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Lamont Sanford
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Please, CD Player Reviews?
dave_b
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

We did reverse engineer the technology for digital playback from the Roswell crash right? You WERE one of THEM weren't you...that's how you know so much, right? Admit it! Damn, I could have been shopping for audio at Target.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

The truth is out there.

dave_b
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

Although I can't agree with you that a $40 CD player sounds as good as a more expensive one (I've owned them and the $15K ones), the new Sony XA5400ES is quite impressive! In fact it is a case study in just how good CD/SACD playback can be for a street price of $1000. Used for even less.

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

We've got a thread somewhere about "certain" cheap DVD players sounding very good. Thus, my original post. How good? Only our own opinions. Personally, I switched to a Pioneer DVR-220 (Walmart) that was no longer in use with any TVs around the house and very pleased with CD playback on my audio system. But the basis of the original thread mentioned above was about small DVD players and how good they sound just for CD playback on an audio system. I mean we went out and bought these things just to see if it was true. If memory serves me even the editor was involved in the discussion. It wasn't ground breaking but interesting nonetheless. Personally, I think CD playback has reached its pinnacle and the technology has become less expensive. Thus, the need for a lot of extras for new technology as addons to the player like the one reviewed in this issue. It's a CD player/receiver for gadgets. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I just wish they would give PS Audio's new digital front tends the same coverage as they do yet another expensive and complicated vinyl or server based system...

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


Quote:
Buddha
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I just wish they would give PS Audio's new digital front tends the same coverage as they do yet another expensive and complicated vinyl or server based system...

Why?

Can't you figure out how it sounds on your own?

Lordy, leave the bunker!

RMAF was just a few months ago - you could have heard it and had some Hi Fi fun!

Buddha
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I also note how so many with their far left political viewpoints on their sleeve seem to think outrageously expensive gear is affordable...I guess the lefts elites measure differently than we poor conservatives.

"Poor conservatives have been voting for republicans for the last 50 years,
............and they are still poor."

What did George Santayana say about insanity?

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


Quote:

Quote:
I just wish they would give PS Audio's new digital front tends the same coverage as they do yet another expensive and complicated vinyl or server based system...

Why?

Can't you figure out how it sounds on your own?

Lordy, leave the bunker!

RMAF was just a few months ago - you could have heard it and had some Hi Fi fun!

Alas, my income does not support 800 mile trips to expensive cites in pursuit of my hobby. I also cannot write off the visit as a business expense nor do I get special pricing for any gear purchased so...I rely on the magazines experts to review what is new and interesting.

I await someone's review...and wait......and wait.

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


Quote:

Quote:
I also note how so many with their far left political viewpoints on their sleeve seem to think outrageously expensive gear is affordable...I guess the lefts elites measure differently than we poor conservatives.

"Poor conservatives have been voting for republicans for the last 50 years,
............and they are still poor."

What did George Santayana say about insanity?

Perhaps we simply lack the lefts entitlement gene and are more content to go through life responsible for our own fate.

Elk
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

The Perfect Wave Transport is $3,000.00 and you still need a DAC. The Perfect Wave DAV is another $3,000.00.

Given your comments is this something you are seriously interested in purchasing?

RGibran
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I await someone's review...and wait......and wait.

Hilarious! They want some validation from the same folks they distrust!

The manufacturer will send you the pair to try in your own home with a 30 day money back guarantee.

Or is the shipping beyond your budget?

Keep waiting. You've nothing better to do.

Lamont probably returned the $40.00 DVD player to Target.

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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The Perfect Wave Transport is $3,000.00 and you still need a DAC. The Perfect Wave DAV is another $3,000.00.

Given your comments is this something you are seriously interested in purchasing?

I have seen them at a third less and they will be on the used market in a year or so. While I will never be able to cough up $6K, I might, with planning, find $2K.

And, depending on what the reviews say, I might only need one of the devices for use with something less expensive..

My comments on cost are simply reflections of what I see as a double standard...'budget' and 'modest' prices mean different things to different folk.

I also find it amusing that folk who demand stuff like social justice in an audio review think nothing of calling a $5K device a bargain or budget...

Lamont Sanford
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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Lamont probably returned the $40.00 DVD player to Target.

