It's not your amp, that's one great amp there. Look into changing cd players first, that should help a lot.
25 responses Add your response
It is the speakers, without question. I hope you have the opportunity to hear a BBC monitor like Harbeth or Spendor, and soon. Your musical tastes demand it. Read the reviews if it gives you confidence, but the Harbeth Compact 7ES-II [I use] will give you many years of sonic bliss. I promise.
The PSB or Vandersteen line would make you happier, for sure, so that would not be a bad mistake to go with them, if you are less bold.
Sounds to me what you need is a speaker change. The speakers you mention will mostly all
provide a fuller sound compared to your present spk. If you have a JM Lab dealer close by, ask to attention the little Chorus 705. Very smooth sound (considering it has a metal tweeter) and is very enjoyable to listen to. If your room is small this might suit you. Moving up in $, Spendor would be a must audition. The S3/5 is very ineffecient(84db) but if you don't play to loud and have small room, perfect. (The 3/1's would even be better but more $$$.) Used, consider the older Snell K's, J's and E's. Lots of possibilities! Hope you're able to find the right one for your system and tastes. Bill
While I absolutely agree that the speakers are probably the main culprit, they are not the first thing I would try changing. The first thing I would try is changing the sovtek 6922 for either a NOS Tunsgram, Siemens-Halske, or Mullard. This would cost less and might change the sound enough to fix the problem. If not, you can always change the speakers later. There are lots of good small speakers out there, but I too would suggest one of the better British brands such as Harbeth, Spendor, or Wilson-Benesch.
I second the JMlab Chorus 705/706 suggestion. I own a pair and run them with an arcam integrated. It sounds really good. Extreme highs are a little harsh. I think tubes might get rid of that. I had to get the right cables to get that sound and run the speakers in but in the end the sound is worth it. Remember the JMlabs need a lot of break in.
First let me say that it's definitely not the CD player. I owned Cambridge D500 SE in the past, and the one thing they were not was lightweight or thin.
Yes, I would agree with the speaker assertion. One other thing before giving up on the Triangles, is to try another speaker cable. Triangles are kind of sensitive to becoming thin and/or shrill, and AudioQuest speaker cables will definitely not help in that area. Although, I am kind of surprised, like the CD player, the rest of your system, apart from the speaker cable, is definitely on the rich side.
I am going to offer another suggestion .. demo a good subwoofer (like a REL). My spica angelus based system sounded a bit thin and lacking in dynamics until I added the REL and now it sounds fabulous. The REL added depth and a sense of scale and power to the sound, and I'm left with the Spica's fabulous imaging. I was very skeptical of subs, thinking they are only for movies or rap, but I'm completely converted.
With you current system you can try an RCA Black plate or a Sylvania Gold Brand 5687 (both offer a full sound with the GB Sylvania being more refined). I used and enjoyed both types (depending on my mood) with an Audion Silver Night Stereo 300B.
Given your goal, spend the money for a decent testing 1960's Mullard ecc88 or e88cc tube for the input position. Amperex will not have enough weight, considering your complaints with the setup, otherwise a vintage Amperex (white or orange label) would be a good choice - with softer/fuller sounding speakers.
The Svetlana EL34's are a good pick, IMO, considering your musical tastes.
I paired Reynaud Twins with the Silver Night for a year, or so, and it was a very good combo. Perhaps the latest (more efficient version) would be a decent match for the Sterling?
The amp is a good one and I feel that you will be happier (again with you musical tastes) building your system around it.
I'm home demoing the same speakers. I'm coupling them with the Audio physic sub and the sound is full, deep, and incredibibly detailed. Without the sub though, they are thin. Before you get rid of these great speakers, try a sub first. For some reason I didn't like the Rel. The Rel is deep and focused but there's something unnatural about it (maybe I didn't dial it in correctly when I had it). Try it with one of the "wooden/boxier,larger" sub, it should add the depth and "warmth" that you're looking for.