Tweaks to Add A Little Treble Emphasis...

greetings all, i'm wondering what tweaks can be done to add a little forwardness and treble emphasis to a system...

Silver IC's?
Specific Power Cords?

i'm currently using stock cords and audio arts ic's and would like to add a little bit to the upper frequencies.

amp is spectron musician 3 mk 2; preamp is aesthetix calypso with Sylvania 3M-BP 5751 and Amperex Orange Globe 6922 tubes.

any suggestions?

many thanks,
try replacing all of your speaker driver steel screws with brass screws. it will cost you about $20 and bring added clarity and transparency. this may address your needs. if not it is easily reversible and will cost you very little to experiment.
this tweak is described in detail at the Virtual Dynamics Oddiophile site. It works.
I would try some Black Diamond Racing Cones.
Is your preamp-to-amp connection balanced or unbalanced? And how long is the cable?

Assuming that your version of the Calypso is the same as or similar to the one measured by Stereophile here, the unbalanced output has an unusually high output impedance at mid and high frequencies of 2400 ohms. That will result in a slight but very conceivably significant rolloff of the upper treble, if cable capacitance per unit length is high and/or if the cable is particularly long.

If that is the case, the logical solution would be to connect via the balanced interfaces which are present on both components, since the mid and high frequency impedance of the Calypso's balanced outputs is far lower, at only 112 ohms.

-- Al
thanks for the suggestions, fellas. i'll check into them.

al, i am balanced ICs from the preamp to the amp presently. perhaps switching from audio art to something all silver would add a little extra treble emphasis.
Goertz Micro Purl silver I/C's
changing the caps in the spectron musician to V-Caps for added transparency or to mundorf silver gold in oil for treble emphasis.
Siemens tubes will add top end extension and incisiveness over your Sylvania and Amperex tubes.

However, I tend to think speaker selection will have a more profound impact than will tweaks on treble response.
Change your speaker's toe-in and/or vertical tilt.
Yes you are right try silver ICs. I like the brand - "Home Grown" model- Silver Lace.
Also try brighter sounding 12AX7s instead of your 5751s. Some examples are Ei Silver Bullets which are now NOS. Sino C9s if available are remarkably clean. As mentioned the Siemens, and I would add, Telefunken, although the Teles are less treble oriented. Both are good if cost isn't a major obstacle. Getting real Siemens 6922s is difficult and very expensive. An alternative is the US made white label Amperex which are nice and clean. They are frequently found as OEM for equipment manufacturers such as Hewlett Packard, Beckman etc. They are usually a bargain.
Onhwy61 has an excellent suggestion.
How old is your aesthetix calypso? Maybe it is time to retube. You can't use interconnects or power cords as tone control if the root cause is aged tubes.
What kind of speakers are you using? Also, how is the room furnished and how much soft surface is there? Too much thick carpet, stuffed furniture, and especially heavy drapes and wall hangings can overdamp a room, killing the treble unless you are directly in the sweet spot.

Also, 12AX7s would definitely brighten up the sound compared to 5751s. Also, better power cords won't specifically add treble, but the right ones make everything more clear and dynamic, but the clarity applies to all frequencies.
Do you want to play with your crossover at all? If yes, you can reduce the series tweeter resistor value by .5 or 1.0 ohm. That will result in increasing the output of the tweeter by a bit.

I agree with those who have suggested starting with speaker placement and room acoustics. It would be useful to know more about your speakers and room.
wow, what a fantastic collection of suggestions - thanks sincerely, all. to the questions asked of me:

Sidssp: the calypso is only a few years old, however, more importantly, the tubes were just purchased last week - tested new at the time of purchase.

Johnnyb53: speakers are gallo stradas (more on that below).

