Watch the auctions for the Black Mountain Pinnacle Gold IC.Its' gold component makes it a little more laid-back in the highs.Mids and bass are very good.These cables are not directionally labeled,but one direction is better than the other-you'll know when you here it.Keep the 8tc.
A company called DakiOm claims to reduce harshness/fatigue along with quite a number of outlandish claims. The products are made extremely cheap and significantly reduces resolution compared to better interconnects. I bought a couple of their latest interconnects and they were a bust in my system. The DakiOm company would NOT HONOR THEIR GUARANTEE. It's quacks like these that can give high-end audio a bad name!
I was a Kimber dealer for many years and was always very careful on recommending the 8TC. The 8TC speaker cable is pretty "zippy" in the high frequencies. I found it worked great on more laid back, softer type tweeters. It can be quite bright sounding in some systems and work terrific in others.
I totally agree about the Black Mountain Pinnacle cables. These replaced some very expensive Cardas cables in my system and are just wonderful.
acoustics??? room set up propery to realize a balanced frequency response? Look there first, will save you time and money. Cables are bandaids.
I have found DNM Reson ICs have the attributes you are looking for at very modest cost.
Tara Labs doesn't seem to get a lot of publicity on this site when it comes to recommendations for some reason, but my entire solid state system, and my tubed CJ EV-1 phono preamp is wired with Tara Labs RSC series cables - starting with their Master Generation 2 to The One Power cord. To me, my system is totally none fatiguing when I listen to music with these cables. With good recordings the music is balanced from top to bottom, enhancing nothing within the recordings frequency spectrum. I can listen all day and all night, but poorly recorded CD's and LP's are always revealed by sounding bright, too harsh and/or too thin. I agree with Mofimadness about the 8TC, especially when combining them with Musical Fedelity and the Veritas 2.3i...seems like a bright combination to me. With your solid state system, I think I would audition a pair of used Tara Labs Reference Generation 2+ speaker cable from Used Cable dot com, or the Cable Co.
Check out the Cardas Twinlink/MicroTwin or the Cardas Quadlink. These will be a bit more musical and controlled.
Agree with Dpac996. If you get your room right, even a lamp cord will
Before anything, try toeing your speakers out a bit.
Keep the cables you have. Add some ferrite snap-on cores to the cables from the CD player. AQ used to have some big ones $25 each. Cheaper ones can be had at any Radio Shack (remember that place?). $6 each.
I have dozens I use on OEM power cords.. and used to use on CD interconnects.
The more ferrite, or bigger ferrite, the more HF attenuation. It is still subtle.. so it is not gonna ruin the sound.
Oh yes. How can I forget about those wonderful ferrite cores? Thank you
Elizabeth for reminding us. I have them on all the digital cables and power cords
and they really work. If you use a computer as music server, they are a must,
make sure they are on both ends of all USB and FireWire cables.
BTW, the ones sold by Radio Shack are small and less effective. You can get
better quality ones from Parts Express for about the same price. There is no
need to pay audiophile price for audiophile brand.
I think the people who suggested room treatments and speaker toe-in are on to something.
Yes, Clio09 is right play with toe-in and your distance from the speakers. It is amazing what changes take place!
There's all kinds of possibilities based on your opening comments and there's lots of good suggestions here. Playing with placements and room treatments may do the trick. If you want to try different cables, don't want to pay a king's ransom and get the best performance you're likely to find for the dollar spent, try PNF Audio.
You might also play with the height of the speaker.Raising the tweeter level (height from the ground),lessening the tweeters' contribution to the over-all sound.
As the Michigan economy has been rough on the restaurant biz (and a large percentage of responses have dealt with speaker placement) I began to experiment with what I have rather than spend more. I found that by toeing the Energy's out a bit-they are actually straight, but seem toed out after previous positioning-the harsh highs have largely disappeared. Sound is still alive and detailed, but not irritating. The other thing I did was to play the system almost continuously over the past 3 days, as I began to read about IC/cable break in. While the other components were seasoned, the wires were new and had less than 50 hours at the time of my post. Not sure which variable (or both) had the effect, but the sound has much improved. Thanks for your suggestions--I have learned much.....
Contact the Cable Company and ask their advice. I have found them to have some good suggestions, and you can try the cables before you buy.
Try TMC white label interconnects. If those won't fix it, try another amp. I've never heard an A5, but I just recently bought an MF A300, and it's quite fatigueing, for me, and none of my cables fixed it. It's just sitting, unused, in the garage, for now.
I've always found "listener fatigue" to come more from components, and not cables. Cables can either mask problems, or pass them through.
Chances are, you'll never totally cure your problem with just IC's. You'll probably be able to mask it, to a point, but most likely only for certain recordings.
Glad to hear you are making progress.
I have listened to these electronics in systems with slightly warm to boarder line bright speakers for hours without fatigue. I agree with Rooski about the impact of wires in general to a point, but I have also used wires to tame systems that had certain strengths and other weaknesses to play more to the former. Furthermore, I would not exactly call the Energy speakers "warm", so there may be a synergy at work with your gear that you will have to work at to overcome.
Three suggestions, one already made by me one new one, and adding to the chorus of others.
First the new one: what are you using for power cables for the amp and CDP? I have found this can have a big impact on sound, affecting clarity and for lack of a better word, the flow of the music, relaxing the overall presentation. Especially if you are going from the stock cord to a larger gauge and well made aftermarket wire. You can get cheap and well made power cables from Internet dealers like Zebra Cable, Signal and others to dip your toe in this world if you haven't already.
Second, if you eventually start Jonesing for new cables, contact The Cable Company, they can provide advice about both interconnects and power cables that can help you achieve your system tuning goals.
Three, as suggested by others above: further adjusting the position of your speakers in the room, playing with toe in/out, distance from each other, the walls and your seating position, angle of repose or height can do wonders. After room shape and materials, this is probably the single most important aspect of your stereo system. Then equipment, and last of all wires. Besides all that, this tweak is free as you noted yourself!
After more experimentation with speaker placement/room changes, I have concluded that good recordings (James Taylor's 'October Road', Chris Botti's 'Italia') sound great and poor/bright ones (Boney James' 'Sweet Thing', Earth, Wind, and Fire's 'Vol.1') sound harsh and fatiguing--regardless of how the room is arranged. I assume this is simply the result of a revealing system "doing its job". While there are much more costly electronics and speakers than mine (which I surely will aspire to later in my journey), am I to assume they make poor recordings sound better? If not, it seems, purchasing quality recordings is as important as anything that follows. Also, it has been suggested to me that using digital cables will help reduce high frequency harshness while maintaining the overall sound quality. Seemed odd to hear, but has anyone experimented with this?
Before you spend more money on interconnects, please get some ferrite cores as Elizabeth and I have suggested. They are cheap and effective. If there is any harshness due to EMI contamination, they will take care of it. You can treat the whole system for about $20 to $30. You got to trust me on this. Don't spend more on interconnects before trying the ferrite cores first.
Also, are you using stock power cords? Better PCs can reduce some of the "edginess" associated with poorer quality digital recordings, and better recordings sound even better.