I bought the Octave a few months ago and am extremely happy with it. Almost exactly 30 years ago the first CD players hit the market and I just had to have one. They where very expensive for that time but I was so feed up with the fragility of records that I was willing to try this out. I first purchased a Yamaha player because it was ONLY $700. I was so excited to try it out but the excitement so turned to disapointment. Nothing sounded right! The music sounded synthesized. The sound that really drove me crazy was the cymbals. They sounded so fake I just couldn't stand it. 3 days latter the Yamaha went back in the box and back to the store. Sony had a player that was $1500 (stupid money for those days) but I tried it anyway and it was much much better. The cymbals still did not sound perfect but at least they where livable and did not distract my attention from the rest of the music. Players got better and better over the years and I was very happy with my Marantz CD5001 over the past several years. In the mean time, I have completely forgot about the cymbal issue, being quit satisfied (or adjusted to) the sound.
Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I received my brand new Metrum Octave after much research. Still, I was bracing myself for a quick sale on eBay it this didn't turn out to be any better then the dac in my HK990. I got the metrum and plugged it in, the first thing I thought was "wow, I never knew cymbals could sound so good". Of course my mind immediately went back to my first CD player and the difficulty of digital to reproduce this instrument to my satisfaction. The second thing I noticed was thet the acoustic steel guitar strings just sounded so good, so real, so authentic. With all that said, I believe that many people will simply not notice a difference. I have always been very picky about my sound but could also be satisfied with 'close enouph'. Its just nice to see close enouph get even closer and thats what I think the octave gives me.