Better home audio, Tip #13: Use high-quality source components.


Ralph Graves

Ralph Graves is one of Crutchfield's blog editors, and part of the company's social media team. He writes about home audio/video gear, specializing in Apple-related and wireless technologies. Ralph holds a master's degree in music composition, and his works have been released on various labels. He's served as product manager for an independent classical and world music label, produced several recordings, and worked extensively in public broadcasting. Since 1984 he's hosted a weekly classical music program on WTJU, and is also active as a blogger and podcaster.

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Crutchfield Hi-Fi 2.0

The best place to deal with any problem is at the source. While you can tweak your home audio system to optimize the sound it produces, the quality of the source signal can determine how successful your efforts will be.

Tip #13: Use high-quality source components.
Marantz TT=15S1 turntable No matter how good your amp and speakers are, if they're not receiving a richly detailed, high-quality signal then you're not going to get all the performance they're capable of. The only way to ensure that you're enjoying all the sound quality you paid for is to use playback equipment that can extract every last bit of information from your source, be it analog or digital.

High-quality source components typically offer sturdier construction, costlier precision-built parts, and larger power supplies to help bring out subtle nuances in your music that you may not have heard before. Most listeners experience deeper, better-defined bass, smoother highs with more detail, and a greater sense of space and realism.

Some of our favorite high-quality source components are Marantz's SA8003 SACD/CD player and TT-15S1 turntable.

This post is based on the article "15 Tips for Better Sound from your Home System" by the Crutchfield Writing Team.