I took it my mother's apartment at her retirement home so I can watch "The Dog Whiperer" while she is in the cafeteria eating food that tastes like it was cooked in a dishwasher. I turned her cable off when I noticed that she never turns on the TV. I did stop using my original CD player and started using the Pioneer DVR for CD playback after we had that little experiment. I think that Pioneer DVR originally cost about $200 at Walmart. 200-3750=(3500). The only point I was trying to make was CD playback is inexpensive now. Probably due to DVD technology. The issue reviewed in the magazine needed a lot of attachments to make it attractive. The quality of its CD playback is probably a rip off. Look under the hood. What is in there is probably worth about as much as the $40 DVD player from Target. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Buddha
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I went and bought second units of the Sony and Phillips cheapo players to keep trying them out in different systems.

They are both stone cold solid bargain toys, easily outpacing the Sony PS1.

The Sony is 'drier,' the Phillips strikes me as more musical. I prefer the Phillips, but enjoy comparing the two. For 65 bucks all in, they deliver MIGHTY bang for the buck.

Elk
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I have seen them at a third less . . .

Where? New, with full warranty? Do tell.


Quote:
. . . and they will be on the used market in a year or so.

True. But PS Audio equipment tends to hold its value quite well for a number of years. It may be a bit of a wait.

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

From PS Audio as an intro price....1999 for each

Buddha
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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From PS Audio as an intro price....1999 for each

Man, if only there were a review!

Elk
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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From PS Audio as an intro price....1999 for each

Perhaps. I don't recall.

These days are long gone however.

You want the beast, be prepared to hand over $3k of green energy.

Buy one.

Write the review.

Return it within 30 days if you don't like it.

struts
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I heard the PerfectWave Transport and DAC at the recent Stockholm show. They were driving the new PMC fact.8 speakers. I don't recall what the amps were (they were NFS) but they looked SS and meaty, Adcom?

Anyway, bearing in mind all the caveats about not drawing conclusions from listening under show conditions unfortunately I have to report that the system left me completely unmoved. Strange because my expectation bias was positive, both towards PS Audio and PMC, and I was particularly looking forward to hearing the PerfectWave combo after reading the gushing Stereomojo review.

I was also disappointed that the DAC was unable to play the hi rez FLAC files I had taken along with me on a memory stick. Although it is USB-equipped, the DAC only sports a Type B receptacle, in other words it can only act as a USB client, not a host.

Elk
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I'm surprised the PWT would not play the high resolution files on a flash drive. It otherwise seems technically very competent.

I would enjoy the chance to play with PWT. It is an intriguing beast.

Too bad that you were not favorably impressed.

Elk
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

From PS Audio's most recent newsletter:

"Reviews
And speaking of reviews, I have a lot of people asking when the PerfectWave products will be reviewed. I thought I would address this here in the newsletter so I can hit everyone at the same time. Several international magazines have already reviewed the pieces with glowing results, but the two big American publications have not. Well, it isn

struts
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


Quote:
Let
dave_b
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I think I may have just seen one of those pigs I was told to look out for, fly by my window. No, wait a minute...it was Paul running past my house with a "Pig Balloon" tied to his wrist. Poor man has finally lost it!

Elk
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

If I recall correctly, the interface between the products is I2S - the native format used within CD transports and DACs.

This is what makes it interesting (although this has been done before in other high buck systems).

Buddha
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

Audio Alchemy was big into I2S connections.

What's Perpetual Technologies been up to lately?

AV123?

struts
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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If I recall correctly, the interface between the products is I2S - the native format used within CD transports and DACs.

This is what makes it interesting (although this has been done before in other high buck systems).


..and some low-buck ones (remember Audio Alchemy?). The Slim Transporter has been out for nearly four years now and many of us on this forum have been playing with hard disk-based audio "WITHOUT compromise" even longer.

Sorry Elk, but coming from a vendor with a no-B.S. reputation this is just too much hyperbole for me to take with a straight face. IMO this sort of pomposity demands to be poked fun at.

Elk
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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Sorry Elk, but coming from a vendor with a no-B.S. reputation this is just too much hyperbole for me to take with a straight face. IMO this sort of pomposity demands to be poked fun at.

I agree! No problem.

I was just clarifying.

