Tough call really because the two go hand in hand to create the sound you want. If you know you will eventually upgrade both, I would decide based on an anticipated pairing of the two - or at least an approach (class A, 300B tubed, Manley house sound, electrostats, whatever). You may need to buy separately for financial reasons, but I would have a goal of a sound you want first.
I listened to a lot of pairings and found a pair of speakers that I liked with multiple amps, so I did those first and it allowed me to consider multiple options. Other people may find an amp that gives them a warm fuzzy with many speaker pairings.
I would go with speakers you really like first.
Speaker first. I made the mistake by upgrading my integrated before the speakers. Although at the time I had no intention of upgrading my speakers I was quite happy. Once I found THE speaker for me it turned out that my integrated wasn't bad but not as good other integrateds. Eventually I did upgrade the integrated.
That's what I experienced.
Always, always, match amp to speakers..
Speakers ! I just love my new and improved BOSE 901 series 6 version 2's. These speakers sound like my friends QUAD ESL 2905's BUT you can play the 901's louder and the 901's have a better bottom end too! I have my 901's only 12 inches off the floor and they sound DAMN GOOD this way !
I'm using Yaffa Blocks for speaker stands under my 901 speakers. I use one of these 12 inch blocks under each speaker. http://www.yaffainc.com/products/yaffablocks.html
Hifisound, one of these days, maybe you'll own a real system (:0
I always start upgrading speakers..then look for a nice match for them.
As I always like to say - if you don't like the sound of your speakers, you won't like the sound of anything else in your system.
Well said Learsfool, something like; garbage in, garbage out. Also agree that amp and speakers need to match. Good speakers can sound poor with the wrong amp.
All this advice and no one asked what his system is, unless I'm missing something.
What's the current system - source(s), amplification, and speakers? Are the speakers set up/placed correctly? Is the room treated? The system is only as good as the weakest link, and that includes set up and room acoustics.
It may be a case that your speakers aren't placed properly/optimally. My speakers sound pretty different moved closer together or further apart, closer to or further from the back wall and corners, toed in or out, and so on. It's not a subtle difference either.
Or it could be a case where your amp isn't strong enough to properly drive your speakers.
People suggest speakers first, and it makes a ton of sense. Some suggest source first, and that makes a ton of sense too. I think the best advice has been given - hear combinations of stuff, find one you like, and look to upgrade to that. If you go that way, it'll be irrelevant which you buy first, so long as you're not underpowering the speakers if you buy them first.
But before spending a dime, make sure you've exhausted all your free options. No point in spending money if you don't need to IMO.
My current system:
Yamaha A500 Integrated (I think its from the 80s?)
Rega p1 TT
Toshiba CDP with modifications by Response Audio. This thing is just amazing.
Dynaco A-25 Speakers with SEAS Prestige tweeters
DIY speaker stands
This system does a nice job but the speakers and amp are limited.
I do agree with the suggestion for getting a woman, however, for the system, am I correct that the Yamaha Integrated has spring clips for speaker connections? If so, replace it first. Are the A-25's original with new tweeters?
Tls49, Yes The Yamaha has those snazzy spring clips we all like. The speakers are the originals with new tweeters, I updated the crossovers as well.
Musicrover, I have a pair of original A-25's in a secondary system, and thought about upgrades for them. Can you give me some direction on this?
Correction, CDP was modified by Reference Audio.
After you get your speakers that you like, a really good integrated amp to try out is the Bada Purer 3.3se with the Jan 6189 tubes !..
In your case, I'd audition speaker and integrateds together to find a great match. Once found, I'd get an integrated amp first. Yamaha isn't the most honest company when it comes to specs as they tend to overstate their power output. If you get a pair of speakers first that are a bit demanding, you may damage them before you get the new integrated IMO. Strong, stable and clean amplification behind lesser speakers can breathe new life into them. Underpowered amplification behind speakers can damage them by making the amp strain/clip.