Hi there, I think I have made a surprising discovery which I haven't heard anywhere else, but does seem to make some sense. I would appreciate people's opinions. In terms of the background, I recently purchased a RME Digi 96/8 to replace my soundblaster live! card for CD playback, based on the stellar reviews I have read about the RME card and the problem with the soundblaster resampling all output to 48 kHz. As you can imagine, I was quite excited while hooking the new RME card up. However, the results weren't what I expected when I first played a CD through it following the installation. It was clear that there were much greater dynamics now, as well as a better stage and detail in the music. In short, it was a massive improvement in sound quality. However, at the same time, I didn't actually like the sound. Indeed, to listen to the music was tiring and perhaps even painful. Seriously, it simply wasn't fun to listen to music anymore and I wanted to switch it off rather than continue to listen to it. I tended to blame it on the notion that while the music was definitely more accurate, it was also not as musical. It tended to sound very harsh, but I wasn't sure what really causes harshness in sound. I looked up the internet and couldn't really find the issue dealt with satisfactorily either, but I did come across one web posting from another forum that suggested you should reduce the upper frequency ranges if music is sounding too harsh. Therefore, since I was playing the music through foobar2000, I installed the equalizer plugin and began by simply reducing the highest frequency slider (20kHz) to the minimum position (-20dB). The difference was amazing!! There was no audible difference in the music, but at the same time, it no longer sounded tiring or painful at all - and of course sounded fantastic because of the increased dynamics and detail. What I think has happened is that without the equalizer, the music was producing some high frequencies that were actually irritating (think of someone scrapping their nails on a blackboard - but wasn't continuous so you couldn't specifically recognize it). This has been somewhat of a revelation for me as because, before I had this experience, I would have always said that you want to play all frequencies to make the music as accurate as possible. However, now I think that the very high frequencies don't improve the sound and should be eliminated, ie, would such high frequency sounds ever sound good? And of course this is easy to do with a digital playback system as the high frequencies can be eliminated digitally before the digital to analog conversion, eliminating undesirable effects of using an analog equalizer. It then seems to me that such a phenomenon could explain the observation that is made with hi-fi where a better hi-fi is more "accurate" but people say that they find it less musical or prefer the sound of a low-fi player. It isn't that low-fi is better - obviously poorer dynamics and detail are worse - but a better hi-fi has greater potential to reproduce higher frequencies that can be irritable and disturbing. Could this also be the explanation as to why Branxx preferred the rme digi 96/8 over the Lynx, ie, the Lynx reproduced the recording better but this included the high frequencies as well? Also, CD players have been criticised as being harsher and less warm or musical than LPs. Again, is this because CD players can produce the high frequencies better - which is actually bad? What do other people think? Do people already reduce the very high frequencies and think that what I am saying is common knowledge? Or have people simply not tried the effect of reducing the high frequencies, particularly in hi-fi's that don't sound very "musical"? Cheers.