Originally Posted by PhilS
It's only invalid to those of you who can't see past the end of their nose and adamantly insist on some type of scientific proof or measurements to establish that anything that sounds different. I'm sure it's quite valid to people who have extensive experience listening to a variety of CD players or DAC's and have heard the differences.
I don't know what your listening experience is, but if you really think all DAC's or CD players with the aforementioned specs sound the same based on your personal listening trials, good for you. You can save a lot of money. Why buy expensive wine when it all tastes the same to you.
Experience can be flawed and your conclusions taken from your experience be wrong.
My listening experience with music is quite extensive. I have been playing the piano for a lot of years (still play it when I have time). I know how instruments sound and I know how to make one (the piano) sound "as I want it to". I have been "training my ears" ever since I put my hands on a piano. However I don't need any of that to understand some measurements that go way beyond my hearing abilities.
I know my ears are not perfect and I know some instruments can measure variations in frequencies I will never be able to hear. I know my mood, the looks of the equipment, price, ... influence on how I perceive some sounds.
There is in fact some music you like to listen to when you are happy, other types when you are sad, and each one of them affects you differently.
If those feelings, sensations vary in everyone's day by day life, then I can't rely on my ears or experience unless I set some kind of test that will limit the senses I use to "only my ears" as well as the sensations (of aesthetics, price, etc...). If I also follow that experience with some data given by equipment more precise than my ears that tells me if there can be
an audible difference for me as a human being, it will make my experience valid.
All the rest is just different opinions.