X, Output, upper frequency grainines

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Dixwell Burnham2004-02-23 22:21

Has anyone experienced upper frequency grit or graininess? This occurs mainly when multiple strings are playing high notes in unison or with choral voices. I changed speaker cable from Monster M-series to Audioquest\'s Slate and it seems to get rid of some of it. Also using MIT-T5 interconnects which seem to help. The interfaces are 121-2a\'s without the Medallion mod. The CD-player is a Toshiba 3109 but the problem also happens on the DirectTV music channels. The digital cable is HD coax from the Toshiba into an Aragon D2A2 Dac. The Amplifier is Van Alstine\'s 350hc and the preamp is the original Acoustat TNT. I vaccum the speakers regularly and use Proguard deoxident on the interface contacts. All of these things have helped but the problem still persists. Sure would be nice to get it all out. I\'m wondering if this is a phenomenon characteristic of orchestral strings picked up by high-End equipment or whether it is due to recording techniques. Thanks.


Andy Szabo2004-02-23 22:21

One of the ”problems” of using high-resolution audio equipment is that it will reveal many of the shortcomings of the original recording and associated playback equipment (very much including the speakers themselves). Indeed, high frequency graininess can be one of those symptoms. As you have observed, subtle differences like wiring choice can have an effect on this characteristic. Clearly, at this point you are getting down into the limits of resolution in your system.

One must also take into account that some of your audio equipment is many years old (this is not a criticism, only an observation). As equipment ages, noise and distortion will increase, and one can never expect it to sound as good as it once did. And of course, the state-of-the-art has steadily improved, so equipment that is ten and twenty years old can hardly be expected to measure up to today\'s standards.

Lest you think that I am a new-equipment elitist, rest assured that I have no audio gear less than 10 years old, and I\'m still using a reel-to-reel that I bought in 1978! I know the system does not perform as well as it originally did, but it still thrills me on a regular basis! I allow myself to be immersed in the joy of music, and try not to allow the shortcomings to bother me too much.

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