A Best Bet System for $10k

While it’s great fun to assemble systems out of some of the finest audio gear available, many, many people are seeking musical satisfaction at prices a long way South of a luxury car, much less a house.

It’s with those folks in mind that I‘ve been scouring the marketplace for components that not only provide outstanding value for money, but combine to form a synergistic system that won’t break the bank.

I’m very pleased to present the first of these systems, starting at the $10k total system cost level. It consists of :

Innuos Zen Mini MkIII – Server/CD ripper/NAS with switching power supply, internal DAC. (Silver or black, several storage capacity choices starting at 1 TB. Linear power supply optional, includes digital output for external DAC.)
Sugden A21SE – 30 w/ch Class A integrated amplifier. It looks simple and straightforward. It doesn’t sound that way at all.
Sonner Audio’s Legato Unum – a 2 way, rear-ported stand mount speaker that will fit into any decor and satisfy every musical predilection (dub step not included 😅.)
As always, my cables of choice come from Luna Cables. A system this simple only requires one pair of interconnects and a pair of speaker cables. To stay within budget, Gray level cables are included, although the components certainly would benefit from a step up to Orange.

I’ll add listening notes after Christmas. This is the system we’ll be enjoying at home throughout the year-end festivities. Stay tuned, and Happy Holidays!

Published by David Cope

After 15 years doing audio shows and marketing for Audio Note, UK, I took a year off, intending to establish a recording studio dedicated to making natural, minimally processed recordings of acoustic instruments playing jazz, folk, blues, bluegrass and classical music. Somewhere along the way I borrowed a pair of Auditorium 755 speakers and a Shindo pre-amp and power amp from Jonathan Halpern of Tone Imports. Quick as you can say, "Bob's your uncle!", I had become an audio retailer, using Old Forge Studio as a dual purpose space. It's all very exciting and more than a bit crazy . . .

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