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


Try switching the output taps on the speaker connections -

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

Post removed 

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.

Post removed 

Thanks for the info.  I get the harshness with CDs as well as records.  I've changed around the speaker output taps and no change.

I apologize if I offended anyone with my modest problems.  I settled on the Audiogon forum since it looked like it had the most knowledgeable and experienced members around.  If it is strictly for much higher-end participants than myself, please let me know and I will move off.