I had a short email discussion with Ken about CD players and audio quality in general a while back. We discussed this article: https://www.kenrockwell.com/audio/why-cds-sound-great.htm
CDs on a reference-grade CD player are going to be more accurate than CDs on an entry level player. Why is this so important?!
More accurate does not necessarily translate to better sound quality in a subjective way. That is, your biased perception of how nice your music sounds. This is what most "audiophiles" are chasing.
As an audio enthusiast, I have had to remaster quite a few tracks that sounded terrible on my reference gear...only to find out later the mastering was done with cheapo speakers in a budget studio.
A power conditioner is a worthwhile investment. Austere is an amazing value but Furutech makes the best.