There were many discussions about what is the most important component in the music reproduction audio chain. I won’t get into that, we know everything is important but the better question i think is when starting an audio system what components should come first? Where should the investment start?
In my opinion, loudspeakers bring the greatest change in a system and therefore it seems the best choice of a first investment. The sonic differences are clear and the quality of reproduction can have a drastic increase when upgrading to real speakers.
So you want to build a better audio system and you set aside a specific budget for it. You are thinking perhaps to split it to get a good source (record player, cd player, reel to reel tape deck), a good amplifier and a good pair of loudspeakers. This would be a great way to do it if you have a really big budget. Most often than not tho that is not the case. With a limited amount of money at hand i would say to first invest it in a pair of loudspeakers. Especially if you still have an old amplifier and source from previous systems. You can use the new speakers in the old system for a while and still benefit greatly from the increased quality of reproduce sound. Then put aside money again and get the best amplifier to drive the speakers and then save more money and get a good source.
Then reason behind this way is that sources are more abundant. With the availability of high resolution formats you can live with PC-based sound for a while until you save for your favorite source. You can still enjoy better reproduction than your old system as opposed to getting a great record player and using less than good speakers.
With great speakers you immediately feel the increase in performance and this will give you a good feeling that you made the right investment. Money don’t come easy so you will look for an excuse in spending the money. Hearing the difference in sound will make up for that I’m sure.
Starting from the other end of the audio chain might not render such a big difference and you might loose confidence in spending money to upgrade your system.
When choosing components don’t hurry. Excitement can get you to take rush decisions, believe me, i know. Study, do your homework, go to audio expos listen and try out as many products as you can. Take notes, keep a record of what you hear, what you like, what you don’t, what surprised you, features and specs of anything you hear. Don’t rely on your memory. You will soon find out you like a certain type of sound and you will have a list of products that meet your requirements.
Hope it helps and thanks for visiting