You guys may well be right. I don't know enough about psycho-acoustic phenomena to be able to confirm or refute. The problem, as I'm hearing it, may well only actually be over a narrow band, but the mild "veiling" effect that I'm talking about certainly *sounds* as if it extends from top to bottom.
The thing is, I wonder if I would even perceive it as a problem if I didn't have something else to compare it to.
In comparing the two systems, different equipment, different room, different everything, I know that there are so many variables that it's totally apples and oranges (well, more like apples and mangoes).
But what I was trying to get at had to do with how we, generally, make judgments about the musicality and clarity of systems. I have to wonder, as the quality of the components rises, and the synergy between them rises, if there isn't a point, an incremental leap, an elbow in the graph, where things rather suddenly get significantly better. But we need a good auditory memory to perceive it as such, if we don't have something immediately to hand to compare with. It *feels* as if the two systems I'm talking about are on either sides of that elbow, which BTW is fine, as the second system is purely for non-critical duty.
These are only musings, not conclusions. Perhaps I'm just reinventing the wheel. But I know what I heard--even if I have no firm idea why I heard it...