taming female voice

My system consists of meadowlark kestral 2's a birdland odeon lite dac run through a cheap toshiba transport and a cayin ta-30 integrated tube amp with tube audio design speaker cables and interconnects along with the same powercord. The room demensions are 11.5 wide and 14.5 long with french doors open on the long end the speakers are also firing down the longer part of the room. As far as room treatments go, all I have are some pillows stacked against the walls next to the speakers for side reflection.
My problem is that whenever I play female singers they really seem to zing my ears, that being said I dont listen quietly not stupid loud..about 9-10 o'clock on the dac. Male singers seem to not zing the ears. Please offer suggestions! Thanks
Am I missing the obvious or something, anybody?
Are the speakers fully broken in yet? I know the K2's can be a bit hot on the top end until they get many hours on them...
There are many variables in play - room acoustics, cabling, power conditioning, component isolation, etc. My first attempts at taming the brightness of female voices was working on the CD player - ERS paper on the inside and swapping out the stock cord to a VH Flavor 4. Noticeable difference immediately. But, eventually, you'll need to address all the others too.
Something that can happen with two way loudspeakers is this:

The radiation pattern of the woofer is quite narrow in the crossover region, while the radiation pattern of the tweeter is very wide. In fact, for equal on-axis sound pressure levels, the tweeter can be putting out as much as 18 dB more energy into the reverberant field. Now the more reflective the room and/or the farther back the listening position, the more the spectral balance of the reverberant sound will influence the perceived tonal balance. And this extra lower treble energy is right smack in the region that would make female vocals tend to sound harsh.

Just to test this theory out, you might try nearfield listening; that is, listening at a distance of 5 feet or less from the drivers. If the tonal balance is better at such close range, that indicates the first-arrival (on-axis) sound has a much smoother tonal balance than the reverberant (off-axis) sound.

It's also possible that the pillows you have stacked against the wall make any lower treble emphasis stand out even a little more, if the pillows are primarily absorptive at higher frequencies. I know nothing about the absorptive properties of pillows so this is sheer speculation on my part.

If an off-axis energy excess in the lower treble region is the root problem, in my opinion the solution is loudspeakers that have a more uniform radiation pattern. It is very hard to target a specific frequency region with absorptive room treatment; absorption tends to work better at high frequencies than at lower ones, so it's very hard to absorb lower treble energy without over-absorbing the upper treble energy.

You may also want to check the room for slap-echo if you haven't already, as that can be a source of "zing". Clap your hands and see if it "zings". If you have slap-echo, it will be worst in the region where the radiation pattern is widest - that is, in that lower treble region. In this case diffusion or (if necessary) absorption on one of the two offending bare wall surfaces should take care of it. Keep adjusting the area treated, and/or increasing the area treated, until the zing is gone.

Of course it's possible that your zing may have another cause, but these are two possible acoustic causes.

Best of luck to you!

it depends on what female vocals you're listening to...
i would have a lousy jingle in my ears in any system listening to Celine Dion for example...
I would start by changing the source. It may just be too stark. The other issue is definitely listening position and room acoustics. Other than that the system should be sweet.
I've heard this before in three different systems.In all cases it was the speakers all along.It reminds me of the dreaded shout that certain wide range single drivers have.It seemed as though there was a rising impedance at the same time as a rising frequency . I didn't understand this until I heard what a BSC(baffe step correction circuit) does for a driver.Which smooths out the impedance as the frequency rises. All the zing was gone after this.
maybe you just dont like those singers
Get another source like a tuner or another cd player and compare.
thankyou all very much for your input, to tell you the truth it never occured to me that it could be the meadowlarks as they are very broken in. I will try another source as the birdland is not the warmest of dacs. Audiokinesis, thanks for the insiteful response, I will try your suggestions...can you tell me who makes good REASONABLE absorbtion panels and what did you mean by diffusion on a wall? Thanks again, Sean.
The singers I am refering to are Eva Cassidy, some Diana Krall, Nora Jones does it etc....
Speakers are fine.
Tube integrated is fine providing that tubes are in good shape (tested well)
The main problem is your DAC or transport or both.
Buy a 12" bike inner tube and place it under your CDP. Blow it up so that it is not firm but with a slight bounce to it and place it under the CDP. If that relaxes the sound to yor liking, then you'll know what to do.

Happy Lsitening
put it under the transport?
I had a similar problem. DiMarzio M-Path interconnects and Super M-Path speaker cables solved it.

audiokinesis, I did what you said and tried the nearfield listening and it did not change. I guess that leaves me with either the transport or dac to try next, any suggestions on a dac or transport that you guy's like. I would like to keep it under 700$
Jolida JD-100 one box cd player. Very musical and you can find them used for around $700 or less. You will most likely either end up keeping it, or being able to resell it for close to what you paid for it.
I have heard the Jolida, although musical a little under detailed for me.
That was the other thought... what cabling/interconnects are you using? Audience AU24 is very good at a very reasonable price.

I have been told Meadowlarks are not a good match with silver cabling as well.
The cable I have may be the problem, cheap interconnects and copper speaker cable from Paul at tube audio. Most people have told me that the interconnects are most important, how much do I have to spend to get good ones? I would like to stay under 150$.
I would replace the source first before the cable. birdland odeon sounded pretty bad in my friend's setup.
His favorite Dac is the Kora Hermes.
If you don't wish to spend whole lot of money and only care for CD play back, I would strongly recommend an used Marantz CD 17 MKII players.

I am sure you can find good sounding interconnects for under or near $150... I think I saw some of the Audience AU24 for around $200 for a 1m pair of interconnects.

I have auditioned this cable and it was very supprised at how well it performed against cables that were well over the $1,000 price point...

Good luck.
Show her the door
s23chang, how do you mean it sounded bad? Mine does not sound bad, I don't think it is the dac that is causing my problem.
Depends on what DACs you have heard. There are many sounded much better than your Dac. Again, just my opinion with my subjective listening test. We have listened to over 20 different DACs and all sound quite different.
Can you recomend one that you heard that would be good with tube amps. I love the sound of tubes but don't want to lose any low level detail and also need one that delivers the bass and brings out the great midrange that tubes produce.