Responses from johnss

V-Cap ODAM Capacitor Upgrade in VTL 2.5i Pre?
not warmer; more organic sounding. Once you hear copper tough to return to a plastic cap.   
Non-fatiguing speakers in $10K range?
what you are describing is the Franko Serblin sound from the earlier Sonus Fabers. Look for a pair either in a floor model or bookshelf model. Most of these are unfatiguing and can be listened to for hours.   
V-Cap ODAM Capacitor Upgrade in VTL 2.5i Pre?
I used to have that same preamp. Better caps will help the sonics but doubt you'll get your money back. May want to consider sticking with copper foil caps though. Believe the ODAMS are metalized film. At some point though you may want to consider... 
@bpoletti  - I have most of the AT carts plus quite a few others. The ART 9 is a nice pathway into the ART series. Pretty musical cart, nice soundstage.  The ART 1000 is in another league. the dynamics, soundstage depth, instrument placement in... 
Shopping for a DAC at AXPONA
If you find a DAC you like you may want to swing by Quintessence Audio in Morton Grove, iL. They should be at AXPONA. See what they have. Will also allow you to get away from all the noise at the show which makes it easier to hear the qualities of... 
Speakers replace or improve?
That open area is going to cause loading problems. You really need to buy a couple of good subs that will proplerly load that whole area. Which means to get good bass you need something that will really move a lot of air. Forget the cheaper subs, ... 
Would really suggest you consider the ART-9. Quite the nice cart. The only cart I like better is the ART-1000.   
Primaluna signal tube replacement
I would replace all the stock 12AU7s with NOS or UOS RCA or GE tubes.  and you can sub in the 5814As which are electrically the same but are lower noise tubes. Have owned 7 of the PL amps. One of the biggest improvements I got was pulling all 6 o... 
What's A Good Upgrade From A Manley Steelhead?
I used to have same phono stage with similar vinyl set up. I replaced it with the VTL TP 6.5.  Have not heard all, but only thing I have heard better than the VtL is the Boulder 2018.  
Speaker upgrade
@helomech, yep completely understand. Was the exact same response I had when another person mentioned it to me.  Very few of the top speaker manufacturers use the best parts. Sonus Faber on some of their top models has just started. If you look i... 
VPI HW-19 with Graham 1.5 arm Question/Suggestions
@hoodjem, you have a pretty decent setup. Before you buy anything, you may want to pick up a NAB broadcast test disc and measure the voltage output from your preamp. In doing so you'll get a pretty good idea what the response is of your whole play... 
Speaker upgrade
@helomech, first you have educate yourself as to what the best high quality best performing parts are. Once you comprehend this, and know how to recognize them, then as mentioned before, don't take my word for it, pull the woofer out and take a lo... 
Speaker upgrade
BTW, don't take my word for it, pull a woofer out and take a look at the quality level of the parts used. Then sum up those costs, not very much considering what the retail cost is.    
Speaker upgrade
@ronboco , I completely understand. I was in the exact same boat. But before you can determine what is used, you have to understand what good parts are for a crossover first. I have owned the Aviors and have owned several pairs of Wilsons. They al... 
Tube preamp options
my vote would be for the VTL 6.5. Fully differential and you will get dynamics and imaging like you have not heard before. They are bit pricy new but you can pick up one used for a pretty reasonable sum.