System phenomenon when playing loud

Great Friday Greetings All,

I'm experiencing a phenomenon which I’ve never encountered before.  When cranking some tracks to an admittedly on the loud side level, sometimes the highs and mids become suddenly muted.  Not gone altogether, but very muted.  It occurs like a switch being flipped, no fade-out, it happens in an instant.  My system is:
Triangle Volante 260 speakers 
Parasound JC-1 mono block amps 
Sonic Frontiers Line 1 preamp
Recent purchases are a Panamax power conditioner and a Yamaha Cd-S2100 CD player.  Please note, I have experienced this phenomenon several times before acquiring the conditioner and the CD player, so it’s not those.  Can anyone guess if it’s the preamp, the amps, or the speakers that’s the culprit?
When I turn the volume down, the upper spectrum returns like nothing happened, and I can turn it back up some, but I’ve been shy about going back to the level it was at when the phenomenon occurred.  There are no attendant noises the happen with the suck-out, and there doesn’t appear to be any distortion when playing at that level, and I have listened for it. It’s not like the amps are clipping, audibly.  The tracks that this has occurred on are pretty intense rock tracks.

Puzzled, I think I’ll have a Martini.  Any thoughts appreciated,

retaining coherence and detail as the music scales (get’s louder and bigger) is challenging. mostly (1) it’s the room, next most significant is (2) the set-up, and next (3) is the relationship between your amplifiers and your speakers.

what you describe is completely normal, and a proper step to finding higher performance. you are realizing that things should sound better, and interested in getting them to do so.

much can be done without spending money or changing gear. but to help we would need to know the room size, where the speakers are, what is on the walls (where are the windows?), where do you sit relative to the speakers, and how loud are you actually playing.

the gear you have listed should not likely be the big problem, if it’s a problem at all. it’s all competent stuff. it’s possible you have a part failing in one of your mono blocks too; do both channels react the same? i would do a little playing around only listening to one channel at a time to isolate this issue to a whole system problem, or an amplifier problem.

one other thing to check is if there are any adjustments on the amps for impedance or bridging or anything like that that possibly is getting tripped that changes the speaker loading.
This can happen very much so if the xover in the speakers are using iron core instead of air core inductors, they are cheaper but can saturate at high power and cause compressive effect of the dynamics, same goes for the driver voice coils when they get hot.

BTW: your amps JC1's are fine, they are not the problem.

Cheers George
Mike and George, thank you!  Excellent thoughts.  I don’t think it’s the room, but the room is about 15’ wide (speakers are along that wall) by 25’ deep, 9’ ceiling.  No treatments on the walls (yet), outside of normal pictures and other furniture.  It’s important to note that this high frequency suck-out happens in an instant.  Not gradual at all.  And it happens in both channels simultaneously.  Thanks for asking that question!  This leads me to believe that the problem may lay in the preamp or, as George mentioned, the speakers’ crossovers.  I would have never thought of the possibility of iron core inductors getting saturated.  Thanks George!  
In any case, I’m having a wonderful time testing the outer limits of this phenomenon.  It seems that, at least in this early exploration, that this happens, once, when the system has been running, at a good substantial volume (82 on the Line 1, and I do know this is an arbitrary, subjective number, given all the components) for a longer period (about 2 hours at least this evening), the phenomenon isn’t reoccurring.  
Spoke too soon, just happened again.  It occurs in both channels simultaneously, I think it’s got to be the preamp or the inductors, not the amps, given that they are mono blocks.
dare I start digging into the Triangle’s crossovers?  Not tonight.  Too many tunes to listen too!

thanks Dudes!


Looks like they are not opposed to using iron core chokes to save some money.
These could saturate when "cranked up loud" as you put it.

If they were mine and I experienced the same problem, I would replace them with air core chokes of the same inductance and impedance, if you can find the same, you can get something a bit higher in inductance that’s close to the same impedance and de-wind it down to the right inductance. I did the same with some Yamaha NS-1000X or was it B&W801? long time ago, and the difference was very noticeable for the better when "cranked" up loud

Cheers George
My suggestion is try a different preamp. Or, your attenuator on the SF pre might be corroded a bit, causing the problem. If you can access it easily, you could try cleaning it with some contact cleaner/enhancer.

Hope you get it fixed, regards,
Much thanks, George!  I’m imagining that the hard part will be determining the value of the inductors.  Unfortunately, in my experience, they don’t often have a handy label on them when factory installed.  
Last night as I played with volume levels, I could find the point where the phenomenon occurred, back off a bit, bring the volume back up, etc.  I discovered that the phenomenon did have a fade in/out, not quite the “flipped switch” I described earlier.  But the fade was very quick, just as I’m imagining the saturation effect might be.  
Much thanks guys!
A lot of the reasons why music becomes congested and distorted and compressed at moderate or louder levels have to do with things that go bump in the night, as your humble scribe has intimated over on the other loudness and congestion thread currently in play.

A lot of the reason are not (rpt not) related to the system per but to our perception (hearing) of the sound and the effect of the local environment on our sensory perceptions, especially the perception (hearing) of sound. You could say it’s mind-matter interaction. 🧠 It’s not physical or electronic. It occurs in the subconscious.That’s why this phenomenon occurs even when audiophiles are careful to address all of the usual (physical and electronic) suspects - you know, vibration, absorption, diffusion, break-in, fuse direction, cable direction, RF, sufficient power, time of day, etc.

“There is nothing wrong with your television set. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. ... We repeat: there is nothing wrong with your television set. You are about to participate in a great adventure.” (Outer Limits) 🤗
I’m imagining that the hard part will be determining the value of the inductors.

Many decent multimeters can do inductance and certainly resistance, and can be as low as around $50, you’ll work it out.

Cheers George