My system is bright? I need help. thanks

Hi. it is my first time here in this forum. i would appreciate input and help from all of you. No sacrasm or bad langauge please. I had bad experience with other forums in that aspect. music loving people and audiophiles should be an elite, high caliber and classy community. This is rare to find today. Ok Down to the point.

My system
Musical fidelity kw 500 sacd player. I use the tube output.
Musical fidelity kw 500 integrated amp.
speakers:eggleston andra (not andra 2)
speaker cable: satori acoustic zen
interconnects: Nordost baldur and nordost quatrofil RCA
USe a dedicated 20 amp line with regular power cords(came with the gear) and a panamax 20 amp surge protector and filter.

This is in my family room so there is little room for treatment and moving things around.

problem: bright. the highs are killing my ears, after 1-2 hours of listening my ears start to hurt,sometimes 3 minutes. I have to turn the volume down. I tried postioning, it got a little better. I will try acoustic zen silver ref II may be it will help. The sound is otherwise phenomenal, i could be happy with more bass, but overall it is very good. Depth, tranparency, acuity and soundstaging are great. As for mids, i can see the person infront of me,I can hear the articulation of the tongue in the mouth before the words and tunes comes out. no kidding, but not for long because of fatigue.

I would really appreciate your input.
Can you describe the room .. carpets, windows, furnishing, position of speakers ?
Well I don't consider myself as elite and hope I am never considered as such. No matter what group of people you are talking about, there will always be bad seeds.

I would assume that is it room issues but, haven't heard your speakers or any from that manufacturer. I have heard the other equipment in your system, not the exact models, and never found them to be overly bright.

Answer the questions presented by Sean and I think we will be able to help you out.
Scientist73, I would recommend you not only try the wonderful Acoustic Zen Silver reference II, but you might also audition the Acoustic Zen Matrix reference II which offers a "warmer" sonic signature then the all silver cable.

Said with respect, I'm no fan of Nordost cables which I have auditioned in my own system and have always found them unpleasant and quite over rated.

I have a review here on the GON on the Acoustic Zen Absolute wires that you might find helpful. Good luck in your auditioning process.
Seantaylor99 is on the right track...I has similar issues with my MF components until I treated my room, especially drapes over the windows, bass traps in the corner and first reflection diffusers. After that HEAVEN....
Good Luck
One of the thing biggest things that can cause excessive brightness, other than component selection/synergy is the speakers radiation pattern. Speakers which have a broad dispersion pattern can suffer from 1st reflection point induced distortion which can cause fatigue. Toeing them in helps with some speakers BUT many speakers are hot when you listen on, or close to on, axis. You clear up the 1st reflection distortion quite a bit, but then the speaker becomes 'bright'.

A potential solution for this exists with very little if any down side and should work with your speakers. Try rotating your speakers inward until the axis of the speakers (draw an imaginary perpendicular line from the tweeter) cross a couple of feet in front of your head and see what happens.

You've probably eliminated side wall reflections and your listening to the tweeters output at a reduced level (actually its at about the same level as if it were pointed straight ahead, as so many manufacturers of high resolution speakers recommend.

Try it, if it doesn't work (or it looks too odd) then you can move on to other solutions. There are other benefits to this type of toe in and very few, if any drawbacks. Best of all it costs zip and takes about one minute to try!
Try some Cardas Golden Reference interconnects in place of your Nordost. I'm not familiar with your AZ satori speaker cables, but Nordost cables are extremely revealing, and can sound bright and thin in the wrong system. The Cardas GR is the polar opposite, extremely musical, not the last word in transparency, but should be a big improvement in your system.

Note, I do not advocate using cables as tone controls, but it would be much less expensive than changing around your other equipment, and just about as effective.

At the source, try the micro-priced ($14.24) Grungebuster 2.2 CD mat. This has the effect of reducing brightness, or glare, while enabling excellent player performance. This can give the psychoacoustic effect of diminishing the relative level of the offending high frequencies, a "virtual equalizer" for the equalizer averse.
It is returnable if you find it is not part of the solution. wiring (IC, PC, speaker cable) delivers a Rolls-Royce sound which is revealing in a more comfortable manner than many other great brands - a "less intense", yet wonderful, presentation. I have only listened to successive generations of used Marigo products, but there is a distinctive reduction in perceived brightness in lesser quality recordings. Don't know about home trial policy.
Re-evaluate your use of the Panamax; there are a number of competitors which have been praised for their ability to tame harshness; see archived Audiogon disussions.
As posted already, the listening room itself is often needing work. Others will address this after you describe your starting point. Also, see archived Audiogon discussions for more ideas in that direction.
your equipment is treatment sounds like the thing you need to do...every room can be TJ I agree Nordost is overrated, over priced and tends to show detail at the expense of musicality.........
Great advice given above. Definitely take a look at your room and figure ways to dampen it as mentioned. If your speakers are towed in, tow them out slightly. Also, do yourself a favor and get rid of the Nordost Cables. I think that change alone will be a huge step in the right direction.

