What is the order of importance of (a pair or more) speakers, an amplification (pre-amplifier, amplifier, ...) and a source in terms of the impact on the sound of a whole playback system? By source we mean a cd player, a record player, etc. In other words, what is the system hierarchy? Which components matter most, and which matter least? The inspiration for this thread was provided by an article in the Stereophile (Jan. 2005): The article is based on a discussion between a speaker designer-engineer, a source designer-engineer and the author of the article. They debate the role of each component in a playback system …. Which components matter most, and which matter least.