Bargain interconnects to tame treble & boost bass?

Here's the system:
Sony DVP-NS755V
Audioquest Alpha Snake
Bryston B60R
Kimber 4TC / 8TC bi-wire
Triangle Heliade ES

Problem: Sound tilted way toward top-end.

I've done about as much as I can in speaker placement and room adjustments, but the system still sounds too bright and too bass-shy. The treble is also a problem when running the television sound (digital cable) through the system, so, while I recognize that the DVD / CD player is not the best, I don't think it is the primary culprit. (I do plan to upgrade the CD player eventually.)

I sort of suspect that the ultimate solution would be either to replace the amp with a tube amp or to replace the speakers. But both are recent purchases, so I would like to see if better interconnects might make a difference.

Are there interconnects for $200 or less (for 1m), new or used, that would help solve my system's problems? I am open to any other suggestions you might have. Thanks.
I replaced my expensive Cardas speaker cables with inexpensive Signal Cables and my system has never sound better. Before it was tiny and shrike in the highs and no bass to speak of, Strange for a speaker that has 2 10" bass cones. Once I put in the Signal Cables it opened up, sounded more natural, more bass and no more tiny high's.

I have Triangle Comete ES (same tweet as yours) and I love the treble with a CJ tube amp. You need very good quality amps for those Triangles - they are ruthlessly accurate.

If that doesn't fix it, an EQ will help much more than cables. trust me, I've tried both ways.

A few suggestions
1) Your amplifier maybe over damping the drivers.This could give you an imbalanced sound. If available maybe from a friend, try a different amplifier in place of the Bryston.

2) Change the source, it will make more of a difference than you think.

3) Change speakers, it will make the single biggest difference in component swaps. The Eq will help but it's only a bandaid. Especially if every recording you play sounds the same.

3) Play with the tow in and placement of current speakers. This is if you haven't tried it yet.

Good luck ..hope it works out for you
You need a new source in the worst way. Dont spend hundreds on cable while you use such a weak source.
DA DA!! Behringer DEQ2496 to the rescue again.

Seriously, its spectrum analyser will show you what your problem is, and can help evaluate any fixes you try. And, in the meanwhile you can shape the frequency response to something you like, which may not be flat at all.
Bryston and Triangle may not be the best match out there, where both have reputation for being bright. That said, I think you really need to replace the source. Notice how the problem gets worse when you switch to the television sound via digital cable?
I have Triangle Antals 202, and my system used to be too bright with a transport-dac setup, which went away when I upgraded to a one box player.
But this might also be a a speaker placement and burn-in issue... how long have you had these Triangles? New Triangles sound "tilted way toward top-end," and the bass fills in only after 100-200 hours.
Now, getting to your question, yes, interconnects can make things better. I noticed substantial improvement in my previous setup when I inserted Acoustic Zen Matrix I, which was even bettered by Aural Thrills Active Gold. But don't forget powercontitioning/powercords, which can clean up a lot of glare.
Good luck and keep us posted.
A new source will help and it may be a bad speaker amp combo. I've heard that the Triangle speakers can tend toward brightness in certain setups,as far as SS goes the B-60, I used to own one, isn't particularly bright, but maybe with Triangle it is? The idea of borrowing an amp is a good one, though inconvenient, getting a different pair of speakers for a demo might be instructive as well. Good luck!
Cardas 300B interconnects have the mellow sound that you are seeking. That does not necessarily mean that they will cure the problem.
With an interconnect you dont solve the problem. I think, you really should try a tube amplifier.
The Sony is killing you. I had one, It was nothing shy of brutal, my kids asked if my stereo was broken after hearing it. Get a DAC.
I highly recommend VH Audio "Pulsar" Interconnect. These are fantastic. Copper conductor. Very Balanced and Musical. Trial period if not satisfied can return. (I highly doubt anyone trying these would return.) I had the B60R and if the spk. is on the lean side, it is a mismatch. Consider buying a Bryston 4B ST and use the B-60R as a pre and you would be pleased w/the results. Or try to find a Brston 2B and bi-amp. Your Kimber TC wire falls on the slightly lean side as well. Try the the "Pulsars" first then decide what steps are needed next.
I too have read that Triangle speakers can be bright and anything Sony digital has been bright in my experience (including their SCD1) not to mention the Kimber 8TC wire which is pretty good but light in the bass all these things offset the balance. Acoustic Zen wire in general (ICs or speaker wire) is warm and full sounding and a good place to start IMO. Maybe an older set of Mat Ref MKI for under $200 would help....

