Put lousy sounding audio equipment in a great room and it will sound lousy. Put great stereo equipment in a lousy room and it wont sound great. There needs to be a balance of both. I’m lucky that I have a great room and great audio equipment from Rogue Audio, Luxman, T+A (THeory + Application), Well Tempered Labs and Dynavector. Things usually sound great over here!!
We all pay at least lip service to the importance of rooms and setup though I suspect in our heart of hearts we believe the components are really the key to sound quality.
It’s truly a chicken and egg sort of thing: crappy equipment in a great room isn’t going to sound amazing just like excellent equipment in a crappy room’s not going to set your hair on fire.
But like the age-old debate about whether sources are more important than loudspeakers, the truth behind setup and room importance vs. the contribution of the stereo equipment is always going to be a contentious one.
I have heard equipment I have little respect for sound more than amazing in a well set up room. In fact, if I had to summarize my years of experience, I’d have to say I’ve heard better high-end audio systems of medium quality equipment in great setups than the opposite.
I can’t tell you the number of great collections of equipment that have sounded dreadful. Yet, knowing that equipment can sound amazing leads me to conclude that in the end, all things considered, setup, and room is more important than the components playing in them.