After having it all serviced ( great improvement in stability and just sounds fixed now) I decide to use straight through set up on the phone for my Lehman black cube se 2. I was always using the tuner input for this because I did not have a decent RCA to RCA (input was converted from BNC). I purchased a nice rca to rca Nordost purple.
I found that the volume was already very loud by 7 o’clock and while detail and intimacy was excellent, upper midrange was a but hard or strained. After thinking about it I though well the NAIM input sensitivity is very high. so I dropped the gain on the phono to 56 db and the problem was gone!. I even have better double bass and vocals no more strained sound
It seems the preamp was being over driven a bit. The sound is less detailed I think but overall way better.
I guess we need to make sure all aspects of replay are considered very thoughtfully before making any conclusions