Originally Posted by Nuthed
I often believe that you know the truth but just like to argue and get some perverse little thrill out of raising the ire of more intelligent people as if you're compensating for some deficit in your life. You have my condolences.
Join the club, I agree completely. Others who post on these fora that are strictly objective agree that there can be noticable differences between CD players sound-wise. People, BTW, with backgrounds in the field... Whether the difference is significant enough to warrant the price/performance ratios is another question (one left up to the individual purchaser).
As far as the dCS stack goes, it doesn't bother me if they alter things in their proprietary algorithm. I listen to music to enjoy it, so if it sounds more pleasing to me and I enjoy it more, that works for me!
You can never reproduce the original event, and often you wouldn't want to (I've been in recording studios and TV studios when bands are playing, and it doesn't sound good at all). Also, with a concert, you have to ask, "well, what seat would I be sitting in and how do I get my CD player to reproduce that position in the audience (most people don't sit on stage with the band like a mic does!)?" In order to get near the actual experience of being at that real event in a studio you have to make the music sound worse than the mastered copy we get on a CD (or other format) in one way or another. In order to get near the sound of an actual concert event you have to alter the signal to give you a placement in the audience somewhere and realistically reproduce the concert space acoustically (impossible in a small room with acoustic coupling). My Meridian 861 has ambisonics, and that is pretty cool, it allows me to pick a row in the orchestra section that I would be sitting in and reproduces the acoustic effect of being in that row, but that is still just a shadow of being at the real venue. The best we can really hope for is a shadow of the real thing, and in some cases the shadow is better.
I also don't worry about keeping the "mastering" as authentic sounding as possible either. After all, the mastering engineers are just people too, with tastes of their own concerning how they like to hear things... I would also need to have their exact mastering space, mastering equipment (including their speakers), and have it all set up in the same way the mastering engineer had it set up to hear what he heard when making the decisions on how to master it. That is not possible either, since I have my own dedicated space and can't realistically change it around every single time I switch a CD or album.