Have been surfing the web a bit, and happened on this discussion, which compares a Goldmund CD player to a Pioneer one:
Now, high-end manufacturers redoing mass hifi boxes is nothing new. Indeed, the whole "it's not perfect sound and we can make it better" started when Meridian took a Phillips apart and redid it, if I remember correctly. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of examples after that original Meridian. However, in this particular case, apart from a transformer, there seems to be little change; the PCBs look totally intact. Not heard either player, I can't comment on the sound, and this might already be old news to all.
What really floored me though and prompted me to post, is a paragraph on Goldmund's own web site http://www.goldmund.com/technology/ :
The problem in listening to an Audio component is the automatic compensation made by the brain.
If High-End Audio Manufacturers tell you they have to design their product by listening, it means they believe Audio is Magic and cannot be measured.
Don’t believe them…Everything is measurable. So, send them back to school!
When we listen (yes, we do too!), it is only to check one parameter at a time, and only to be able to correlate it with measurement.
You cannot tune a whole product like that.
We, at Goldmund, absolutely never listen to our components before releasing them to the market. But we have a pretty good idea on how they will sound, because we do measure them…