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it is hugely tempting to buy the major system components first and then to consider the "extras" as an afterthought – if there's any money left. What a mistake!

Time and again in a discussion we've heard people say, "I've been offered this amplifier (or whatever) for an incredible price – it's saving me £xxxx. I think I'll get this first then I'll look at mains supplies."

First of all, what makes him think that a change of amplifier – sometimes unheard but bought because it's a bargain (?) – is going to tackle whatever is unsatisfactory about the system?

Here's another thought: What are you actually listening to? In reality it's the mains itself – that's your source. The signal, from LP or CD, is only modulating what is the real power, what comes out of the wall.

We all talk freely about music systems but how many people really consider it as a system? – a complex set of components interacting electrically, mechanically and magnetically.
Change one item and the effect ripples throughout.

What about the room? Create sound in a room and the room becomes part of what you hear. Please don't make the mistake of thinking there's nothing you can do about the room because it's the family living room. Forget padded recording studios or walls covered in egg cartons.  There is a LOT you can do and we're glad to advise. Have you tried the effects of moving your listening chair?  Mmm?  Read under
Room Acoustics here.

Part of the problem is that magazines tend to review each item in isolation and without reference to a known standard. We believe strongly that this leads to "compartmentalised" thinking about the performance of individual boxes, losing sight of system integration.

Paying attention to equipment supports and mains supplies can make such a big difference to performance that upgrading major components becomes secondary. 

In fact the benefits stemming from so-called "accessories" can be so dramatic that you could buy the wrong component in trying to rectify a problem, because you had not tackled the underlying causes first. It's a sticking plaster solution but it's not treating the wound. Reading this section LeadingEdge might be the best step you've ever taken in improving your system.

In this section we lay out our experience for getting the best from your system, gathered over 20 + years and from hundreds of customers' systems.

Read what some of them have found in
What others say