Is There an Audible Difference Between High End CD Transports and Modest/Cheap CD Players? - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 351 Old 10-24-2014, 04:39 AM
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Old thread, new comment....Just tested out my HTPC that has LG branded BD/DVD drives...Going through a Marantz MM9000 (5ch x 150wrms amp and using a quality soundcard setup, this thing sounds as good as any high end, high priced CD unit i have heard in the past...(with quality electronics hooked up behind it)
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Test recordings-Bill Meyers "images', Swing Out Sister 'Better To Travel' and Mark Isham 'Vapor Drawings' (tested in 2 channel and in surround stereo as selectable with sound card)
*mainly used with video sources but sometimes with the music..
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Quote:Originally Posted by FMW 

Quote:Originally Posted by grigorianvlad 

Not to make this thread even more convoluted than it already is, what about the difference between PC CD/DVD/BD drives? Are there better ones and worse ones?
Again , I am taking about an audible difference while listening to music . Thanks.


No difference.


There lots of differences between many of the various drives in PCs, but they don't relate to sound quality. They are all read digitally and the error rates for playback are generally very low and correctable.

Last edited by vcrpro3; 10-31-2014 at 03:24 AM. Reason: missing detail about soundcard, more detail about equipment...
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post #182 of 351 Old 10-28-2014, 01:09 AM
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Listen.

If you hear a difference, purchase the one that sounds better to you.

What gets me are the dueling viewpoints that either you're an idiot if you don't think so or you're a gullible moron if you do.
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post #183 of 351 Old 10-28-2014, 04:43 AM
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Isn't that pretty much the same viewpoint? Agreed just buy what makes you happy.

"I realize that somebody playing free music isn't as commercial as a hamburger stand. But is it because you can eat a hamburger and hold it in your hand and you can't do that with music? Is it too free to control?" - Don Van Vliet (aka Captain Beefheart) discussing commercial success in the music biz


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post #184 of 351 Old 10-28-2014, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by kucharsk View Post
Listen.

If you hear a difference, purchase the one that sounds better to you.

What gets me are the dueling viewpoints that either you're an idiot if you don't think so or you're a gullible moron if you do.
Nothing wrong with that except that it is more accurate to say that if you see a difference, then that will cause an audible difference because of hearing bias. If you don't care, then buy the one that looks and sounds better to you. If you do care, then do a bias controlled comparison.
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post #185 of 351 Old 10-28-2014, 08:15 AM
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I don't know if it was mentioned, but if you want a real good sound from any player-get an Oppo
93 or 105. no nonsense approach to real quality.
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post #186 of 351 Old 10-28-2014, 09:12 PM
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To add a slight variation to the original question: would a typical (say Sony) DVD player, which supports CD-playback but is not expressly designed as an audio component, be comparable in sound to a dedicated audio CD player? My 1986 Pioneer CD player finally died after lasting a heroic length of time, but I have a spare DVD player which could theoretically take its place. But if it makes any difference I don't mind spending a bit on a"real" CD player if it would yield noticeably better sound quality. Thanks...
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post #187 of 351 Old 10-28-2014, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Number_6 View Post
To add a slight variation to the original question: would a typical (say Sony) DVD player, which supports CD-playback but is not expressly designed as an audio component, be comparable in sound to a dedicated audio CD player? My 1986 Pioneer CD player finally died after lasting a heroic length of time, but I have a spare DVD player which could theoretically take its place. But if it makes any difference I don't mind spending a bit on a"real" CD player if it would yield noticeably better sound quality. Thanks...
I own a nice dedicated CD player from a well-known audiophile brand. A friend of mine gave me his old Sony DVD player when he upgraded to a Blu-Ray player. I thought for sure I'd be able to tell a difference in sound between my CD player and his Sony DVD player. So I set up a test where the two were level-matched and both playing a copy of the same CD at the same time. I could switch back and forth between the two players going into my preamp. I couldn't tell the two apart, at all.

That doesn't mean every player will sound the same to every person, but it is consistent with reports others have given when they do level-matched comparisons like that. So the odds are the Sony DVD player you mention will sound just like a "real" CD player, ie, indistinguishable.

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post #188 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 03:46 AM
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I have an Ayre C-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-105, and Sony SCD-XA5400ES connected to a Parasound JC-2 BP via analog. The three units sound a bit different, all good, but the Ayre seems to have an edge on making me imagine a jazz or chamber group or a soloist is in the room. It's become my go-to stereo source, with vinyl reserved as a special treat. I'm sure my judgement can be criticized as not based on unbiased listening tests; so be it.

