Which IC is more important?

I don't know if this has been addressed specifically before, but I couldn't find it searching thru the cables forum. At the risk of being redundant, I'll put this forward to the community.

Looking at a CDP - line stage - amp sequence, which of the two IC's is more critical? Any reason, scientific or other, as to why? What have your experiences been in using different IC's in these places (ie. type of IC, quality, cost, etc.)?

Looking forward to hearing about your experiences.
Did some mention hockey...? RGD, my favorite is "No autopsy, no foul." It's usually applied to Mick McGoo(n).

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
Paulwp your all wrong.The speaker is not the most important pieces.As you say if they add errors then if the singnal is wrong to start then your even in worse shape.
You cant judge what a speaker can realy do without a good source.I have heard 1k speakers sound great with 6 K source.I have heard 20 K speakers sound awfull on 1k sources.
The upstream cable is always more critical, because it affects everything downstream. That said, there are a variety of combinations that can work. Having the "best" cable at the beginning of the chain won't always be "best overall". It's a good rule of thumb to try it there first, of course. This seems like basic logic to me.
While i understand COMPLETELY where Carl is coming from and basically agree, my question is "what makes one cable "better" than another" ? Is it price ? Is it materials ? Is it geometry ? Is it gauge ? Is it specific electrical characteristics ? etc...... As such, all cables are simply "different". Where a specific cable works best in a system can only be found out via trial and error. I have had some "el cheapo" / "generic" / "non-audiophile" cables completely blow cables costing hundreds of dollars away in specific situations. I know that others have also run into the same situation. Bottom line: there is NO "best place" OR "best cable". It's all system dependent. Sean
In defense of ML: W/O pretending to know the style or manner of all the regulars on this board (including him) I saw through his curt statement. He didn't intend to be insulting or ungrateful, though he certainly came off that way. He was just expessing his honest feelings without sugur-coating it: He simply enjoys and appreciates the longer posts thats all.

There were many excellant comments admonishing his behavior as well, that I do not want to slight. Every one (thank goodness) is a unique individual who thinks and express' themselves differently, hopefully with a clarity and intelligence. Judging by this post I believe we can guess my preference; apologies to those fans of brevity.

I especially concur with Sean's advice for finding out yourself, side tracks/pit falls included, if only to appreciate "your work of art". True appreciation is measured by the scarfices indured (hows that for short). I also agree with Carl, IME especially of late, the link between line stage and amp is pretty damn critical, least to these ears. YMMV.