I noticed brightness/harshness more than usual from my system a couple months back.

My system is not high end by any stretch see my virtual system. A couple months back I noticed brightness/harshness when playing my lp Steely Dan Aja the song Deacon Blues. I had never noticed this before. This is one of my best sounding LPs. I hear it on others too. Sometimes it's subtle, other times it stands out, sometimes I think all is OK. Weird!  I never noticed this before. I always liked the sound of my system. Something changed, but what? I am approaching 70 years old and I am wondering if my ears are more sensitive to high frequencies. But anyway I started by checking my cartridge. Visual inspection. Adding and reducing tracking force. Anti skate too. Moved speakers away from and closer to the walls. Cleaned all connections with deoxit. Even sent the cartridge to The Sound Organization to be checked. They did not find anything. I am not able to rearrange my listening area or add room correction. Just nowhere to go.

I would assume if the speakers or integrated were defective I would know it. Something like that would stand out. Yes? I am thinking it is probably a combination of bright speakers, bright amp, bright cartridge and old ears.

So if nothing is broke.... I am considering replacing the speakers would work. Maybe Wharfedale Lintons. I can afford them or something in this price range. Maybe the cartridge? Hana SL or ML.  Maybe the integrated? But with what I have no idea. Naim SuperNait 3 caught my eye though I would need to save a long time to afford it. I am retired and on a fixed income. Really fixed! There is nowhere close I can audition any of these. 

I realize I am asking alot but any suggestions would be great!




Have you tried a cd player or tuner to see if the harshness remains?  I would try that first as it will tell you if there is something not right with your vinyl setup. If there is harshness with other source components, it is either the amp or speakers.  

Could the power to your equipment have changed? Is there something new/different with items plugged into the same electrical circuit, or other circuits? Did the acoustics in your room change? ..ie..moved furniture, floor or wall coverings. Short of removing wax from your ears, your high frequency sensitivity isn’t improving.

Before spending more money on a system you have been satisfied with, get your hearing checked.

If it were me, I would make this a priority.