Well, the added benefits of cross-source validation is that some of the sources are stable but others are less stable and might vary in its basic quality with time. For instance digital is very stable and since you once set it up properly then it remains more or less constant. In contrary the records playing, being as finicky as it is, might run away in quality (because multiple reasons). Actually any of the sources might “run away”…
In my personal word I try all my sources to deliver basically the same sound playing the same material (in fact they deliver same Sound paling even different mater but this is more complicated subject). Over the years I found/made a few test tracks that I have learned very well and sometimes, juts for sake of test, I play them across all my sources.
With my analog at this point the only my Sheltered Arm passes my test of being neutral. All the rest arms/needles some “kink”. Also I have so far no “correct” second phonostages to make it works in the way how I would like to.
My CD sources CEC-TL0 (that from my point if view has no contestants in any other area) is notoriously not neutral (thin in upper bass). However, it perfectly balanced out by the “upperbass chubby” Bidat. The CD source and “Shelterd” analog produce absolutely the same type of sound. Of cause there are some advantages in analog: more interning lower bass, better HF, better subjective dynamics, way better transients, way more sophisticated tone and many others things. However, still the Sound in its basic structure between my CD and record player is very much the same.
Defiantly having an ABSOLUTELY TRANSPARENT PREAMP with 6 inputs and ability instantly switch the inputs from… a remote control is a great help in those experiments. I am not juts trying to kiss my damn preamp in it’s ass. I insist that absolute transparency of a preamp at each and single of its input is a very fundamental “the must”.
Going to other sources I feel that It is much less difference, even at the micro-levels, between analog and my recording media. The recordings to 88/24 uncompressed files are WAY more identical to their sources then PCM playing from a CD player. It is pretty much anything that put on a disk sounds worse. It is slightly better result with reels. My reel recorder at 15ips and using BASF 486 tape does very fine with practical identical result to the sources.
The point is that when (once a half-year or so) I make all my sources to play the same things and while it’s doing so I am flipping the preamp’s inputs then I should not experience …. any “wrong” events. There are two types of events:
1) “Something was changed”
2) “A source was changed”
The first event is fine. The second event is an indication that something is wrong with the given source chain and it should be fixed…Rgs,
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche