Okay, I think that I can say that in 90% (a lot of) cases, the cheaper an audio tool is, the worser the quality will be, thus, the more pricier a product is, in general it will be better. Again, in most cases!
Another important aspect is that even if you have a superb and expensive setup, however, only one single transition element is cheap, your whole setup will sound cheap. So basically whenever you have a lower quality equipment element in your “chain”, the whole chain will sound like “this lower quality equipment element”. A good example would be: a cheap cable, even if you use UAD interfaced with Barefoot speakers. A poor pre-amp and you use an U87. Or great mic, pre-amp, interface, but average speakers.
Of course, you can’t buy everything at once, if you don’t have extra cash, but it’s still good to know that the more you focus on “cheap audio equipment”, the cheaper you will probably sound at the end of the day.
What I would always recommend is focusing on interface, cables, headphones & speakers. Everything else has second place for me, even acoustics nowadays. Maybe someone will argue, I know how important acoustics are, I build custom treatment myself incl. measuring the room, but it’s far better to know the room than investing $2-3k in acoustics and still don’t know how to operate your studio.
As a composer, there is actually only ONE question to answer yourself to know where you need to invest in more: What will IMPROVE my music?
After you have answered that one, you know where your next money will go