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. 

Thanks,

John Cotner

New Ulm, MN

jrcotner

I had the same problem with the same source material and it took replacing my speakers to fix it. Even with trim pots on my speakers, I couldn't correctly tone down the shrillness and etch without adversely effecting the adjoining frequency ranges. Good luck with what you try.

All the best,
Nonoise

There’s your answer , I recently finished upgrading a pair of older Klipsch

 

the capacitors get dryed out  and start loosing their harmonics it just gets worse 

I replace the resistor so with much better quality then the old cement typeresistors which are gritty , and the stock capacitors in most speakers under $15k is nothing special.  I learned upgrades when I owned a Audio store 

go to Humble homemade hifi capacitor test, you should pul a bass driver out and take a picture, if you are lucky the wires from the Xover are just slide on terminals 

where you can remove the Xover ,if not it’s soldered-in place . If you like them and plan on keeping them that’s what I would do first ,upgraded Xovers sound much better then stock parts ,it’s Like going from a stock engine to a Hot rod. 

Thanks for all of the information, as well as confirmation that I'm in the right place.  I got this tube set from Upscale Audio, so I'll check with them regarding tube behavior.  Room acoustics is an interesting idea, but I've been here for four years and this is a recent phenomenon.  I plan on replacing speakers next year, and would like to get a new amp as well, but my CD player is at the end of its life and needs to get replaced first.  I'll report back when any repairs or replacements are performed. 

With tubes it all depends on how many hours you have on them ,if used often it may be well overdo for tubes to be replaced , and if you have these new modern tube even more so ,I buy only NOS tubes night and day better quality on many levels ,and the small input tubes you can even voice your tone .

speakers that old the capacitors on Anything are drying out gor sure 

I have been modding o for over 20 years and capacitor technologies has greatly advanced. I still see people using electrolytic capacitors in speakers ,why for its cheap and sound like crap very gritty , I just rebuilt a so called crites upgrade 

A electrolytic on the bass $4  i I use poly caps ,or Foil  capacitor depending on budget ,if you have to go cheap and use a electrolytic cap at least put in a 2uf poly or mylar cap on a 100 uf bass cap to filter the highs ,electrolytics belong in power supplies,even they filter with a poly cap if done right , most mfg under $10 k use cheap Xover parts Solen good enough and cheaper ceramic resistors . I refuse to go to their standards ,it’s a petpeave with me , you get what you pay for .