I get it now

I have been slowly doing smallish upgrades to my audio system and seeing modest results but today I hooked up my new (to me) McIntosh C2500 preamp and I get it now. I finally see what a premium component can do to the sound. This change was even bigger than my initial upgrade to Forte IIIs as my speakers.  Human voices are more real than anything I’ve heard before. It’s truly a night and day difference. Even my extremely non audiophile wife immediately noticed the change.  
Alright, enough writing. I’m off to listen to music until I can’t keep my eyes open! 
I think most people that pursue high end audio have this moment. You get a component and it wildly exceeds your expectations. You get hooked. It can led to a wonderful lifetime pursuit. Congratulations, welcome to the rewarding world of high end audio. 
This is one of the moments that you will always remember in your audio journey. Enjoy!
Everything you are hearing is a figment of your imagination. I need 30 double blind tests and a dissertation  written by 4 scientists before I can even begin to take any of this seriously. 
Holy Science, Hallowed be thy name.  
@varchard.The analog side of audio is a wonderful world of increasing rewards. I have a really good system, my digital end sounds really great and costs $10K more than my analog end. I had a friend visiting to listen to my system. He is assembling his first high end system, just before he left asked to listen to a vinyl record. I played one and he sat up and the superlatives started flying out of his mouth. His excitement level doubled. He said, “now I get it!”. He had heard my earlier VPI tt to... I had upgraded to a Linn and Koetsu cartridge.
I'm a Mac guy, aren't they grand. I almost named a child Mac. Just kidding. His REAL name is Marantz Infinity JBL Josiah McToosh III.

I have a C2500 I love it..  NOW buy two great Tellies or RCA for the main tubes leave the rest.. Change those two.. AND really enjoy your 2500.
100.00 tube (valve) investment is a real eye opener..

I run a C20 in bypass sometimes.. A/B the old with the new.. Nothing alike at  ALL. I run small planars and ribbons.. The DAC.. little quirky though.. There are better DACs but the actual 2500.. Wonderful..

Enjoy ..
@oldhvymec - I haven't even tried the DAC yet.  That's my plan for today.  I needed to read up on how to reassign the digital input to a particular source.  I have a budget streamer (Cambridge CXN V2) and even using that as the dac and sending the analog signal through the 2500 was mind blowing.  My turntable sounded much improved but it's a super budget model and not much is going to improve it's sound.  

Welcome to your new and costly neurosis. 👍😄👍
At least this is one you can really enjoy.

All the best,
take it slow, let it develop, don’t rush into a new TT until you really get a handle on what you are dealing with.

Let some errors or problems in the presentation happen, with regard to your ’getting it’. To hear some bad stuff that could be improved, first. To allow it to step into your notice.

separate the good from the bad. ie, learn nuance in the new found good stuff. cleave carefully.

THEN go out a get a turntable as then you will know what good and bad are and that it can be separated out in the gear the new turntable will be connected to.

single cause analysis, otherwise it becomes a jumbled mess.. that when you finally start to hear bad things again (learning to parse nuance), and the joy dampens a bit and you learn more..well...

...,you won’t be able to get a grip on where it is coming from and what has to stay, and what has to go. you’ll be trying to change things but be a bit rudderless as to the causal analysis.

akin to eating lots of different foods and then not knowing what goodie was the one that caused all the tummy trouble.

so, don’t rush it, is my advice...

OP everything is new and fun, BUT the fact of the matter is that C2500 is a great all around preamp. A good phono stage (not a super duper phono stage) with options for MC loading and dual TT/Carts/Tonearms.

Variable "Loudness" AND tone control. Say what you will, NO tone control
I’m looking REAL hard to see what they offer, IF they don’t have it..

I mean if I want a passive preamp, I’LL MAKE IT..

If I want a line stage preamp. I’d probably build it too.. Other than real pretty what else is there.. Ins and Outs and hooking the two together without crosstalk..

You should hear that C2500 with a Cary V12r all dolled up running planar monitors. DSP MB columns and a servo bass system.. I don’t care what you use for a source. it’s pure heaven. THAT 2500 is the real jewel in the mix...

BTW it likes a good PC I use a simple silver clad weave, light not to heavy, about 1 meter long.. It works out to # 14. Mine was 49.00.. but you can spend what you want... The one I use sell everywhere for 29-350.00. There is that much difference in who makes the VERY same PC.. Not one thing different.. Except the cost..

Don’t forget the two main tubes if they are stock.. get rid of them.. Anything is better.. The phono section, good valves make a BIG difference too... Lets make that 4 matched valves.. RCAs or Tellies.. GOOD ones.. don’t cheap out, spend 1-150 for the 4 or 6 valves.. Well worth it.. DON’T get hoodwinked with 2-300 a pair valves either..

That's right HAT on the floor, it;s time to DANCE.. As I walk around the hat to the beat of the music and my faithful K-9 folliws me.. I stop.. and I slowly back

@oldhvymec, @teo_audio Thanks for the great tips!  Yes, the tubes are still stock (have the McIntosh logo on them).  I'll look for 4 matched valves to swap out and see how it sounds.  That's also good advice on upgrading slowly...but man is that hard to hold myself to.  Almost as hard as slowing down how many records I buy so I can enjoy them longer ;)
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Glad you got to experience a change in your system for the better it is these moments that are the best part of stereo listening.
I'm glad you are happy with your upgrade. Days like this are what makes audio so addicting. The "buzz" last longer than alcohol with only a minor $ hangover👍
The ascent to Nirvana closely resembles the descent into Hell.

It all comes down to which side of the mirror one thinks one is on.

Either way, it's best to take ones' journey with leisure; sightseeing with blinders makes one miss a lot. ;)

A 'new' TT?  Sure....but they're not known to run away from one. *G*
I remember telling all my friends,vinyl was the way to only go.They all told me I was wrong ,Cds are the way to go ....oh well.But these guys who are buying 8trs.please really.I guess they thing everything old is new again.
I agree with having good high end gear. When I bought a pair of Nola KO speakers I found a brand new high end quality sound.