I'm telling ya... if this audiophile mods company made an $1k version of this with "tracking force adjustments", people would but it.
I have a few major issues with the stereotypical (no pun intended) audiophile:
-They appear to know nothing about even the most basic principals of sound and electricity.
-Everything is subjective! Reviewers rarely ever make the connection between what they hear and the characteristics of the equipment. The added distortion of an amp is billed as "warmth" "musicality" and "tone" rather that what it is. People spend $$$ on [tube] amplifiers with distortion figures magnitudes higher than even the cheapest solid state equipment, and are scammed into believing that tube amplifiers are scientifically superior to solid state. Folks, I have nothing against tube amps (hey, I'm a guitarist, I have a healthy respect for them), vinyl (I own close to 200 LPs) and ridiculously expensive dipole speakers, but PLEASE, for the love of doughnuts, don't market that stuff as scientifically superior, when it really isn't.
-Audiophile equipment is REDICULIOUSLY expensive!!!!! Why the heck can't somebody make simple, good sounding equipment for SANE prices? Why do passive pre-amps cost $1K? Why do modest, fully manual turntables START in the $300 range?
-And most of all... why is most audiophile equipment as fully analog as possible? When will we ever see digital pre-amps, digital crossover filters, etc.....
Most audiophiles aren't interested in sonic accuracy, but rather, whatever unique distortions they find to be more "musical."
I'm here to tell you, there's a huge rift between the "pro" studio world and the "audiophile" world.
In the "pro" world, people pay honest prices for gear. Yes, pro equipment can get pretty dang expensive, but it's usually worth it. In the studio, people use monitors, which are almost ALWAYS dynamic speakers. They also use solid state amplifiers, and most studios are completely digital. Why? Because digital is better, more accurate and easier to work with. Yes, some people still roll tape, but it's usually because they want the added analog warmth, or a specific sound.
In the audiophile world, many people listen with tube amps, which drive speakers with rolled off treble, emphasized mid range, etc... People even play vinyl, reel-to-reel tapes and even (yes, folks) cassette tapes, simply because they believe they sound "better" than CDs and other digital formats.
On the other side of the fence, most consumers don't give a crap about there stereo, or lack thereof. I know many people who don't even have anything resembling a stereo or home theater system in there house. Most people I know have (at best) boomboxes, iPods, iPod docks, and well... a stock car stereo system. With the possible exception of a movie theater, I know people who have NEVER heard a real high fidelity system. No wonder my generation settles for 128k MP3s, iPod docks and earbuds.
On the same note, it's hard to find component stereo systems any more. They've essentially been replaced by those ridiculous "metal blaster" type shelf systems. You know, the ones at Wal-Mart with 3-CD changers, dual tape decks, "9,000" watts per channel, cheap plastic speaker enclosures containing side firing "sub woofers", and like 5 other drivers. They all sound like crap (ok.... really weird EQ), until you hit the "blow your face off/knock over the furniture, rattle the neighbor's windows" super bass/treble button.
Dang it.... all I want is a system with two monitor style speakers (6 1/2" mid/dome tweeter), a basic 8" sub), a unit with a volume control, input selector, a few analog inputs (1/8" on the front would be nice), phono stage, tape loop, a few digital inputs, 50 watt/channel class-T (or "gaincard") amplifiers and a remote control. ...all for under $200. Is that too much to ask? If all the pre-amp processing is digital, doing DSP crossover filtering (to biamp the speakers) and integrating an equalizer would be a piece of cake!!!