Need cable to soften brightness just a little?

Would appreciate some hand holding on solving a small problem. I think a different cable interconnect might be what I need. Right now I am using Blue Jeans interconnects.

Have three new variables in our TV Stereo system.
New Oppo UDP-205
Musical Fidelity A3cr Preamp
Pioneer SX-1050 Stereo Receiver (bypassing it’s preamp)

Still in use is the Arcam SR250 AV Receiver.
Speakers are floor standing Spendor FL-6.

I am an opera lover and classical music devotee and like really good audio. The Arcam SR250 is just perfect for ordinary tv watching, but I soon found out it can’t equal the musicality of a good stereo receiver, so I rigged up a way of using my Audiomat Arpege tube amp for musical program listening.   But  I just found a better use for the Arpege and decided to replace it with the Musical Fidelity Preamp and the Pioneer Receiver.   The Oppo is just a few days old as well, replacing an Oppo BDP-83SE.

There is a big improvement in clarity of spoken dialogue.
Everything sounds brighter and clearer and there is an unmistakable sense of power from the much more powerful Pioneer.
Musically it is harder to evaluate. At first there was a feeling of “wow, major improvement”, but on further listening it feels a little bright. Might be the sort of brightness that causes music fatigue.

How do I take just a little of the edge off the brightness without losing the wonderful clarity I’m getting?

And how to go about figuring out which of the three is causing that little bit of edginess.

1) Wait until all your new pieces are fully burned in. Your sound is going to be going through some changes while this happens. No sense trying to pick wire before then.

2) Talk to the folks at The Cable Co. about your system and what you are looking for. They often have system-specific suggestions. They also have a loaner program so you can try different wire in your home.

3) Search the Cable discussions here (enter "Looking for a warmer interconnect"). This topic has been done-to-death over the years.

4) One almost "cliche" answer is going to be: Cardas wire. It’s got a reputation (deserved or not) for warmth.

After burn in, and before any wire "upgrade", if the problem persists, you might try swapping your pieces in and out (with their predecessor) one at a time and see where that edginess is coming from. On the other hand, the overall sound might be due to a specific combination of pieces so expecting brightness is caused by one piece alone might be a mistaken assumption.

Good luck
The Oppo has been known to take a very long time to break in.  Some people say 200 hours, but many others have indicated as much as 300-400 hours of continuous play.  Just put a CD in and set it on repeat.  Then turn your preamp down and you can turn off your amps.  10 days straight is what I generally recommend for 200-240 hours.
Once you have it broken in, if you are still looking for interconnects, then yes Cardas has been known to be warm.  Another great option is to look for a lower cost Audioquest cable, but make sure it uses gold-plated RCA connectors (avoid the silver plated!).  Evergreen interconnects can be had for less for $50 on ebay.  I think these would be better than Blue Jeans cable because Audioquest uses larger 21awg solid-core conductors.  The gold-plated RCA will help in reducing the highs.  Or you can move up to Audioquest Golden Gate or Big Sur cables (still under $100).
OP -   Are you using footers under your components?  If not, the vibrations and resonances your equipment is subjected to could very well be causing a brightness (brittleness) to your system.  New interconnects may mask the problem but if vibrations are the problem they will not fix it.  Consider regular Tenderfeet from Herbie's Audio Lab.  I have, over many years, tried many very different footers to combat vibration and none has come close to what the Tenderfeet can do without making your system sound "mushy".
Thanks much all for the helpful advice. The Oppo has been set up to repeat until I put a stop to it. I am also including the Musical Fidelity and the Pioneer in the continuous play. The Pioneer has only been played once or twice in the last 25 years or more and the Musical Fidelity has only seldom been played of late so it makes sense to assume they need some break in too.

Hoping that’s all that’s needed.

OP - Experience by most 'philes suggests that your equipment will definitely benefit from a good burn-in.  "Brightness or Brittleness" is often what you might expect from gear that has been long dormant
Yes, continue to run-in your new components.

How do I take just a little of the edge off the brightness without losing the wonderful clarity I’m getting?

Before changing cables, examine how well your room is treated. You may need treatments to absorb and diffuse the mid to high frequencies.

Replacing interconnects will affect the clarity and timbre of your sonics in some manner. IME, using Cardas may help tame brightness, but will change the clarity due to the sonic signature of their cables. The Clear line of cables is more neutral and has clean extended highs, but will still change the overall timbre of your system.
Changing power cables is the only way I have found to tame harshness without changing the overall sound.
Some cables can extend the top-end and some can provide smoother, more organic sonics. PC’s that have helped my system are Pangea, Audience, JPS, PS Audio. OTOH, Signal Cables provided extended highs.
More importantly, clean power from either dedicated lines or power conditioning can treat a fatiguing system.

