I had been thinking about buying an upmarket CD player (while waiting for the noise on blu-ray vs hd-dvd to settle), then I was given a 30mb video ipod.
I copied on some CD's and used the lossless compression. I bought the monster cable and connected to my anthem avm20. I also have an anthem mca50 amp, psb speakers (old) and a brand new svs pb-12/plus sub. I am using rivercable balanced between amp and preamp and speaker cable to the fronts and sub.
I am not using any apple docking station and I have turned off any of the sound enhancements in the ipod.
I am getting old and have listened to my share of loud music and have no claim of golden ears. What I can say is the iPod was indecernable (or better???) than the CD and DVD-player, not to mention the flexibility of 500 songs at hand.
The CD is a 5 disk onkyo dx-c380 and the dvd a panasonic rp-91. We also have three different connections here, analogue for the iPod, digital optical for cd and digital coax for dvd. The analogue connection goes thru the regular connections on the avm-20, not the direct mode.
Anyway, this is in no way apples-to-apples or scientific.
All I can say is I can find no reason to go out an buy an expensive CD player. I guess I could take it into a store and do a ear-by-ear comparison, but I think I'd have to spend alot of money to get something better.
The downside is I wanted to buy something and now i have nothing I want
Maybe they'll come out with a new iPod for audiophiles with HUGE dual.... No Quad DAC's!!! drool... I guess I'd buy one