Your brightness is due to the Amp and your source.Cables will only mask the problem but wont fix it.Take the money you would spend on cables add it to what you can get for your source and upgrade the source first.
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Hi. *Source* is were the musical signal originates in your system, i.e. in this case, your cd playback. Leafs is suggesting you keep the cables for now and consider upgrading the digital combo first, then the amplification.
I second this view.
Numerous cdp's are available that might fit your musical bill; Recent discussions on CDP & amps hare at A'gon (use the search function) could enlighten you.
Do, however, try to audition equipment IN YR SYSTEM before you buy: tastes in musical reproduction vary. For you, your taste counts the most!
Cheers and good luck!
I agree with gregm and leafs...the entire source chain doesn't lend itself to much warmth. Cables might help a tiny bit, but none of the components you listed have warm characteristic to them, so its hard to imagine they'll do the trick. If I had to pick one thing to try, my vote would be to find a warmer DAC/CD and see if you can get the sound you want at the source. If the sound isn't right there, then there's not much that can be done down the line to make it a lot better.
Before buying any new equipment you should take a careful look at your speaker setup. From the listening position, the speakers should not be pointed directly at you. Adjust the speaker toe-in so that you can see the inside speaker panel. The listening position height should be slightly below the axis of the tweeter. One last thing, MA makes good product, but their QC is sometimes suspect and they've been known to incorrectly wire their speakers. Reverse the polarity of the midrange/tweeter and give it a listen.
Trip. Just a thought. The discs you mentioned, that I know, are not great recordings to begin with. I suspect you may be looking for too much out of them. I don't think any cd player, within your budget, is going to make enough difference to make you happy. Therefore, I have to disagree with the other posts. I think the MSB is right in line with your other components. You might consider upgrading it to the Full Nelson, with power supply upgrade. You could also try some smooth cables, like Harmonic Technology Truthlinks. Look at their speaker cables, also.
Blbloom,sorry but your a little of base.Dont waste your money on a full Nelson.Msb is ok but there is much better.With 1k to spend you can buy a better source.Musical Fidelity A3CD,Myryad MC100, are a couple of good choices.
You can get more out of the music you want with one of these Cd players.Try one out if you can.Thats the key make sure you listen to the source in your own system.
Let's dissect this logically.
Pioneer = Lean My experience is that most every "commercial" DVD player comes across as sounding somewhat lean.
MSB = Lean This product has a tendency to sound somewhat etched and slightly forward in the upper midrange / lower treble. Many people think of this as being more "articulate" sounding.
Denon AVR = Lean Typical SS receiver sound, even if used only as a preamp / tuner.
B & K = Lean While most of their older amps were warmer and smoother, the new series is slightly lean and harder sounding.
Monitor Audio = Lean Typical English sound, clean and quick but lacking bottom end authority.
As such, it is no wonder that you're experiencing the results that you are. While each component may look good on paper or test well by itself, it appears that there was little forethought put into the specific combo of parts that you've assembled as a system. This is a VERY common occurance with people just starting to get into component level systems. As you've found out, there is a LOT more to putting together a good sounding system than just hooking "good" components together.
Given your current predicament, there are two approaches you can take and much of that will depend on your outlook on things, ultimate goals and budget. You can keep the system that you have and "band aid" it via cables. While this might not result in the most "accurate" or "revealing" system, it could make things much more musical and enjoyable. OR, if you want to embark in a long journey into "audiophilia", you can slowly start to replace components until you've reached the level of performance that you're happy with.
The sensible thing to do at this point in time is a combination of the two. I would probably look for some VERY reasonably priced cables that would help "ease the pain" and make things more enjoyable. While enjoying the improved musicality that these cables bring, you could start saving cash and shopping around for components that will take you one step closer to your ultimate audio goals. Reading and learning as much as is possible during this period of time is highly advised and recommended.
As others have suggested, you might also want to look into playing with your speaker placement and listening position. Both can make a very noticeable difference in tonal balance without costing you anything more than some time and effort. Good luck and keep us posted as to what you decide to do. Sean
Trip, are those monitor audio's essentaily the same in physical prowess to 5i's, and probably cost the same? I'll just tell you what I would do. I wouldn't buy anything that's not a minimonitor for under $1K. Floorstanders are exponentially more expensive to build and the only thing they give are more bass and efficiency (at best), and within that price point they sacrifice quality of sound (maybe a few exceptions). However, I don't doubt that those monitor audio's aren't all that bad. A nice little tube amp like a dyna st-70 through a pair of good mini-monitors (or even the speakers you have now) would sound nice and warm. Pick a preamplifier and a nice cd player and you could do a nice system for what you could sell it all for. The super pas are classics, and definatley better than the denon, and experiment with cd players. I'm ignorant of the affordable ones (my 2ch system is about $8k), the marantz cd-63 were good. I don't know how the Carver cd players ever sounded but I saw one of there five discs in a pawn shop yesterday for only $129 and was ready to jump on it just for fun(then I saw them on ebay for even less). If I had $1k to spend I'd get the st-70, super pas pre, maybe some biromod wharfedale diamond 7.2's or one of audio concepts kit speakers and fool with a nice cd player for the remainder, maybe even pick up a littel dyna fm-3 tube tuner. It sounds like you listen to music that is kind of relaxed. But like I said, I haven't had much experience with the less expensive stuff in awhile.
