Many real average audio afficianado people have tried this tests with swapping out components and hear a difference. Blind tests, wife tests, machine tests. Many people have actually recorded differences using computers to track the difference or just plain using their ears and matching as close as possible the output levels.
johnk I do not understand that a highly respected person on this site as yourself can not fathom that one CD player can outperform sonically another brand. I think its time you open your ears or your mind. You definitely stereotype an audio snob of somesort...whatever that stereotype is.
For the rest, I appreciate the postings and observations as you fall into that same upgradeitus that a few/many of us fall into. Those observations may or may not be used for judgement calls for the next audio/video purchase. Sometimes it makes a difference...sometimes it doesn't. In the end of the day if one feels that their money was well spent to better enjoy their systems then why not.
I welcome the following rant that precedes this message and I know johnk you wont even jump in.
ps: Peter that was a funny.
Good one, Peter. Thanks for injecting a little humor into this thread of largely fantasies.