How good is my source?

I have a CAL CL 20 dvd player, since upgrading from my early 90's I've used the Sony 7700, Cal CL 10 and a CAL Alpha w/ a Kinergetics transport, I prefer the CL 20 over my previous sources but I am curious how much better units such as the Wadia 830, the Meridian 508.24 and the Electrocompaniet player are. I've checked some reviews but they haven't been much help. the Wadia review I read said it was on whole other level from players like the CAL but the review I read on the CAL said the differences between it and the Dcs combo where "almost superfical", I find both these comments hard to believe
mkaes: you, as many who post queries on the 'gon, apparently presuppose that there is a group of folks with golden ears who can describe for you what your preferences ought to be better than you can perceive them for yourself. alternatively, you might consider your own sonic senses so superior to others' that you want to review what the great unwashed have to say, so that you can ignore or critique their opinions. neither of these rationales, or their corollaries, is an excuse for your failure to listen for yourself and make judgments on your own. the answers you derive experientially are better by far than those that can be given by anyone else, here, there or anywhere. -kelly
Mkaes, I'm afraid Cornfedboy didn't get his cornflakes this morning! We realize that not all of us can afford this stuff brand-new and get in-home demos on it. Anyway, having relatively good ears, a very revealing system, and a CL-20, I feel the CL-20 is very good but allows a bit of that digital listening fatigue on CDs. For me, a Perpetual Tech P1/P1A/P3A combo proved less fatiguing. But much of the new CD stuff has improved filtering, upsampling, re-sampling, or what not that reduces that fatigue. Wadia has been a pioneer in this game. I've heard the 830 at the dealer from whom I bought the CL-20 and thought it did indeed sound better on CDs, but couldn't afford it at the time. Now I have a Philips SACD1000 and even after hearing the crappier SACDs it's hard to go back to CDs. But here's a test for you, if you can hear a significant difference on the CL-20 between a CD and one of Classic's or Chesky's (decent) DADs, some of the newer gear makes CDs sound almost as good as the DADs on the Cal. Hope this helps a little.

Mike R.
I heard a demo(they were just resetting up a system) of the Arcam FMJ $2000 cd player. It sounded pretty good. Then they put in the Linn Ikemi and there was a significant difference in sound quality. I think it lists for about $3500. A greater sense of real players in the room. Just a suggestion for checking out high quality players.
Here is my chance:
Has anyone notice that Cornfedboy is trying to make everyone to look stupid and there is only Cornfedboy who is "righteous" in Audiogon?
As far as on my listening opinion, the digital fatigue described by Mrowlands is present in digitally recorded vinyls also. P1A/P3A combo is able to shade the digital fatigue meaning colour the sound to the analogue-like level.
I havn't listen to CAL CL20 DVD player, but I've listen to Meridian 508.24 and I've been impressed. CDs sound like digitally recorded vinyls.
cornfed, auditioning gear is helpful and probably essential for assembling your "ultimate rig", but unlike you I buy my equipment used, afterall this is a used equipment site, I assume you buy your equipment new, if not you must waste a lot of dealers time, my reasoning is this, my first system cost about $4000 buying new, closeout or dealer used product, it consisted of a $700 pair of paradigms, an Acurus L10, two acurus A80 amp, a cal alpha and kinergetics transport, cabling was audiostream and tributaries, these were components that local my dealers told me would work well together and it was a fine system, my current system I bought used, a Marsh 400 ($1350), a CAL CL 20 ($850), Anodyne passive ($200), AQ Diamond x3 ($260), Kimber Bifocal($450), a Richard Gray 400 ($400), two Tg audio cords HSRa and HSRi ($250) Blue Circle cord ($75) and a pair of Castle Severn 2s ($750), total about 4600 including major shipping charges. Before buying this system I figured that I could assemble a better system buying used without my dealers help than he could sell me for similar cash, which would you prefer? I prefer to buy used and take my chances on getting a piece of equipment I don't like, it can usually be resold at minimal loss and sometimes at a profit. Either way I do not intend to go waste a dealers time auditioning something I have no intentions of buying from their shop. To try and minimize making poor decisions I sometimes ask for the advice of others, I sometimes get very helpful responses like that of mrowland, what I usually get is someone like you who spends way to much time at the local audio store and takes it a little to seriously for my taste, spouting off some crap about the invalidity of reviews or the opinions of others, like yours. -mike k
mkaes, one of the pitfalls of audio reviewing is that reviewers tend to over dramitize the sonic differences between components. Yes it is true that a dCS converter sounds different than a Wadia, but the reality is the differences are not major. (My standard is musical relevance, not audiophile minutae.) In the high-end audio arena the difference between components are usually small to very small, if not in fact trivial. Good components do not sound dramatically better or worse than other good components in properly setup systems. They sound slightly different and we as audiophiles thrive on these differences, minor though they be.

