apodizing filter sonics

Robert Harley's review of the Meridian 808 player with the apodizing filter was a rave as well as the review of the Ayre CX7e/mp in the recent Stereophile. I see the ads for Esoteric also claim this filter technology in the new SA50. This filter piques my interest and I'd like to hear comments from individuals that have purchased one of these players or had their Ayre player upgraded. Specifically, do you agree with the reviews and does this really move digital closer to the analog realm?
How would anyone know? I suppose if you had two identical players, one with and one without, you should be able to identify the difference. All such filters, over-sampling, NOS, filter or not, are controversial and are just different trade-offs for a so far insoluble implementation problem. Look at the NOS versus OS debate for example. Neither can be proved right, but some say they like one over the other and opinions are divided, but I reckon its all about the implementation.

What is more, I understand the apodising filters used by Meridian and Ayre are different to each other. The apodising filter, to make a gross generalisation, offers lower pre-ringing at the cost of increased post-ringing and poorer phase fidelity. Its another trade-off. I am skeptical that we will all prefer an apodising filter. My view is that an apodising filter will just be another variable that can be used, or not used, to implement a DAC, and that the art of the overall implementation will remain the more important issue.

Like you, Rhljazz, I am interested in hearing about the apodising filter artefacts compared with normal filters and with no filters. I don't think there is any reason, notwithstanding the reviews, to believe that an apodising filter is some kind of silver bullet. It is just a different trade-off, with its own set of downsides, that some of us may like.
"move digital closer to the analog realm"? Your not serious, with such a statement. Filters are just more junk you put in the signal path in no way can they shape the digital signal into an analog one. If you want analogue, just start with it as a source and in all part of the 'chain'. Digital will forever be chasing the analogue experience and will never catch it.
Your claim that digital is chasing analog and will never catch it is just as absurd. Analog doesn't sound any more like live music than digital.
10-15-09: Buconero117
"move digital closer to the analog realm"? Your not serious, with such a statement.

Can you think of any reason I or anyone else would seek a more digital sound? If the filter is a significant improvement in digital reproduction, why would you not want it?

I have approximately 500 LP's and 800 cd's and can appreciate both flawed mediums.

The owner of an Ayre CX7e that had his player upgraded to mp status would likely be able to relate the differnces.
I have a Ayre CX-7eMP. I bought it used after it had been upgraded to MP status. I have not been able to compare it to other players or even listen to it a lot yet, but I can say a couple things about it.

It is a big step forward in cd playback. I am very sensitive to digital glare, grunge, harshness or whatever you want to call it. The Ayre eliminates a lot of this distortion, greatly reducing if not eliminating listener fatigue.

I think you will hear significant improvement on most cds but it can't turn a bad cd into a remastered gem as some of the reviewers seem to beleive.

This is just the first implementation of this technology. I think that further development of minimum phase and apodizing filters along with other improvements will make cd sound good enough for everyone but hard core vinyl addicts.

I think that in the next few years these improvements combined with high res downloads stored on servers will make digital the best sound available for everyone except the most dedicated analog fans.