Bad- Of course, the other option would be to find a smoother, less dry sounding, CD player and forego the pre-amp. Also, a change in cabling (interconnects, spkr cable, power cords, etc...) can have a positive effect on reducing the harsher aspects of a system. You'll likely have to try several things before you find your preferred sound. Too bad that tubes are out of the question. Good luck.
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