watts Law on cost differential or something like that.

    Thanks
    Wayde
     
  2. Brian Corr

    Brian Corr Supporting Actor

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    I don't think it's quite so easy as putting a percentage to it. Everybody is different and will put different values to things.

    Your formula broken down with a $10,000 budget would be something like:

    speakers $5000
    receiver $2000
    DVD player $2000
    cables $1000

    (And that doesn't include a display device or HD decoders, etc.)

    When you look at it as dollar amounts, I'd say I don't need to spend $2000 on a dvd player or $1000 on cables.

    My system now would break down like this (based on retail prices for new equipment)
    speakers 35%
    separates 55%
    DVD player 7%
    cables (alot of diy, some kimber) 3%

    I'd probably spend a little more on speakers than separates if doing it again, but I'm happy with the dvd player and cable portions.

    Now factor in my projector, screen, and power conditioning and it changes things up even more.

    I've never broke it down before like this. Pretty interesting to do. Factor in what I spend on my wife's engagement ring and it's less than 1%. dohhhhhhhh (lucky for me all she wanted was a simple band)
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    I've stopped listening to everyone who tries to simplify things with a percentage breakup of prices. I think more importantly is a breakup in the contribution of performance. Speakers and room are probably the most important for audio. For video, it's probably display, then source and room(especially with FP).

    But depending on how you are buying what, the dollar amounts can vary a lot. I've probably spent double on the audio side of things than on the video side of things, but the video side of things is clearly much higher end, becuase of the HTPC and used CRT FP route that I am going. In retail prices, it would be more like 20:1 video:audio, but it's way different just because the route I took.
     
  4. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    I would have to agree with Brian that everyone will be different. It all depends on budget, your preferences, etc.

    As a percentage, mine would be:

    Speakers -- 52%
    Seperates - 29%
    DVD -- 15%
    Cables -- 4%

    This is based on retail prices, not what I actually paid. The DVD player percentage is definitely high for me, but again, that is retail. I actually bought it used, from Brian, for significantly less than retail. Thanks again Brian.


    Neal
     
  5. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    Here is how mine is split up (some Different Categories, though)

    Amplification (Pre/Pros, Amps, Preamps, etc.)-34.87%
    Sources (DVD, CD, SACD, VCR, etc)-13.69%
    Speakers (Main, Center, Surr, Sun)-18.49%
    Cables (Speaker, Video, Interconn)-13.19%
    Other (Bass mgmt, power mgmt, TV)-19.76%
    Total-100%

    Reason why Cables is so high is becasue I am using two sets of 5.1 cables to run both DVD-A and SACD, as well as another set to run b/w my Sony TAP and another set between the pre/pro and amp (gets expensive for 4 sets of 6 cables)
     
  6. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks this is great info. I am not a believer in simple formulas either, and I am getting a kick out of the cables debate raging once again in this forum(in another thread). I too believe 10% on cables is too high (wherever I heard that figure might have been trying to sell me cables).

    Like all material items, I look at cost as man/hours. How much of my life-force (IE hours of labour) went into this item. If I have a $1500 reciever how many man hours of my life did that really cost me? The hours of pleasure said object grants me, minus hours of work it cost determines the things value to me. That's why I believe audio gear is worth a little extra money, because if we choose well it can potentially give you pleasure for the rest of your life.
     
  7. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    "10% on cables" - I'd usually fail that one badly...

    It was really interesting to take a minute to add up all the actual numbers & compute the percentages on audio gear. We have the bigger stuff in the bigger room (brilliant!) and that wound up @ 72% speakers, 15% electronics, 9% CD/DVD, & 4% cabling (long run of big wires to the backs & darned component cables all added up). I always knew the speakers were the largest chunk but hadn't done the percentages recently. Those figures don't include the sometimes separate amp for the fronts which lowers speaker % to the 60s (but then that amp's not always there).

    Guess I should have pulled the component cabling into a separate video line, but I just didn't have the guts to add up the TV & the dish & all that other stuff...
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    OK, time for my input:

    40% to speakers
    30% to amp/pre-amp or "higher-end" receiver
    15% to playback device
    5% to setup devices - DVD test discs, SPL meter, etc.
    5% to cables
    5% to ... ahem ... "setup" refreshments (a.k.a. - Beer, chips and snacks) [​IMG]
     
  9. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Personally, if I had to start all over again, I'd start with finding the speakers I liked most, then find a receiver or pre-amp/processor that worked well with it and finally finding a good source. As for cables, there are many excellent choices out there that will do a very good job and not cost an arm and a leg.

    I'm not one to say cabling doesn't matter though. It does. It's just that finding good build quality and good materials need not amount to 10% of your total purchase.
     
  10. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Darn it, Wayne! You reminded me of all the other crud I didn't add in, too. Let's see, AVIA, the meter, and the (ahem) "setup refreshments"... Looks like that takes the speakers down to well below 40% and the "ongoing setup refreshments" leap to the top of the list.

    Hey - setup is an ongoing, never-ending process for some of us. [​IMG] And some days you have to tweak for the head and some days for red (wine, of course - "tashe like camel drool to me", with all due respect and thanks to Wallace Tripp).
     
  11. Jeff Aguilar

    Jeff Aguilar Stunt Coordinator

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    Good thread.

    It made me add up what I have invested into my hobby. Retail at $14,000!!!! Don't tell my wife...

    Here is my break down...

    Pre/Amp, Amps, Tube amp - 26%

    Speakers, Subs - 47.5%

    TV - 18%

    DVD Player - 3%

    Cables - 5.5%

    Bad Hobby, Bad Hobby.

    Jeff Aguilar
     
  12. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    My breakdown would be roughly:

    Speakers 20%
    Receiver 15%
    TV 40%
    2 dvd players and one HD stb 15%
    Cabling, spl meter, AVIA 10%

    My HD ready 57" rptv was purchased over 2 years ago, before they plunged in price, hence it's relatively high percentage.

    My speaker cable is all from Home Depot, and most of my other cabling is less than magical, hence it's relatively low price.

    My receiver was bought online for half it's msrp.

    Speakers are respectable lower end Energy bookshelf units plus 2 moderately priced subs.

    I consider the AVIA disc and spl meter to have been the best bang for the buck in the whole system.
     
  13. Wayde_R

    Wayde_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I really wasn't counting video monitor or refreshments. But I wasn't looking for any hard guide, just what I'd thought I heard somewhere. 10% cabling does seem a little steep. If I had to add refreshments consumed while enjoying HT gear it would far exceed the total cost of the gear itself. That in itself means I'm positive I got my monies worth.

    Wayde
     
  14. Kris_Smith

    Kris_Smith Agent

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    Home Theater w/o TV

    Speakers 42%
    Receiver 35%
    Cables 12%
    DVD 11%

    Home Thater w/ TV

    Tv 51%
    Speakers 21%
    Receiver 17%
    Cables 06%
    DVD 05%

    I would ideally like:

    Tv 50%
    Speakers 20%
    Receiver 20%
    DVD 05%
    Cables 05%

    On a $6,000 budget
     

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