Room acoustics. :) 

try this, throw some pillows between and behind your speakers on the floor. :) 

Also, GIK acoustics. 
I would suggest you replace the receiver with a suitable power amp that would mate with your preamp. 
Yes, good call @dill .
  I missed the fact that a vintage receiver is driving the system. I'm confused as to where the Arcam and the tube amp play a role in this system.

In any event, that Pioneer is a beauty, but not up to the task of providing the high quality sound you're looking for.   Just for kicks, can you install the Arcam and remove the Pioneer? The Arcam is 90 watts and Class G, so it has a very efficient power supply.
Blue Jean cables will reveal the true sonics of a component, they are very unforgiving. This test will show if you can achieve less fatiguing sound.

I have compared the Arcam and the Pioneer.  All I have to do for a/b comparison is to mute one or the other.   The Pioneer leaves the Arcam in the dust.  The only difference is the Arcam is getting audio via HDMI, the Musical Fidelity/Pioneer by way of RCA interconnects.

History:  The tube amp, the Audiomat Arpege, had for some time been a regular alternate to the Arcam SR250.    The Arcam was used for regular tv viewing, the Arpege for musical programming.  One set of speakers on each.  HDMI cables to the Arcam, RCA audio  interconnects between the Arpege and all video sources.   Why?  Because the Arcam simply didn’t sound that great in comparison.  In spite of  Arcam’s reputation for good sound, it’s still an AV Receiver.  Believe me, considering how much it cost, I’ve wanted to like it better.

I was recently  inspired to try my old Pioneer in place of the Arpege.  The Pioneer was long sitting idle as the phono stage for a seldom to never used turntable.  It occurred to me that it would be much better suited to the TV system than the Arpege.  So I swapped around some gear.  The Arpege went to the computer audio system where it’s an ideal match with the small Spendor S3/5s there.  And then another idea,  why not use the  Musical Fidelity that was there at the computer, which had more than enough sources for the many pieces of gear in the TV room, plus a handy remote control, something  much missed in the TV room!  Even better, paired with the solid state Pioneer I no longer will feel I have to ration listening for fear of burning too many hours on tubes!  Darn tubes are costly and I can’t change them myself which is darned inconvenient.

Result:  This change is orders of magnitude better for audio and for dialogue than the Arpege and both leave the Arcam in the dust.  Even my husband, no musical aficionado by a long shot, provided an unsolicited comment about how good it sounds.

  I can easily switch between the Arcam and the  Pioneer.  The Arcam sounds somewhat muddy and somewhat veiled in comparison. The Pioneer, all 120 watts, sounds lively and clear and musical and I am loving the sound of that extra horsepower which is lurking in reserve.  The Arcam is now merely a switching device, albeit a painfully overpriced one.  I can even do away with the second set of speakers, as all sources are connected to both the Arcam and the Musical Fidelity/Pioneer.

The test I really want to make is to temporarily remove the Musical Fidelity and try the Pioneer alone.  Remember, I am bypassing the Preamp on the Pioneer. I don’t know how much the Musical Fidelity is contributing.

Brightness (edginess) is inherent in many CD's. Restore your Pioneer receiver to full functionality and use the treble control to adjust the high frequencies to your liking!
Contrary to popular misbelief wire (IC's, PC's, speaker wire) is NOT a tone control! It has little (if any) effect on the tonality of a system! Component and wire burn-in is just a delusion (no scientific or engineering basis). Mechanical things (speakers) can benefit from some use - electronics, no!
As always, don't forget rule #1, don't listen to roberjerman.
Invest in a good power amp like a matching Musical Fidelity A3cr Dual Mono Power Amplifier for your preamp.
I have been in this hobby for 42 years! The amount of b.s. that gets thrown around as "knowledge" is appalling! And the people running the medicine shows are sure profiting!
Look at Furutech copper speaker cables not bright a little warm and wonderful sound.Enjoy!!

