Responses from stevecham

Fixing a scratch in an otherwise good lp
I have done this with toothpick many times and it is not hard. But you need one of these:$20 
Did Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain" blow up my woofer?
Well you "blew up" one and not both so that points to defective woofer or crossover in the one that blew. Talk to the manufacturer and see if they can replace. Or you can take the problematic woofer out of the enclosure and use a 9 volt battery br... 
Acceptable speaker hum from integrated or sign of impending failure?
It could be a number of things, but two that I think of immediately are the power electrolytics (capacitors) or the rectifier. Both smooth out 60 Hz from the wall and could be the culprit. This is an easy fix.  
Does removing anti-skating really improve sound?
I use Peter Ledermann's method for setting antiskating and don't worry about it. Seems to work just fine. 
Audio Technica VM540ML v. N97xe Jico SAS
Yup +1 Nag MP150.  Put mine back in yesterday and enjoying it. Compared to any other MM I have, this one is totaly satisfying top to bottom and tracks like a champ at 1.748 g. 
Whats on your turntable tonight?
I will say everyone here has superb musical tastes, at least based on my preferences.Any Guided By Voices fans?GBV - How Do You Spell HeavenGBV - Bee ThousandGBV - August By CakeEl Ten Eleven - El Ten ElevenSisters Of Mercy - This Corrosion EP 
Ambient loops
This works for stereo amps and I have tried it as an interesting experiment: as Brian Eno suggested back in the 70s, one can place a small speaker behind the listener and connect it to the two positive terminals of the amplifier for a "third" chan... 
What are you streaming tonight?
Guilty as charged ;-) 
Newbie seeking any advice
You have a real world system and kudos for selecting Vandersteen 1Cs. If ever there was a well-designed and made, solid entry speaker that is phase and time aligned, the 1Cs are it. I have a pair too. The room is one half of your sound. Focus on f... 
What's in your CDP tonight? the minority report
@ghosthouse: I totally agree. Just figure, the very popular and talented lead singer, composer and musician leaves the band, and the remaining four decide to soldier on with the drummer/backup singer as lead. Sheer talent and determination produce... 
The Most Amazing Song
The Original Soundtrack has always been a favorite of the post-Beatles era. Wish You Were Here was yet another gem of 1975. 
amp blowing fuse
Try powering up without the power tubes, if it stays on, then tubes, if not, something else. 
Amp "timing" ?
The only maeasurable parameter that might, and I emphasize might, be involved here is the amplifier slew rate, that is, how many volts/microsecond can it increase? 
Hal Blaine
Netflix' license expired but you can rent it on Amazon for $3. Watched it last night; a must see! 
Krell fpb 250m
I had a 400cx and it made a click when powering up when the breaker would activate the circuitry to on status. That's normal.