Responses from avanti1960

Luxman leaves me wanting
It is your speakers.  The nines are super bright.    
Hegel comparison
@bigtwin  FYI https://10audio.com/hegel_h20/    
Looking for a McIntosh amp that gives a great example of the “McIntosh Sound”
The newer macs do not have the old sound.  They still sound awesome but are more detailed and less bass warmth as witnessed by my MC312.   The mc252 has the old sound, probably others but that one i can confirm.   i  
Amp — Leave on or turn off
A local dealer leaves their amps powered on 24/6. they shut down on sat nights. on monday AM opening the store the sound is noticeably off compsred to days after they were left on. the main rep says it takes two days for some of them to sound thei... 
Thinking about switching cartridges.
Lyra Delos is a giant killer at its price.    
Turntable Cartridge upgrade question.
I had and really enjoyed the 2M black.  I upgraded to an Audio Technica ART9 and was blown away how clean, colorful, bassy and dynamic it was compared to the 2M. At the time it was $1100 but now the prices are higher.  If you can stretch your bud... 
Hegel comparison
@bigtwin  i think everyone hears similarly but the Hegels have sounded so different in different systems that a prospective owner really needs to hear it before making a decision.  With the H390 integrated it sounded punchy and dynamic with some ... 
Upgrade My Turntable - How Much Do I Need to Spend?
@hikerneil  your mac preamp has an excellent phono stage and can support a nice LOMC csrtridge .5mv and above.  A LOMC cartridge is a fantastic upgrade in sound from your 2M Blue cartridge.  I recommend a Lyra Delos if budget allows or an Audio T... 
Preamp advice
@tubesound247  AR are very good, macs are good but i would still recommend 20 db linestage gain in the specs.  phono gain is a separate animal.    
Hegel comparison
Count me as not being a fan of the Hegel sound.  I have heard their integrated and power amps on at least 5 occasions at dealers with various sources and speakers and the sound ranged from bland and lifeless to overly punchy and bass heavy to unre... 
Preamp advice
@tubesound247  Many people are underwhelmed with the sound of the MC275 because it has too little gain to sound its best with most preamps.  Its 20 db gain is a full 9 or 10 db less than most amplifiers.   Get a tube preamp with higher than usua... 
Does a turntable mat make any difference?
@jjbeason14  Yes if you know what to listen for.  Judging by many responses about mats I see few if any really know what to listen for and how to test them.   The business end mechanics of a turntable is a stylus that generates vibration energy ... 
Value of a preamp?
it can add gain and thrilling dynamics  
Signal tube versus power tube, sound impact?
all of the above but try the small tubes first, you may find you tune the sound to your liking without expensive power tube trial and error experimentation.  
DSP Active Crossover
I would be willing to bet that most active speakers with DSP still have some degree of passive crossover networks prior to the electrical connections on the speaker.  many drivers require a simple impedance flattening or notch netwok to rid the dr...