So to clarify, a harder machine press is better?
It's depends. Like many things in winemaking, there's no "one size fits all".
My experiences are different from @Rocky
's in this regard. I find the heavy pressings are darker and heavier, more flavor and body. It may be that my current press (Italian #4) and previous presses couldn't crank hard enough to crack seeds, or maybe my sensitivity to bitterness is less than Rocky's.
For my 2019 second run (pomace of Merlot, Malbec, & Zinfandel) I got about 12 gallons of free run and pressed another 3+ gallons out, which I segregated. Then I pressed hard and got another 8 gallons. Note that a basket press has no gauge to determine pressure -- I crank until it won't crank any more, give it 5 minutes and repeat. Back off the pressure once or twice, and keep doing it until I literally can't turn the press. YMMV
I used some of the heavy press to top the barrel the light press was in, and bottled the remainder (carboy aging, no oak). Both wines are good (at the 2.5 year mark), but most people prefer the heavy press
My 2020 first run -- Meritage (Merlot + Bordeaux grapes, free run and very light press) and Meritage Plus (Merlot + Zinfandel +Bordeaux grapes, hard press) are distinctly different, more so than the addition of Zin to the second. Both are very good in their own way.
My suggestion is to segregate the free run and light press from the hard press. Age them separately and decide what to do later. It's common to blend at least some of the hard pressings into free run and/or light pressings for additional body.