You don't believe in burn in for cables and electronics?  WOW.  It must have been a rough 42 years!😧
Post removed 
@dill   You may be right about Rule #1!    I hope roberjerman is kidding about not hearing a difference as gear burns in.  If not, that's just sad.☹️
I leave my SS gear on 24/7! And have done so since the beginning! Why? Because it works best after an hour or two use! After that, who knows! And I've always had good quality wire! My tube gear I turn off after a few hours. No sense wasting tube life!
Based on your post above, we may be misunderstanding one another.  When you said "Component and wire burn-in is just a delusion (no scientific or engineering basis). Mechanical things (speakers) can benefit from some use - electronics, no!"  I took that to mean that you do not believe in the burning in of new electronics.  Your post at 10:24 AM implies that you were addressing warm-up rather than burn-in. If that's the case then we are mostly in agreement.  I leave my system powered up 24/7 including my tube line stage and disc player.  The tubes live on a l o n g time!  
I agree with others to give things a some time, however if you want to try a different cable, I suggest getting a pair of Mogami cables, using either the w2534 or w2549. The w2549 is a twisted pair and the w2534 is a star quad design. Your Blue Jeans cable is a coaxial design. From working in the audio industry for ~25 years, I definitely gained experience with many different cables, and the twisted pair and star quad designs, regardless of brand, have always been my preference. The Mogami cables are available for custom build in many places on the internet, custom lengths, custom color cable or connector. Splitting hairs, but I prefer the w2534, seems to be a slight bit more relaxed. Price should be less than $50/pair including shipping, but make sure you are getting a pair. If you see $15-$20, that's likely a single cable. Being in this hobby, it's always a good idea to have a spare cable, and the Mogami is a good one.
@echolane Agree on the long break in for the 205, but I am surprised no one has brought up the difference in sound between your 83SE to the 205. It's a significant change. 

Also, your HDMI cable may be contributing factor, and not in a positive way.
The one I’ve always had problems understanding is the mystery of  burning in. Maybe  it helps to have an EE degree,which I certainly dont have, Or just some deeper knowledge of the behavior of electronic parts at the electron level.  

It doesn’t help when you read stories about how inconclusive are the results of double blind listening tests of interconnects. 

 Nevertheless, I became a “can’t hurt to try” believer reading posts about Yggdrasil DACs.  When you read over and over again how awful they sound straight out of the new box they come in and how dramatic is their improvement with just a few days of burning in, it’s hard not to lose one’s skepticism .  I have a friend who was a notorious skeptic about power conditioners.  Until he tried one.  It wasn’t even one of the ultra expensive ones.  In his system, which he knows very very well, he was blown away by the dramatic difference.  I’ve yet to experience that sort of a dramatic epiphany, but perhaps it’s because I’ve done very little experimenting that way.
@echolane  To clarify, you should have a sense of what the Oppo 205 is about within two days of run time. You bring up the Yggdrasil, which in my opinion requires a really long break in. Just want to be sure you know that the 205 doesn't require anything like that.
I’m listening now after about 48 hours of continuous play.  Too soon to be sure, but my first impression is there has been some improvement, though I’m not sure how much.  I need much more time for listening to a range of familiar music programming.

david-ten pointed out one of the more significant changes, moving out the Oppo 83SE in favor of the Oppo 205.  I would be horribly disappointed if there weren’t a big change!  I was probably too impatient as  I should have waited to move in the Pioneer and the Musical Fidelity until I had listened to the new Oppo.

As an aside, I learned something important after I bought the SE.  It was much touted for its special analog section (the SE part), and it was the reason I paid its premium price, but when my audio guy opened it up to put in the all region kit for me, he almost sneered when he saw the power supply, a switch mode instead of the superior linear power supply.  I was pleased to learn the 205 does not have an inferior power supply - it surely ought to sound better.

I have compared the Arcam and the Pioneer.  All I have to do for a/b comparison is to mute one or the other.   The Pioneer leaves the Arcam in the dust.  The only difference is the Arcam is getting audio via HDMI, the Musical Fidelity/Pioneer by way of RCA interconnects.

In my opinion, you have two things against you with using the Arcam.  The first thing is that any digital audio transferred over HDMI will sound worse than digital audio sent over digital COAX or even analog audio cables.  The data bandwidth and clock timing required by HDMI interface plays havoc with the sound quality when the receiver attempts to re-assemble the digital data (which could have bits missing due to data bandwidth sharing with video) and the digital clock timing, which is already compromised.  It is always better to use digital COAX to transfer audio.  The only exception is the high res bluray audio formats (DTS-MA and Dolby TrueHD).  2-channel PCM and old school dolby digital /DTS will always sound better over COAX.

