what is more important ?


Hiya ,

Just wanted some views/opinions on what is the most important piece of equipment in the reproduction of sound/music.

I know and have heard that the dimensions of the room has the biggest impact but what about the speakers, amplification, and source... which one would give the biggest sonic differences(for better or worst) if replaced ?
If my current system needs upgrading which part of the chain should I focus on first to get the best 'bang for my bucks' ?

Cheers all


primarykey1
Speakers do not change dramatically from day to day. If they seem to sound that different day to day, then there is something wrong with your system, that is, the components. 
Get the best sounding speakers you can afford first.
I think budget and balance is the place to start. Some time ago either Stereophile or The Absolute Sound put together hi-fi systems or groups that they recommended by price points. It was one of the better issues by the magazine, since it took in consideration “synergy” of components. One must know what can be afforded and what components compliment each other. Buying $60 Magico speakers and having $2k leftover for the rest of the rig, would result in not getting the best sound from the speakers. Conversely, spending $60k on source, amp, preamp, cabling and having $2k leftover for speakers would also not result in good sound. For many who know this....great. For those who don’t....big mistakes could potentially occur.
I started a thread last year about "Finding the weakest link" in one's system as the best place to upgrade.  
Find what is actually the least good bit of kit matters. 
Since if you replace SOMETHING ELSE.. that worst sounding bit is going to hold back your ner gear, AND might make you think the new gear is no good (to the point of returning it) When in fact the problem was someplace else. 
One person who should be able to help is a dealer. However if you have no long term relationship to a dealer.. that road is fraught with fears of being taken for a ride.https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/finding-the-weakest-link-when-upgrading
For me it is the preamp. While the loudspeaker will change the sound to a much greater extent, I find those changes broadly consonant with the fabric of the music. 

I find the electronic distortions of electronics much more jarring to my ear, even in lesser quantities.