The modern trend seems to be to have equipment that's voiced on the brighter side; makes system matching all the more delicate. I know that some Cyrus and Cambridge Audio equipment goes this way, the recent Klipsch RF range floorstanders had a very sharp horn tweeter and so on...not sure why, but I know that I like what the older gear does. The Sansui AU-717 I have is a keeper; I'll run this thing until it puts out its final watt and then I'll probably try and get another. If that means I forsake an element neutrality to have a sound I like, I can live with that, but too much colouration just destroys the music. As someone on another site said the other day, some people treat tone controls or sound in the same way people use salt - some lather their food with it, killing the flavour, others treat it sparingly and some do without it completely relying on the natural flavours to come through. YMMV.