The chicken and egg question is the classic circular logic argument—which came first?
A close second is the importance of source vs. loudspeaker—which matters most?
The circular argument goes something like this: If you lose or distort music at the source, nothing at the output can fix it, versus, even the best source does not matter if the loudspeaker can't reproduce it. Both are right, each conclusion leads to dead ends.
Budget is what restricts us. If we were building a no holds barred system, then all bets would be off the table. Go for the best source, mids and speakers. When budget matters, you have to decide where to put your funds.
There are more bad loudspeakers than sources. A $30 CD player sounds better than a $30 loudspeaker.
Put your money where it will do the most good.
So yes, the argument that garbage in equals garbage out is correct—but so too is beauty in equals garbage out.
We've made our choice to spend more on the toughest challenge, the loudspeaker, now it's time to place good effort into the source.
Your homework assignment. Vinyl, disc, server, all three?