So you want to build a good sounding audio system hu?


After a rather interesting thread about cable burn in I started thinking. If I had to start all over again building my home audio system what are the most important things I would consider knowing what I know now. So Im curious. What is your order of importance in regards to successfully building a good sounding audio system. Here is mine:

1. Power. In regards to this I know often times we can do much about the power coming into the home. However in a
perfect world this would be my number 1.
2. Room (acoustics)
3. knowledge (needed in order to obtain the remaining items)
4. Spakers
5. Electronics
6. power cables
7. Quality of source media (record, CD, etc)
8. ICs
9. Patience
10. A reliable source of reference/information (forums such as Audiogon) (I guess this could also be under the knowledge category but I needed a number 10 LOL). Actually this one could also be in the number 1 spot if I were just starting, but since I said "knowing what I know now" I will leave it in this position.
barnettk
My number one is MONEY. Without money all you can do is howl your own tunes...
Number two is a ROOM to place the equipment in. Without a room, someone is sure to steal you stuff when you leave it.
After that must is pretty equal. You need several items minimum to get any sound going.. Unless you just buy a boombox. Even for the boombox you need AC power, or lots of batteries...
The audiophile minimum would be a device to play, prerecorded music of some sort, and earphones. (with a portable, you can take it with you, so the ROOM can be discarded. Live free.)
Speakers. IMO above all else the speakers determine the kind of sound. Used to be the comment ’Spend 50% of your budget on speakers’ back in the OLD DAYS (pre 1980) This means you are BACK to requiring a ROOM. Usually in the same place you reside. Works out better.            
The ROOM and the speakers should complement each other... The amplification should complement the speakers.
elizabeth nailed it down for me "Speakers. IMO above all else the speakers determine the kind of sound. Used to be the comment 'Spend 50% of your budget on speakers' back in the OLD DAYS (pre 1980)"  and it's always been that way, at least for me!it helps having a very supportive Wife.
                       
I agree on speakers should be the first price of gear you buy and the largest part of your budget. I have power as number 1 because clean power is oh so important. I also think the room should be considered before you buy any gear at all. Most people do it backwards. IMO. 
Back in 1965 I did spend 50% on speakers. Now my speakers are about 21% of the actual money I spent on the current stereo.If I had bought less used stuff , and stuff on sale, the percentage would be even smaller!   
This is just a phenomenon of being a long time audiophile. I know well what I want. And i spent a lot on wires...multiple sources.. multiple preamps..         
Some folks have multiple amps, or speakers..
@elizabeth ,
If you bought a stereo in 1965, you’d have been a wee child...
B
How can you buy a stereo before you were born? 
I got my first system in 1975. My brother returned home from Vietnam with a Pioneer receiver and a Gerard turntable he gave me. Later my parents allowed me to get a pair of speakers. I ended up adding some Radio Shack super tweeters to them lol. Been hooked every since. I moved on from that receiver to A Sansui integrated amp, then to a Nikko Alpha 440 power amp and SAE pre amp. Man that was a sweet system for a young man. Don’t remember the speakers tho. Wow. Have not thought about that in a long time. After high school got my first reel to reel when I was in the Air Force and picked up some Bose 501s in the early 80s. Man those systems sounded soooo good to me.