Most improved last 10yrs: Speaker, amp, or pre?

Where would you say are the biggest improvements in the last 10 years between speakers, amps or preamps ?

I'm leaving digital out of the debate, as the answer would be obvious.
I can't say what the biggest improvements have been in the last 10yrs.But I can say reliability is not one of them.

My nickels worth…..

If greater choices means anything it could be that amps have now been the more improved. Namely by a wider selection of hybrid amps.

Preamps however make a strong argument for settling into first place too as it’s taking less dollars to get astride the threshold of diminishing returns with the most recent versions. I’ve seen articles which allude to the facts that even some of the mid to upper tier receivers preamps come quite close to the performance levels of preamps ranging near the $2K - $4.5K arena.

But I’ll vote for speakers. In spite of the fact I’m finding specific very nice to great personal choices get well into the average of $10K, there’s so many out there now which do a more than satisfying job for far less.

Somehow I feel each category here is ahead of the game vs. their constituents of a decade ago… amps in graeter or more broad spread appeal due to design innovations. Preamps seem the one’s favoring value as it’s chief concern. Leaving speakers determined as being improved by technology and materials, best.
I think the Vandersteen 7s represent a quantum leap - they really stood out from all the other speakers I've heard. if the innovations it uses 'trickle down' to where it doesn't cost 45K to get that sound, that will be a wonderful thing indeed...

and I probably would have said 'speakers' even before hearing the 7s.

(it should also be mentioned that some recent production tubes are finally equal to older production ones)
False dichotomy; the tide of increasing technological benefits lifts all boats.

One of the most significant technological changes is the new breed of component, the "new integrated", which incorporates a device for streaming audio, or a preamp, or a DAC or cdp in various combinations. These are allowing systems in less traditional forms and consequently some improvments in streamlining rigs. Utilization of more direct approaches from source to speaker can result in stunning improvements in sound.

Among the most amazing systems I have assembled is one which uses two such devices, neither one traditional in operation, but which together have fabulous synergy. When put together such components are sensational and clearly mark a departure from the old school dedicated source, pre, amp, speaker methodology. I will update pics to show in due time.

What are the innovations in the VAndersteen 7?

What other highly regarded speakers have you compared it to, old or new?

Its shaky to make the case that any particular audio technology has improved categorically on the basis of thinking one particular speaker sounds way better than everything else without something to back it up.

One thing that has changed over the years is that there are more companies than ever out there catering to the high end market and charging increasingly more for sound that may be marginally better at best than the best available prior.

Also in order to make such a determination, I think listening to a variety of good quality recordings is required.

The most "advanced" sound I've heard in the last few years were mbl 111s driven from a restored but older RtR deck playing a state of the art modern orchestral master recording. The RtR, master tape source, and mbls (with suitable amps to drive them, nothing radically new there) are the things that together delivered the benchmark results I heard. This was indicated by the completely holographic soundstage with exceptional depth and imaging location of instruments within the full orchestra, and realistic detail and harmonics.

Categorically, the new technology here that probably made the biggest difference was the RtR master recording (which also sold for several hundred dollars alone), the mbl 111 omni design, and the right sized showroom that provided enough room to allow things to happen as they should. mbl 101s would probably have taken things to yet another level dynamically from what I hear.

Now, how much of the technology that made this exceptional is readily available to the average audio buff? Not much at those prices.

I believe that much of this could have been produced years ago with similar well matched and executed equipment.