Perhaps my single most asked question is what piece of equipment makes the most difference.
My quick answer has always been the loudspeakers. Loudspeakers are the most flawed element in the chain and thus the most variable of the bunch.
In one sense, speakers are like clothing. You choose them because they best fit your taste.
But there’s a many-edged sword in this choice. Highly resolving speakers display more flaws while speakers that mask differences are gentler.
Of course, we understand system chains rely upon a synergistic relationship: one bad apple spoils the bunch. That said, without both great electronics and a highly resolving loudspeaker, there’s no hope for ever reaching the lofty heights so many of us dream of.
As in most things in this life, it’s a balancing act.