Is simpler better?

I have been adding components in my audio systems and subtracting as well at times. Over some time now, I wondered if I hear better resolution, dynamics, clarity and get closer to the recorded music when I keep the path short and simple. I mean one source, one integrated amp and to the speakers. Or even a digital component to a DAC then to the integrated amp and finally to speakers. Bypassing the preamp or in some cases bypassing a separate DAC. It certainly elimates the need for redundant volume or gain, reducing wires or cables, reducing the chance for incompatible components and keeping the path short.

For those using turntable(s), does the combination of phono preamp, platter, tonearm, cartridge, motor, isolation get to be too much to manage? To get the best sound? 

Your thoughts? Your experience?

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the irony is that the end goal is simple: to move air. Expensive gear is very complex and audiophiles put together a lot of complex components to achieve something pure and yet relative, judged by our ears. I would say unless you are willing to learn enough to get a PhD in audio, go with simple

If you are trying for better then dump the integrated and go for separates; mono blocks and a preamplifier. Concerning the DAC & Steaming portion of your set up the same principle applies, go for separates. Yes get ride of equalizers or similar pieces of hardware you place between the main components and go for quality wire and you don't need to spend a fortune on that either. Isolate your components from vibration, treat the room for sound using panels specifically design to absorb or reflect and place them correctly. Do not dump all your money into one component and cheap out on the others, try to keep them approximately equal in quality and work on making sure they all play nicely together, system synergy is very important. Place your speakers ideally not where they are less obtrusive in the room.

My DIY amps are the most complicated machines I’ve ever built - much more so than the DIY turntable and tonearm. Very high parts count. They are unquestionably better than anything else I’ve tried or heard, and that most definitely includes simple amps.

The ’simplest’ amp is just a modular power supply, an op-amp driver, and an output transistor. All the complexity is hidden. The simplest discrete transistor circuits are hopelessly bad.

@wolf_garcia said it well, "Simple can be bettered by "better.""

I would say unless you are willing to learn enough to get a PhD in audio, go with simple

this is silly and ignorant... there is such a thing as practical experience, as many folks here are lifelong music lovers and audiophiles committed to achieving beautifully reproduced music in their homes -- you pursue this for a lifetime, with a passion, you learn what you like, and how to assemble a system that pleases you -- in this light the notion simplicity or complexity for its own sake is far down the list of priorities