I used a Sony 9000ES CD/SACD/DVD player connected to the digital inputs of a Proceed PAV/PDSD pair for years that I thought sounded very good.

db
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post #189 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 11:35 AM
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I'm sure my judgement can be criticized as not based on unbiased listening tests; so be it.
It's not helpful to anyone, is it?
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post #190 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 12:13 PM
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It's not helpful to anyone, is it?
I thought it might be, so I don't agree with your snarky comment. How many of us do you think do double-blind listening tests? Do you? Or do you just not post your observations?

Sharing observations on audio threads is hazardous, because there are so many waiting to issue a zinger. Sorry I got carried away and posted.

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post #191 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by spkr View Post
It's not helpful to anyone, is it?
It can be. It can explain to people that the motivation for choosing one player over another should be based on something other than sonics. That isn't helpful to you but it might be to others.
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post #192 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
I thought it might be, so I don't agree with your snarky comment.
You have the freedom to disagree, as do others.
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How many of us do you think do double-blind listening tests?
If you've been reading this forum, you would know. FYI, among the regular posters, there are some that have.
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Do you?
I have been through it.
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Or do you just not post your observations?
Not when it comes to sound quality of contemporary electronic audio gears.
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Sharing observations on audio threads is hazardous, because there are so many waiting to issue a zinger.
It can be hazardous to the poster's ego because he can be challenged by those who know better. It can also be hazardous to the readers because they can be fed bunch of useless info.
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Sorry I got carried away and posted.
Or you could've just deleted that post which would be more effective. Then I would've deleted my reply to that so that your post that I quoted won't show.
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post #193 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
It can be. It can explain to people that the motivation for choosing one player over another should be based on something other than sonics. That isn't helpful to you but it might be to others.
Ah! I didn't think about that. Sorry I got carried away and posted only on sonic perspective. It's audio forum so I just assumed...
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post #194 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
I have an Ayre C-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-105, and Sony SCD-XA5400ES connected to a Parasound JC-2 BP via analog. The three units sound a bit different, all good, but the Ayre seems to have an edge on making me imagine a jazz or chamber group or a soloist is in the room. It's become my go-to stereo source, with vinyl reserved as a special treat. I'm sure my judgement can be criticized as not based on unbiased listening tests; so be it.

I used a Sony 9000ES CD/SACD/DVD player connected to the digital inputs of a Proceed PAV/PDSD pair for years that I thought sounded very good.

db
I would venture a guess that most people who compare three units in such a way would think they sound different. The thing is, that implies that the three units actually do sound different, but in reality all it means is that the comparison process was likely flawed.

I could make two of the exact same player, and design one with a 5% higher output level, and it would sound different than the other.

I could take two of the exact same circuit designs, with measured performance within strict tolerances, and put them in strikingly different-looking chassis, and the two units would likely sound different to many listeners in casual sighted comparisons.

The way in which a comparison is done matters.
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post #195 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post
I would venture a guess that most people who compare three units in such a way would think they sound different. The thing is, that implies that the three units actually do sound different, but in reality all it means is that the comparison process was likely flawed.

I could make two of the exact same player, and design one with a 5% higher output level, and it would sound different than the other.

I could take two of the exact same circuit designs, with measured performance within strict tolerances, and put them in strikingly different-looking chassis, and the two units would likely sound different to many listeners in casual sighted comparisons.

The way in which a comparison is done matters.
Not for some audiophiles whose hearing is so damn good they don't need level matching or blind comparisons!

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post #196 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post
I would venture a guess that most people who compare three units in such a way would think they sound different. The thing is, that implies that the three units actually do sound different, but in reality all it means is that the comparison process was likely flawed.

I could make two of the exact same player, and design one with a 5% higher output level, and it would sound different than the other.

I could take two of the exact same circuit designs, with measured performance within strict tolerances, and put them in strikingly different-looking chassis, and the two units would likely sound different to many listeners in casual sighted comparisons.

The way in which a comparison is done matters.
So I guess you need to have the comparison done by someone with a really good reference setup? Why don't professional reviewers come to the same conclusion about comparability of CD units, then - is it just professional suicide to point out that it's a waste of money spending more on high end CD players?
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post #197 of 351 Old 10-30-2014, 03:35 PM
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Why don't professional reviewers come to the same conclusion about comparability of CD units, then - is it just professional suicide to point out that it's a waste of money spending more on high end CD players?
Yup. Their income source is based on deception. I even asked one of them 3 times about the issues (as he stated) of having higher measured noise level of some (cheaper) consumer electronics but he won't answer.
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post #198 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 05:33 AM
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So I guess you need to have the comparison done by someone with a really good reference setup? Why don't professional reviewers come to the same conclusion about comparability of CD units, then - is it just professional suicide to point out that it's a waste of money spending more on high end CD players?
Audio reviewers need a constant supply of products to review. If they pan a product, the supply will terminate. Professional reviews are absolutely worthless.
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post #199 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 12:12 PM
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I see I stepped in a rat's nest of believers whose tenet is that there is no difference in the sound produced by disc players, and who discredit anyone who claims the hear such a difference. I value the observations of others, and don't automatically attribute them to being based on the appearance rather the sonics of an item, nor do I assume they are based on careful multivariate experimentation.

