I can appreciate some aspect of the POV about the "newness" of something lending to an initial analysis of "betterness", but not fully. There are so many other sensory things we can distinguish (the taste of a steak in different restaurants, varietals of wine, the ride and handling of different cars, the brightness or sharpness of an image etc.) Why when it comes to audio electronics is out ability to sense these differences diminished?
We talk about the audible differences created by moving your speakers a few inches one way or the other, or changing toe-in can (and it's true), or adding even modest room treatments where ever possible. Why are processors and amps, with all there varieties of design and circuitry, processing algorithms, component choices, etc. suddenly normalized in some discussions?
And things change over time, sometimes for the worse, but often for the better. So what was available from a design and build perspective years ago is not the same today, so its not unreasonable to see newer quality components bring benefits older tech cannot.
As Tony, there's plenty I have purchased that I've sold off given there was not a sonic improvement. We all have, that's why we waste our time here! I had a Classé SSP-800 and a CP-800, and both are gone - the Integra 80.3 was better for HT for me, and the 8801 much better than the 80.3. I preferred an older M2Tech Young DAC over the newer CP-800 (nor did I need all the flexibility the Classé provided). I owned W4S amps, and while great in many ways, they didn't work well for me and I found the Mcintosh 8207 better. Better still I think will be the MC303 I just installed tonight for the LCR (no critical listening or recalibration, but I can already hear the difference in low and mid range performance even over the excellent 8207 with my 802's) Just like I can feel the difference between how a BMW and Jag accelerate (I like supercharged better than turbo, though I own the wrong car for that assessment...)
I ain't bitchin', and I respect various POVs, but I've always found this take the most amps and processors (excluding the really cheap stuff of course) sound basically the same a curious position.