Their cables have always sounded hard and analytical to me and do come across as "bright" in numerous setups.

Good Luck!

The new Nordost series are nowhere near as bright as the previous series, so don't go swapping cables. I agree with Newbee, try playing with speaker placement first. Aside from the toe in you can also play with the rake, set the front spikes a little higher and make the speakers shoot a bit over your head, some speakers respond extremely well to this placement as well.

I would also try the system without the Panamax surge suppressor, many of these types of surge protectors can harm the sound more than help it, give it a try and see.

Beyond those two suggestions, it is mostly room treatments. These don't have to be acoustic panels, they could be rugs, tapestries, plants, etc. Anything that either can diffuse or absorb some of the reflections in your room.

Good luck!
I suggest trying the following:

1. Ensure the cd player is not on the same circuit/lines as the amps and preamp. cd players and dacs generate much digital noise which is bi-directional meaning it goes back into the lines and infiltrates the other components. Only a handful of line conditioners provide bi-directional filtering.

2. I've owned the speaker cables you mention. Some to many cables and ics in this category induce much time smear which will contribute to the fatigue you mention. Try outfitting your system with the Speltz Anti-cables and Anti-ics. These are excellent cables and will cost you perhaps $300 total to outfit your entire system and you can return them within 30 days for a refund.

3. Try listening after removing your Panamax. Not all line conditioners are created equally nor are all worth owning. Some will even induce their own sonic harm. But you should still investigate in proper line conditioning.

4. You might also consider removing (at least temporarily) or heavily convering all reflective surfaces in the listening room. Including mirrors, glass, tables, etc..

These 4 areas are most likely the most probable contributors to ear fatigue you claim to experience.

1) Room, if possible. Anything reflective right behind your seating position?
2) ICs...Cardas is an excellent suggestion. Most likely the answer in this case.
3) PCs...even the $8 Volex was a big improvement over stock. No more high-end glare.
4) Plug one component at a time directly into the wall.
5) A fuller-bodied amp...BAT, McIntosh, etc...they mate well with the Andras

Best of luck!
Lots of thanks to all of you for the fast response. About my room here are some aspects of it
1-Floor: carpet
2-Ceiling Cathedral
3-2 large windows facing the gear and speakers rright behing my sitting position. the have hunter douglas drapes covering them.

dimensions :18 x24 feet. i ll draw a simple sketch. horizontal is the 24 and vertical is the 18 foot

---plasma on wall--- s c
Cabinet { Gear } a
x x b
entrance i
( --table 2x4 ft---- n
( Ch e
( et ot L R t
( Ch ((((((S o F a))))))

Sorry guys this is the best i can do .here is the key

s=subwoofer of my home theater(super cube 1)
x= both andras
l=my listening position on the sofa
et=end table
the gear is in a tripple salamber cabinet that is 31 inches high and 22 inches deep and 66 inches wide.

i thanks alll again and i am happy to be on this site. i will try some og th suggestion. i do not have room or money for another now. and also musical fidelity is not bad it really sounds good expcept for the brighness. My ultimate plan if my wife lets me make a dedicated room in the basement , instead of an all storage basement! i can get something like a mac 402 or 602 and give a preout form the kw 500. and bi amp them after upgrading into Anrda 2 biwired so i can give musical fielity to either the woofers or nids and tweeters and the other to the mac. however the system will have total power of 1600 w, this is and so expensive.
thanks to all of you
I am sorry disregard the previous sketch , i tried doing it using letter and brackets it got confused when made into text by audiogon. Sorry for that
I'd suggest going with either Acoustic Zen Matrix Reference MkII or Audience AU24 from your cd player to integrated.
I think you can forget about AZ Silver Ref MkII because that will not deal with your brightness issue. Another interconnect to try is Nirvana S-L. AZ Matrix MkII will give you about 85% of performance of Silver Ref MkII but will be smoother. It contains silver though, so if it will be bright, you may want to go with AU24 interconnects. they will have a bit more air and will be a bit smoother on the top end, but won't give you the bass as deep as the AZ cable could. So there is a trade off. AU24 bass is still decent though and very clean. So that's that.
Also try running your amp directly into the wall. try Audience powerChord power cords on both the amp and cd player. Should smooth out and add a bit to the lower end which will most likely compensate each other if you use AU24 interconnects.
I appreciate that this is your family room, but at the minimum you can do to treat it without anyone complaining....check out stuff from

