In Reply to: Njoe Tjoeb 4000 vs RESPONSE AUDIO Signature CD-25 posted by email@example.com on January 04, 2004 at 09:48:40:
Any description of a "best" component only has relevance for you in your particular listening situation. It is your ears, your system, your musical tastes, etc. that have to be satisfied. A CD player that is enthusiastically recommended by someone else may sound decidedly unimpressive when installed in your system.
Yes, of course, in an ideal audio world we could try out a range of gear in our own systems. Unfortunately many of us don't live in the grand consumer mecca that some take for granted, and have to rely on what we can read.
Of course if home audition presents difficulties, then obtaining a satisfactory result for you and your system automatically becomes something of a gamble. My only concern is that there may be those who may persuade themselves that the odds of dissatisfaction are significantly reduced if there are others who like the units involved.
IMO this indicates that at best a component could (rather than would) work well in your system and produce music to your tastes. Likewise if a disappointed owner has a unit that does not match well into their system this does not mean that the same unit cannot "shine" in yours.
I am fortunate (in audio equipment terms) to live on the outskirts of a major city, and would have few problems in obtaining candidates for any required home audition. There are others with whom I correspond who live many miles from locations that would be likely to hold stocks of the desired items, but these folks have been able to purchase "on approval". As an example, an inmate has recently purchased a CD player on 30 day approval in the last few days. The equipment arrived after a few days by parcel carrier.
I suggest trying to pursue similar methods in order to take the guesswork out of system building/upgrading.
Of course, if you find no-one willing to offer "on approval" terms on the items you are interested in, then you are back at square one. Life's rarely easy for audiophiles, is it?
I do agree that an audition in any given system is the best route taken. We are trying to get a few pieces of the RAM CD25 together for use in home auditions. This would allow one to use this DEMO piece while their own player was being custom built. This is not yet a 'stocked' item but again, we are working on this.
For me, the value of AA and other experienced commentary is to find things that are likely to meet my criteria, not to guarantee an outcome. The gambling can't be eliminated though. Unfortunately, for those of us who must rely on international travel to even see the gear, an on-approval trial just isn't possible. That's why I so appreciate the public-service contributions of you guys in major markets!
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