What does what?

I read with interest on a previous post about how 3 different types of speakers sounded completely different. Undoubtly true but led me back thinking to what does what in your system. Quite complicated I would have thought especially with all those boxes,cables,power cords etc . I know this posting may make me sound like a dafty as we say here in Scotland but I'll continue. I would have thought the source component(CD player etc.) would have given the overall sound and that amplification/speakers would only reveal what is there. Only reality doesn't quite seem to back this up. A while back a friend brought round a Linn CD player to try in my system-it didn't sound too different from my DVD/anti-jitter/DAC set-up-we played around with all different combo's until we got completely confused-ok not a good idea. But to me the differences weren't anywhere near as dramatic as I would have thought. Also recently I bought new speakers-well impressed with soundstage and detail-I thought my system still lacked bass. I tried switching my pre-amp off the direct setting and edged up the bass and voila!Big improvement with no drawbacks-this didn't work when I tried it with my previous speakers. So does this mean that my system wasn't quite matched before? How much of a system is synergy? I would guess this type of confusion leads many of us to throw money in the wrong directions when upgrading. What does everybody think? How can you be sure what should be your next move? Instinct? Pricing of components? Ben
Let me clarify -- the main system components I was referring to in my earlier post are the preamp and amp. I do not believe that amplifier manufacturers are equally good at making CD players or tuners. Also by implication I favor integrated amps and one box CD players, up to a point, over separate components. They are a much better value and usually out perform similar priced separates. Sorry if I was unclear.
Back to the crazy felt dots mentioned above. I just figured out that two exposed screwheads on the woofer brackets (on the side across from the tweeter) are the culprits that have been giving me a tizzy sound at higher volumes. The tweeter screwheads are recessed, as they should be, but the woofer screws that are two inches from the dome tweeter are not. Anyway the HF now sounds much smoother at higher volumes. I wonder how the manufacturer could have overlooked something so simple and annoying? This has been my only disatisfaction with the speakers given their price.
Onhyw61-interesting comments. I still think that a large percentage of purchases are done on reviews etc. and also good prices (2nd hand)on reputable equipment-I'm not totally convinced that "blind" buying of good seperates at say 3x cost of carefully auditioned and matched equipment will neccessary mean a bad result but yes it's easy to make mistakes and would guess this is quite common. I have a pretty "messy" system in terms of no. of boxes (7!) but it gives a great performance against simplier systems. Ben
Listen to this one. My dealer just installed a customer's HT. This customer bought everthing from reviews. The amps were 5 Krell 350fpbmcs and the mains were Aerial 7b. 7b??? Wow. I asked why didn't the customer get the 10Ts? That's when he told me that he bought EVERYTHING based on reviews, and didn't care about his suggestions! Amazing!