Responses from pkatsuleas

Soft, smooth organic SS integrated amps?
+1 on the Hegel.  I picked up a used H360 several months ago and it is indeed very smooth and a bit warm in my room.  Never a harsh moment with any of my speakers and powers my LRS with ease.  Maybe not quite as 'organic' sounding as First Watt bu... 
What room treatment product have transformed your room or audio system?
Are you handy?  I used Owens Corning 703 panels for first reflection points on sidewalls and ceiling.  Wrapped them in fabric, very easy and inexpensive.  Made a huge improvement in soundstage and imaging.  Just be cautious while handling (mask, g... 
Front ported or sealed monitors for shop
Thanks mesch.  Interestingly, I traded in a pair of 686 a few years ago for a phono pre.  They were rear ported though so would not have worked.  The hunt is on! 
Front ported or sealed monitors for shop
Thanks all. Yes, been considering building my own as well.  Would be fitting for the workroom right?  Looked at the GR Research site but nothing front ported or sealed.  I will peruse the others, thanks for the links.   Multiple speakers might be ... 
CD player reliability.... good and bad.
Interesting news about leaving a CD in the tray.  My Rega Planet was purchased used about 15 yrs ago and still going strong.  It stays on 24/7 and there is usually a CD left in it.  Maybe I'll start taking the CD out after use so I can get another... 
Looking for RP6 insight
In Chicago so that's a yes.  Very near Music Direct actually.Thanks 
Looking for RP6 insight
Thank you all for the replies.  Unfortunately, I was a day late.  The unit sold yesterday.  The hunt continues.  I have a line on a fairly new Music Hall mmf 5.1 for $600.  Anyone care to comment on that TT?  Or maybe I just ante up for a new one.... 
Looking for RP6 insight
Thanks for the reply.  Not looking for comparisons really, unless someone can directly compare the rp6 to an old Dual 1219.  I have been told by a few people much more knowledgable about TTs than myself that I will have to spend over $1k to beat t... 
Better Integrated Amp?
You seem set on a TT for your first system.  Is there any reason for this?  Do you have a  collection of records already?  If not you have to add the cost of vinyl into your budget.  Not inexpensive these days unless you like older music and scour... 
New Hobby Ultrasonic Record Cleaning
Interesting how there are several other machines that are very similar for more $$.  I have been very curious about ultrasonic cleaning.  But, my small record (100 or so but growing) collection doesn't warrant buying one.  I was considering trying... 
Colapse to Hegel
By all means audition the Hegel.  I purchased a H360 integrated about a month ago.  In my experience it has a neutral to slightly 'dark' leaning sound, if you will.  Very smooth, nothing really stands out.  Not exactly rolled off but certainly not... 
How old are you?
54, but everyone says I don't look a day over 60 
What sends shivers down your spine when you play it on your system?
First one that comes to mind is the saxophone on Morphine's 'All Your Way'  
Phono preamp suggestions
Thank you lewm.  I will check it out and Fremer.  I generally enjoy his take on things. 
The conclusion I've reached about speakers
Boy that was maybe the most anticlimactic conclusion in the history of conclusions.