It's never a clear and easy choice to figure out what next to upgrade to.
On the one hand, DACs and digital are the go to upgrade because it feels like it is digital technology that is changing almost daily: new formats, higher sample rates, better buffers, power supplies, etc.
On the other hand, for many manufacturers, the same level of improvements happen at about the same pace with everything else: speakers, amps, cartridges, preamps, cables.
Why is it we hear mostly about the digital improvements and rarely about that new planar ribbon driver?
Certainly it's not a matter of performance values. As I have written countless times, the biggest improvement anyone can make is to focus attention on loudspeakers. While we may not hear a slap in the face difference between sample rates, it's impossible that we would not hear the difference between a planar, dome, or cone midrange.
Perhaps the answer lies in the amount of trouble required to make change. Power amps are big and heavy. Replacing a loudspeaker is nearly a life changing event.
It occurs to me that when it comes to upgrading we often take the easy road.
Nothing wrong with that, but sometimes the tougher the road the greater the enjoyment at the end of the journey.