"After all, its not like the amp, wires, or source actually make a big difference, right? I figured as long as I have good speakers, that was all that really mattered."
Yes, that is what I absolutely believed 20 years ago. In fact, I hung on to that belief for at least 10 solid years. Then I upgraded my Hafler amp to a Bryston 3B-ST - OMG! The amp DOES make a difference....soon after that I went from the $29.95 Tara Labs Interconnects to Kimber Cables Silver Streaks. OMG! Cables DO make a difference
So, for the past 10 years, I have been thoughtfully and carefully assembling equipment that I think sound great to me! I even became a reviewer for www.positive-feedback.com primarily to get exposed to all the different possibilities.
Trust us all here: The only way you are not going to go down that same road is if you never visit this, or any other audio site, again. And never, ever pick up and read a print mag either...
If you do, this is what WILL happen, someday, someone, will either write or talk to you about the difference product X has made in their set up, which may even have a pair of 801s in it. Even though you have been able to ignore the power of suggestion in the past, just this one time you will try another product/component and it WILL make your set up sound better. Once you cross the bridge to where you know, understand and believe that "everything" makes a difference there is no turning back.
So, if you don't want to go the way of everyone else on this site, you better leave now and just enjoy you set up as is...forget about us - it will save you thousands of dollars in the end!
On the other hand, if you do continue to visit this site, please let us know when that "change" in attitude happens for you. Then we can all line up to say, "told you so!"
It sure has been fun for me over the last 20 years, I am sure it will be for you too..
Enjoy the journey, John