As a separate observation I wonder when we will learn the limitations of hard disk storage. It took a while for us to learn why CDs didn't sound as good as the could. My guess is that there is more to be learned about our new found storage medium. I doubt the new digital is any more perfect than the old, just different.

struts
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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As a separate observation I wonder when we will learn the limitations of hard disk storage. It took a while for us to learn why CDs didn't sound as good as the could. My guess is that there is more to be learned about our new found storage medium. I doubt the new digital is any more perfect than the old, just different.


I agree. One reads all kinds of reports about this media player sounding better than that one or uncompressed files sounding better than (losslessly) compressed ones etc. I am reasonably certain that the 'new' digital is a bit more perfect than the 'old', however that doesn't mean it's 'perfectly' perfect. It wouldn't surprise me at all if there was still some mischief going on here that we don't yet know how to measure.

Elk
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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. . .still some mischief going on here . . .

Let's find the mischievous!

struts
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I think they should be named and shamed on the pages of 'phile!

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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I find it hilarious that Stereophile will review the most rediculously priced gear, and in fact it is all new. I bet Stereophile, and the high end for that matter, has no idea of the BOOMING second hand market and the VINTAGE market. To give an idea:

I was considering a Bryston BCD 1 player early this year. I had the cash and like Bryston. But I dug deeper. Although the transport portion is CD exclusive the quality of it is the same as one would get on a $40 player. I called Bryston and they made no bones: it had to be that way to get an all exclusive CD transport. I was turned onto used/vintage by a forum thread.

Instead I bought a mint Denon DCD 3520 player from 1990. It is 45lb, copper plate shielding, dual power supplies (for digital and analog) and a transport that is no DVD hybrid AND with a solid platter. It has had all the caps replaced, with new modern Burr-Brown opamps AND a new laser WITH a new spare laser and belts. This unit, given care, will last at least 30 years.

I point this out as Meridian, with its $16K 808.2 CD player no longer supports it: they are abandoning the platform altogether to support the Sooloos server. Nice. I wonder how recent purchasers feel.

Or about any high end player. Will a new laser be available? New belts? Without them the player is useless. But apparently vinyl is forever, and will remain so. I wonder if the long term longevity of any gear is given any thought. No one tells us if the laser lasts 5 years, 10 or 20. Or to get a replacement (as a prudent measure) when the player is bought. But alas, this would prevent future new sales.

No suprise to me.

struts
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I find it hilarious that Stereophile will review the most rediculously priced gear, and in fact it is all new. I bet Stereophile, and the high end for that matter, has no idea of the BOOMING second hand market and the VINTAGE market.


I am glad you find Stereophile entertaining but you seem to have misunderstood the focus of the magazine, which is to review and assess hifi equipment, at a variety of price points, that is widely available (defined as availability through some minimum number of US dealers, I think it is 20). The availability of second-hand and vintage equipment varies constantly and so it doesn't meet this criterion.

That is not to say it is not a good or even great way of getting good sound for the money. Newer does not always mean better and equipment at most price levels can usually be upgraded very cost-effectively by someone with the requisite knowledge. Everything is built to a price and consequently most things can be improved by spending a bit more money on them. Even very simple changes, such as swapping out polyester capacitors in the signal path for polypropylene can yield real sonic benefits (although I wouldn't necessarily recommend replacing all the caps with modern Burr Brown op amps ). There are other magazines and websites devoted to DIY/modding and classic/vinatge gear, you simply appear to have picked the wrong publication.

Complaints about the rediculous prices of some of the equipment reviewed in Stereophile recur on a regular basis and have done with greater or lesser frequency in the 25-or-so years I have been reading it. In the current economic climate it seems to be a particularly resonant populist theme, however I think it is somehow missing the point.

There are plenty of people out there willing and able to pay those rediculous prices (although admittedly, the majority live outside the US right now - ask any high-end vendor), however a great many folks that can't and won't still like reading about, and maybe lusting after, the state-of-the-art - however much of a pipe dream it may be. For an analogy check out the shelves of any larger bookstore and look at the car magazines. Some focus exclusively on family sedans and wagons, the cars that most people actually buy. Others review a much broader range of vehicles but with a significant focus (arguably wholly disproportionate to the volume of those vehicles sold) on sports cars and 'statement' vehicles from niche manufacturers. Count how many of each type of magazine there are and draw your own conclusions about where the demand lies. Even in audio, porn moves single copies.