Their Adapt rectangles and triangles usually blend into any decor. And they are very effective too.
If there are drapes covering the window, and carpeting on the floor this will help tame aggressive highs. Soft furnishings also help. Wall hangings like decorative rugs are also very good. Fortunately my wife likes antique rugs, so acoustics and aesthetics need not be diametrically opposed !

I'm wondering if the cathedral ceilings are leading to lean bass, and you're compensating by turning the volume up a bit more, which then makes the treble a bit overbearing ?

I have found Cardas positioning to give good results, but since I have a small dedicated room, my problem is usually too much bass, not too little. Still, it's worth looking over the following links for future reference as speaker positioning makes a hugh difference to sound.

Good luck. You have fine equipment, and I'd be more than a little annoyed if music listening wasn't enjoyable after that outlay. The problem may ultimately require cables or components to be changed, but speaker-room interaction is at the heart of many hifi problems.
i owned a musical fidelity a5 and have listened to musical fidelity based systems many times. the musical fidelity components are ruthless.

i have lived with acoustic interconnect cables--interconnect and speaker. they are not warm.

eggleston speakers are very revealing. even discounting the ac and the room, your electronics and cable are part of the problem.

i am sorry if i may have offended you by indirectly criticizing your stereo system, but i think your electronics and possibly cables are sources of extra energy in the upper mid/lower treble region.

what is the solution. try a more vintage tube sound. the top of the line vac integrated amp is worth a listen (yes, it's expensive). as for cable, dcca, chimera labs and sunny cable technology cable are worth a listen.

i am looking for a digital source myself and am disappointed in what is available right now. i am afraid the industry is heading in the direction of more and more resolution with the byproduct of imbalnced sounding components.

if you want to have a longer conversation on the subject you can contact me directly.
From my perspective, the troubleshooting list is the same, though I would also try and play with speaker toe-in/out. Also, is the plasma sitting between the speakers? I couldn't tell from your description. They can really brighten things up. I don't know if you can possibly drape something over it during listening sessions.
1) ICs
2) PCs
3) Plug amp directly into the wall
4) McIntosh MC402 & possibly tube preamp (unless running direct satisfies you)

Thank you for a thorough explanation. It's much easier for the crowd to make suggestions when we can fully understand the factors at hand. Best of luck, and please post how things resolve for you.
I would audition some component isolation products before I resorted to swapping out cables. I've had very good success with Herbie's and Machina Dynamica products. If you have windows in your listening room try some Marigo damping dots on them. I formerly had a VERY bright presentation and the products I've mentioned took care of that issue and provided some seriously good side-effects as well. After that issue is resolved I would then look at your cabling if you would still desire to do so.
Turn the volume down! Also, a tradeoff between high resolution and brightness. You hear all the detail because it presents everything magnified. Good luck. With the quality of equipment you have, fussing with expensive cables shouldnt be necessary (I know Im in the minority on these opinions but what the I said,,good luck).

A lot of good advice above. I am running the MF A308 Integrated and the MF TriVista DAC. I am using Synergistic Research cabeling throught with good success. I would suggust you go with copper cables as as the high end frequency response is slightly less than that of silver.

The above link hase some good information.
My $.02 on the matter. The MF gear isn't the problem. Try some MIT S1 cables all around and ditch the Panamax. Also, look into room treatments.
Tara Labs Reference Generation II interconnects can be had for around a hundred bucks used. If that doesn't cure the nasties and you have played around with speaker's not gonna happen. If it helps, but still doesn't quite get you there, Tara Labs Ref Gen II, Master or Decade speaker cables might take you the rest of the way.

As far as room placement goes, I'd address sidewall reflections as top priority and try to take advantage of the room boundaries to give them a little more bass kick.

If you want to try the Tara IC, I have a one meter pair that you are welcome to see if they help. I would only ask for a 100 dollar deposit that I would naturally return upon return of the ICs. I'm not trying to sell them, just offering to let you see if they can help your problem.

There is nothing more annoying than listener fatigue.

