Midrange Increasingly Harsh

Lately I've noticed some harshness in the mid-range, especially with violins, clarinets and female voice.  I recently bought a CD of female plainchant, and she hits the un-sweet spot so frequently I can't listen to it.  I don't listen at high volumes, rarely over nine o'clock on the volume knob.  The sound is not anything unnatural, just a less musical presentation and an unpleasant harshness.


I have twenty year old Forest Totems with their original cones, a Prima Luna Dialogue One amp which got new tubes about five years ago and an Arcam CD-73 which got a factory rebuild about three years ago.  I have neither the money nor inclination to just start arbitrarily replacing parts, but would appreciate some insight and guidance on likely culprits. 


John Cotner

New Ulm, MN


Has this happened on both speakers or just one?

Have  you moved things around in your listening area which could affect acoustics, or moved the speakers further into the room?

Try switching the output taps on the speaker connections -

If you are using the 8-ohm taps try the 4-ohm and 2-ohm.  

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Probably need new tubes as noted above. 

If that doesn't do the trick, I believe your tweeter is a Seas 25TAF/G which appears to use ferrofluid.  Depending on the ease of tweeter partial disassembly, you may be able to change the fluid yourself.  Some are simple to do, others not simple at all and your risk damaging the tweeter.

If it was my tweeters, I would not hesitate to send to Millersound who only does speaker repair.  He is excellent and if past performance is indicative he will turn them around in a day or two.  Price will be very very minimal. 

The ferrofluid being bad is definitely a secondary possibility to needing new tubes.