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  1. #1
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    Question Best CD player for around 1K HELP

    Hello,

    Hello fellow Audio buffs. Iím looking to upgrade my CD player in my system. Itís a Sony CDP-C745 5 disk changer with optical out. I upgraded once to a HK fl8450 but the stupid thing died on me. The Sony is about 7 years old and has been faithful. I think itís one of the weakest links in my system but I do love the changer feature. I know some audiophiles may scoff at the thought of a changer but I love the convenience. Iím willing to go single if I have to but would prefer a changer. My system is a follows.

    Anthem AVM 20 1.12
    Citation 7.1 x 2 amps
    Revel M20 mains
    Atlantic technologies center (I looking for a Revel C30)
    Dynaudio audience 40 rears
    Audioquest Mammoth speaker cables
    Cardas interconnect to all sources
    Sony DVP-NS700P DVD
    JVC direct view TV
    No sub I live in an apartment

    I think my system is fairly good. Hey I'm trying...... I am willing to spend $700 to 1K on a player. Any suggestions and how should I hook it up?

    Thanks
    Vansonrider

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vansonrider
    Hello,

    Hello fellow Audio buffs. Iím looking to upgrade my CD player in my system. Itís a Sony CDP-C745 5 disk changer with optical out. I upgraded once to a HK fl8450 but the stupid thing died on me. The Sony is about 7 years old and has been faithful. I think itís one of the weakest links in my system but I do love the changer feature. I know some audiophiles may scoff at the thought of a changer but I love the convenience. Iím willing to go single if I have to but would prefer a changer. My system is a follows.
    I think my system is fairly good. Hey I'm trying...... I am willing to spend $700 to 1K on a player. Any suggestions and how should I hook it up?

    Thanks
    Vansonrider
    Why do you think your Sony is the weak link? If anything, your speakers, your room and the recoded music are your weak links. Keep the Sony untill it dies. Then get a universal player for around $200.
    mtrycrafts

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    i am also looking for a new cd player in this range as well.i have been looking at the new cambridge audio 640c($699 cdn),arcam cd73($999 cdn) also the latest rotel offering,dont remember the model number,but it was also about $1000 cdn.after careful listening the arcam was the clear winner,but the cambridge was close and $300 chaeper.you have good quality gear,and plugging either of these players into you rig,will make you think you upgraded your whole system.find a dealer that will let you bring one home if you can,that is the only way to really judge.good luck

  4. #4
    Forum Regular Arch's Avatar
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    I just went through the same selection process for a new CD player. Rotel RCD-1072 vs Arcam CD73t vs Cambridge Audio Azur 640c. I made the same conclusion as musicman1999. In the end I picked the Cambridge for its performance / price, and taking into consideration that the rest of my setup are now outmatched by the Cambridge. If you do have a system that can take advantage of the improved quality of the source, then Arcam it is.

  5. #5
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    I like the Rega Research Planet 2000, it is @ $900.
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  6. #6
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    What if somebody has good speakers, rooms and good recordings?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    Why do you think your Sony is the weak link? If anything, your speakers, your room and the recoded music are your weak links. Keep the Sony untill it dies. Then get a universal player for around $200.
    Hi Mtrycraft,
    What if somebody has good speakers, rooms and good recordings? Then, do you think a good cd player will make a difference ?
    I have an audiophile friend who has an almost perfect room, musical fidility power and pre amps and dynaudio contour floor standing speakers.He has further tweaked his room with bass traps.Once you turn the music on, I almost get an errie feeling because of the realism in the reproduced sound. He has roksan and marantz cd players and a harman kardon dvd player.We have tried out all these in his music system.In fact I have checked out my nad cd player in his system.It is as clear as night and day that all of them sound different.Some of them differ slightly but some others are quite different.In fact I can clearly make out differences in his system if I change cables also.
    But these things are not so apparant with my system which is not so high end and the room is less that perfect.I guess the bottom line is that, if you have a transparent system and a good room, all these differences suddenly becomes clear to you.