Did you ever get a listen to the Resolution Audio Opus 21? I don't find it at all fatiguing in my system. Also, I have a neighbor who is a vinyl junkie and a classical composer. He bought the non-Oversampling version of the Consonance 120 CD player and loves it. It cost him about 1/4th the price of a new Opus 21.


Mr. tennis has it right,

Your equipment although good individually does not make a good system, the problem you're having is perfectly described as a positive attribute in your original post;

"As for mids, I can see the person infront of me,I can hear the articulation of the tongue in the mouth before the words and tunes comes out. no kidding, but not for long because of fatigue."

Well this is "wrong" and not a positive, that "articulation" is more artifact than fact.

Personally I don't like the Eggleston's but you may prefer to soften them with a serious amplifier topolgy change. I would change the speakers to maybe a Dynaudio, considering the equipment you have now. The above phenomena is not a room acoustic issue, although room acoustics can still lead to fatigue in your case.

You system runs on a knife edge and it can be spectacular for fleeting moments but your system is supposed to play the music not be spectacular. It has to be backed down and improved.

Cables will not be enough and likely room treatments might only make it bearable for alittle longer.

Just my expert opinion based on personal experiences with systems like yours.
iam so happy but overwhelmed with the plethora of knowledge aNd input i am getting from you. here are the results of my first day.
On the way home i called my wife to turn on the kw 500 , it needs 35 minutes to warm up. when i got home i thoughT about movingthe speakers. The left wall is an entrance and a knee wall so there is not much reflection. the right wall is nothing but a wooden cabinet. i put the speakers strAight, with zero toe in AND then moved the right slowly about 10 degrees at a time.untill something happened.




The problem you describe is very common in my experience. The suggestions given in this thread are generally pretty good - I'm going to try the cd mat....

And it sounds like you are making progress within the constraints of your enviornment.

But one thing not mentioned here: have you every listened to vinyl? You might be pleasantly surprised.
I don't know if it is politically correct to tell Scientist 73 that it's not rocket science.
But, your solution has me ready to toe in my own speakers as there has been a barely noticeable high frequency emphasis since my own speakers were faced straight forward (without my knowledge, officer) by the neatness police, just a few days ago.
The brilliant idea that suspicious looking solid bookcase sides are now reflecting more tweeter output just popped into my head from somewhere.
Didn't realize how reading books in a darkened library could be a strain on both the eyes, and the ears.
Maybe, it's rocket science after all.
That's great news!!!
i have heard the resolution audio several times and recently two consonance cd players.

neither of the players reminds me of the timbre of an instrument. while i might agree thay are not egregiously annoying players, they are a bit on the analytical side.

many of todays players use the burr brown chips and certain capacitors which rob the music of texture. you get a skeleton without the meat. the resulting presentation is very unrealistic as far as live music is concerned.

such players are not enjoyable, including the resolution audio and the consonance players.
I would like to thank the support of the group on this subject. I am experiencing alot of high end glare. I had made some changes in my speaker placement, and couldn't believe it would cause this. When I brought them out into the room, they were in front of the TV screen, causing the glare. Once I moved them back , it reduced the glare. It also reduced the image, which is my next project. I'm looking into room treatments next.

Scientist73, Glad playing with toe in helped a bit.

There was a recent thread "Acoustic Treatments - What, how much and where" - which you might find very interesting. Its lengthy with a lot of opinions (as always) however it does have some good information which you may use. It just came up on the site today with an additional post.

There have been a lot of opinions in this post about your equipment not being synergetic or suitible for your environment. Before you start to chase improved sound by changing cables, PC, etc, bear in mind that most such changes result in minor tonal changes compared to different components. Such changes are, with only a few exceptions, good as tweeks for a reasonably tuned system, they don't solve underlying problems if the components are not synergetic, which you might ultimately find to be the case (from what I've read about your components I think they might be less than an optimum combination FOR MY TASTES, for just the reason you complain. But only you can decide what you want to hear and decide what sounds best to you in your room!

Don't spend any of your hard earned money until you have optomized your speakers set up and room. Take your time! The closer you come to perfect the longer it will take you to focus on the differences - and I'm talking days, weeks, and untimately months. Also, read as much as you can about proper speaker set up and look up some of the various theories and sites that deal with set up. There is a LOT to learn about this subject.

If you think I can be of any more assistance, ask on-line or off (e-mail) I'll be glad to try.
Personally I don't like the Eggleston's but you may prefer to soften them with a serious amplifier topolgy change. I would change the speakers to maybe a Dynaudio, considering the equipment you have now.
D_edwards (System | Answers)
I've heard the Andra I in a system with BAT SS amplification and a Modwright Sony 9000ES. The sound was very musical. It was not bright, edgy, nor did it have any glare. Hang on to those loudspeakers. They are phenomenal...and quite revealing of the equipment upstream.

