To pare down a long (but great) post into something that you might actually read, here are some points about why the Hi-Fi industry is full of crap.
- Exotic/expensive cables, interconnects, or power cords don’t make your system sound better.
- Expensive CD players do not improve sound quality.
- Virtually all audio amplifiers/receivers sound the same (sans EQ). They do not have their own sonic signature that must be carefully paired with speakers.
- “Burn in” factor—the idea that speakers or electronics sound better after X hours of use—is likely a delusion.
- Expensive vacuum tube electronics may add character to your system, but if clarity (less distortion) and reliability is what you’re after, stick with transistors.
- The look and feel of CDs or computers can’t compete with vinyl, which can sound amazing for what it is. But there is no music lost “between the bits.” High quality digital formats are sonically superior to vinyl in every measurable way.
- Audiophile higher bit audio formats are not likely to offer audible improvements over compact disc 16 bit/44.1 kHz quality (though there are valid reasons for using these formats in recording).
And I’ll be happy to debate any of those points.