There's actually a bunch of very interesting stuff on the Lampizator website where the guy took apart a whole bunch of different hi-end cd players/transports to see what was inside (Krell, for one) only to find out that a great many of them were actually Philips CD players in a nice housing, had terrible design and/or cheap parts all around.
The Krell one is here, there are many other "hi end" ones but I forgot most of the names.
edit: here is a link to the Wadia:
For the benefits of our younger members, companies advertised what mechanisms they used. It was not some kind of secret; reviews often include internal shots and reviewers nearly without fail mention what mechanisms were used.
Hardly anybody made their own mechanism - and those who did, must did so at exorbitant costs. This was something known to most people. What most manufacturers did was to use off the shelf transports and do the best they can. It's similar to how many different brands use the same usb interface chipsets these days.
Things move quickly in the digital electronics front. A $3,000 computer today will look retarded 10 years from now. So i guess a design of probably 10 years ago is probably not as good as what could be had today for the same money but that's no excuse to say $hitty things about them. It's like an engineer taking apart a 50 year-old car and start banging on about how poorly they were designed and made compared to today's standards. Rude and obnoxious.
The pages at the end of those links appear to be nothing but an exercise in inflating the ego of the blogger. He ripped at old designs and yet failed to explain why in his own words, they sound very good, specially the Krell was, in his words;
"So how does this monster sound in stock form?
The answer is - bloody good. I was shocked, I did not have my drooling towel handy and I listened in total disbelief.
This player is awesome. It sounds spectacular. It equals the best stock players I had. it sounds too good to be true.
Sound is spacious, free, open, fast, powerful, dynamic - everything you might ask. Nothing even resembling remotely the opamped sound of all other stock players. This is real high end. I feel no need for lampization, no need for tweaking. Even if the owner would be rather open about the possibility to do lampization if it was to improve the sound. It is soo good that all I want to do is listen MORE. This is the best stock player I ever had, I must admit that I am in shock."
This was after basically saying it was a box full of crap.
I know the lampizator guy knows his stuff, but if he cannot explain why the Krell sounded so good when all his comments based on his knowledge says it's mediocre at best, in my opinion it shows the limits of his expertise and also the lack of respect he has for others.
Btw, under the hood of a Lotus Evora lives an engine from a Camry. Does that mean anything? Sure, it means evoras have reliable engines. The lap times tell the rest of the story. I think this is similar to the Krell player.
And if you want more of what goes into some hifi gear - including cable network boxes, try hifishock.org . Shunyata research fans brace yourselves. (Not all show nearly empty boxes, some in fact really cement the level of reverence some companies have gained over the years. Look at what goes into an Accuphase/Burmester/PS Audio compared to an Isotek/Shunyata and you'll see what I mean.)