Graphic equilizers?

This may be obvious to most of you, but it isn't to me. I'm in the process of upgrading my speakers from PSB 5T's to Vandersteens, model yet to be determined. I've gotten good advice on other threads about this topic. The PSB's have an aluminum tweeter that can sound so harsh it gives me a headache. I've tried placement, tissue paper taped over the tweeter which works, sort of, and I have some "tweeter rings" on the way. I'm driving them with a Creek 5350 integrated amp, which does not have tone controls. Wouldn't an equilizer solve ALL the problems? I used to own one made by Sound Craftsman that was touted to add no distortion to the signal. I know that we now have digital correction, but the price is beyond me. Does anyone out there use an equilizer, and if so what model? I would appreciate advice.
Do not go the equalizer route for high frequency. High frequency harshness is caused by three possible things and should be corrected at the problem--not a band aid:
1. The room is too hard, not enough high frequency absoption. The cure--add absorption particularly at the first reflection points of the side walls and floor (sometimes the ceiling too)
2. The source/amplifier equipment is harsh. Some equipment just has that characteristic and does not work well particularly with speakers that have even a slightly exagerated top end. The cure is to change the source or amplifier OR the speakers to something that is better matched.
3. The speakers, as already mentioned, can have too much high frequency accentuation. The cure is to change speakers.

Now keep in mind, that even VERY good speakers can have this characteristic. You may be very sensitive to this. Thiels are ones that have the tendency to accentuate the high frequencies--yet they are very good speakers. I have not listened to the PSB's enough to make a good judgement. I have listened to the Vandy 5s and do not think they have too much energy on the top.

Now that I've said that--I do want to clarify that equalizers are not necessarily a bad thing (contrary to many audiophiles opinion). In the high frequency the problem can be cured without electrical interaction--and thus should be dealt with that way. However, in the bass region where room modes dominate the speaker/room response, quite often parametric (NOT graphic) equalization is about the only reasonable way to cure the problem--because the other solutions are an entire wall of bass traps (not one or two) or moving the walls and ceiling distance (pretty much out of the question for most people). In many cases, once you get the bass right--everything else comes together--the mids and highs become so much clearer.

If you need some basic tips on room acoustics our website offers a tutorial. Go to issues and it will take you to the listening room and you can learn more about these issues.
If you must use an equalizer, I've been happy with a Rane ME60, 1/3 octave graphic.
Don't forget that EVERYTHING is a "tone control". It's a matter of synergy. Choosing the right interconnects and speaker cables may tame the top end. Or a tube preamp would probably do it. Beware of Vandersteens as you may be over compensating. I find them dull on the top end and you may find this after the thrill of losing the brightness wears off.
I would make the attempt with cables and things, but the only problem is that no two people agree which ones are the RIGHT ones. I will check into the Rane. Thankyou for your responses.
I wouldn't recommend a graphic equalizer. You'd be better off saving that money and putting it toward a new purchase that eliminates the problem at the source rather than covering it up artificially. In addition, you'd be adding another set of cables and electronics into your system through which the signal must pass, and that's always better avoided if possible.

The problem is most likely the speakers or possibly your source -- the Creek should be fine and cables more often than not are just reproducing what they're getting. If you remind us what else is in your system you may get more informed suggestions. I would caution that, although Vandys are excellent speakers, many people find them a little rolled off or dark in the treble range for their personal tastes, so you should pay particular attention to this area to see if they may be too much of a good thing for long-term enjoyment.

My advice: borrow decent quality speakers and a source component from a dealer or friend and see which one solves the problem. I'd start with the CD player cause it's easier to transport(no pun intended) and, as they say, it's better to fix the problem at the source(pun intended). This route obviously takes more effort than simply buying an equalizer, but in the long run you'll be much better off and you'll learn a lot in the process. Best of luck.
A graphic equalizer is a Band-Aid that will never stop the bleeding. Unless you have a horrible room it is wiser to fix the problem at its source. Try other speakers and/or other electronics with the speakers you have.
if the HF's are that awfully harsh then you have some other problems, not frequency-response related, that an Eq will not resolve. Synergy & cabling issues are a good place to start. Cleaning up your AC power & using some decent AC cords would be another good place to look into.
IMHO unless you can afford the expense of a good one like a Cello or Sigtech or TacT you'll probably make things worse. Your new speakers might help. The money spent on a cheap equalizer might be better spent on room treatment.
I've noticed that the harshness is most noticable on CD's, and not FM or the satellite feed. My CD player is a Rotel 951 and I'm using Silver Serpent cables from Better Cables. Someone advised me that an MSB Link would smooth things out, and I have one one the way. The III with the upsampling card.