I did the same upgrade as Droberson, 581i SE to 781i. The 781 is many steps ahead of the 581, but at 50% more money. I am now listening to music. The 781 is more of everything that the 581 was, but again the 581 is a great player. The 781 is more open, detailed, liquid, analogue. It is musical and does nothing to get in the way of the sound. I have strived for neutrality as this is what I want to hear, the music. And, I am exposed to live music daily. Clearly, the next step, that I will not take, is at the $20K range and beyond. Are there other players comparable to the 781? Probably yes. But for now, I am done until streaming music can give me the same results.