I was trained in experimental design and statistical analysis, and my early research was in binaural signal detection, some of which was published in refereed journals. I am well aware of confounding variables. I did not purport to be reporting results of experimentation, just casual observations. I was right about one thing, though, that my observations would be criticized as being biased.

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post #200 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 01:27 PM
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I see I stepped in a rat's nest of believers whose tenet is that there is no difference in the sound produced by disc players, and who discredit anyone who claims the hear such a difference. I value the observations of others, and don't automatically attribute them to being based on the appearance rather the sonics of an item, nor do I assume they are based on careful multivariate experimentation.

I was trained in experimental design and statistical analysis, and my early research was in binaural signal detection, some of which was published in refereed journals. I am well aware of confounding variables. I did not purport to be reporting results of experimentation, just casual observations. I was right about one thing, though, that my observations would be criticized as being biased.

db

Just to clarify, we explain that audible differences between DAC's are driven by hearing bias rather than anything in the DAC's themselves because we have done bias controlled comparisons. When bias is eliminated from the comparisons of DAC's, the audible differences always disappear. So it is not really appropriate to call us believers. We we aren't providing you with beliefs. We are providing you with test results. Why is it so difficult for believers to accept the reality of hearing bias?
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post #201 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by dbphd View Post
I see I stepped in a rat's nest of believers whose tenet is that there is no difference in the sound produced by disc players, and who discredit anyone who claims the hear such a difference. I value the observations of others, and don't automatically attribute them to being based on the appearance rather the sonics of an item, nor do I assume they are based on careful multivariate experimentation.
False statements, all. There may be disc players out there with audible differences (though I'm not aware of any, the possibility of their existence remains). If you were to claim to hear a difference in a well-conducted comparison, I'd be all ears, so to speak. But when you report results from the same tired, sighted, non-level-matched, non quick-switched comparison, well, I don't value them much at all. And, yes, unless you are blind and unaware of the player being used, I do attribute part of your observations to appearance, because I'm pretty sure you're a human and subject to human limitations. Correct me if I'm wrong there.

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I was trained in experimental design and statistical analysis, and my early research was in binaural signal detection, some of which was published in refereed journals. I am well aware of confounding variables. I did not purport to be reporting results of experimentation, just casual observations. I was right about one thing, though, that my observations would be criticized as being biased.

db
I was trained in designing and measuring the performance of DAC-based audio products. An article in EE times references some of my work. Your observations were criticized as being biased for one and only one reason: they are biased. It's that simple.
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post #202 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 07:18 PM
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I was trained in designing and measuring the performance of DAC-based audio products. An article in EE times references some of my work.
I think of DAC as a process that converts a digital representation to an analog representation. But I assume your experiments included the entire analog chain from XLR and RCA outputs of disc players into a variety of preamps, amps, and speakers, and that double-blind listening was performed in a variety of acoustic environments. If not, how could you and your cohort make such generalized claims and condemn any of doubt those claims. Is my characterization of your experimental process inaccurate?

db
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post #203 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 07:39 PM
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I think of DAC as a process that converts a digital representation to an analog representation. But I assume your experiments included the entire analog chain from XLR and RCA outputs of disc players into a variety of preamps, amps, and speakers, and that double-blind listening was performed in a variety of acoustic environments. If not, how could you and your cohort make such generalized claims and condemn any of doubt those claims. Is my characterization of your experimental process inaccurate?

db
Those posters have written very good explanations on "why" and yet you continue to argue them. What are you trying to argue for?
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post #204 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 08:06 PM
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Why is it so difficult for believers to accept the reality of hearing bias?
This is the question I have no satisfactory answer for. To my mind, acknowledging this (and much else) doesn't preclude enjoying the hobby. But I guess that's just to my mind.

It really is a religion, isn't it?
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post #205 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 08:33 PM
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I thought it might be, so I don't agree with your snarky comment. How many of us do you think do double-blind listening tests? Do you? Or do you just not post your observations?

