What's improved the most?

A simple question that has often been the subject of debate: if we were to take the various components that contribute to music reproduction, the actual recording, then the turntable/CD player, cartridge, cabling, amplifier, and finally the speakers, then which of these components have improved the most over, say, the last forty years?
Or, another way of putting it: suppose we could assemble a 'super-system' from each of the last four decades, what would the difference be?
To be frivolous, I would say things are potentially more expensive than ever before, but if we eliminate the systems for the uber-rich, what would the results be?
Magnat Superflow speaker cable will never be beat, made in the seventies. Same goes for silver Litz ICs.
Speakers get my vote, driver materials and internal bracing and overall cabinet design are the largest gains in audio. The actual music delivery is greater than anything linked in production chain given the addition of digital media from the cd to wireless streaming and servers, the latter not even imagined by most just a couple decades ago.
I think it all has, digital of course has come the longest way because streaming options didn't exist 40 years ago. I didn't even have a PC until 20 years ago. Removing digital, I would say quality and availability have improved the most.

Quality has improved dramatically, across all gear, in all price segments despite the fact that manufacturing methods have become more complex with more options for the engineer/designer. When I was young, it was not a no-brainer that your amp or your turntable would work very long, no matter how much you paid for it. Even good manufacturers couldn't rely on the quality control of the components they used. The iffy nature of it made me more attached to established stores/firms that backed their gear. It was likely that my gear would need service and schlepping or shipping it around was not the easy FedEx affair it is today. Few manufacturers warranted anything. Your town may or may not have had an electronic repair guy who was sober. I once dropped off an amp to be repaired and when I got it back, 6 weeks and numerous phone calls later, not only was it still not working right, it also smelled funny. When I cracked the case I found a cigarette butt in it. Back then, used gear was a real gamble. Part quality and quality control has improved enormously since the 70s.

The other dramatic improvement I've experienced is availability. A greater variety of gear and music and community is accessible to me now than ever before and it is near instant. I can download albums in minutes that I could never even find 20 years ago. Even with vinyl, the change is crazy. I can find an album I could never find when I was young and it's here in days, or overnight if I want! This is just fantastic.

And community! In the towns I grew up in, I was ALONE in loving audio gear. I had NO ONE to talk to who cared about it. As a little kid and even as a young adult, I was limited in range, so I got pretty lonely in this hobby. Now you can commune online. This is the dawn of a great age. I do not take this for granted.
In my opinion, the greatest improvements have been the design and quality of specific components such as resistors, capacitors, inductors, transistors (especially transistors), cabling, speaker driver technology and speaker cabinetry design along with better electrostatic design. I think the amps and pre-amps back in the day were actually very good. But, replace the poorer quality resistors, capacitors, coils transistors and possibly tubes and the amps and pre-amps would do very well today. The speaker driver technology and actual speaker design is much better today. The recording technology and methods in the 50's and 60's for especially classic Jazz is night and day better than today, in my opinion. except for a few specific recording companies. The transistors of old really couldn't handle the power requirements, frequency ranges and bandwith requirements that the much more linear transistors of today can handle. I can't tell you how many older amps I have upgraded with much newer more linear pre-driver and driver transistors, rebiased them and put better heatsinking on them and wow!