I have read in several reviews that the Musical Fidelity gear you own can sound dry and clinical, while also being quite neutral and accurate. I haven't heard the stuff myself, but I've read this commentary in more than one review.

Either way, it does appear that you may need to change your speakers or electronics since the present combination does not have synergy.
Grant (TVAD)is mentioning my system above,He visited here in IL with 711,very nice guy, I do own the Andra 1,I already sold the BAT 500 SS, I still have the SonyModwright,If I were you scientist I will replace those nordost and AZ speaker cable, thats where you are getting the brightness,try this combination IC audioquest diamond, and Paul Speltz speaker cable, trust me in my system,I can listen hours after hours its very musical, and full sounding..
Grant I replace my BAT 500 with VIVA tube amplifier, speaker cable is Tara Lab master generation,this combination,gave my system musicality more than I deserve.Good can email me if any more question...
I own the MF A5 cd player with the same 6112 output stage as found in your gear. IMO, the bright/fatiguing sound your experiencing is that of your MF gear. I would keep the KW cd player for now, but definitely would change to a different amplifier. Pick an amplifier that has a more relaxed and harmonically rich presentation. Two pieces of that MF gear linked together is what is killing your ears.
You don't mention power conditioning. I have allways recommended a Richard Gray which really does wonders.

Room Treatment, if your room is way to bright it may be underdamper get some Echo Buster or similar panels behind the speakers.

The Musical Fidelity equipment is way over rated. The CD player is good, the amplifier is partially to blame for your way too bright sound. I used to work at a major Musical Fidelity dealer and after the cheaper equipment I never warmed up to the expensive MF gear. I would go with a good tube preamplifier and use a seperate power amplifier with good base control. The Cary preamplifiers are very musical especially the SLP 05 the less expensive 98 model is very warm, the Nuforce 9Se are extremely warm I know they are controversial ie the Absolute Sound, but they are really exceptional. Also Plinius makes extremely musical solid state.

A good isolation base under the player will help.
Thanks a again to all of you. I tried again today and i am happy with the results it is still bright in the highs and "S" on Patricia barber SACD is like a knife to my ears.
but no pain, i am content with that for now.

From my limited experience with the reviews they do not mean a lot. they all say that it is an great equipment they pick some defects and may be compare. Now they do this on thier systems with ear and my be some numbers.

the problem is ,I am after a certain sound quality that i have in my head. like an imagination or dream i may say. You all know what works for one does not for the other. My brother for example loves warm non bright system. he listened to my sonos faber grand piano home speakers and he loves them so much despite a lot of limitations.

I think the musical fidelity is very musical> it doe snot have the punch of krell for example. I listen to a violin and i can fell the vibreation of teh string and I feel the music. The andra are known for respecting the relaying the emotion in sound. I have no problem with the musicality, since yesteday i have tapping my feet and preventing myself from dancing and waving my body with some tunes. i close my eyes and i fell one with the music. I lost a little bit of the space between the sounds but detail and teh depth and the decay(i am not sure if i am using the right term for the right thing, pardon my ignorance) are outstanding. It is scary, yes you eill feel it is really and physically infront of you and real. so musical . and the rhythm is great i can catch any rhythm so easily inside the music, like a drum, bass, guitar, clapping.

can you all imagine that i found all this with yesterday's toe in. i put masking tape to mark the position. i tried toe alittle bit out , just one inch. it got ugly, i moved back again.
The base, i mean the very low notes are little boomy in one or two cds and the notes last longer than they should i guess this is reflection.

The speakers are about 5.5-6 feet apart. the are about 4 feet from the wall behind them(where the plasma is) and i sit about 7 feet from each speaker exactly in the middle. they are really close to me.

I have an idea now it may silly but you guys let me know. The biggest proble of all time I think is the mismatch of equipment, the synergy. a well match 3k system my be better than a mismatched 10 k system despite it's limitation.
why don't we have a threar or a special forum on a website where audiophiles try to use an objective system to help with this problem i am into research and i know that people can make things beetre if they collaborate using the same langauge. I have lot of details regarding this i just got it now, if you guys think it is a good idea we can talk more about it. Need has always been the mother of invention.we can adjust the variables so people can refer to this refence to help buy or even limit their auditions and waste of money
I am not going to mention each individual name who gave me an input but once again. thanks soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much
Bout anaolgue
I play some records on MMF-5 turntable and tapes an a NAK cr-7a.
I am new to vinyl but it sounds much better than Cd except for the weaker base and some brightness in the highs.

