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$30k Music System Features 49 Speakers

A Midwestern couple gets the ultimate home music system by keeping their focus -- and their budget -- on target.

Home systems installers always recommend allocating the largest part of your electronics budget to products and systems you enjoy most.

If you're a home theater buff, for example, putting most of your money into a huge screen and a high-quality projector makes sense. Similarly, if you can't get enough of Xbox, you'll want to spend more on gaming equipment than you would, say, on a TV for your bedroom.

In Marge and Chuck Dushek's case, a system that could spread music everywhere both inside and outside the residence would consume most of the cash set aside for electronic enhancements. Although the decision would end up costing them more than $30,000, it ultimately helped the couple save money on other items.

Because the Dusheks focused their funds on one system, money wasn't wasted on scrupulous items they wouldn't really use anyway, explains Ken Walker of Sound Design Systems, the Winfield, IL-based firm hired to integrate an extensive audio distribution system into the new 7,500-square-foot home. Like the Dusheks, many of my customers want high-quality audio systems, but they also want three plasma TVs and distributed video. Because the Dusheks didn't spread their budget across several different systems, I could spoil them with their music system.

For more info about the Dushek home, including an equipment list and photos, check out