Your point about laser mechanisms and the difficulty of finding replacements for some obsolete parts are well taken, however your implication that this is all some kind of consiracy in which the hifi press is complicit isn't. Some high-end vendors have learned their lesson and changed OEM suppliers as a consequence, however those at the budget end of the market don't really have a choice. It is simply not worth continuing to make a part whose profitability relies on economies-of-scale once demand falls below a certain threshold.

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

One would think the recurrence of those complaints as regularly as you note might send a small signal that perhaps the magazines emphasis might shift down a few score thousands...

Actually, I don't care except as such reviews lead to bizarre statements about 'budget' gear and 'modest' prices, which are an affectation.

struts
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One would think the recurrence of those complaints as regularly as you note might send a small signal that perhaps the magazines emphasis might shift down a few score thousands...


One might also wonder why some of those readers don't stop moaning and seek out a publication that they feel better serves their needs...


Quote:
Actually, I don't care except as such reviews lead to bizarre statements about 'budget' gear and 'modest' prices, which are an affectation.


The problem is that these concepts are subjective. Your 'budget' might not be the same as mine and one man's 'modest' is another man's 'outrageous'. Some, however, seem blind to this and insist with righteous indignation that there is some objective standard against which terms such as 'budget' and 'modest' should be used. Usually it seems to be predicated on the belief that their own value set is the 'correct' or 'representative' one and anybody who disagrees is some sort of outlier.

It never ceases to amaze me how much folks all across the spectrum cling to the parochial notion that everyone else is, or should be, just like them. What's wrong with a bit of diversity?

smejias
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I am glad you find Stereophile entertaining but you seem to have misunderstood the focus of the magazine, which is to review and assess hifi equipment, at a variety of price points, that is widely available (defined as availability through some minimum number of US dealers, I think it is 20). The availability of second-hand and vintage equipment varies constantly and so it doesn't meet this criterion.


That's right, struts, though we have made some exceptions. Thank you. Just to clarify one point: The number of dealers we look for is 5. See our Five Dealer Rule for more info.

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


Quote:

Quote:
One would think the recurrence of those complaints as regularly as you note might send a small signal that perhaps the magazines emphasis might shift down a few score thousands...


One might also wonder why some of those readers don't stop moaning and seek out a publication that they feel better serves their needs...

Perhaps a name change would cover it..."Effete Leftists review Wine, Brie, and some really pricey Audio Gear" comes to mind.


Quote:
Actually, I don't care except as such reviews lead to bizarre statements about 'budget' gear and 'modest' prices, which are an affectation.



Quote:
The problem is that these concepts are subjective. Your 'budget' might not be the same as mine and one man's 'modest' is another man's 'outrageous'. Some, however, seem blind to this and insist with righteous indignation that there is some objective standard against which terms such as 'budget' and 'modest' should be used. Usually it seems to be predicated on the belief that their own value set is the 'correct' or 'representative' one and anybody who disagrees is some sort of outlier.

I would be so much more impressed with such terms as budget and modest if I didn't know the folk using it were paying a LOT less for the gear than their readers...It is easy to be cavalier about a 'budget' $5K when you only pay $2500...

Buddha
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

JIMV, did you ever grab a Sony PS1?

Stereophile reviewed it favorably...at 25.00.

The Oppo line? All affordable. Several reviews in Stereophile.

Lots of sub-thousand dollar reviews.

What is it you want?

Actually, a liberal publication fits more along the lines of your demands - "Digital for the masses, and only for the masses. None of that rich guy stuff for us. Only reviews of products everyone can afford."

I can see you at the car magazine forums....

"What? WHAT? That Ferrari costs too much! Stick to reviewing each model year of the Yaris."

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I didn't say a thing about reviews of actual 'budget' gear or low priced bargains...I simply note the affectation of calling very pricey gear 'budget'.

Like gratuitous political insult from folk with no more expertise on the issue than their barber, the use of such terms about cost when clearly spending a lot of money is easily avoided and serves no purpose.

