These are some golden rules I have gathered about being an audiophile over 20 years and thosands of dollars.
1. It is totally pointless to have a audio system capable of 120db peaks with very little distorsion when you are likely to get murdered by irate neighbours at arounnd 100db.
2. While a Loudspeaker size of a coffin will impress some, if you have a small room a compact stand mount will actually sound much better. If you only feel happy with a big coffin get a bigger listening room first !
3. The size of a speaker, number of drivers or the name brand may not be related to the actual sound quality. Only way is to listen to it yourself in your own listening room.
4. Do not buy anything in hurry even if it looks a bargain. you will have plenty of time to regret your decision later.
5 Price of a piece of equipment is not related to the reliability. In fact an inverse relationship may exist i. e more expensive may mean less reliable.
If it says "made in Japan" the above rule does not apply.
6. When you are buying audio gear never buy to impress others. (name brand, size etc) Your non audiophile friends are unlikely to be impressed and think you are and old foegy long before you actually reach that age.
7. If you wish use reviews to narrow down your choice but you MUST listen to as many as possibel yourself. It is all a matter of personal tastes and room acustics play a big role. Tastes change over time. I used to listen to huge speakers size of a small refrigerator driven by a monster amp 20 years ago. Now I listen to a Eclipse TD 508 that can easily fit inside the woofer of the one 20 years ago.
8. Do not get married! Your spouse is unlikely to understand why you need a huge coffin in the living room. If you are thinking of marriage instead buy that $50,000 loudspeaker you always dreamed of. I can gurantee that you have a 50% chance that you will be better off financially in 5 years time.
9. If due to temporary loss of reason you forget rule numeber 8, make sure that the marriage will last. This may even mean forgoing that $1000 interconnect you have been eying and buying some useless piece of jewellary. But if all your best efforts come to naught and you are heading for a divorce pray to what ever god(s) you belive in. Because the god(s) may have mercy upon you but family court and child support agency certainly will not. Consider your self very lucky if you can afford a secondhand Sony walkman after ther lawyers been thru you.