Bob: reducing the tweeter resistance sounds interesting, but i have no idea how to go about doing something like that.

to make a long story longer, once my son got mobile, i made significant changes to my 2-channel system to make things a bit safer for him. the biggest being replacing my Wilson Audio Cubs with Anthony Gallo Stradas. I find the Stradas to be immensely satisfying, and often marvel at how large they sound given their diminutive size.

if there's one thing i'd like to tweak is a little more 'sizzle' in the treble.

many thanks for all the suggestions so far - you guys have given me a lot of great options to explore!
per the great suggestions here, i spent some time tonight with speaker placement and most importantly how my JL Audio Sub was integrated with the Stradas and was able to improve the tonal balance tremendously. it's quite remarkable how little changes can impact things - note to self, the best placement of one speaker may not be the best for another!

i don't think i'm there just yet, as i'd like to tip up the treble just a touch more and add and a some forwardness, especially where vocals are concerned. With the Cubs, the performers were right in front of me; the Stradas are a little more recessed. The soundstage is ENORMOUS, but doesn't come forward like the Wilsons did.

are there way to affect the forwardness of a system? i don't know what contributes to that...
working on the forwardness of vocals, i just tweaked the equalizer in the playback software i'm using (i always leave this off, but for testing, i was curious) and found that by bumping the 110-220 hz zone just a touch, i was able to make the vocalists much more forward sounding.

makes perfect sense, actually.

is there a way to accomplish this with tubes, IC's, or PC's??
With the Cubs, the performers were right in front of me; the Stradas are a little more recessed. The soundstage is ENORMOUS, but doesn't come forward like the Wilsons did.

Srosenberg (Threads | Answers | This Thread)
I would consider that what you're hearing is a fundamental difference in the sound of the two loudspeakers, and that you may not be able to make the Stradas sound like the Cubs no matter what tweaks you employ.
tile floors
liven up the room
I agree with Tvad regarding the inherent differences in sound among loudspeakers. I've known some that have "built in" crispness or sizzle, top end rolloff, a forward or a distant perspective, relatively flat or 3-dimensional soundstage, etc. This can be said about other kinds of components as well. Nevertheless, there are numerous instances where fine tuning and mixing/matching can and do render desired changes or improvements.
If you think it sounds better using the software EQ, then use the software EQ.
A pre-amp with good tone controls, a separate equalizer, and/or a speaker with on board adjustments is the way most people would address this. Pretty straightforward and flexible solutions.

Nobody ever said audiophiles were normal though.

Otherwise, adjusting toe-in, tilt, and or other factors that affect exactly which way directional drivers are facing relative to the listener is another other solution guaranteed to have some effect.
Move the speakers in and nearer to your listening position.
FIM 888 outlet to bring in the highs
mapleshade speaker cables
07-12-10: Srosenberg
working on the forwardness of vocals, i just tweaked the equalizer in the playback software i'm using (i always leave this off, but for testing, i was curious) and found that by bumping the 110-220 hz zone just a touch, i was able to make the vocalists much more forward sounding.
Sounds to me like you have a response dip where the Stradas hand off to the subwoofer. This could either be a room suckout or a frequency response gap between the Stradas and the sub. *If that's the case*, then tweaking the EQ or attention to speaker placement would be the primary ways to fix it with your current speaker setup.

Another consideration: Gallo's cylindrical tweeter has a 330 degree dispersion--nearly omnidirectional. For room treatment and speaker placement You need to treat the Stradas like omni's. What I said about room treatment before goes double for omni's or ultra-wide dispersion speakers. I have Mirage omni's in my living room and I can control brightness and treble just by opening and closing curtains and blinds, as glass surfaces brighten the sound considerably and of course cloth curtains dampen it.

Also, Wilsons are known for fast, transparent midrange and an in-your-face presentation. They are designed to keep the room out of the listening equation as much as possible, while the Gallos are designed to bring the room *into* the soundstage formula. You have opposite philosophies and approaches to creating a soundstage and imaging from these two speaker companies.
I just looked at Gallo's specs for the Strada, and its frequency response relies heavily on room boundary reinforcement, specifically that the speakers should be within one foot of the wall behind them. This would reinforce both the bass and the treble (because of the wide dispersion of the cylindrical tweeter). The specs say the Strada is reasonably linear down to 45 Hz if placed within a foot of the wall. What we don't know is how sharp the bass rolloff is when the speaker is further out than that. If your speakers are out a couple feet or more from the wall, this could account for that 100-200Hz dip.
Thats not a tweak its a coloratin!!