I love the reviews of mega buck gear, I deplore the affectation that it is affordable or modestly priced, especially when the folk using the term never pay the price the rest of us must.

smejias
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I love the reviews of mega buck gear, I deplore the affectation that it is affordable or modestly priced, especially when the folk using the term never pay the price the rest of us must.


When one of our reviewers makes a judgment regarding a component's value, he's using its retail price as a basis. You may think that's impossible to achieve, but I would disagree. It's fair also to note that our reviewers do not always buy what they review, nor do they always receive discounts on what they buy.

What, to you, constitutes a "budget" component?

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I do not have a 'budget' standard as I think that is completely dependent on the income or wealth of the individual. I just do not believe you pay reviewers enough to justify the use of the term for $5K gear, especially something that is only a small part of the sound chain..the Budget $5K cartridge on the 'modest' $3K tonearm attached to the 'reasonable' $8K turntable, on to the 'moderate' $2K phono amp, connected to the 'affordable' $5K amplifier and on to a 'bargain' $10K speaker set all connected with another $2K in cables and power cords...

What $53K (medial household income in the USA) folk could possibly consider such a set up 'bargain' or 'budget'?

Do you folk make 2-3-4 times the national average? Even so, why do you believe the rest of your readers do as well?

Do you ever get Audio Advisers catalogs? You might note that every item in it is listed with a price of 'only' whatever, up to a good $5K....The word is used so often that it stops meaning anything real. 'Only' 4 months mortgage for the average American?

The reviewers use of the words is the same...in an elite group of really upper income folk a $5K toy as part of a $30K system might be a 'budget' item...How many readers can use 2/3 of a years pre tax income to make the conclusion? It comes across as elitest and condescending. One sees vaguely androgynous Frasier Crane type folk all sitting around some pretentious upper west side loft, $50 glass of well reviewed wine in one hand and $2000 cable in the other dissing those silly conservatives on Fox in passing while noting the evident superiority of of the latest gazillion bucks turntable that requires an advanced degree to set up and a couple of years income from most readers to buy, a device 99.9% of readers will never see much less hear. I've seen scores of Ferrari's in my life but never seen or heard a $50K set of speakers.

Does the magazine really need to call such expensive items 'bargain' to make the point they really sound good or compare really well with gear that is even more expensive?

I do not demand the magazine stop the practice, I will not stop my subscription. I simply note that a lot of folk believe the pretense that such expensive things are really not so outrageous is condescending.

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I just do not believe you pay reviewers enough to justify the use of the term for $5K gear,

They don't. Most of us reviewers earn our income elsewhere. That said, I do agree that the term bargain can be abused for impact which, of course, it loses with repetition. Of course, the jolting juxtaposition of that term with any(!) expensive component gets attention.

Kal

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

'Attention' and laughs

Kal Rubinson
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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'Attention' and laughs

Good. I faced this issue many years back when I reviewed a pair of outrageously priced DACs and tried to reconcile their prices with their performance, both of which were very high. What I settled on was that (1) affordability (and therefore "bargain") is even more subjective than is sound quality and (2) I will, in the future, try not to review products that I could not afford myself.

Kal

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I still have to believe that this magazine does a great job of balancing mid priced gear and super expensive components. What this often tells me as in the Oppo players and the likes of the Cambridge DAC Magic is that you can get to 90+% of the expensive stuff at very affordable prices.

There is plenty of gear reported by this magazine that, as AD says, is affordable by "anyone with a job". And, yes, I know that is a point of contention these days, but still, there is plenty of affordable gear that ST writes about often. Look at John Mark's recent recommended head phones, Renaissance Audio speakers, and the Grace DAC/headphone amp. Dr. Kal has let us in on some affordable floorstanding speakers.

I know the DCS gear and even some Bryston amps are up there in price, but their CD player and DAC are not. That being said, the Continnum turntable was one of my most interesting reads and for most people, crazy priced, but it truly pushed the envelope of what can be done to extract all their is in the lp. There is nothing wrong with that in my book.

Most people do not spend on their systems what WP spent on room treatments, but that did tells us what many are forced to ignore due to the cost...square and rectangular rooms are very bad for optimum audio results. I am not hanging "refrigerator doors" around my man-cave or office, but I can appreciate what it takes to tame our wildly reflective rooms. To me, it is all worth knowing about. You may end up offering up some advice to a friend or acquaintance who IS ready to drop some serious green on gear or to solve a reflection problem.