good luck
An Audio Control C-101 Equalizer will take care of your problem. I owned one when I had some Bryston gear, and it worked great.
Thanks for all the advice. Here are some responses:

--I definitely agree that I should relegate the Sony to DVD duty and buy myself an audiophile CD player, although I was hoping to avoid that. But, hey, when I have a little more time it should be fun to do the research and the listening tests.

--I like the suggestions to experiment, both with amps and with spectrum analyzers. Currently, I don't know anyone whose equipment I might borrow, so it may take me a while to get around to it.

--In the meantime, I see two votes for Acoustic Zen IC's, and one each for Signal Cable, Cardas 300B, Aural Thrills Active Gold, VH Audio Pulsar, and Mat Ref Mk I. Before I posted I also found recommendations for Kimber Hero. Any other cable suggestions or seconds of these recommendations?

When I buy a new CD player, I'll probably want to get a different, probably more neutral IC. If so, I might try replacing the jumpers on my B60R with this treble-taming, bass-boosting cable.
Jpbach, I've gone down the road you're on. None of the interconnects are going to do what the Audio Control C-101 will do, and a C-101 purchased used on E-Bay will cost you less.

The Audio Control C-101 flat out works, and will fit nicely in your system provided your Bryston has a tape loop as my Bryston BP-25 had.

That's my recommendation. And I'm a wire advocate. :)
Listen to Jond and Mapleleafs. Save up and get a used dac on the 'gon for around 300. Cables at this point are like putting perfume on a pig.
"Cables at this point are like putting perfume on a pig."

I like that one.. very funny!!! I agree the Sony is an ear bleeder. I just wanted others to say it before I. A nice Dac would certainly be a step in the right direction. Before you get to far gone into covering up the sound. Fix the problem me.. in the end it will save you from a lot of disappointment and possibly a little money too. You can get a DAC for as little as $150 that will smoke the Sony all day long. No interconnect will make as much difference as a better analog output stage and Dac will.
Wow - I'm a little embarassed about the Sony now. But like I've said before, I plan to replace it. When I do, I will need to replace the Alpha Snake IC's, and I will still want something good but not expensive (under $200/m, new or used). Any recommendations, or will it all depend on what CD player I choose?
Tvad's suggestion for the Audio Control C-101 Equalizer is good if you can get it for anything like $30. Don't forget that you will need to add a calibration microphone to fully utilize the C-101. I'm not sure what kind of mic is needed, but I have used an Audio Control "Richter Scale" (a low frequency range 1/3 octave equalizer), and its mic was unique.

Audio control equipment is well designed, and constructed. My Richter Scale served well for more than a decade, and, for that matter, still works. With an old unit like this with sliders (linear pots) you may expect that some of the sliders are noisy. This is usually correctable by a dose of contact cleaner from Radio Shack.

Using an equalizer is not as easy as you might suspect. You can go crazy pushing the sliders up and down! The Behringer DEQ2496 which I suggested will cost about $350 including microphone, but it is a far more capable instrument than the C-100, and one feature is an automatic equalization process that will keep you out of deep trouble. The DEQ2496 has balanced inputs and outputs, and therefore to use it with unbalanced interconnects which you may have (which is perfectly OK) you would need four XLR to RCA adapter plugs, or better yet, buy new interconnects with XLR on one end and RCA on the other, and wired unbalanced.

Others have pointed to deficiencies of your equipment and if they are right the equalizer will be counteracting these deficiencies. However, even if you replaced all the equipment your room's acoustic deficiencies would remain, and an equalizer will remain useful to correct these.

