You misinterpreted my point; my bad! I have been in software sales and sales management for 30 yrs. We get tens of millions for the same code that is sold for thousands in different markets (we called it value pricing
) so I'm not saying software doesn't make a difference, or doesn't have a real part in the whole investment of the audio chain. In fact, I think software is the next frontier for audiophile sound. However (and my point was) the expectation level up to now is that most software is either free or of very little investment cost, especially so early in this very new immature market. iTunes, although not literally free (ad space, costs of downloads,etc.) it is nearly so...and is getting better all the time (hence the threads that talk about comparing improved v8.2 to the latest Amarra, etc.). The comparison between free and $1500 is quite a religious sell. If the average cost of player software is somewhere around $10 up to now, then $1500 is 150x (and that's giving amarra a break, i think the average cost of decent Foobar-like player software is closer to $0). Your analogy for 150x improvement does not stand up as well. Nevermind that this $1500 now relegates your system to MAC only, no FLAC files, no other lossless codecs at all, no discs, wav and AIFF only....
I have probably $100k invested in my system, give or take. I am certainly not going to balk at another 1.5%, i just want to know it is a legit and proven solution that can't be had for far less......but to simply argue that $1500 makes a $1200 DAC sound like a $3k one..begs the argument that a $0 player makes a $1200 DAC sound like a $2500 one...much better bang! Don't compare it to the improvement, compare it to what else can be used to make similar improvements. As one CFO once told me, if I accepted all these value propositions to save me millions a year I'd spend the company broke.
Steve, I'm sorry...take this thread back.