I think you'd get an honest answer from Avalon.
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"huge difference?" "worth the price difference"
Ctchen, those are pretty subjective questions and the fact that Avalon gives you the option suggests that people go in both directions for a multitude of diverse reasons that I'm sure you'll see reflected in forthcoming posts. One less subjective element, that might hold sway, is the quality of your upstream components. Many manufacturers offer signature and reference versions of a component. IMO, realizing the benefits of the advanced designs, in full measure, will frequently depend on the quality of associated equipment.