It depends on how much music is hurting your ears. If it is just an occasional cd I would leave things alone. But if it is a consistent problem that really annoys you then try the EQ. Sometimes an interconnect change can solve the problem
I forgot to say that that very logical thought had already crossed my mind, Arh, and until I switched to the Cary, I had gone one step further and stopped listening CD's that had significantly uncomfortable passages. I'm in the process of refamiliarizing myself with my inventory and have found that there will probably still be some that won't be played at anything but very low volumes. What you said makes sense but I'm just putting it out there for discussion.
Broadstone, I've been following your posts (I have hyperacusis). I've changed interconnects many times and tube preamps with different sonic signatures to pair with my SS amp to make digital more listenable for me.
Changing to the Cary tube amp is a great move for you.
Probably like you, I have a group of CDs that I will never play due to their poor remastering or new CDs mastered with very extended highs.
The thing that has helped me most is tube rolling; but this is in the preamp. Finding the right NOS tubes can get expensive, but now I'm listening to most of my CD collection.
Maybe you can get a recommendation for a change in one of the amp tubes, possibly the driver tube, that would change the presentation of the offending frequencies? Mullard tubes have a softer top-end and a warmer sound.
You'll get help here, or you can contact Brent Jessee. He's very responsive to email questions...