The second thing is that ARCAM has its own unique sound.  While it is very well regarded, in my opinion, it has a very weird sound.  It is very clean and high definition, but to me it just doesn't sound realistic.  ARCAM likes to use what they call Class G amplifier.  It is a weird combination of a Class A amp/power supply circuit with what looks like a Class D type secondary power supply that is switched in/out as needed.  I think the result is that it gives more of a Class D type signature, which lacks air and just doesn't "sing" in my opinion. 

I think these two items are why you feel that the Pioneer receiver sounds so much better (Pioneer is standard Class AB architecture).

Hi Echolane,

I'm someone who's very sensitive to fatigue issues and was about to start my own thread on this topic when I stumbled across yours.  What you're saying about your system's upgrade in resolution and accuracy being accompanied by fatigue problems, very much mirrors my own experience.  I've found that even the smallest bit of tinkering can be very disruptive for system equilibrium and that major configuration changes--what many audiophiles would consider to be a "better" sounding and more detailed rig--can be a very painful listening experience for me.  I can offer a few suggestions here, but am also looking for feedback myself.

Like others, I suspect that it will take some time for your system to stabilize and "burn in," especially as you've made three major component changes!

Since we're talking about the synergy of a completely-upgraded system, you might want to take a look at  the other cables in addition to the interconnects.   

-- What kind of speaker wire do you use?  Your Spendors---do you biwire them or use jumpers?  I've found that biwiring with Mogami 2921 creates a more forgiving, laid-back sound. 

--Your power cords? I recently purchased some Cardas Clear-M and they really helped tame the brightness in my system caused by the introduction of a new streamer.

-- Do you use Wifi or ethernet cable?  I found that that Supra Cat8 was much better for fatigue problems than generic ethernet.  

--Finally, as for ICs, I've found Cardas Quadlink to be the most musical and least fatiguing of the several that I've auditioned. 

With respect to the major components, I have Spendors as well, but used in conjunction with a tube amp and a non-oversampling DAC. As you might gather, I've had to take a lot of steps to create a more smooth-sounding audio signature, since  my  sensitivity limits me to a mid-fi approach.

Thanks, auxinput for info on HDMI Audio.   And the compliment on the Musical Fidelity!  It was wasted at my computer.

It never occurred to me to try the Arcam’s digital outputs because I’ve always preferred analogue.  Which gets me to thinking....I don’t believe I’ve ever tried the Arcam’s audio analog option either.  Maybe the Arcam can sound better than I’ve given it credit for sounding.  I will need to do more experimenting !!.  For sure, the Arcam does not sing for me, but maybe I can I prove it some.

 I have plenty of RCA interconnects I can cable in to try analog outputs for audio quality, but I will have to buy a digital cable to listen to its digital audio.  It looks like Arcam will accept digital coax/RCA (I didn’t see S/PDIF).

PBS did me a favor today by broadcasting Tosca, a  Live from the Met offering, giving me a chance to listen to music via a different source from the Oppo.  There was less of a difference between the Pioneer and the Arcam, and less brightness.  The Oppo is now the prime suspect for the source of some excess brightness.

hegelsjh, to answer a couple of your questions, I do bi-wire them
 Slendors.  My speaker wire is custom and I paid a premium for it, but it’s too long ago to remember any details.

what DAC are you using?

i have no power conditioning anywhere.  When things settle down, i plan to get involved with that.

The only Ethernet connected device so far in my TV room stereo system is the Roku Ultra.  I’m using Cat6a from Blue Jeans Cable.  I will be attaching Ethernet cable to the Oppo as I intend to use it to support streaming.  

I am soon to be adding an SSD inside a Naim Uniti Core to enable streaming.  I’m hoping the Oppo will allow me to include my TV system in the streaming network.   I’m a complete novice to the streaming world and have barely a clue so far.  I’m terribly worried I’ll be disappointed with the audio quality, but at the same time hoping I will be pleasantly surprised.

Having owned a Pioneer SX-1080 (and an SX-780) since new, I can tell you from experience that these receivers sound more on a bright side even when they’re new and can be very fatiguing, especially at higher volumes even if/when paired with neutral speakers. Old age doesn’t seem to make them brighter but tends to hollow out some of the lower octaves. Easiest (and cheapest) solution is using the tone or filter controls/switches and see if those help. Depending on how bright they now sound to your ears, I doubt you’ll be able to compensate for their sound character/voice by switching cables. Some try putting a thin tissue paper on the tweeter to tame the brightness. It’s free so worth a try.
Echolane, I'm having a difficult time envisioning how all the components in your system are being swapped out and interacting without first drawing a massive diagram on my wall ; )

Let's go back to David's point about the differences between the two Oppos. Do you still have the 83 so that  you can see how it works with the Pioneer?  And secondly, is there a standalone DAC anywhere in your system, or is/was everything played through one of the Oppos?  If you don't have a standalone DAC, then the Oppo switch is a major sonic  change for your system and could very well be the source of the brightness.  For a DAC, I use a Metrum Onyx and before that an MHDT Havana, both of which are non-oversampling, since my ears are very prickly in response to to certain types of digital processing.   If you do isolate the Oppo as the problem area, then you might want to consider a good power cable rather than the stock one and then swap in some smooth ICs for your preamp and amps.  
I must agree. My system setup is confusing!

