analogue vs digital components, what upgrades do you consider the most worthy of your money?
have been lucky enough to try out lots of different components in my hi-fi for the past month (speakers, dacs, amps, cd players and a network streamers). I have honestly come to the conclusion that upgrading a digital component (ie. cd player, streamer or dac) does not yield the same level of satisfaction as an analogue component (such as amp or speakers).
I presume everyone here will agree that speakers make the most difference to any setup. The next in my opinion is an amplifier (I could tell instantly between my Cayin and CA 340a for example). The next would be a turntable.
I was much less convinced that once you add a decent dac to your setup like the dacmagic that it is worth spending a little bit extra cash to go better (like the HRT MS 2+). Its only when you go significantly more do you hear a big enough difference to remember for a long time that you have made a worthwhile difference. I for one thought that adding the dacmagic to my denon 720ae led to a sideways change rather than an upgrade/downgrade. The sound signature just became slightly brighter but I honestly don't think I could demonstrate the difference to anyone who does not know my setup in and out.
What I am trying to say is that changing an analogue component leads to a change noticeable enough for most people, something like "Wow what have you changed in your setup". While changing a digital source leads to a more subtle upgrade/downgrade.