Re: Good source material and very good speakers or good headphones needed
Most headphones under £50 and most speaker systems under £500 cause far more alteration to the music than a high rate MP3 produced by a reasonable encoder.
Many mid range speaker systems have very good output. The problem tends to be crap acoustics: it doesn't matter if you spend £3000 on your speakers if you stick them in the corners of your living room - they're going to sound like crap and the price tag is more to do with pose value than acoustic fidelity.
At the other end of the spectrum there are some very good studio monitors from around £150/pair. When they get specified it isn't because the studio are trying to cut corners - it's because the people installing them know how to get a pair of speakers to sound right.