  7. #7
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    dennis the menace

    Quote Originally Posted by bturk667
    I like the Rega Research Planet 2000, it is @ $900.
    The best cd player under $1000 is a "used" REGA PLANET .You can pick one up for around $400-$500....It's the sweetest sounding cd player this side of $1500!!!! READ THE REVIEWS

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hertz
    Hi Mtrycraft,
    What if somebody has good speakers, rooms and good recordings? Then, do you think a good cd player will make a difference ?
    I have an audiophile friend who has an almost perfect room, musical fidility power and pre amps and dynaudio contour floor standing speakers.He has further tweaked his room with bass traps.Once you turn the music on, I almost get an errie feeling because of the realism in the reproduced sound. He has roksan and marantz cd players and a harman kardon dvd player.We have tried out all these in his music system.In fact I have checked out my nad cd player in his system.It is as clear as night and day that all of them sound different.Some of them differ slightly but some others are quite different.In fact I can clearly make out differences in his system if I change cables also.
    But these things are not so apparant with my system which is not so high end and the room is less that perfect.I guess the bottom line is that, if you have a transparent system and a good room, all these differences suddenly becomes clear to you.

    Your hearing is still the limiting factor. It has limits. Psychoacoustic reasearch over the past number of deacdes has shown that you will hear small volume differences as better sound. And, volume differences you need to differentiate varies with overall volume.
    With louder sound you need smaller differences to detect but there is a limit what you can detect. Low levels may need as much as 3dB change to detect. Frequency response of the ear is also limited and need higher levels and higher differences at either end of the spectrum.

    I seriously doubt that a well designed CD/DVD player is audibly different. One only needs to check the frequency response specs for that.

    What will affect your perception is the good old bias issues in a sighted comparison

    In a DBt you also need to set it up technically so the levels in each player is the exact same, to a very close tolerance for which you need instruments, not by ear.

    Cables, unless they are not even closely comparable is a no brainer. Nothing there, especially if the receiver is doing the digital processing for all the players.

    So, in the end, you need to do a DBT to be sure
    mtrycrafts

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    I seriously doubt that a well designed CD/DVD player is audibly different. One only needs to check the frequency response specs for that.


    Cables, unless they are not even closely comparable is a no brainer. Nothing there, especially if the receiver is doing the digital processing for all the players.
    IMO, from recent experience, minor differences in frequency response between one cd player and another make them audibly slightly different. The illusion is that one is actually better than the other. Pure nonsense. By compensating for this difference with slight tweaking of equalization, the differences can be completely cancelled out.

    My main gripe about cd and dvd players is that they should have a variable output that they can be controlled with the same remote control that operated the rest of the player. Since my preamps and amplifiers mostly have manual only volume controls, I find it very inconvenient getting up every time I want to change it. I also need 4 way repeat for the musician in my household who uses it as a practicing aid. This was common on $200 players 15 years ago. Why isn't it parctically universal today.

    As for interconnect cables, I have given a very easy test for determining whether or not they do their job perfectly. The $1 RS cables do. So do the cables that come with most equipment. Can companies which want to manufacture a cable that sounds different come up with something that does succeed? I have every confidence that the infinitely inventive human mind can find a way to wreck even the simplest device. If those audiophile cables attenuate the high end of your sound system because of their enormous shunt capacitance thereby reducing the shrill high frequency peak in a pair of audiophile loudspeakers that makes high mass mc cartridges sound listenable but cd players sound unbearable, maybe in this case, two wrongs do cancel out a right, but the way I see it, the current approach to buying audiophile equipment is completely off the wall. That's what keeps these people in business.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    Your hearing is still the limiting factor. It has limits. Psychoacoustic reasearch over the past number of deacdes has shown that you will hear small volume differences as better sound. And, volume differences you need to differentiate varies with overall volume.
    With louder sound you need smaller differences to detect but there is a limit what you can detect. Low levels may need as much as 3dB change to detect. Frequency response of the ear is also limited and need higher levels and higher differences at either end of the spectrum.

    I seriously doubt that a well designed CD/DVD player is audibly different. One only needs to check the frequency response specs for that.

    What will affect your perception is the good old bias issues in a sighted comparison

    In a DBt you also need to set it up technically so the levels in each player is the exact same, to a very close tolerance for which you need instruments, not by ear.

    Cables, unless they are not even closely comparable is a no brainer. Nothing there, especially if the receiver is doing the digital processing for all the players.

    So, in the end, you need to do a DBT to be sure
    while i do agree with you thatb many people will hear louder as better,these are casual listeners only.any serious listener should be capable of picking up differences in cd players as well as any type of component.any test of quality players,played through the same system,with the same music,at the same volumn level will reveal differences and no two players are the same.i have recently been through this myself in a search for a new player(cambridge audio,arcam,sim audio with a denon dvd-2200 thown in for comparison)
    and while the results of a dbt would have been interesting,i doubt they would have been different.

