Thanks for the clarification. Like you, I've had tubes in my previous system, which consisted of VTL MB-125's using EL-34's. Pretty special sounding in the midrange.
My upstream components were pretty special too, with the 3-piece dCS digital front end and Basis Debut Gold turntable. Speakers were GR Research Alpha LS's, which were great-sounding 6' line arrays.
Due to a downsizing of our house and losing my dedicated room, I'm now using an Integra receiver with Audyssey EQ, as I use the system for both HT & 2-ch, and smallish Guru Pro Audio GM-10 bookshelf speakers. My 2-ch source is a Squeezebox 3.
I've recently added an MHDT Havana dac, which uses a single Western Electric 396A tube, in the hope that it might add a little tube flavor to the system. The Integra is in the shop for repairs, so I can't make a comparison yet. The equipment must sit enclosed in a built-in cabinet, so a tubed integrated is not possible due to heat and ventilation considerations.
Not being able to demo either of these units I suppose I'll just have to take my chances. This won't be the first time I've done that. I was just hoping things would be a little simpler this time. But I suppose that's the fun of this hobby. Trial and error.
Thanks again for your opinion.