No, I was not talking about mp3 format. If you connect the Clip to your home stereo and hear no difference from CD player it does not necessarily means, that the Clip plays equaly good as any CD player or if you like any combination of a transport and external DAC with reasonably good connection cables. The better the music system, the more you hear. On my dads vintage (old and lo-life) system a can barely hear the difference between a CD and tape deck. In my system I can clearly hear huge difference between TDA 1543 and PCM1794 DAC. If I for instance replace the output caps from say Wima MKP to Audyn Cap MKP on my TDA1543 DAC I can hear big difference. I can hear a difference between LM3875 (so called gainclone) amp, Aleph 3 amp and EL 34 single ended 3W tube amp. But if I put in my system my first amp (Aiwa A-X950) which was very expensive that time around here I can not hear a **bleep** difference between Yamada 6700 cheap DVD player and my first CD player Pioneer PD-S 904, which was also very expensive that time.
And why not? Because expensive Aiwa is so lousy amp. So, If I put in my system my Aiwa amp and connect it to my first loudspeakers Jamo 307 I can also hear no difference between Yamada DVD, Clip (mp3 or anything else) and Pioneer CD (I have lousy amp and lousy loudspeakers in my music chain - how could I expect to hear a difference?). So my conclusion would be, that the Clip plays equaly good as Pioneer or Yamada.
Sorry guys for all that writings; I’m just killing time; don’t take me too seriously. Clip and Clip+ are fine players but unfortunately can not be substitution for a serious music source. Oh; I totaly forgot to mention vinyl turntable with good RIAA phono preamp - totaly different sound.