Need to have more information about your stereo. Type of speakers, amp, and preamp, and your source. Good Luck
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If the source and preamp are unable to deliver the goods there is nothing you can do about it downstream.On the other hand, if the power amp or speakers or room acoustics are limiting the resolution of the system, you can't do anything about it upstream.
I don't think there is a generally applicable answer to the question. It depends on the specific components, and which of them is the weakest link. Audiojan makes an excellent point, also.
Thanks for all inputs,
To be honest my system has a bit of strange combination to some.
I am using TW Acoustic Raven with Ortofon AS212 and Lyra Delos for analog front end while digital front end is Sony XA9000ES. My preamp is Audionote M7 and amp is Lavardin A80, speakers is Totem Forrest.
I have talked to some friends and they suggested if I can only change one to increase resolution it would be the preamp.
I read somewhere about wide bandwidth power amp, does it mean that power amp with wide bandwidth will have more resolution?
Over many years, my experience has been the priority ranking is Linestage first, then Power Amp, then Phono stage. Obviously you don't want to get too far out of balance by, for example, pairing an entry level power amp with a top-of-the-line linestage, but in general the linestage seems to have the greatest impact on overall sound quality. I have had a number of phono stages and power amps that I find quite good sounding, but very few linestages that I have actually liked.
Two things, source and preamp. I recently replaced a laser in an older Rega Apollo CD Player and that $25 part just made the CDP sound so much better in clarity/resolution. It has me thinking that over time, the laser gets worn out. Clarity and resoltion were a hugh improvement. I will be experimenting with older CDPs to see if this is consistant. That being said, the preamp also has a big impact on clarity/resolution. I build direct heated triode, transfomer coupled preamps and no conventional preamp can match what this does basically because there are no caps in the signal path.
You need to find out what is your weakest link and replace it.
The source needs to read ever bit of information on the disc and pass it to the preamp. The preamp must be able to retain this information and allow for volume adjustment without changing a thing and send it along to the amp.
While keeping the signal intact the amp needs to amplify that signal without coloration and be able to drive the speakers well that they are connected to. Something that IMO often is taken too lightly .... and if the speakers are not highly resolving, set up properly and interact with the room well it is all for nothing.
I believe when a system gets to a certain level all these things matter equally. Best of luck to you.
Over the past decade or so, I've upgraded all my sources, electronics and cables and my Soundlab M1's have never failed to amaze me.
I suppose it starts with having speakers that do what you prefer and build around them. At least that's the way through the forest that has worked for me.
And I 2nd the:
1) If you don't have the source(s) right, it's probably unwise to upgrade either the pre or the amp.
2) Great line stages are more difficult to find & as a generalization, are more important than the amp, unless you have a very difficult to properly drive loudspeaker such as my S/L's.
3) At a certain level, all things matter equally.
Over the years, I've found that one needs to enjoy the journey rather than being focused on the arrival. The forests, mountains, and sunsets can be beautiful without being the "best" ever seen! The gold at the end of the rainbow can never be found. But it sure is fun trying. Enjoy....