A POINT OF VIEW: Do power amps make a significant difference?

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Having now tried several large and expensive solid state power amps, as well as a pair of valve monoblocks, I'm not sure I can say any of them are decisively better than my staple power amp, the Quad 909. Yes, they are all superior in some ways, but not in others. I'd go as far as to say the 909 is the best overall performer, even though it can't match the others in specific areas.

The conclusion I take from this is that power amps are not an overly important part of a system. It seems to me that speakers and preamp, in that order, are the essential components of a digitally based system.

What are your views on this?

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