What To Expect Of Good Hifi Hardware? 2002-09-08 23:16:59 Hi!This is an honest question. In what ways is expensive equipment really better than mediocre stuff? What could I (sonically) expect of equipment that is 10 times more expensive than your regular stereo from the local "hi-fi" dealer?Things I came up with myself:- better dynamics (less noisy)- less distortion (ie frequency shift, inter frequency modulation stuff)- flat frequency response- larger frequency range (aka as boom boom and chirp chirp)Could someone please try to quantify the improvement? What else is better? Which one of these things are the ones that you feel most? What about things like soundstage? Isn't that more related to where you put your speakers and the geometry of your listening environment rather than what cd player you use? An amplifier that is considered to have a superb soundstage... well, that to me seems more like the "wow" type dsp plugins of Winamp rather than accurate reproduction. If what I say is wrong then please correct me. I don't know very much about high grade equipment.One of the reasons I'm asking this, is because so many people say: "I can't distinguish <insert encoder/setting here> from the original. But I will still use <like before only better> in case I will get better equipment someday. Which of the improvements could actually help you hear more artifacts or make your files sound bad all of a sudden? I have the feeling that if you can't tell one from the other on a low/medium grade system, that won't change if you upgrade your hardware. Also I think that the currently used encoders/settings, that are generally considered transparent, will sound very good even on high quality system.So many questions, please shed some light into the dark shraud which surrounds me!