Sibilance # 2 or "Boy, do I feel like an idiot"


I decided to try what @ghdprentice had suggested-- I took the Jay's out and tried both the Sim, then a Jolida JD100 CDP (with its DAC bypassed) and... I heard the same sibilance as with the Jay's !  

I'm baffled-- I  have no explanation and I'm sorry for wasting everyone's time. 

Before I got the Jay's (using the Sim transport.with the Hegel) I wasn't aware of any sibilance,

My wife, a decidedly non-obsessive but wonderfully perceptive bystander, is dead certain there was no sibilance before I acquired the Hegel. At that point, I used the Sim transport with a Wells Majestic integrated. 

Should I now conclude the issue is with the Hegel ?

Not that there is anything malfunctioning, but that there is a synergy issue? 

 

stuartk

OP,

A very understandable assumption. I would guess that taming the high end a bit (by cables, tube amplification… etc)… may still be the answer… even if it turns out to be your hearing.

I can’t tell you how much time I have spent on treble research. I listened to lots of rock when young… went to lots of concerts… etc. I thought high frequency distorted treble was what what in musical content. As I moved up in components and cabling I struggled as the shhhht… got less and less. I got afraid my tonal balance had just gotten screwed up. But in reality I was striping away layer after layer of distortion.

So, I went out and found someone playing cymbals… and snare drums… then a saxophone… etc. unamplified. Then a piano (many times) in different venues… like putting my head in the piano. Holy cow… I was clueless.

 

I was shocked… I didn’t know what the real thing sounded like. A real big bell has no shhh… it sounds like brass with incredibly rich harmonics. A good system reproduces brass… whether cymbals, a triangle, or trumpet. All this observation has lead me to all tube equipment and Sonus Faber speakers and a real appreciation how good these are together. 
 

You may be able to dial your system in an overcome your problem regardless of the cause.

Got it.

wandering audiophile disease.

see what happens in the pursuit of perfection…lol There were a few analogies with wine in a thread on subjective vs objective views in audio here. Your dilemma may be an adjunct to that issue.

Most often sibillance “lives”within a certain band in a recorded vocal. Engineers use de-essers and EQ etc to minimize this. You hear it. It is there. Whatever the reason, you are now able to recognize it. Casual listeners may hear it but do not recognize it…this goes for any number of flaws in recorded music. Many casual listeners don’t hear into any music. That is pick out individual instruments, timbre etc. An autotuned vocal for example, especially if handled subtly may not bother some or it can drive some crazy! There’s always a tolerance factor.

Anyway, whatever is behind it, you recognize it and I suspect you are subconsciously “looking for it” 

Not sure it was mentioned in all this but a DAC with  filtering settings may be an answer. I just got a Chord Qutest and am “playing around” with the filtering. It is subtle but as I “train” my ears to the differences….Also the interaction with the Audeze headphones I am using.

I am not familiar with your DAC.

I do think much of your issue may be your ear training facilitated by an equipment change is at least part of it. It is why top engineers always refer to the need for “good ears”

 

@johnlnyc 

"Anyway, whatever is behind it, you recognize it and I suspect you are subconsciously “looking for it”  

Yes. But I suspect a hearing issue is also affecting how I hear it-- distorting and exaggerating it, in some way.

The sshh sound leaves "trails" behind it, for example. Also, not only with s's but with t's and p's, it's as if the initial sound creates waves or echoes that surround it.

My DAC does not have filtering adjustments but it may be something to consider in the future.  Thanks for the suggestion.  

 

 

 

 

 

I continue to believe that you have a jitter problem. This is related to either the quality of your clocks or the cables admitting RFI/EMI interference. Both AES and BNC are sending the clock signal to the DAC whereas an asynchronous USB connection would slave the transport to the DAC‘s clock. If you have opticsl connection between the two that would be the cheapest way to check whether it‘s interference or clocking.