This last weekend I used a 40% discount coupon from my local (Seattle-based) Metropolitan Market which they give regular customers (freebies or discounts for each week for a month 2-3 times a year) to buy a 6-cup Chemex drip coffee maker.
I've always wondered about the Chemex claim their filters reduce the bitterness in coffee over other drip filter brands. I've long used Melitta filters since buying a Melitta Vintage coffee maker in the mid-1980's (two repairs to date), along with using their standard 1, 2 and 6 cup drip coffee system.
So, twice (separate days) I made pots with the Chemex system and a comparable Melitta system. I use a Braun coffee grinder (burr type with a 1-16 scale set for 3) with Starbucks Kopelani coffee. I use espresso grind because it reduces the amount of coffee you need per cup and still not clog filters.
And the very subjective taste test results for the two type two times were the same. The Chemex-made coffee had just a slightly less bitter taste than the Melitta-made coffee. Slight enough for me to barely taste the difference, maybe more for some and less for others depending on your taste sensitivity.
So my initial conclusion is that it does make a difference which changes the taste just a bit, but it is worth for the price of the Chemex and filters (about $9-10 per box of 100)? Maybe, if you want to have one, but not if you don't need one unless it's on sale or for a discount.