Poll: Most impactful component

Given all the technological advances over the years, audiophiles have very different perspectives on equipment.

This likely reopens an age old debate, but which component has the most potential to improve a stereo system? Or can it?

If you could upgrade one component to take your system to the next level which one would get the investment? Speakers? DAC? Pre? Source?

Or is this the holy grail that no one can achieve?




My ears are only 51 years old but I can only hear to 13k. My 35yo wife can’t stand the super tweeters I added to our 2 way Altec horn system because she can hear 19k. I have a toggle switch that takes the tweeters out of the system when she listens with me. It’s sucks to have tweeters that you can’t hear. They do seem to add air though. Now I wear earplugs while mowing and riding my Harley to preserve what I have….

Really great discussion and diversity in views. Sadly this really adds to my confusion. I can't decide! I'm fairly new to the hobby. All this information is great.

This hobby is very personal. Then why do we rely on equipment reviews and base our buying decisions on other's opinions? Every system is different. It must take obsessive iterations in YOUR room and YOUR system to answer this question. That's the lesson I've learned so far. Thanks.

I think it’s fair to say most people consider speakers to be the single most important link in a system, I won’t disagree with that assessment.  Over the past year or two I have upgraded nearly every component in my system and the one that made the single biggest improvement excluding speakers was the phono cartridge.  Obviously this only applies to people who play vinyl.