To fight aluminum tweeters-try different tubes? What do you have in there now?
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I would have to say the speakers (aluminum tweeters). To me speakers make the biggest difference. They all have a very specific sound. It's what sound you prefer.
That being said I have a tube integrated and some tubes are definitely brighter than others. Not by that much but my Ei KT90's are very bright in the upper mids and highs.
Just my opinion
Yep, metal -dome tweeters CAN be brutal. I find that spkr. placement can alleviate some of this-the main offender IME is off-axis response. I recommend playing around with the amount of toe-in to find the least annoying positioning.
First reflections off of side walls can also play hell in this frequency range-try the mirror trick-put a lamp where the speaker is, and have a friend walk a mirror along the side wall- the point at which you can see the lamp from your listening position is the place to kill the reflection with an absorbent panel.
Weren't you asking recently about a speaker change? It appears you didn't change out the speakers. Well... I believe at least a couple people, myself included, told you that the Celestion speakers were harsh in the treble as they are older metal domed tweeters.
You likely will find that as you increase the resolution of the system your speakers foibles will continue to reveal themselves. Time for a speaker upgrade.
The brand of cables also makes a huge difference in the nature of the treble. Trying some other cables may help.
Stage musicians as a matter of fact usually won't use instruments that can be irritating or harsh. Obviously with Miles Davis it's not the case.
The speakers mentioned
1. are not tube friendly in general
2. very sensitive to the amplifier choice (I'd probably use them with such amps as Creek 5350, Unison Unico, Arcam, Nad C372 and other shy and polite amps).
Since quicksilver silver90 is nowdays 'endangered', I'd recommend to keep this treasure and replace speakers. Have Totem Forests floorstanders for very cheap(shame to post on A'Gon for that price). Will match Silver 90 like butter'n'jelly. I guarantee that for this recommended upgrade you'll get money instead of spending from selling yours and getting mine.
Could be some of the above (ICs, diffraction, room acoustics), but my main suspiscion is the aluminum tweeters. Miles' muted horn can be excrutiatingly sharp on some systems I've heard. I have't yet met an aluminum tweeter I've liked. But for a first try I'd contact Jim Goulding and order a pair of his anti-diffraction pads. They are inexpensive, and although might not completely alleviate your problem, may help a lot. He might even have a return policy.
Charles1dad, When I lived in NYC some years ago, I spent more nights than not in various jazz clubs for several years. I've heard many bright sounding trumpets and pianos. Sometimes that's the intent of the musicians. I stopped going for various reasons, but it's interesting that I stopped going just as more and more clubs started unnecessarily amplifying sets. I have a good friend that plays Trombone regularly and he often complains if has to play near the trumpet players.
I played trombone in a ton of small groups and big bands - even large salsa bands. When a trumpet player wants to, he can burst your eardrum (although trombone can technically produce more volume, it's not as harsh). That being said, Miles can have a bright/brilliant tone, but it shouldn't hurt your ears if everything's right. The same should be said for piano. Even a guy like Michel Camilo who whacks the crap out of the keys doesn't sound harshly bright on his recordings.
I have the same cables (Kimber silver streak from CD to pre, PBJ from pre to power and 8TC speaker cables) ... the silver streak can be bright unless matched with a very high quality source. I have heard the same for the KCAG. I have a live room (hardwood floors, no heavy curtains, just an area rug, sofa and listening chair) so had the same problem with a brighter sound than I wanted. Moving the speakers further away from the sidewalls and toeing in them a little more to avoid the side wall reflection has solved the brightness. If that is not sufficient, try copper cables instead of silver. I am not familiar with your amp or speaker, but have heard very good comments on the Celestions as well as Quicksilver amps, so cannot provide any comments on these fronts.
In the vast majority of jazz clubs, the performers are miked. This is actually what creates most of the brightness, the sound systems are just too damn loud. There may be some clubs in NYC still that don't mike, but there sure aren't many anywhere else. That said, even with a performer that strives for a dark trumpet sound, which for instance most orchestral players do, it is still a bright instrument compared to most others. And most jazz trumpet players are not necessarily striving for a dark sound - a lead player in a dance band quite the opposite, for instance.
Check out the frequency response graph of the Celestion SL700 in this Stereophile review:
While there is a big dip in the frequncies between 10k and 20k the spike beyond 20k would have to have an effect on the sound of the speaker,IMHO. That spike is found with many metal tweeters.