  11. #11
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    While there are minor differences in some players compared to others, because these are attributable to slight differences in frequency response, it is impossible to say that one player is better than another. It is also ludicrous to justify the huge disparity in cost when this type of difference is not only barely audible but easily and cheaply compensated for. Any real differences in performance would show up as differences in dynamic linearity and non linear distortion. But virtually every player far exceeds the ability of human beings to detect whatever minor differences in these regards exist. To those who think that equalization is process that should never be allowed in high quality audio systems, you not only are not knowledgeable about the way analog tapes, phonograph records, and FM broadcasts work, you don't understand what a loudspeaker crossover network is either. Therefore, you will be forever condemned to pay exhorbitantly high prices for equipment that performs no better than much less expensive equipment in an effort to achieve audibly flat frequency response without the use of inexpensive active equalization.

  12. #12
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    I own the original Planet.
    Remember, different isn't always better, but it is different.
    Keep things as simple as possible, but not too simple.
    Let your ears decide for you!

  13. #13
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    While there are minor differences in some players compared to others, because these are attributable to slight differences in frequency response, it is impossible to say that one player is better than another. It is also ludicrous to justify the huge disparity in cost when this type of difference is not only barely audible but easily and cheaply compensated for. Any real differences in performance would show up as differences in dynamic linearity and non linear distortion. But virtually every player far exceeds the ability of human beings to detect whatever minor differences in these regards exist. To those who think that equalization is process that should never be allowed in high quality audio systems, you not only are not knowledgeable about the way analog tapes, phonograph records, and FM broadcasts work, you don't understand what a loudspeaker crossover network is either. Therefore, you will be forever condemned to pay exhorbitantly high prices for equipment that performs no better than much less expensive equipment in an effort to achieve audibly flat frequency response without the use of inexpensive active equalization.
    The fact of the matter is that you not only can hear a difference between CD players, in some cases it's glaringly obvious. Test measurements of simple sinewave performance, and gross distortion measurements are no adequate in the least to determine the performance of these components. There is no test equipment made that can duplicate the ear-brain ability to detect subtle difference in complex waveforms. And, even if there was sophisticated equipment that could do it, there would be no way to quantify it. You absolutely need to compare the components against each other to come to a conclusion. I found it quite easy to pick out the best CD player for me, as that is what it all comes down to in the end isn't it?
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    while i do agree with you thatb many people will hear louder as better,these are casual listeners only.any serious listener should be capable of picking up differences in cd players as well as any type of component.any test of quality players,played through the same system,with the same music,at the same volumn level will reveal differences and no two players are the same.i have recently been through this myself in a search for a new player(cambridge audio,arcam,sim audio with a denon dvd-2200 thown in for comparison)
    and while the results of a dbt would have been interesting,i doubt they would have been different.

    Well, there are a great deal of DBT data that is contrary to your belief on audible differences.
    Yes, it would have been very interesting to put your perception to the real lie detector. You didn't and now you don't know if there are audible differences, only think there is and is unreliable.
    mtrycrafts

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoffcin
    The fact of the matter is that you not only can hear a difference between CD players, in some cases it's glaringly obvious. Test measurements of simple sinewave performance, and gross distortion measurements are no adequate in the least to determine the performance of these components. There is no test equipment made that can duplicate the ear-brain ability to detect subtle difference in complex waveforms. And, even if there was sophisticated equipment that could do it, there would be no way to quantify it. You absolutely need to compare the components against each other to come to a conclusion. I found it quite easy to pick out the best CD player for me, as that is what it all comes down to in the end isn't it?
    where did you get all this nonsense? How do you think the limits of hearing is mapped if not with instruments? Best if you think before you make profound announcements in science. Or, you have citations for your pronaouncements.

    And, you should read and talk with real audio gurus in the industry about measurements and what it can do, not rely on audio mythology.

    I am sure you have confirmed your findings of differences with DBT listening? No? Then you have nothing to hang your hat on but a straw hanger.
    mtrycrafts

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtrycraft
    Well, there are a great deal of DBT data that is contrary to your belief on audible differences.
    Yes, it would have been very interesting to put your perception to the real lie detector. You didn't and now you don't know if there are audible differences, only think there is and is unreliable.
    wrong,i do know that there were audible differences,i heard them,they were clear and distinct.they were not based on preconcieved ideas and were played through the same speakers i have at home although with a different amp.put aside all thoughts of how tests are done and how a players spec sheet reads and listen to the music,it will tell no lies.the music is what its about not the spec sheet.

