How to allocate budget for new stereo system 2015-11-08 06:04:09 I would like to get a new amp+pre-amp (or receiver, if that makes the most sense) and speakers. I mostly listen to rock and jazz from a Sonos system playing from Pandora or music I've downloaded from iTunes. Sometimes I like to throw karaoke parties, for which it's nice to play really loud.The room is not ideal--it has hard surfaces and high ceilings, and is about 600 square feet. I'd also like to have just two towers and no sub, since it is unsightly, even if that means getting larger towers.I want to get something very, very good, and I want to be smart about how I go about this, so I'll skip the gold-plated ethernet cables this time 'round. This will be the last stereo I buy.If I understand correctly, amplifiers are pretty boring (get enough power and a flat response and you're set, don't have to spend a lot for this). Speakers are the weak link in the chain, so you should spend more there. So here's what I'm trying to figure out:1. Given a $10,000 budget, how much should be allocated for each component? 2. What about a $30,000 budget? Is this budget so far past the point of diminishing returns it's absurd to consider?3. Does it make sense to look at getting a separate power amp and preamp, or will a good receiver perform just as well and save money?4. Supposing I can test components at home, how can I test them most fairly? For example, I know that in listening tests, louder is usually perceived as better. How can I mitigate this when comparing two amps or two sets of speakers?