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


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.

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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.    


Your question and equipment fit into this website perfectly and you are equally perfectly welcome.  Don't think twice about it.  In fact, your question is more relevant than many discussions here. 

Call Upscale and ask them if the PL behaves like this when power tubes need replacing.

You can buy 2 matched pairs on Amazon for $89 a pair. 5 years is worth a replacement set.