Request advice-need "brighter" speakers than Totem Hawks
Love the community here; first time poster.
i have a pair of Totem Hawks, driven by Sim Audio W-5 amp and P-5 pre. I listen primarily to Redbook CDs via a Marantz SA8005. Cables are all Audience AU24SE. I listen both through a modded Eastern Electric DAC (op amp upgraded, tube removed) and direct from CDP to preamp (teensy sound difference between DAC/no DAC, if any). My medium sized room is pretty dead sonically (carpet, textile window coverings).
The high frequencies are uncrisp, rolled off severely, muted, and just lacking generally, especially on contemporary works (jazz, rock). I don’t hear cymbals, hi-hats, or rich, crisp snare drums (yeah, I’m a drummer). Listening to my favorite disks is a deeply disappointing experience, Though classical sounds ok to fine. I am thinking that I need brighter speakers than the Hawks (though there are numerous folks who extoll Sim Audio plus Totem speakers, something is not right. I do have a bit of hi-freq. hearing loss from playing percussion for over 40 years (amateur), but I’ve heard a number of less expensive systems that sound better to me. My first thought is to go for a used pair of B&Ws (CM5s?) or Vandersteens (assuming good WAF on the latter) to swap out for the Hawks. I’m on a budget, but am not above selling some of the current gear to pay for the right equipment.
I would love love to hear some suggestions or alternate diagnoses/ideas. I am not limiting myself to speakers; I’ve tried a bunch of different cables to no good effect. Analysis Plus silver cables, for example, were a disaster with this gear, for example, FYI. Thanks in advance for any sage thoughts you choose to offer. -Bruce