Source equipment – is it still the ultimate determinent of sound quality?

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The thread starts:  G'day all, increasingly it seems apparent to me that pretty well regardless of playback system quality the ultimate determinent of sound quality is the source (record etc). I have many records the majority of which are preloved/older records all of which are musically meritorious, but often sound 'ordinary'.

Am I correct in assuming that is just 'the way it is', and nothing much can be done to improve perceived/apparent sound quality. I've been told that the higher the playback system quality the better the recovered audio quality, however my own observations do not agree with this notion.

Indeed the same thing happens with some music CD's that I have, great music but all the sound quality of a cardboard box, if that makes sense! So is the 'source' the ultimate determinent of sound quality? Regards, Felix.

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