  17. #17
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    "Test measurements of simple sinewave performance, and gross distortion measurements are no adequate in the least to determine the performance of these components. There is no test equipment made that can duplicate the ear-brain ability to detect subtle difference in complex waveforms. And, even if there was sophisticated equipment that could do it, there would be no way to quantify it."

    This is an absurd statement based on absolutely nothing but someone's preconceived foolish notion of something he doesn't understand.

  18. #18
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    Cambridge Audio

    Quote Originally Posted by Arch
    I just went through the same selection process for a new CD player. Rotel RCD-1072 vs Arcam CD73t vs Cambridge Audio Azur 640c. I made the same conclusion as musicman1999. In the end I picked the Cambridge for its performance / price, and taking into consideration that the rest of my setup are now outmatched by the Cambridge. If you do have a system that can take advantage of the improved quality of the source, then Arcam it is.
    Somebody asked me to have a look at the Cambridge D500SE CD player for them. This I agreed to do. The more I examined this unpretentious little player, the more I liked what I saw, A major plus is the upgrade capability of the player. Current sampling rates are about 24 bits at the moment. This is included in the CD player BUT, should even higher sampling rates become available in the future, Cambridge have built this little beauty with a view to being upgraded, as technology developes. This is a nice feature.

    Instead of wondering whether one needs to upgrade to a whole new 48 bit sampling CD player, for instance, one simply needs to upgrade a PCB inside the player.

    The long and the short of it is that I ended up buying one for myself. I'm still burning it in but it is opening like a tender rosebud. Every session has it sounding sweeter and sweeter.This is after about 50 hours of playing time. They recommend 200 hours for it to reach it's best. I'll keep you posted.

    I paid about 2500 SEK for this CD player (about $350) from the Swedish HiFi Club and it's at a price where one can afford to take a chance to have something to compare with.

    What I didn't like about it was the fact that the text over the control buttons are extremely difficult to read. One needs 20-20 vision to see what each button is. However, after just a little practice, one gets to know which button does what.

    With the introduction of the Azur series, shops are dumping the prices on the Classic series and this is an added bonus for the end buyer.

  19. #19
    Silence of the spam Site Moderator Geoffcin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic
    "Test measurements of simple sinewave performance, and gross distortion measurements are no adequate in the least to determine the performance of these components. There is no test equipment made that can duplicate the ear-brain ability to detect subtle difference in complex waveforms. And, even if there was sophisticated equipment that could do it, there would be no way to quantify it."

    This is an absurd statement based on absolutely nothing but someone's preconceived foolish notion of something he doesn't understand.
    You obviously cannot take anyone who disagrees with you, so you resort to childish character bashing. I used to have respect for you, but after this absurd post by you I have reconsidered my opinion of you.
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  20. #20
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    Harman Kardon HD-720?

    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    i am also looking for a new cd player in this range as well.i have been looking at the new cambridge audio 640c($699 cdn),arcam cd73($999 cdn) also the latest rotel offering,dont remember the model number,but it was also about $1000 cdn.after careful listening the arcam was the clear winner,but the cambridge was close and $300 chaeper.you have good quality gear,and plugging either of these players into you rig,will make you think you upgraded your whole system.find a dealer that will let you bring one home if you can,that is the only way to really judge.good luck
    ---------
    Hi,
    I have used an HK HD-710 for years: very sweet, open, transparent sound. I just got--new--an HK HD-720 as a second deck, thinking myself lucky. It looks identical, except for a flimsy CD drawer, but sounds very different--really aggressive and bright. I wondered if anyone knows this unit and whether or not playing it in--and for how many hours--will make it less harsh. Thanks.

    Robert Seletsky

  21. #21
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    Hi Mtry, skeptic..I am aware of the loudness factor.....

    Hi Mtry, skeptic,
    I am very well aware of this loudness factor in cd players and I am very carefull when I do comparisons.
    What I observe are as follows:
    1.soundstage
    2.depth
    3.tonal accuracy (digital glare vs natural)
    4.tonal balance
    5.sheer musicality

    I use the "burmester test cd" for most of my evaluations.
    The tracks:
    1.Melissa Walker: A time for Love
    2.Gil Shaham and GŲran SŲllscher: Sonata Concertata
    3.John Lee Hooker: Early one morning
    4. Bennie Wallace: It's The Talk of the Town
    5.Gioacchino Rossini: Sonata I G-Dur
    6.Hans Theessink: The Planet
    7.Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Allegro Molto
    8.Bach Orgelwerke 1: von Hans-JŁrgen Schnoor
    9.Hugh Masekela: Stimela
    10.Yim Hok-Man: Poem of Chinese Drums

    I noticed that each of the cd players cast their own signature on all these factors.This friend of mine actually spend 3 months trying out different cd players at his home before he settled on the roksan cd player.The fact is that none of the cd players were perfect.He just picked up the one which had flaws he can live with.I liked the marantz better.

