First I want to apologize if this is already a thread, I couldn't find one but if it is out there, please feel free to let me know and I will delete this or a mod can delete. I just wanted to start a discussion on how people budget their setups, what their upgrade paths are usually are for their chains, and how they decide to maintain their setups. To demonstrate what I mean, if someone had $2000 dollars, how would you personally allocate your budget to the different components of your system. Would it be $1000 for the headphones and $500 for amp and $500 for DAC? Would you do $1500 on your headphones and do a $500 DAC/AMP combo? Let's say you have a setup of about equal components, would you try and update your audio chain before the headphones or the headphones first. I will start off by saying I don't have the craziest setup, but I personally view the upgrade path as headphone <- amp <- dac. I think allocation of funds is a bit convoluted depending on the price range you are in, but on average I like to recommend spending about 50 to 75 percent of your initial budget on headphones, and spend the 15 to 30 percent on an amp, and the last remaining bit on the DAC. I think this is a good setup due to the fact I believe headphones make the biggest difference in ones experience, and this can create a better system as a whole, followed by amps, then dacs. When upgrading your current system, I also try and follow the philosophy of upgrading headphones first and upgrading the amp and dac depending on if the upgraded headphones creates a lack in the system. I would love to hear about others and what they think on this topic, I am pretty new to the realm of audio equipment, and would love to learn more about how others upgrade, maintain, and budget their systems! Thanks everybody and hope to be apart of some good discussion!