Hi all --
So about three months ago, I decided to gut my entire home audio system and start again. My goal was to create a system geared primarily to vinyl.
After a *lot* of listening sessions in various shops around NYC, a fair amount of reading and a lot of gut checking, I went (mostly) big.
Here's what I ended up with:
- Line Magnetic LM218IA amplifier
- Davone Ray speakers
- Dynavector P75 MKIII phono pre-amp
- Debut Project III
- Nagaoka MP200 cartridge
The Project turntable and the Nagaoka cartridge were inherited from my previous system. I kept them because it wasn't in the budget at the time to upgrade the turntable and cartridge as well.
The reason I'm writing is because the highs of this system are so punchy and so pronounced that I'm experiencing almost instant ear fatigue when I listen to any kind of music that has a pronounced sparkle. Most jazz, some rock and certain kinds of electronic music are so sheeny and bright and punchy they're almost unlistenable.
This issue is helped greatly by switching out the P75 MKIII with my old Cambridge Audio 640p preamp, but this also causes me to lose a lot of wanted definition and punchiness as well. (I can objectively tell that the MKIII has a far greater presence -- it's just TOO pronounced sometimes.)
But in a general sense, even with the 640p in the loop, I feel like this system is a bit too pronounced on the high end when I listen to vinyl.
My question is whether any more experienced hi-fi people on this board might be able to spot intuitively where some of my issues are coming from, whether it's because of a mismatch of certain items, an inferior table, etc.
FYI I'm strongly considering upgrading my table to a Well Tempered Amadeus. Haven't decided on a cartridge yet, but am instinctively trying to veer more to cartridges that seem to add bass and midrange.
As a corollary to my question, and as a bit of a beginner when it comes to serious hi-fi, I'm also really interested in any tools/resources that anyone can point me to that helps troubleshoot sound quality more scientifically. Is there a generally accepted practice for assessing the output of a hi-fi system like this?
Anyway, thanks in advance for reading and for any advice you can offer. I should stress that I'm mostly over the moon with this system about 80% of the time; it's just that 20% that has me feeling like I could be doing something better.
(And yes, before anyone asks, the MKIII is set up correctly.)