For that matter, what about the 8100, 8200, and 8200 mkII? Are these all just successive versions with steady improvements? Are the differences substantial?
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I haver owned the 8200 and 8200MKII at the same time (only for comparison). We compared these at length. The 8200 is more vibrant and defined. It has an energy to it. Musical in an exciting kind of way. The MKII sounds slower and more laid back but seems have a wider stage. Hard to say. A friend of mine and I liked the 8200 better. These findings were confirmed in conversations witha plinius tech. Audio review.com has many reviews and these.
Did you listen to vinyl at all while you had them both??
You also haven't mentioned what speakers you were using when you compared them??
From what I understand, Plinius made quite a lot of changes (i.e. improvements) to the phono stage when the 8200 MKII arrived, so I'd be interested to know if your comparison was CD's only??
I know I'm awfully happy with the 8200 MKII, and I never, ever think about more focus, speed, decay, soundstage or anything like that while listening to music through that sucker.
It is great. 'Nuff said.