Originally Posted by FMW
No, speakers are most important because it is they that generate the sound quality. It is they that have almost all of the distortion in the system. It is they that have a sound quality that is easily distinguishable from other speakers. The rest of the signal chain is fairly inconsequential.
I don't think "fairly inconsequential" is the appropriate descriptive, at least not the one I would use. But comparatively speaking, I understand the point. I'm sure many of us have heard both crappy signal source through great speakers and excellent signal source put through crappy speakers. The experiences are in many ways similar, but not the same. And while the law of diminishing returns in electronics holds true after a certain point, being at that certain point is not always guaranteed, nor I dare say, the same in everyone's system. But yes, in the final analysis, speakers and the room they operate in are certainly the greatest determinants of what we actually hear and appreciate ... or likewise, hear and critique ... within the limits of our own hearing profile, of course. The last is likely the most overlooked of all, especially as we age.
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice
+1. There are major differences in speakers, primarily because they are as much mechanical devices as they are electrical. The differences in electronic devices are of far less consequence. Both have a point of diminishing returns where additional money invested shows little, if any, improvement in performance, but that point with electronics is at a far lower price than with speakers.
[posting this here since I believe you don't respond to PMs]
Thanks again for your posts as regards the cancellation issues many of us may suffer from without knowing the proper way to correct it. I took your advice and pushed the sub back to the wall and brought the FR it was next to out as far as I could, nearly matching the FL. Couldn't reach the baffle difference from the wall you prescribed for 80Hz but did the best I could. After the usual trial and error experimentation post-Audyssey for room, space, layout issues EQ cannot fully correct, I settled on Full range for the towers and Double bass with the sub on. Remarkably my Bass is back in full swing and a slew of previous negatives like localized resonance, unruly concussiveness felt in the walls, especially in the FL corner ... and yet at other times, lost/indistinct Bass etc, have disappeared. But the speaker levels, on-sub level, distances, etc. are exactly the same. It appears my previous layout had both cancellation and reinforcement issues, frequency dependent.
FYI, I like using the low Bass from my towers due to timbre, speed differences with the sub. I know, just buy a better sub. I will later.