  22. #22
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    Again, it is important to understand what the differences are, not merely that they exist. The car I now drive has an electronic throttle and a 290 HP engine. When it was first designed the action of the throttle made the car feel very sluggish because it didn't deliver the gobs of reserve power it had until the gas pedal was almost completely depressed. At that point as one mechanic explained it, it took off like a bat out of hell. The throttle was redesigned so that it "felt" more powerful. The same thing happens with a lot of products. An amplifier or reciever which gives you most of its gain in the first quarter turn of the volume control knob seems very powerful but it isn't necessarily any more powerful than the one sitting next to it which needs the knob turned to 1 or 2 o'clock for the same amount of gain. Two cd players may be virtually identical in every other respect but one sounds slightly diffferent because of minor frequency response shaping that the manufacturer knows will make it sound preferable to many users compared to other units sitting next to it on a shelf. This is pure illusion. And it can easily be duplicated or compensated for at low cost. Unless someone can demonstrate why the performance of one is superior to another by showing inherently better electrical characteristics that are of real value, I'm not buying it. And they can't because this is a product that has reached full maturity. It's one of those things where it's performance is so close to its theoretical limit within its paradyme that one unit is pretty much like another except for its features. And for me, that means 4 way repeat, a remote controllable volume control with variable output, and hopefully a 5 disc carousel with ply one while change at least 2. And please keep it well under $200. That's what is meant when we say a product is comoditized.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by hertz
    Hi Mtry, skeptic,
    I am very well aware of this loudness factor in cd players and I am very carefull when I do comparisons.
    What I observe are as follows:
    1.soundstage
    2.depth
    3.tonal accuracy (digital glare vs natural)
    4.tonal balance
    5.sheer musicality

    I use the "burmester test cd" for most of my evaluations.
    The tracks:
    1.Melissa Walker: A time for Love
    2.Gil Shaham and GŲran SŲllscher: Sonata Concertata
    3.John Lee Hooker: Early one morning
    4. Bennie Wallace: It's The Talk of the Town
    5.Gioacchino Rossini: Sonata I G-Dur
    6.Hans Theessink: The Planet
    7.Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov: Allegro Molto
    8.Bach Orgelwerke 1: von Hans-JŁrgen Schnoor
    9.Hugh Masekela: Stimela
    10.Yim Hok-Man: Poem of Chinese Drums

    I noticed that each of the cd players cast their own signature on all these factors.This friend of mine actually spend 3 months trying out different cd players at his home before he settled on the roksan cd player.The fact is that none of the cd players were perfect.He just picked up the one which had flaws he can live with.I liked the marantz better.
    Yes, you may be very careful. Did you check the level differences, to .1dB? At 1kHz? 10kHz?
    If not, how do you know one wasn't louder?

    It seems you are using only one CD and swap. Even more reason for a DBT listening as your memory wonders. Sighted comparisons for what you are after, audible differences, is just unreliable.
    mtrycrafts

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicman1999
    wrong,i do know that there were audible differences,i heard them,they were clear and distinct.they were not based on preconcieved ideas and were played through the same speakers i have at home although with a different amp.put aside all thoughts of how tests are done and how a players spec sheet reads and listen to the music,it will tell no lies.the music is what its about not the spec sheet.

    Wrong? I only have a claim from you, not evidence. People make all sorts of claims in life and are unable to deliver when put to the task.
    You'd be much better off knowing human psychology, bias, expectations, gullibility, etc.
    mtrycrafts

  25. #25
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    clear and distinct

    Audible, yes, clear and distinct? Definitely not. How do I know? I had to swap cd players and this time, it won't take 2 years to re-equalize the system again. Maybe 2 weeks. Maybe at worst 2 months. If I wasn't so familiar with the recordings and the rest of the system, I never would have known. The differences are so subtle that to someone who wasn't as familiar with it as I am, they never would have guessed. It's like two color television sets. One has the flesh tones dead on and slightly more contrast, the other is slightly redder or greener and has less contrast. A slight twist of the right knob or two and you couldn't tell them apart for your life. Every time someone tells me "this unit blew all the others away" I have to laugh. The infintisimal differences mean nothing. In essence, they are all the same. All that is except the price.

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