I'm curious ..why do you feel the need to replace the ICs right now? You may find your ICs are just fine with any Cd player or DAC.

I agree with what the others have said in that you need to be looking at upgrading your source. I would also go one step further and look for one that has been modded with upgraded caps, resistors, etc.
02-13-06: Eldartford
Tvad's suggestion for the Audio Control C-101 Equalizer is good if you can get it for anything like $30. Don't forget that you will need to add a calibration microphone to fully utilize the C-101. I'm not sure what kind of mic is needed, but I have used an Audio Control "Richter Scale" (a low frequency range 1/3 octave equalizer), and its mic was unique.
Yeah! Finally some support! Thank you, Eldartford.

BTW, the C-101 comes packaged with a mic, and this is a question you should ask a seller before making a bid or purchase.

Even at $100, the C-101 will make a more profound, and cost effective improvement in your system than any other change. The formula begins to break down if you're going to spend several hundred dollars on a new CD player. But, I still maintain it's a significantly more valuable investment than a corresponding $100 spent in cables.
Without doubt, I think the Paul Speltz anti-cables and anti-ics will do the most for your system as they likely would for many systems far more expensive than your own. A fabulous speaker cable at $60 for a 6 ft. pair and $60 for a one meter pair of single-ended ics or $100 a pair for a 1m pair of XLRs (unless the prices have changed). The Speltz cables and ics are the second best cables I've owned and in my opinion are the audio deal of this century.

The Speltz scs and and especially the ics are warm, yet quite detailed and transparent as they absolutlely minimize the time-smear so often found in inexpensive and even expensive cables. The time-smear will come come across as a hash or grainy sound in the highs and an ill-defined and sloppy bass in the bottom end.

Even with the Speltz products, you're still not out of the woods as you make no mention of AC line conditioning or filtering to minimize the AC noise coming in from the pole. Until you've properly addressed this aspect, I don't think you'll ever get rid of the overly bright and weak bass and ultimately fatiguing sound. Not to mention a few other issues like negative sibilance, the bi-directional digital noise generated by your cdp infecting your other components, etc..

With these two areas properly addressed, you may actually be thrilled with the sonic capabilities of your present system. Never satisfied but always thrilled.

Gmood1, I started the thread thinking the IC's might cure what ails my system. Now I'm going to try replacing the source first. But I will need a new pair of IC's because I'm keeping the Sony as a DVD player.

Tvad, Eldartford, and other EQ posters, thanks for your input, but now I'd like to focus the thread on advice on IC's.

Anyone else with recommendations for good IC's at $200/m or less, new or used?
Jpbach...It's your nickel. But remember that the Spectrum analyser feature of the DEQ2496 is way better than the Radio Shack SPL meter for evaluating the effectiveness of changes to your system/room. Consider its EQ capability as a bonus.
I'll bow out, Jpbach, but at some point when you have a minute, please explain why you don't want to consider EQ. I won't be offended. I'd just like to better understand your reasons.

FWIW, when I had the same problem as you are hearing, I tried the following ICs:
MAS Black
MAS Silver
Harmonic Technology Truthlink
Acoustic Zen Reference Silver
Acoustic Zen Matrix
Audience Au24
Kimber Select 1030
...and more

I heard differences in each cable change, but NONE of these solved the problem. The problem was only solved when I added an EQ, and later when I changed every single component to something better, addressed dirty power as Stenho suggests, and only then did I remove the EQ. It took a substantial investment of money and time.

Now, you may be very fortunate and solve your problem with interconnects. I hope you do, but these threads are full of audiophiles who have not solved their problem with wire alone.

EQ will solve your problem immediately. Without spending much dough.

OK. I'm getting off the box now.

Good luck.