Just to turn things on I have to follow this routine. All but the last two steps have their own remote control to pick up and put down.  I’ve wanted to invest in a Neeo for some time.

  • Turn on TV
  • Turn on Arcam
  • Turn on DISH DVR.

If I prefer to bypass the Arcam for audio (which so far I do)
  • Turn on Musical Fidelity
  • Turn on Pioneer
  • Mute Arcam

In the background are these sources.
Arcam can switch between all of them, mostly via HDMI
All sources (except Roku) have RCA Audio interconnects to Musical Fidelity Preamp
  • Oppo DVD UDP-205
  • ROKU Ultra
  • Pioneer Laser Disc CLD-99
  • Panasonic VHS/DVD

I think it’s time to just listen for awhile.  A couple of weeks at least.  Become more familiar with how  the new components are sounding and let them settle in.  

Just last night, listening to the music of Tosca via satellite TV I felt the extra brightness had gone.  I also felt there was considerably less difference between the Arcam and the Pioneer.  That suggests the Oppo was responsible for the brightness.  But I need to listen more.

Eventually, I could bring the older Oppo back for comparison. 
Eventually, I could bring back my tube amp, the Audiomat Arpege, for comparison.

Then, and only then, should I consider making any changes in cable, or speaker wire or conditioners, etc.

That's a sensible approach, but I was just trying to pinpoint where the digital-analog conversion process was taking place in your various watching/listening scenarios.  Since there doesn't seem to be a standalone DAC, the sound is likely to change depending upon which piece of equipment is being used to convert the digital signal. 
Hegelsjh, you are addressing my weakest area. I’ve almost no experience with a stand-alone DAC. Let’s see if I see your point: which I think is that if all digital audio passed through a common DAC it would all sound much more similar. Is that right? I confess, if I had one, I. wouldn’t know even how to use it in my TV system.

I do own one standalone DAC, an Audio Alchemy DDP-1 that I’m using for my computer audio system via SPDIF instead of USB. In buying it, I discovered an extremely complicated world that taxes my aging brain considerably! I need a second one for my living room system and I absolutely dread the prospect of choosing one. I must say that I don’t feel at all prepared to think about one for the complicated TV system!

On the contrary,my weakest link is anything having to do with audio. I've made any number of ill-advised purchases over the years, detrimental to friendships, bank accounts, and most importantly, my ears, so take everything I say with the usual caveats.

Because of my sensitivity issues to brightness, I've auditioned about a 10-12 DACS in the last year, so I don't recommend this painful chore for anyone.   But I do think you are on the right track in trying to assess where your system is making the digital conversion when you switch between your preferred components.  Since I know nothing about A/V systems, I'm wondering whether you might have a couple different options in your existing setup(s) to convert the digital signal without even buying any new cables, etc.   I know there's a DAC chip in your Arcam, and I know that there's a DAC chip in your Oppo, though don't think there's one in your pre-amp.  So are you using both the MF pre-amp and the Arcam for switching duties at the same time?     
Have you tried changing the position of your speakers? Angling inward to where the tweeters are not hitting your ears directly can soften the top end considerably.
Great thread . All the solutions are here . First set your speakers slightly off axis, this will lessen the glare . Second , allow about 400 hours for breakin . And unfortunately replace the consumer receiver with an audiophile grade product . I know because I have an Oppo and I replaced my THX rated receiver with a better amp . On the short though, maybe an economical tube buffer. Also plug the Pioneer straight into the wall with a decent after market cable . Cheers , Mike. 
I agree with the comments on letting everything settle and break in as I own an Oppo 205.
I believe your culprit here is the Pioneer receiver. Does your local dealer allow in home demos? Pick up a different amp that is already broken in and try that in your system....minimum 100 watts.
Cheers and Happy Listening.
@echolane:  Definitely make sure your gear is isolated from vibration, but also, IMO, a tube preamp would most likely solve your brightness issues, while also enlarging the sound-stage and adding a realistic timbre and overall musicality to the sound of the instruments.