Sharing observations on audio threads is hazardous, because there are so many waiting to issue a zinger. Sorry I got carried away and posted.

db
Yep. Do you want to read my observation of a 5 gal bucket of water with an inserted copper pipe that bends in water? How useful is that?
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post #206 of 351 Old 10-31-2014, 10:25 PM
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This is the question I have no satisfactory answer for. To my mind, acknowledging this (and much else) doesn't preclude enjoying the hobby. But I guess that's just to my mind.

It really is a religion, isn't it?
Yes, trying to get as much objective information and not so much subjective information still doesn't get in the way of enjoying the gear. Now, whether the hobby is the enjoyment of music, movies etc or rather the consuming of the gear.....

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post #207 of 351 Old 11-02-2014, 06:05 AM
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It really is a religion, isn't it?
Yes, I think so and it is more than that in my view. Those members of the religion feel insulted when somebody tells them that their hearing is imperfect and normal like everybody else's hearing. They read the rantings of magazine reviewers who they believe have golden ears. Then they listen to the stuff themselves and hear the same things. That means they have golden ears as well and can't survive happily without the high end equipment. When someone points out why they hear the same things as the self proclaimed golden ears, they are insulted and possibly embarrassed.

I know I was embarrassed when I discovered the reality of hearing bias myself. In the end, I was happy to be cured of my audiophilia but selling all that high end stuff and replacing it with more sensible stuff was a painful experience. It was an ego shocker. I had enough knowledge and experience not to defend it so I gritted my teeth and fixed it.

I think high end audio will die in the end because it has been unable to justify itself in some manner other than performance. The industry needs to get where the other luxury products have gone. Buying something because it is beautiful or impressive or rare is perfectly fine. That's what luxury products are all about. I think they need to get past the performance aspect and sell the luxury to prevent an embarrassment for themselves over the long haul..
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post #208 of 351 Old 11-02-2014, 06:11 AM
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Yes, trying to get as much objective information and not so much subjective information still doesn't get in the way of enjoying the gear. Now, whether the hobby is the enjoyment of music, movies etc or rather the consuming of the gear.....
It is curious that the high end crowd thinks that there is no complete enjoyment of A/V media without near perfection of the reproduction of it. Since I lost my audiophilia, I've always believed that the enjoyment of A/V media is greater when you aren't obsessed with the reproduction. "Critical listening," as the high end defines it isn't nearly as nice as relaxing and tapping ones toes. Who wants listening to music to be work? I don't. I'm happy to leave the work to the musicians.
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post #209 of 351 Old 11-02-2014, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by FMW View Post
Yes, I think so and it is more than that in my view. Those members of the religion feel insulted when somebody tells them that their hearing is imperfect and normal like everybody else's hearing. They read the rantings of magazine reviewers who they believe have golden ears. Then they listen to the stuff themselves and hear the same things. That means they have golden ears as well and can't survive happily without the high end equipment. When someone points out why they hear the same things as the self proclaimed golden ears, they are insulted and possibly embarrassed.
Precisely.
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I know I was embarrassed when I discovered the reality of hearing bias myself.
That describes my past experience as well.
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In the end, I was happy to be cured of my audiophilia
Did you mean "audiophoolia"? Because the contemporary audiophiles aren't like the traditional audiophiles so there ought to be a separate definition.
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but selling all that high end stuff and replacing it with more sensible stuff was a painful experience. It was an ego shocker. I had enough knowledge and experience not to defend it so I gritted my teeth and fixed it.
Again, that describes my past experience as well.
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I think high end audio will die in the end because it has been unable to justify itself in some manner other than performance.
Not as long as some salesman from high (price) end AV store keeps spreading deceptions about it across the web. Or he is doing it because it's dying. Hmm...
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post #210 of 351 Old 11-02-2014, 12:36 PM
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I can say without hesitation that my new (to me) Esoteric K-03 sounds far better than either my former Sony 5400 ES or my current Oppo 105. It's more detailed, less congested, and has less "digititis" than either unit, and the differences are not subtle. And I'm not just thinking it sounds better simply because it costs about 10x more than either unit! (I bought a gently used one for about half-price.) The differences are even more obvious via my headphone rig.

Those of you who don't/can't/won't perceive differences don't need to tell me what an "audiofool" I am. If they all sound the same to you, then that's great for you. By the way, I do draw the line at audible differences between a.c. cables, fuses, and equipment racks/support feet.
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DALI Epicon 2 front speakers; DALI Epicon Vokal center speaker; Definitive Technology ProMonitor 1000 surrounds; SVS SB 13 Ultra subwoofer; Marantz AV 8801 pre/pro; Parasound Halo A51 power amp; Esoteric K-03 SACD player; Oppo BDP 105 SACD/Blu-ray player; Sennheiser HD 800 headphones; Woo Audio WA6 headphone amp.
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