"Hot damn, I use the same "acid test" and the whole issue is far from a waste of time, Ed."
By "whole issue" F1, I meant the part about caring what anyone else thinks about one's choice of tweaks (this thread issue degradation)....not the "whole issue" of achieving better sound. I agree, THAT issue is not a waste of time.
FR: 400 disk changer with PS Audio Digital Link III DAC; Technics SL-1100A TT. QED Quenx1 IC's from DAC & TT to Adcom GTP-602 preamp/Tuner. AudioQuest King Cobra IC's from preamp to M1.0t mk-II opt2. QED Silver Spirals 4M wires to EPI 1000’s.
LR: AudioEngine wireless link from family room preamp to Barcus-Berry 2002R Sonic Maximizer to GlowPower Zyxt IC's to Sunfire 300x2 to Nordost 6M bi-source wires to AOS 28" MDF spherical speakers using six 6.5" woofers and eight 1" dome tweeters symm. arranged around the surface.
SS system: CX-995V DVD to AV-634x 3-4 channel amp (center/rears) & M1.0t mk-II opt2(fronts).
Garage: 300 disk changer to Entech 202.5 DAC to MXR150 Receiver (pre) to TFM-42 to EPI 400 speakers.