BAT VKD5 SE vs. Newcastle PART2

As some of you know, a couple of weeks ago, I got a BAT VKD5 SE and set it up, and after listening to it for a night or two, felt like it didn't sound much better than my Newcastle cd changer. I felt like the BAT sounded "thin" and cavernous, while the newcastle had better timing and was more upfront, but in a way I liked.

I decided to take some suggestions, and listen exclusively to the BAT. I also worked on speaker placement (THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!), and left the BAT powered ON, seeing as how I knew I'd be listening to music nightly. (I also left my cd changer powered on, but didn't listen to it)

A few days ago, I went back and listened to the Newcastle, and didn't like it very much at all. It sounded muddled, like all the sounds were clumped together in one big blob. It almost sounded like just NOISE.

On the other hand, the BAT no longer sounded thin when I did the A/B. On the contrary, the BAT was playing so rich, like I had imagine I wanted the music, and played with an ease and emotion that I love. I still feel like the BAT sits the music farther back in the soundstage, but it definitely sounded much fuller and open than I remember it sounding when I first did the A/B audition. THIS IS ALL still with cheap interconnects (my new ones are still on their way from BearLabs).

I'm not so sure I will sell my BAT. I AM sure though, that I don't want to go back to using my changer. I mean, I was really MOVED last night listening to music on the BAT. More moved than I ever remembering being when I was listening to the Newcastle.

Not sure what this all means. Part of me thinks that you really do become accustomed to a certain sound. I think leaving the BAT on continuously for days also made a huge difference. It's almost like the player woke up.

The difference between CD players isn't like the difference I heard when I switched to a better amp; that was immediately obvious. But this difference is still very significant, and seemingly more and more significant.

I'm still anxious to have a fellow 'gon member come over with his Wadia830 for an audition. The Wadia may be closer to what I want (I still think I prefer an upfront player vs. one that is more laid back) And I still may sell this player. But I thought I should be fair, and post my experience.

(I keep hearing these "I TOLD YOU SO!"s in my head... I'm shocked to admit that many of you were RIGHT!!!)
BAT D5SE is a good piece. If yours is new you'll need many hours break in. LOL, I remember when I got my 50SE preamp....looking for nirvana out of the didn't happen! Mids were like they were underwater, tubby LOL. After about 50 hours it opened up and WOW! AFAIC, BAT doesn't get enough respect. Their products look low-key, and are built very well. Not flashy, but sure get the job done. I have no intent to replace either the 50SE pre or the D5SE CD at this time.

I have enjoyed BAT's products over the last couple years. It seems that their tube gear tends to run very very warm to almost hot at times. This is the way the product was designed. The cd player and tube pre's should at least be left on in stand-by mode so the tubes stay warm.

Also, you may be surprised at what isolation changes will do for the sound.
dennis, FWIW, i noted your other post requesting suggestions on amps for your speakers. you will recall i suggested earlier that one of your problems could be the synergy between your present amp and speakers, principally because of what you said you wanted to hear from a cd player. IMHO the ML can sound a bit clinical or etched if not driven by a amp which errs slightly on the warm side of neutral - i still believe that you should suspend you're efforts in evaluating cd players until you get the amp/preamp/speaker synergy down. i will comment on the speaker-amp thing in your other post.
it's funny for me to confess that i haven't heard too much of a difference between digital sources for a good long time. i'm always skeptical and never push things to go better in my mind but one day when i heard GamuT CD1 i was truly stoned from its great performance. i never heard before regular red-book led-zep II cd sound so damn analogue! nothing i heard before made me to thing that there is something that gets very close to analogue listening to cary tube cd players, listening to bat vkd5 etc... all i only could hear is analytical sides of sound but not musical as i could hear in turntable.
i'm still dedicated to analogue since the investments into analogue are much more efficient than into cd-player but for the sake of my own knowlege i know that there are players that get close to analogue and music in general.