Cornfed's tone may have been severe, but I agree with his basic message. You need to listen for yourself and make your own opinion.
mike, i have a cal alpha and delta - when i ren it thru and audio research sp-10 into a sonic's frontier amp the synergy is excellent, i.e. the pre-amp and amp soften the high end of the cal alpha. i love the sound for casually listening, especially jazz. i also have a bat vkd5 which i run thru an ear pre and a mesa baron amp and this combination is exceptionally detailed and musical. the bat sounds crappy on the sp10/sf and the cal sounds too bright and high fi'ish on the ear/baron. is the bat that much better - it sure is - is it worth it (used) it sure is, but its still all about synergy and it makes buying without listening a sort of crap shoot. you can do it, but you really need help from reviewers,and users, who's bias is known to you, and can help you with the synergy issue. good luck.
Hi Mike K, and cornfedboy,
Let's keep it civil and spite-free, okay guys? The events of last week have sobered me, and I'm sure you, for the indefinite future. Let's all assume the best about each other, and not bite and spite in the forums, which had really degenerated into namecalling and worse before Audiogon put on the new format. Mike, I think you bought some Audio Research cables from me, so I know you are a nice and civil guy. Please give Cornfed the benefit of the doubt, don't read too much into his message, it was not a call to arms, just his very humble opinion, for you to take or leave (without acrimonious comment). Everyone here has the best of intentions, so please let's all "just get along." The world is too horrible a place for sniping in a forum that only exists for our pleasure, entertainment, education, and possible enlightenment.
Best regards to all, and may the next week be better than the last,
onhwy I see your point as far as a systems synergy is going to represent a good deal of the differences between highend players in any given system, as I mentioned above I guess this is what is lost buying used
Sarah, God Bless. Mkaes, those R 3 different-sounding units you R considering. Unfortunately, I don't know the CL20 to compare & contrast for U... sorry. Also, what kind of music do U listen to?

My preference (I listen to classical, some jazz & blues) would be: Electro (new model), Wadia, Meridian 508.20 (modded PS), Meridian 24. BUT, in my system and for my tastes... AND they R all good players. My "last" could be yr first -- and so it should be if yr ears tell U so. So, Kelly does have a point, just as U do. Anyone there owns 1 of these players to help out?

Good luck!

I am with you on this one.

This is not directed at anyone here in particular, but it just appears to me that Audiogon has become infiltrated with people who simply dont want to do their own homework and listen, or want to find affirming opinions to choices they made. My experince has shown that the same piece of gear can and often does sound different in different environments, room placement, size, shape, cables, ac treatments, isolation devices, all change the end result of a system and a piece of gear. That being said, this is the downside of buying used, you dont have the opportunity to try before you buy. Kinda like a blind date.

On another note, how many times can people post a question here that has been answered ad nauseum in the Archived section. I feel like there are some posters here who if recommended to call Krell service department, would ask what their number was, instead of typing a couple of keys to find out themselves.
Mkaes, my point is not about system synergy. Let me be very clear -- with regards to music reproduction, the sonic differences between better quality components is small. Audiophiles magnify these small differences to the point where, if you just listen to how we talk, you would think there were night and day type differences between components. BTW, when I say better quality components I don't just mean the top of the high-end, my comments apply to components costing as little as $1,500.
onhwy, you could say the same about most highend luxury items, how much better is a McLauren over a Ferrari, does Laguiole corkscrew open a bottle of wine that much better, Mont BLanc or Cross, the 70' or 75' Bordeauxs? I agree with you but to someone who spends a little more on any luxury item, those tiny differences are all that matter, anyway thanks for clarifying, I'm going to ask audiogon that this thread be deleted, about half of the posting actually deal with my original question the rest are great examples of why not to many people on our fourms anymore I don't want this to turn into something it shouldn't