You have to look at it from an economics perspective- which component has the greater variability sound - to determine which component upgrade will yield the best improvement/$ spent. Correspondingly the components with more variability are also cheaper to realize differences
From that perspective you should upgrade components in the following order.
1. Room treatments - an untreated room is always the weakest link, and should the the first place to spend your $$
2. Better Speakers
3. Room correction software (most receivers do a good job)
4. Add a subwoofer - getting 1 sub is a huge step up, getting 2 subs will help even out the bass response)
5. Speaker isolation/stands
6. Better Pre Amp/receiver - the pre amp section has more impact on sound than amps
7. Better Amps - in order - Tube amps, Class A, class A/B. Class D. Once you get to class A/B differences start becoming minimal
8. Better interconnects (RCA) - line level cables between preamps/receiver and amp if you have an external amp. Anything beyond Blue Jeans cables is diminishing returns
9. Speaker cables - 12 gauge is pretty good, anything beyond Blue Jeans cable is diminishing returns
10. Power cables, snake oil, rain dances etc.
Notice the emphasis above is on parts that either move, vibrate, or reflect sound.
It cracks me up when I hear audiophiles who talk about “breaking in” speaker cables and how that somehow improves the sound.
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk