Speakers, speaker cables or I’m getting old…

I began listening to my gear as it filtered in from various spots in the US. I bought cheap cables, as I waited for my cabling to arrive. I have a set of Heritage Specials, ran from a Pass X150.8. I noticed right out of the gate at what I would call “moderate” volumes there’s a frequency that “smears.” I’ve never heard this in any of my setups, have just read others reference it. Now, what I’ve noticed is as my gear has arrived and as the chain improved, it reduced, but is not gone and I’m unable to listen at louder volumes due to it.

The one item that’s yet to arrive are the speaker cables, currently on there is what was available at the moment, something very thin and cheap.

My prior setup was Harbeth’s off PL, and am very familiar with that sound. I’ve ran PS Audio BHK Mono’s off a set off Dyn Confidence and loved that too. I tend to believe it’s not the speakers. But rather the cheap speaker cables…Or, I’ve aged 3 years since I’ve had a 2ch setup, and my hearing has changed and I’m just more sensitive to certain frequencies. For the record, I’ve always been rather sensitive to an upper mid/higher freq sound, it pierces my brain. B&W + Mac comes to mind…ran that once as well.

The other oddity is that older recordings, or older remasters like Tom Petty Wildflowers and the off shoot releases from it sound amazing. Dave Matthews sounds amazing, Radiohead, Willie Bobo, so there’s a bunch that doesn’t generate that smear or sheen. I’m using qobuz. Really, anything metal related, Tool, Lamb of God, Metallica is a little harsh to listen to and moderate volumes.



Update, given what I’ve heard thus far and without a doubt, new speaker cables will improve it.  I can already tell there’s things I really like about this speaker and there are things I really like about the Harbeth SLH5’s, so I bought a set of SHL5+ XD’s.  

The mid-bass on these little puppies is excruciatingly good, esp for their size.  I’ll likely keep them for a bit, may build a second system out of them.  Again, thanks for the comments.

@toddcowles I am Beta testing a DEQX Pre 8 as we speak. It will be a lot easier to set up than the premate and it has a way faster processor running 64 bit floating point. It has much higher digital limits. It also has a Volumio processor so it streams high res sources. It also has a Dynavector designed phono stage MM phono stage in it. For people who do not want to multi-amp their system there is the Pre 4. The bass management is excellent. We have not gotten the Equalizer program yet and the remote still does not work. We are supposed to get a big update last week. It seems Australians run at a slower pace than Americans.

@toddcowles All you can do is the old "Trial and Error" in your system, because everything effects everything.  You have to figure out what's causing the brightness in your system by, I think, first, switching out your cabling.  I personally believe that somewhere within your current loom of cabling (interconnects, speaker cables, power cables) is where the brightness issues in your system are coming from.  Of course, it could be something else.  Happy listening.