Brand Signature

I have been gradually upgrading my system but I must admit I am way off from what probably most of you guys do.....I might buy / trade 1 piece of equipment every few years at best.... but I seem to be going back to certain brands....
I tried Monitor Audio, Audio Physics and  2 different ProAcs in between....and I stayed with ProAc Response D30R.
For Amps I tried Bryston, Sonic Frontier, Pass, few Cary amps and Audio Research and I seemed to enjoy the sound I get from Audio Research.... Currently own Audio Research Ref 110 
Etc... etc....

Given the huge selection of different manufacturers and then each manufacturer offering different products....I feel I sampled so little of what's on the market but the fact is, I do not enjoy tweaking and changing my components. 
I am most happy when I get a new piece and I am able to say...." wow, this is nice and clear upgrade...I can hear XYZ.... and I can hear this and that.... This is a keeper" 
And then I spend years just listening to the music.....before I look for the next step up.

Seems many of you have a lot of experience by simply swapping and trading your equipment so I do have a question for you.
Do specific manufacturers have a specific sound signature that remains constant throughout their line of equipment or do they actually vary as you go up and down their offerings.
Is it best to stay with the same brand but just go up their line or how much do you guys "venture" outside ?
Do you find yourself going back to one brand ?

Again, I am familiar with the differences in some general characteristics like Tube vs. SS and also I can tell when I am not enjoying something.... but looking more for a feedback on my future path to upgrades.....

thank you!

Ag insider logo xs@2xether
Making sure there is a perceived difference in value between product ranges is pretty important to manufacturers.

Why should you pay $10K for the top of the line if it sounds just like the $100 version?

Yes, manufacturers often have a certain sound, but the integration between electronics and speakers and room determines what you finally hear. If you have only focused on gear so far, I'd encourage you to work on room acoustics. You'll find that will really open up your speakers and future speaker choices.

Sometimes signatures change a lot. Like modern Audio Research sounds less sterile to my ears, and much more enjoyable.

Above all, to your ears be true, and not to reviews or price tags. High End Audio can be very trendy or faddish. What is touted as the absolute best today, may not be tomorrow.
As an Audio Research fan (after many years of listening to other manufacturers), I can assure you that the Ref 150 was a huge step up in bottom end and solidity to images from the Ref110--say 20 to 25 percent. The Ref 150SE is another, albeit smaller step up from the Ref 150 (although you can put KT150s in the Ref 150 and be extremely close to the sound of the 150SE)--say 10 to 12 percent. The Ref 160Ms are yet another step up from the Ref150SE but IMHO not quite as big as the step between the Ref 110 and Ref 150---say 15 to 20 percent.
Of course, these are all of my opinions in my system in my room.
I also like VTL, Lamm, Aesthetix, Doshi and BAT and for solid state, Soulution, Wells Audio, D'agostino, T&A and others, but each manufacturer has its own house sound and improvements over the years or in the product line from low to high come not as modifications to the sound--so much as shoring up weaknesses in the house sound. With ARC, the only major weakness of the Ref 110 to my ears was its etherial presentation that sometimes presented images as too wispy. As a result, it also did not have an impactful low end. The Ref 150 cured that problem and since then, ARC amps to me have been extremely well rounded and a pleasure to own.  
helpful feedback... appreciate it.
for me, I really always listen for CLEAR sound improvement - not based on price....but the final question I always ask myself: Can I tell a CLEAR difference AND is that different sound PREFERRED by me.
In my limited experience I must admit (PLEASE DO NOT HIJACK MY THREAT BASED ON THIS COMMENT) I often couldn't tell any difference between some pieces of equipment.... for example, I once temporarily replaced my old and still owned Cary CDP-1 with Bryston highly reviewed and awarded BCD-1 and I really couldn't tell any difference.
Same happened with many cables and interconnects....
Some other times, I could tell the difference but it wasn't so much about better vs. worst.... but which sound I prefer.
For example:
As you can read in my other post about the 3 pre-amps.... (Cary SLP-03, Bryston 17cubes and Parasound JC-2) - They all sounded a bit different with Cary and Parasound being closer together (i.e. sounding similar and clearly preferred over Bryston) and then Parasound winning over Cary.  
Or my similar experience with Audio Physics Avanti MkIII vs ProAc Response D30R.... I could tell they sound different and I preferred ProAcs.... Not that Avanti were bad...I just didn't like their sound signature....they sounded different....

So again....what I am learning is that different pieces of equipment sound different....and the difference is what I call out and decide if it's preferred by me or not....

Hope this makes sense to you guys and it explains better my original question around sound signature of different brands.