^ My guess: burnt polarizer. Most common cause is due to a power failure during operation which shuts down the cooling fans before they have time to cool the unit properly, which is why in normal operation shut down takes a minute or so and isn't instantaneous. Killing the power with the main toggle switch instead of the on/off push button or accidentally yanking the power cord would be two examples. Anyone operate the unit besides you?
In A/V reproduction accuracy, there IS no concept of "accounting for personal taste/preference". As art consumers we don't "pick" the level of bass, nor the tint/brightness of a scene's sky, any more than we pick the ending of a novel or Mona Lisa's type of smile. "High fidelity" means "high truthfulness", faithful to the original artist's intent: an unmodified, neutral, accurate copy of the original master, ideally being exact and with no discernable alterations, aka "transparency".