When energy is first applied to the building of a high-end audio system big improvements come quickly. Over time changes get increasingly smaller despite the same energy applied. We refer to this as an asymptote (diminishing returns). Rapid progress slows as the system coalesces into its final form. Thus, the new and exciting DAC everyone's talking about rarely has as big an impact on the mature system as it might when replacing a mediocre product. This is natural and to be expected. What's remarkable is when you read of a new product that even on the most mature systems leaps forward in performance. It's one thing to best a meh product and quite another to stand out in a crowded field of exceptional gear. You'll know it's worth your time when those of us nearing the asymptote find a new product worth shouting about.
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