Okay, I finally have an update! I've been breaking it in using both methods described- leaving it on for a few days as per Tommy suggestion, and spending a few days powering it off after each listening session. I do feel that the amp has opened up, though it hasn't moved (sonically speaking) that far from the original sound. However, I have discovered something very interesting about it.
I packed it up and took it over to a friends house the other day to hear it in his system. Actually, it was Alvester Garnett, who originally hipped me to the Cherry Plus and is mentioned in the review that Tommy just posted from StereoTimes.com... Anyway, we listened to Alvester's system with his NuForce monoblocks in place for a few hours, then we popped in my Cherry Plus.
At first I was in shock! The bass was totally undefined and fuzzy, and the midrange was weak. We had just spent about three hours being knocked out about it's sound over at my house, so we all were a bit confused. We started shuffling through his library (he has a music server) and started discussing what we were hearing (i.e. ignoring the music). After about 10 minutes, we popped back to that first track we checked out and the bass was A LOT more focused. Whew! Sooo, the Cherry needs to warm up. We cranked some Erykah Badu "Live" to help it along. After about 20 minutes the bass was right were it should be.
The midrange was still a little metallic, or maybe "less warm" than his NuForce's, though. For this, we decided to try a different power cord. We were using one of Alvesters high end PS Audio cords I think. We switched to an Analysis-Plus Power Oval 2 power cord- BAM - the bass was still great AND the midrange came to life. (Disclaimer- I endorse for Analysis-Plus, but only because I believe in their cords!)
Soo, the lesson I learned is the Cherry Plus seems to need a 30 minute or so warm up to reach it's potential, and the power cord definitely makes a difference. That amp really
gripped the heck out of Alvester's Hyperion speakers! It was a lot of fun to listen to, and the music sounded great.
About the hum I had mentioned in my earlier posts. At my house, there is one of those halogen lamps with a built in dimmer switch in the same room as the system. That was the culprit! Luckily, it's on an outlet that is connected to a light switch, so I can kill it all together when I'm listening. I was a little surprised that it was affecting the system since I have everything behind a power conditioner, and it's never cause a problem before... Not a big deal, though.
It still has a slight hum that you can hear if you put your ear above the amp, which was present at Alvester's house as well. That is completely inaudible, though, when you're standing up in front of the system, and you certainly can't hear it from the listening position. I'm guessing that's normal- it does have a giant transformer, after all.
Another surprise was, according to Alvester, my Cherry Plus seemed to sound even better than the Cherry Plus that he and Perry reviewed for that StereoTimes article. I'll post something about that in the other thread.