It doesn't have to cost the earth!
6 months ago I picked up a pair of second hand Spendor S3e's form fleaBay. The cabinets had both been aesthetically smashed to bits in the fleaBay seller's house move, (electronics and drivers were all fine), and I paid £180 for the pair which I thought at the time was a bargain. Anyway, last weekend I finally got around to re-veneering them for a second system I am putting together. I have used American black walnut and they look lovely, even if I say so myself. Believe it or not I hadn't even listened to them until Sunday evening when they were all shiney and finished. One word to describe their sound: Amazing. I hooked them up to my Bryston for the hell of it and they have quite simply blown me away. How good are they? Put it this way, I haven't plugged my PMC's back in yet. I tell a tiny fib there, I did plug them back in for 5 minutes and found them boring and slightly unengaging!!!!!
Second system speakers..... Hmmmmm..... We will see!
Just goes to show that you don't necessarily need to spend the earth on every component to achieve the sound you are looking for. Lesson learned? Probably not.