Use it as a DAc for now. How much do you have to spend. Dont think wire till you have the best source you plan on having. Wires last.
Mapleleafs3...I don't know if this is what you meant, but the DEQ2496 does have darned good A/D and D/A hardware, and if the Sony player's D/A is inferior the DEQ2496 could provide the DAC function, as well as all the other things it can do. Just feed the DEQ2496 digital from the disc player.
I recommend Harmonic Technology Truthlinks. The Triangles are revealing and so is the Bryston. Though I like them both quite a bit. At any rate, as long as you have this combination you will probably want a cable to help smooth it out. Especially with the Sony as a source!

To be honest, I agree with a lot of the previous posts, you should'nt really spend too much on a cable, that is until you get a better source. Your source is the top of the chain and no amount of manipulating the signal will cure it. Whether that be cables or EQs.

Harmonic Tech and Acoustic Zen both are Robert Lee creations so I imagine similar sonic signatures...

Also, my own 2 cents, is that every electronic component has a sonic signature so get rid of as many as you can in the stereo chain and get closer to the truth, simplicity is the best way to go
Audio engineers do not shape the sound of a recording by swapping dozens of cables. They use the little EQ pots on their state of the art mixing consoles. Works like a charm.
Try Cardas Cross.
I have not listened to the Behringer EQ, and have heard that there are "good" EQs out in the world, but MY experience, which includes the AudioControl, is that an equalizer is the surest means to destroy the sonics of a high end audio system that I can name.

In short, they do everything I rail about preamps for, taken up another order of magnitude. What they subtract (dynamics, immediacy, slam, clarity, refinement), and what they add (noise, distortion, hash) is a combination I want no parts of.

Again, I have not heard the Behringer, and have been "assured" that good EQs do exist, but if there's one thing I espouse in audio, it's that simpler is better. And, adding another component into the audio chain has proven to me in all but a VERY few cases, has only continued to strengthen that view. Maybe the Behringer is one of those special cases, but I'd have to have that proven to me.
Trelja...Digital algorithms can implement filters and other sorts of processing that are simply not possible with analog circuits. The Behringer has 24/96 A/D and D/A and a floating point DSP module, so forget about resolution. And all the bad things you seem to expect from an equalizer just aren't there with the Behringer. For one example: Signal/Noise is more than 113 dB. Few if any analog circuits are this good.

Obviously I cannot convince you it sounds good by talking about it. Why don't you spring for the $350 and try it? The spectrum analyser alone is worth this much, and can be used to evaluate and adjust non-electronic tweeks. Your system may be perfect, but I doubt your room is, and that is what the EQ is aimed at.
Joe, I agree with you on the whole, but the answer to Jpbach's dilemma must take into consideration his system, budget and goal.

The core of the inquiry seems to be how to solve the problem of a bass-shy, too bright system for $200, or so.

Do you believe a pair of $200 (Jpbach's proposed budget) interconnects is going to solve the problem?

From a realist's point of view, and one who has owned Bryston electronics coupled with bright/accurate/revealing loudspeakers and several excellent digital sources, I don't believe a $200 source, $200 interconnects or $200 power tweak is going to do it.
Grant, you are right. The $200 budget really makes things difficult.

The only point I wanted to make was that I am not a fan of the equalizer solution. And, it's not because I haven't tried. On paper, I think I would LOVE to have an EQ in my system. Trial and error has so far shown me that it's the LAST thing I want. Maybe the Behringer would perform differently?

In my experience, AQ interconnects are normally too bright, if not bass shy (borderline there). The Kimber cabling is even brighter. Now, I will admit it is a difficult task. But, you knowing what cabling I recommend at this price point, I would at least give it a shot. If they can be found used, it could probably be tried for about $200. No sonic guarantees, but even if I upgraded the source (which I would definitely do), those cables would need to be upgraded in pretty short order.
Point well taken, Eldartford.

Neither my system, nor my room is perfect. Such a beast does not exist, no matter what anyone claims of their own system/room.

I would like to give the Behringer EQ a try. Again, my experience, sans - Behringer, with EQ devices has been abysmal, but I'm beginning to believe that it deserves my audition with open ears AND mind. At that point, I would be in a better position to recommend its use, or not.
Trelja...As I have commented before, I bought the thing just for the spectrum analyser, and I have analog parametric equalizers which I fully intended to use, based on the spectrum analyser data. But once I heard the DEQ2496 eq results I was hooked.