JIMV
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


Quote:
I still have to believe that this magazine does a great job of balancing mid priced gear and super expensive components.

I really do not disagree with that. My argument is with language used to describe price. Less talk of ultra expensive 'bargains', not less review of the product itself.

I am not complaining about the range of gear reviewed, just the affectation that really pricey stuff is 'budget'.

Editor
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I just do not believe you pay reviewers enough to justify the use of the term for $5K gear, especially something that is only a small part of the sound chain..the Budget $5K cartridge on the 'modest' $3K tonearm attached to the 'reasonable' $8K turntable, on to the 'moderate' $2K phono amp, connected to the 'affordable' $5K amplifier and on to a 'bargain' $10K speaker set all connected with another $2K in cables and power cords...

The last readership survey we did (some years back) indicated that the average price of a Stereophile reader's system was $15,000. Other than the phono cartridge and turntable, none of the component prices you list are out of line with that fact.

I also think your accusation that Stereophile routinely uses the word "bargain" to describe very expensive components is not justified. And I don't think we have ever described a $5000 phono cartridge as a "budget" component.


Quote:
What $53K (medial household income in the USA) folk could possibly consider such a set up 'bargain' or 'budget'?

Stereophile is not aimed at that person. All specialty magazines must address a more narrowly defined segment of the overall population in order to succeed. In the same survey results to which I referred earlier, the average household income of a Stereophile reader was >$100k, which correlates with their education: 95% with Bachelor's degrees and 40% with advanced degrees, if I remember correctly.

We actually publish quite a large proportion of low-priced components. What depresses me is that fact seems to be overshadowed by the occasional review of a very expensive product. (You can find a fairly recent, 2006, analysis of the prices of the products reviewed in Stereophile at http://forum.ecoustics.com/bbs/messages/34579/194117.html . This analysis also dispels some of the other urban myths about Stereophile.)

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

Lick-T
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?


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I will, in the future, try not to review products that I could not afford myself.

That is a good rule of thumb, Kal, and one I've decided to live by. I just don't feel like I'd have any frame of reference in judging the value of a $100,000 pair of speakers. I could tell you how they sound, but ultimately, not what they are worth.

My household income is certainly at the national average. Yet, my system costs in the $12k - $15k range. In relation to what I make, I spend a large portion on my stereo. And remember haters, I'm new here at Stereophile, so all of this was purchased at retail or on the used market - just like the rest of ya's.

"Budget" and "Value" are two different things. For instance, I have a forthcoming review of the $4,000 Klipsch Palladium P-17B bookshelf speakers. I would not use the word budget to describe them, but I do think they are a tremendous value, even with a $4k price tag, because of their superior engineering, build quality, material quality and sound quality. The P-17B's are the "budget" model in the line, though I don't believe they qualify as a budget speaker for most folks in the world.

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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I wish we had a time line, price line that showed performance vs. cost over the last 20 years.

For instance, what price level would it have taken in 1990 to equal the performance of my 2009 25 dollar Sony player from Best Buy?

What would it take in 1995 dollars to try to sound as good as the new 1500 dollar Sony universal disc player? Or, was it even possible?

Part of the fun of reading the 20,000 dollar digital reviews is knowing that in a relatively short preiod of time, Best Buy will have their equals for olog-folds less money. I think of the high priced gear reviews as glimpses into the future - at my budget level.

_________________

Partially unrelated:

The thing I most resent about the crazy prices these days is that to acquire some of this gear, you have to commit to it.

I mean, 50 large for a pair of speakers ain't gonna make for an easy time jumping ship to another brand, like going from AR to Advent would have been in the early 70's.

At these prices, many pieces of gear become "shoot once" units which takes away my joy in variety.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: Please, CD Player Reviews?

I agree. I would ask JA to chime in, but I doubt that any DAC from 20 years ago could compare to the quality and measurements of the Cambridge DAC Magic, let alone the Benchmark, Bryston, or Grace units. I could be wrong, but at $429 it is not only a price anyone can afford, but as good as one could hope for at the top price of 1990.

If there was one it would certainly be many thousands of dollars and not have anywhere near as low a jitter measurement as any of the above mentioned DACs.

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