Originally Posted by FMW
The question was "are expensive CD players worth it." Our response was it depends on the motivation. If the motivation is better sonics then, no, they aren't worth it.
I've been where you are. I'm criticizing it. You haven't been where I am and yet you are criticizing it. Go do some bias controlled tests and then you can comment with experience instead of just opinion. What causes the fear of these tests?
In a brief summary I will say, yes, but it comes down to your complete system and no point putting expensive players in a cheap-ish setup.
I agree there is a cut off point that offends our principles of paying over, now for some that seems to be $350 or $500, for me that figure is closer to $2k to $2.7k and my bias would make it pointless listening to more expensive machines.
I do not think it is one thing that makes it more enjoyable for me to listen to one CD player over another, but consider those who listen to amps; it is over a period of time they feel more relaxed with a particular product over another.
Just look at how many love McIntosh amps and suggest replacing Rotel/etc for them in systems.
Now before anyone says there is much more going on in an amp, there is a lot going on with CD players as explained earlier, many times.
I still stand with saying the sceptics are on one side of the fence, and the believers on the other side of the same one.
Regarding blind testing, like quite a few believers we believe that no switch box should be involved and if doing the test it should at least involve excellent products through the chain, furthermore the music should always be played again from the beginning.
To give an idea that differences can exist I am including an URL of a blind ABX interconnect cabling test that meets the criteria; good equipment, no switch/comparator box,music always played from beginning each time.
Now cables are even more of a sore subject than CD players, and lets be honest has far less parts to make it up.
Of interest, the believers managed 100% correct identification of the cables, the sceptics did not.
A further challenge was that comparing the music had to be done from memory due to the manual changing of interconnects.
To be a bit sneaky they also included a test where the cable was never changed, the believer was the only one not to choose as he felt that he had too much difficulty telling them apart.http://www.avreview.co.uk/news/article/mps/uan/1863
Anyway I will be posting a few more topics not to argue any points but to:
1.clarify the technology andthe potential impact using AES papers and an IEEE presentation.
2. A frank discussion between some of the leading engineers from different companies, including someone's favourite Alesis representative
3. Comparing a moderate cheap CD thats recommended by some audiophile sceptics to more expensive ones, specifically whats different, and what I want from a CD player that you just cannot get from cheaper ones.
The future posts do not need anyone responding on as they do not discuss in anyway blind ABX format testing, but they are highly relevant to the question:
"Are more expensive players worth it?".
Hopefully they will provide information that at least some will find useful.