"You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink" :-)
Monster Cables have fat bass and restrained detail.

Ernest Lee Farley III
A few years ago, finding myself in IC hell, I took everything out of the system and replaced it with RadioShacks best. Ever since that has been my "reference" cables. Not the best mind you, just a consistent sound that I can put back into the system to see if the latest wire try-out is causing unusual problems. Highly recommended as starting point, very neutral, not bass shy, not shrill, poor resolution, but reasonably even frequncy response. And yes, even a Music Hall or something CD player would improve system.
You should try a Van den Hull: with those, you are sure to lose any information over 500Hz so there you go to get rid of your harsh treble (if you do not mind losing some musicality as well). I went that way to tame my system a few years ago and it worked really well until I realised it got totally boring to listen to.
you sure need to get a good cd player or transport/dac combo. believe me
I replaced the AQ Alpha Snakes with Monster Interlink 400 Mk II. They make everything sound better, but I still have the balance problem. Next stop, new CD player.

Thanks for the advice.
was wondering how old your cables(speaker and ic's)are? i use 8tc and 4tc with kcag ic's. i know this has been a long, hashed out, ongoing issue. but when my system was new i had problems with it being too bright and a little lacking in the bottom end. i went out of town for a week and left my system on at a pretty loud volume level with the cd on repeat to break in\burn in my equipment. to my suprise it did make a huge difference. many people say it is impossible/crazy and many say it is true. but i have to agree that cables break in and smooth out over time.
OK, so now that I have sorted some other stuff out, trying the Behringer DEQ 24/96 was next up. Yesterday, I picked one up at the local Guitar Center. Nicely priced at $279.

I was under the impression the unit came with the microphone, which mine did not. Though, after a bit of digging, it seems that the microphone must be purchased separately.

My question, what is the microphone recommended by the folks here?

Once I get up and running, I'll be able to lay out what it did for my systems - good and/or bad. I have one room that has some serious issues, and this guy might be the ticket, if it is as good as promised.
Joe, esplane me somthin'. Do you use this thing between amp and preamp, converting back and forth from analog to digital, or do run a digital output, say from a CD player, into it and then convert to analog at the preamp input, in which case, I guess, you would need a DAC, or is there one onboard?.
Thanks, Marty.
Marty, I believe the unit is, in itself, as 24/96 DAC - hence the name. It it advertised as both A/D and D/A.

I intend on mine going between my digital source and integrated or powere amp (hopefully, I won't use a preamp).

A little more information can be found at
Thanks Joe, I was just trying to see if it would have an application in my system with LP, analog tuner and analog tape. I think it would be the wrong tool for my job. Please report in with your findings though, I am hooked.....kinda.
Trelja...The mic to use is Behringer ECM8000, available from Parts Express (and other places). Don't forget that you also need a mic cable. I think that it is not included because most professional users of the DEQ2496 will have more than one in their setup, but only need one mic.

If you need a bit of gain (so as to avoid using a preamp) the DEQ2496 can provide this. However, unless you feed the DEQ2496 a relatively high line level signal you will only be using the lower order bits of the 24-bit converter. If you only play CDs with 16 bit data this probably won't matter.

Viridian...The A/D and D/A converters of the DEQ2496 are very good, and you should not be afraid of using them. Just put the DEQ2496 between your preamp and power amp, turn down the power amp gain so that the preamp gain can be cranked up (as necessary to use all the 24 bits) and give it a try. What the hell...$350!!
If you are still evaluating here is my two cents, probably worth two cents: first, replace the source; second, replace the bryston (get some tubes in there somewhere - the former cj or something like it recommendation was a good one) and third, for an inexpensive interconnect (not the source of your problem) I just tried the Speltz anti-cables and I do not believe anything comes close to them for under $500 a meter. Good luck. Jeff