Which components make the biggest difference in sound quality?

Ignoring the room it’s in, which can have a huge impact on system sound, without question the speakers are the most variable component in any audio system. If there’s a turntable in the system the cartridge would have as much impact on system sound as the speaker. Why these two components? They’re both “transducers,” components that change one form of energy into another.

Speakers convert electrical energy into mechanical motion and cartridges change mechanical motion into electrical energy. In doing so, they impart colorations during the process. We can correctly assume that there is no perfect speaker or phono cartridge. Each is flawed in one or more ways, to a greater or lesser degree. That’s why they all sound somewhat different.

Over the last 10 to 15 years, speakers in particular have improved substantially. Computer-aided design, laser interferometry, finite element analysis, and other technologies have dramatically enhanced the design process. Still, every element used in their construction, along with design choices, color their output to some degree, so they all still sound different—sometimes dramatically so. Parts as small as a voice coil former or the glue chosen to connect that voice coil to the diaphragm can make a difference in sound.

We carefully audition and choose the products we sell. If you stop in, we can let you hear why.