I listen to cds 80% of the time.
IMO, 5.5-6 feet apart and sitting 7 feet away makes the speakers a little too close together. 7 feet apart (measured from the center of the drivers) would be more conforming to a traditional near-field set up. At 5.5-6 feet apart, how far are they from the side walls...measured from the wall to the center of the drivers?
how far are they from the side walls...measured from the wall to the center of the drivers?
Thanks for your concern

Fom the right wall unit to the center of the drivers about 3.5 feet no more than 4. from the left it is about 5 to 6 feet but it is the entrance and a knee wall no high wall and behind them a small cabinet in the corner.
I believe you have room to move the right speaker 6"-12" closer to the wall unit, and the same on the left. If you haven't already tried them farther apart, give it a shot and see what you think. I'd start both 12" closer to the walls (so they'll be 7.5'-8" apart), listen, move them a couple of inches closer, listen...repeat until you hear what you like...moving them back to being farther apart if necessary.

As another experiment, you can simply move your chair a foot closer to the speakers in their present position. You'll get an idea of how they'll sound moved a little farther apart in relation to your distance in the listening chair.

But, for the best results, you're better off actually moving the speakers because you'll also hear how they react to placement closer to the walls. One caveat, to mitigate standing waves don't move the left speaker so the distance from the side wall is the same as the distance from the rear wall.

Also, with the speakers farther apart, you may want to toe them in slightly.
I am a little confused.

Some say MF is the problem, at least on eof the 2. Others say it is the cable. Very few said it is teh speaker.
At least for now i am attached to the MF and i can't buy any music equipment above $800 for a whole year. so all what i can do now is swap cables.
Even for this i have a lot of recommendations. some brands i never even heard of.
i am already expecting the AZ silver refernce II i ll try it nayway. it it doesnot work for what is next?

I have to write down all the suggestons above and pick one, i guess.




Have you tried Dakiom Feedback Stabilizers?
For a little over $100 you can purchase 2 sets of Herbie's Tenderfoot footers for your components and Big Fat Black Dots for your speakers. While unlikely to be the complete panacea for your ills, they will in all likelyhood be a BIG step in the right direction. Herbie's offers a 90 day trial period.

Herbie's Audio Lab Footers
Adjusting your speaker placement, and adding some room tuning tweaks will do more to tame system brightness than wire, IMO.

The root cause is the synergy between your speakers and electronics. The problem won't be truly fixed until one or the other is addressed. Wire will provide a quick bandaide by masking problems elsewhere but it won't solve the problem.

That's why I suggest tweaking your speaker placement (which you have already discovered works), and adding some room treatments that will be useful no matter what gear or speakers you own, and will cost less than good wire.
I always agree with Wellfed about Herbie's cheap, effective, even returnable, products.
The website has just enough excess of choices to confuse the first-time visitor.
If you stick with Wellfed's advice then your selections stay cheap, effective, and uncomplicated.
Wait a minute, those three words hardly ever go together in this hobby.
I too think a different amplifier will be your ultimate solution. However, you're not changing amps now, and in the meantime, your system sounds too bright. In my experience, the line between musicality and piercing headache is often crossed by simply changing ICs and/or PCs. Absolutely try different cables, especially some warmer ICs. If you are pleased with the result, and you can enjoy the music, your problem is solved.
I agree with Tvad wholeheartedly. Speaker placement and the room itself have the most impact on the perceived brightness apart from your electronics. Cables have the least effect and should only be addressed when you've sort out the rest ie. speaker positioning, room and electronics.

I've just recently got some new speakers and just fiddling around with the placement produced a larger difference than swapping CD players and DAC's.
You have made your situation quite clear, I do have some further advice. Definitely continue to work on speaker placement and room treatments. Changing speaker cables is what you should do with your limited funds. I have owned the Satori cables that utilize the OCC Continuos Cast Copper. These cables, in my system sounded light weight in the bass and had a glare in the highs. Being that you are keeping the speakers and the amplifier. The most logical move is to change the interface between them- being the speaker cable. What speaker cable to use then? Start a new post asking for a warmish sounding speaker cable or perhaps search the archives.

Good Luck
I agree with Tvad completely. Put a little more separation between the speakers, they need some room to breathe.
Not only does this make sense, it doesn't cost a thing to experiment with placement.