They done always come with the best tubes, so roll in some excellent tubes if required; I recommend Genalex Gold Lion Supreme for 12ax7s. And give new tubes a healthy break in time. Mine changed a lot after 50-100 hours of use, and I didn't think they would.
Hope this helps.


@echolane - I have been out of town all week on business and haven't caught up.

For digital COAX cable, the Blue Jean Beldon 1694A is actually a very excellent cable for the money:

6 foot cable (minimum I recommend) is $20.75 plus shipping, so you can afford to experiment if you want.

I use a slightly modified Krell S1200U 3D for my HT Processor (which can double as a COAX DAC).  I use a highly modified/rebuilt Emotiva DAC with discrete Class A op amp stages for computer (no comparison - probably similar to a $1500-2000 DAC).

I am so behind on this thread! I have to apologize for not being responsive for the last week. Just five days ago I finally took delivery of the Naim Uniti Core, which is a long awaited and much anticipated addition to my audio gear. My nephew got me started by ripping about 150 of my CDs for me, but I have been obsessively glued to the ripper for days now trying to get the remaining 300-400 CDs ripped. My experience is certainly reinforcing the rumors that classical music, and particularly opera, takes much more work because of the multiple artists usually involved, as I have to edit virtually every CD ripped. Today I ripped 60 CDs and it was exhausting. I didn’t do much else all day and don’t expect to for several more days at least.

 @hegelsjh - I still haven’t quite got used to having to switch two systems and keep them in synch. So I had a little “cheat sheet” laminated so I have a cross reference which is important since the key words are not logically related. It’s really quite frustrating and I have repeatedly questioned my sanity for thinking this up. (hahahaha).

(More of the same, only worse)

@jdave - i appreciate the suggestion to use a tube amp, which i am quite partial to, but I swapped out my Audiomat Arpege in exchange for the Musical Fidelity/Pioneer combo. It was great musically but not good at all for regular dialogue dominated tv programming and didn’t have a remote for adjusting audio. And anyway, tubes are a bit extravagant when you watch a lot of tv.

@rwwear - my speakers are angled in.

@jwcondo - I’m sentimentally attached to the Pioneer and I am actually thinking of having it completely refurbished. Nevertheless, I agree, it’d be good to check out something else. I wish Audio dealers were closer though as it’s a very long drive to the nearest few and I have no developed relationship with any. I greatly miss the past when there were multiple nearby neighborhood audio dealers!

@buellrider97 - when you suggest I replace the consumer receiver with an audiophile grade player, what did you have in mind?

@auxinput - I’m glad you suggested Blue Jeans as I quite like their products, though please educate me, why it should be a minimum of 6’? I always thought the shorter the better. BTW - Compliments on your Krell. I bet it sounds way way better than my Arcam!

A digital cable that is too short is actually bad.  What happens is that the digital pulses received by the target will be reflected back to the source.  These reflections can cancel out additional pulses from the source and you have errors.  The minimum recommended is generally 1.5 meters / 4.5 feet, but I always go 6 feet just to be sure.

This problem really doesn't occur with analog cables, so they can be very short.

Just want to add a follow up thank you to all who contributed to this thread and from which I have learned so much!  

As I start to write I am on a much needed break from the boring task of ripping CDs.   I am on my second listening of a SACD recording on the Oppo 205, partnered by the  Pioneer SX-1050 and the Musical Fidelity A3cr.   I am honestly thrilled.  And quite content!  Not only is the new Oppo a serious upgrade from my old Oppo 83SE, but there is no longer any sense of  listener fatigue.  It must be well on its way to being broken in.    I am pretty sure  there are many ways in which I could make my system sound even better, but honestly, I’ve lost all sense of urgency, I’m almost content to leave it all “as is”.  

Almost. I am much inspired by this thread to play around with some variables when time and money permit.  

- I’ve got  PS Audio receptacles in my online cart, which I’m actually surprised no one has mentioned.

-  I want to test out a power conditioning system for my primary audio system in the living room which is centered around my Quad ESL-63 speakers.  An audio friend of mine insists it  made a much more noticeable  improvement in his system than any other thing he did, and he  keeps pressing me to try it out.  If it really makes that much of a difference then I’m sure I won’t be able to resist adding it to my TV system too.    

-   I won’t be able to resist trying out various interconnects.

 - I’m pretty sure my speakers are toed in at just the right angle.

-  All my digital cables will definitely be 6’ long!