I had BK amp 7250 and I don't think it is right at all it rather warm and tube sound like, so I don't think it is the amp that causing you the bright sound. Monitor 5 is a bright speaker sound because of the tweeter but it is fine with bk I heard it at the store about a year ago. The problem with your system is the monster cable and the interconnect if you can find transparent cable give it a try both speaker cable and interconnect and you go from there. Let us know hope that help.
Trip, if you feel the need to rebuild your system, or even to analyze it, here are some hard learned tips I've come to embrace after many years:
1. Start with your speaker choice. Typically, your speaker selection will more strongly dictate the characteristics of the range of upstream electronics than any other component choice. Some speakers are fairly forgiving and get along with just about anything, while others do not. For example, I'm partial to Thiels, and this forces me to keep a close eye on high current delivery and relative warmth from everything upstream. Like Avantegardes? Then the spectrum of flea powered SET amps is available. The key word should always be synergy - look to balance the relative strengths and weaknesses of your components against your listening preferences. BTW, I think the B&K is ok with your Silver 5s.
2. Once you have found a speaker/power amp combination that works for you, then look more closely at the front end. While it can be critical, if you're budgetarily strapped, I would rather cut corners on the pre-amp stage as opposed to the front end. An integrated amp is sometimes a good alternative under these circumstances - and there are some very good ones today. Better front end gear with their better output stages can sometimes get by with a cheaper (and sometimes better) passive pre.
3. Next look to cabling to fine-tune any residual shortcomings, starting with your speaker cables, then interconnects from your front end forward. While I've found it's OK to mix speaker and IC makes, it can become quite an art to intermix IC brands in the same system. Cables can be quite vexing, and places like the Cable Co can be very helpful here. Cables will not fix a fundamental mismatch elsewhere, but they can screw up an otherwise fine system if poorly selected. Look to cabling to compliment, not correct your system, and you're on the right track.
4. Don't overlook your power supply. Start with a simple 20 amp dedicated circuit, then look to good conditioning for the front end and upgraded power cords throughout, starting at the amp and front ends. If you need power from your amp, I've found that superior dynamics result from going straight into a dedicated circuit outlet.
5. Tweaks, such as vibration control and room treatments may come next. These can bring some noticable improvements, but unless severe (hard floors and glass everywhere) I wouldn't turn to them until more fundamental electronic issues are resolved.
When making changes, give your system at least a week to settle in (longer if new components are involved) before making any further changes.
I'm a big fan of having a vacuum tube somewhere in circuit, especially with digital, to add smoothness and warmth. You can also roll tube types to further fine tune the sound. Looking at your situation and budget, if you want more warmth and like your speakers, I'd ditch the Denon, MSB, Pioneer combo and go for a warmer, tubed output, one-box CDP and a passive attenuator pre. After that, I'd turn to your cables, depending on where you need to go from there.
Alternatively, you can do as Sean has suggested, and experiment with just cables - but depending on just how bright your system is to you, I think this amounts to band aid audio under the circumstances.
Again, these are just my opinions on how to do high-end, and others may have a different view.
Good luck to you, and remember that this is all supposed to be fun.
Leafs, I used to believe that theory, particularly as to phono cartridges. But I now think that every link is equally important. However, I think that a poor speaker match is much harder to remedy than one involving the front end. Beyond a certain price point, I've found the performance differences among front end components much less profound than those among speakers at the same price point. And past a certain price point (which I would hope we are talking about here), most front end components are competent enough to not output garbage, but perhaps vary in reduced resolution or other miscues of omission. This is a much different situation from a $5000 speaker which leans warm or bright and requires a 400 wpc or a 10 wpc 300B amp to reach balance. The power amp in particular has a much more intimate sonic and electronic relationship with the speakers than it does with a DAC or phono stage. Witness the audiophile who forces his Transcendent 25 watt OTL upon his new Thiel 7.2s - a singularly unnatural marriage. Obviously, I do not advocate the purchase of junk front ends, and I never said as much. But speakers at every price point present a much wider spectrum of sonic and electronc variance, IMHO. Because of this, I've come to the conclusion that you start with the speaker, which fixes the range of usable associated electronics. By all means you should mate it to a quality, perhaps equally priced, front end from there
My advice was pretty bad. What you might do before you change any components, like another poster said, play with speaker positioning. Maybe try a pair of the acoustic imager foam rings to reduce diffraction if they fit on your speakers baffle, a $5 tweak. Depending on your room some profoam level one by RPG would smooth out some reflected energy for another $50 and, depending on the cabinets, if they resonate a bit, try some dynamat like material for another $20. I did the latter on a pair of klipsch epic series and while it never tamed my harshness, it did have the effect of adding a subwoofer, the bass tightened up and went deeper, it was neat. All three of those tweaks are far cheaper than any electronics upgrade and, IMHO, better than buying any cable. None of that will "break the bank" as you said. Maybe even get the monster out and try a little run of Kimber Kable 4PR, its cheap, or even try just straight 16g wire and stock interconnects and see how things sound. I'm not a fan of monster. And put the speaker grills on, that can help too. All those tweaks will run you around a hundred+ bucks.