One of the most common pieces of advice given here is to go and listen for yourself and make your own mind up. But let's face it, how many of us are qualified to do this? Fine if you're a magazine hardware reviewer who spends every waking hour contemplating the minutiae of 'grain', 'stage width & depth', 'mid-band nasality' and any other of the weird and wonderful descriptions of colourations which bear striking similarity and just as much unhelpfulness with some of the descriptions of wine tastes. Let's restrict ourselves to to CD/DVD players, processors & amplifiers, and speakers, ignoring the visual side of things and subwoofers for now. We've created our shortlist of equipment we're going to audition. But how should we be going about this? I'm interested to hear from some of our more 'Golden-Eared' contributors - what do they advise? What specific CD/DVD tracks should we use? What should we be listening for? Where should we audition? At home / dealer? etc, etc... And what the hell does 'grain' sound like anyway????