>>What are examples of the right system?
A typical HTiaB system would be considered the wrong system, as would any system where the quality of sound isn't easy on the ears and is really missing a generally even balance of accuray overall.
The right system would be one where the components all sonically work well together and some thought and experimentation has gone into achieving a commendable level of synergy throughout. Set-up is important to.
>>Makes sense to me. What's an example of two very different-sounding players?
How about a Sony ES player from the early 90's and a Rega Saturn.
Another: a Marantz CD67SE and a Denon DCD-1650AR
And with DVD playing CDs: Yamaha DVDS-661 and a Pioneer BDP-95 BluRay.
>>It's all in how you you listen, don't you think?
Indeed, but the initial post in the thread wanted to know why players he had heard sounded so different. It's a good question and worthy of an answer that helps him understand. The post I was responding to all but suggested what players he had heard didn't matter in the grand scheme of things when he could get all he could ever want to hear from redbook by taking the cheapo DVD player and unknown processor route.
>>It's already been said that output voltage in players vary all over the place leading to signficant differences. Let's level the playing field and normalize them before we start reaching into our bag of effusive adjectives, shall we?
There's a much easier way of leveling the playing field with this one; simply adjust the volume accordingly to remove the remove output voltage issue. Even if the volume isn't adjusted, it's still possible to ear clear differences between players if the system is revealing enough and the listener isn't green with quality audio component auditioning. Proper component evaluation takes a lot longer than the time it takes to be stimulated by the extra output voltage of one player over another. With a 3-15 minute listening test, output voltage differences aren't enormously relevant, but I do tend to make the necessary volume adjustment where necessary just to make sure both players leave the blocks on an even keel.
>>Cuts both ways doen't it ace? Just what do you find pointless about some of the answers provided?
More than anything, the suggestion that a generic DVD player serving as a transport hooked into (no particular) processor could provide the holy grail of accurate CD playback. It didn't answer the initail question as to why these audible (to his ears) differences might exist.
mcnarus offered: "There is nothing that makes an expensive CD player sound better than a basic one."
What's the point in saying this when the initial poster had already made it quite clear they had heard a substancial difference.
I've heard it too, as have others who I know. And because we all have a mutual understanding of the meaning of the adjectives we used to discribe the various players' performances, it was clear we weren't just pretenting we could hear a difference.
>> I enjoy buying unstimulating music.
Do you also enjoy playing it?
Either way, what music would qualify as being unstimulating?