Well, the Bryston 4B Pro came in, and since it only had balanced inputs, I had to promptly cut the RCAs off one end of my cheapo Radio Shack Fusion interconnects and solder on a pair of XLRs. I fired up the 4b, Marantz 63 and the Superphon and I was ready to rock. Well the speakers weren't so ready. I promptly (within about 5 minutes) ate up the aging foam surrounds on the woofers. No problem, a quick call to Simply Speakers and one evening covering myself and the cones with rubber cement and I was ready to try out my bad ass beer budget stereo. The first results. Ugh! It had been over twenty years since I'd heard a pair of DQ-10's and at the time I thought they were the greatest thing since beer in cans. What had happened? My first thought was that six years of college had fried too many brain cells along with my memory.
Well I tried bypassing the pre, a little better but no imaging, went back to the pre, finally stopped using the CD inputs and tried the aux jacks, a small improvement. Spent the afternoon running through a series of CD's that sounded like crap. After about five hours of this torture (aided by a little port)I put in a John Prine cd and it was then that something started to happen. The vocals began to open up and the music for the first time became tolerable. Slowly over the next few hours the midrange started to fill in followed finally by the base. Wow, these things are finally starting to sound nice. What happened? I've heard of breaking in new components but all my stuff was used. There was nothing subtle about this change, it was like night and day. Is this normal? Thanks again for the advice and patience with all these newbie questions. BTW was it the John Prine? I somehow doubt that In-Sync would have had the same effect.