So my non-working AU-9500 is now working! What may not have been working is my head. I think that, in the end, it may have been a simple tape switch setting that caused the problem. Thanks to all who offered advice above. I am an occasional idiot. Now on to more important matters. In the last hour, I have become a religious man. I am a devotee of the religion of AU-9500. Can I just say that I have had my mind thoroughly blown?! The 9500 is massively powerful, and in complete control of its output. It is completely present, equally bold, delicate, lush and detailed. The bass is big and present and "live", the mids are sweet, the highs are amazing. Maybe this amp is not perfect, but it's pretty damn close, at least in my setup. I think it's possibly a perfect match for the Tannoy Gold 12"s, so speaker synergy is way good here. I will post further impressions later. But for now, it is a huge improvement over the venerable model Seven, and lays my pretty yet uninspired fully recapped Marantz 2270 to absolute waste. I was liking the Seven over the 2270 before the 9500 came along. One last comment. Who has something to say about the phono stage on this amp? I am finding it absolutely amazing- lush and very present and clear. I may even just sell my Cambridge Audio 640p, which is pretty good, but I can't imagine it sounds better than the phono stage on the 9500. So good...so, so good. I am totally in agreement that it's all about system synergy, and personal preference. There is nothing wrong with the AU-9500. Far from it.