There are two different ways at looking at an audiophile system which is the Linn or “European” outlook or more of the JBL “West Coast” outlook. The Linn model is self-serving for a company that has been selling turntables for decades including, specifically their Linn LP-12 turntable which costs as much as $30,000 today in the KLIMAX version. The Linn concept states that your system is only as good as your front-end, source components and that somehow having small, accurate and polite speakers is somehow better.
The JBL or “West Coast” model for audiophile system design is based around investing a much larger part of your money into full-range loudspeakers that have more sonic output and specifically more bass despite not always having a subwoofer in the system – not that this is any kind of rule.
Personally, the concept of having more money invested in your audiophile speakers is the fastest way to get the most sound for your money.
In the end, the audiophile journey is more and more about finding places (small and large) to improve your sound. The biggest place to improve is room acoustics. Nothing will make your system sound better than treating the first order reflections and bass issues in your listening room. Upgrading your all of the components in your system until they are very well matched speaks more to the Linn model but our argument is that this strategy can be done over time and backwards per se – meaning that once you have great speakers that you can make the rest of your system pretty special from there.
Time to get Speakerd!