Setting and updating of system components
There are lots of ways to do this, too: Tubes vs transistors marks the first, and most obvious, division. Be advised, however, that there are many very good tube amps available nowadays, of all sorts of different kinds, and that many listeners find the sound of a good tube amp irresistable.One often hears a lot of talk about watts: Perhaps one of the things that most surprises people when they start to encounter high-end gear is that the amplifiers aren't 5000 watt monoliths.One of my very favorite high-end amps, for example, is the Pass Aleph 3, a tiny little box that produces 30 watts per channel.
Typically, it provides some amplification (usually current amplification), so the signal will be strong enough to drive the power amplifier (and the cables on the way).This is consistent with the Audiophile Ideal: Tone controls provide one with only the grossest ability to shape the sound; if one is interested in accurate reproduction, it is not a good idea gratuitously to alter the overall frequency response of the system.More importantly, tone controls insert otherwise unnecessary components into the signal path: This tends to result in the introduction of colorations, even when the controls are set to 'flat'.A stereo system consists of a number of components.I'll try to say what these are here, and make a few general comments about how high-end versions of such components differ from the typical consumer models. Their job is to convert the electrical signal coming from the amplifier into acoustic energy.