Speaker swap or Amp,which impacts more????

hi,system is:SF-CD1,SF-Line2 Pre,Bryston 4B-ST driving B&W 802S3.Was thinkin'two ways to upgrade-- bryston 14b-sst or some similar amp,or going to 802N speakers.budget only lets me do one.new to hi-fi and am on the fence over this one.will do both in time but callin all for a little advice in the matter.do not like talkin to salesman.thks for any help.

You have great speakers! The Bryston....well.......as long as you don't compare it to anything else it is nice; but there are products outthere that can deliver the emotion and musician intent in the music! The best solid state amps that I have heard are Pass Labs, Odyssey, and McCormack (in order from most to least expensive).

Of course, tubes are a whole different ball game!!! Tubes do realism like no solid state device can do! To answer your initial question - amps impact more than speakers.

Couldn't disagree with Studio1 more. Transducers swamp electronics. Furthermore, I think his statement about tubes v ss is simply misinformed.

What you like/dislike about your current setup?
For all you know, it could be some other things you can improve. 4 BST is pretty solid amp. Quick pace, great for recording industry. A reasonable match with B&Ws.
As far as SF line 2 goes, there are plenty of room to move up from there if you can live without the remote.
Got to spend alot more to notice diff in amp...nice speakers too.I would consider source?How much do you have for upgrading?Good luck,Bob
I was right where you are. I went with B&W N802s and I thought they were a great improvement, since then, I went from Bryston 4B-ST to Roland M201 and this also enhanced my sound. Either way, there was an improvement. I think the speakers were more but since I sold the older B&Ws I can't be sure. I think the good thing about the N802s, they hold their value like the Bryston amps so you will be fine if you move in a differnt direction.
If you haven't considered room acoustics you should. This can have a very big improvement and the cost is excellent for the gains received. Also a Behringer DEQ 2496 can help alot. Otherwise I'd have to say speakers have a greater impact on the sound. At minimum read what others have said when it comes to room acoustics and learn what you can. This is VERY important if you want good sound. The average room has dips and peaks of plus or minus 15db! That is a huge non linearity in music reproduction.

You have a good amp and speakers. Being new you should listen to us old farts. If I had it to do over again I would have learned about room acoustics decades ago. Once you get that right then you'll be able to appreciate system improvements much more.
never once thought of swappin' the line2 ???? do pre amps affect sonic that much???? what i am lookin for is a little more bass for one with more headroom.is the line2 the weakest link here? all i know is i am not educated enough in hi-fi,sooo any help appreciated before i pull triggers and spend in vein.
you have a great system......a swap would be different, not necc better....a powerful sf tube amp if you have to change anything
The preamps has a lot to do with sonic character.
That's why some purist prefer not to use preamp. However, if your source doesn't have enough gain then it would sound lack of dynamic. I'm not a big fan of passive preamp for that reason.

You are missing out on the great preamps. You'll find that most of tube preamps doesn't go as low as SS counterparts. However, most of tube preamps sounds more open than SS.

If you plan to go with balanced setup,
the Audio Research LS-5 MK III is still one of the good preamps.
For non-balanced RCA output,
Audio Research SP-8 MK II and SP11 MK II do get great bass.
The SP-8 is not as clean and transparent sounding but it is warmer sounding.

If it is warmer tone you're looking for, you can also consider many other good preamps out there.

2bigears, If you have not addressed some soft of room treatment I second the recommendation to start there. Before you go and sell off your line 2, what tubes are you running in there? Changing the the tubes in the middle positions to some NOS makes a world of a difference in dimensionality and bass slam with these units.
I think the speakers would be more of a impact than changing your preamp or amp, and don't rule out room treatments as mentioned above, It seems alot of people put this very far down on the priority list. Room treatments and dedicated lines has been huge!
Happy Holidays
I'm in the amp camp and have found big changes there, even within a manufacturers lineup. With my current spkrs, I've worked my way from the entry level amp to the top offering and my system has benefited with a bigger soundstage, more detail, more bass impact & definition, along with a smoother midrange.

Of course, w/o a good room, the best sounding system will sound like mud and that should be of prime concern before you start swapping gear. There are simple things you can do, the easiest & one of the most beneficial being spkr placement.

There are other tweak things you can do like room treatments and isolation that can help but even with the best room, poorly matched gear will sound, well, poorly matched.

It's important to only do one change at a time so you can keep track of where you're headed in regards to improvements.

Part of the fun in this hobby, at least for me, is changing the system around from time to time. I've kept the same system together for 5+ yrs on a few occasions & other times change things once a month. It all depends on what you want to hear.

One last thing-on salesman. When you find one that will work with what u have, listening to what you're looking for & then making suggestions, which include home demo's, then you've found a salesman worth his weight in gold.
thks all,Gsselling,the tubes are still SF originals.can you direct me to a good set for replace.what brand,where to buy and if i need to change all of them.thks much.
Hi, I replied to your email. I think your tubes are the major part of the problem as they don't last forever. :) If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to ask either here or via E-mail.
Best Wishes
neither. all you are going to do is just add the new equipments sound into the room. i would look into one of the tact room correction units for sale on audiogon. it took me a long time to realize new gear does not change the real problem and thats the room. correct room problems and hear for the first time what your gear really sounds like. even minor room corrections makes a significant improvement to gear that even new gear cannot match. after doing the room correction thing then you can decide over time what gear you think is the weak link. most likely it will be the speakers and and avoid B&W. one thing about them until there new D line is they are tipped on the top which causes a brightness to the sound. not something you want to bring into a room that already needs correction. one speaker that is getting their rightful due is tyler acoustics. have two pairs of their top of the line woodmere's and their tyler signature monitors with stands. after 30 yrs finally found a speaker thats a keeper and you can find them right on audiogon when you are ready. go for room correction so you will have it with every gear change in the future.

In regards to your preamp, LV2 and V2 are the most important positions for tubes followed by LV1 and V1.

Whatever your decision in the speakers vs amp question, definitely invest time in room setup and power fed to your system. In my case I didn't realize the real potential of the gear I owned 'til I started accoustics and pĆ³wer treatments. On the plus side all these will benefit practically any gear you change down the road in the quest for better sound journey. Good luck!
Changing speakers and adding room treatments and room correction will make far greater improvements than changing amplifiers, unless you are literally running out of power with your current amplifier. In addition, because differences in speakers swamp differences in well designed amps operating within power, it is far better to find the speakers you like first, then build the rest of the system around them.
I have a different opinion,here.---Some speakers sound similar; some amps sound similar. So I guess it depends on which speakers / which amps. Better quality throughout, be that amps / speakers / or preamps / cabling/ ---they all contribute ---Not to mention synergy with each;within the chain. Some speakers are more forgiving; some just aren't. Making the right change is difficult---knowing what that change might be can be problematic. Everybody's opinions my not match your ears or tastes.