Interconnect to tame brightness

dingwall

Banned
Any recommendations for an interconnect with the specific intention of taming a very bright treble? Equivalent to say a -3db reduction of a typical treble control, so nothing is too warm!

Budget £30ish. I was thinking Chord Calypso or Van den Hul The Name...
 

deaf cat

Active Member
:hiya:

I found Profigolds pretty smooth, soft and warm in my set up.....
 

KingKrell

Novice Member
Any Van Den Hul carbon based cable is worth trying. I don't think you'll get -3db however. If it's that bad, you may have a problem elsewhere. When did the bright treble start occuring?
 

JohnWH

Novice Member
-3dB is a lot of drop off for a speaker cable of short to modest length, as I've said in the past you would be better off using a passive LC/R network, much more controlled/clean cut.

John.
 

Dave Brown

Novice Member
No interconnect should tame 3dB off the treble. If it does, it's either broken or it's very high capacitance cable (unsuitable for an interconnect).

Assuming you're basically happy with your amp & speakers but the sound is a little bright, try lowering the height of your speakers. You can also tame the brightness of your room by adding more soft furnishings or heavier curtains. Try moving your furniture around or reposition your listening chair. These techniques are likely to produce better results than a replacement cable.

Dave.
 

dingwall

Banned
Thanks for the help guys - this is just for background music in a 2nd room using budget, although still rather good, gear. The bright treble comes from the speakers and very live acoustics, and I wouldn't mind spending a bit of money to tame it. I can't change anything else other than the interconnect, otherwise I wouldn't be asking.

I didn't expect to get a 3db tone control from an interconnect, just as much as possible. Any ideas in addition to Profigold and Van den hul Carbons? It's damned impossible to demo interconnects nowadays, so anyone who ditched a cable for being far too warm let me know!
 

Dave Brown

Novice Member
You talk of "bright treble" and "very live acoustics" which suggests the problem is not subtle. I seriously doubt that any interconnect, regardless of budget, will make a noticeable improvement. (Interconnects make either no difference or relatively subtle differences, depending on your cable religion).

If I were you, I would investigate other ways of passively taming the treble. If you're not afraid of a little DIY you could (at your own risk) install passive volume controls on the tweeters, after the speaker crossover, something like this...

http://www.diyspeakers.com/catalog/home.php?cat=257

Since this is done after the crossover, it doesn't change the impedance as seen by your amp, and doesn't add phase distortion like passive tone controls would.

A far simpler technique used in many recording studios is to tape a small square of tissue paper over the tweeter domes (although this is pretty ugly if you don't leave the speaker covers on).

Dave.
 

Dr Zaius

Novice Member
I agree with kingkrell about the VDH speaker cable. I tamed bright treble in my system by using VDH CS122 hybrid speaker cable (it has a carbon layer). It depends exactly how bright your system is. In my case the brightness was such that some vocalists sounded as though they were singing with a gap in their teeth (lispy). Now the sound is great. The treble is detailed but tamed, and the midrange fuller.

Maybe you should check the polarity of the speaker cable from amp to speakers since this can result in a bassless sound (+ to + and - to -).

Try this thread where someone else was experiencing over bright treble:

http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=366221

Hope this helps and that you sort it out although it might help if you posted your setup.
 

dingwall

Banned
Jeez...if you can't answer a simple question! :)

Let me say it again - I can't change anything but the interconnect.

They make a big difference to my ears, equally as big as the difference between CD players.

The polarity is correct, I'm an old hand at hi-fi, but just haven't experienced these warm interconnects which apparently are everywhere (except when you want to buy a pair!).

I've tried most of my connects, which alas were bought mainly for a slightly pepping up of the sound:

Cambridge Audio studio reference (my favourite connect I own)
Nordost Solar Wind (brighter than the CA)
Monster Interlink Reference (much brighter)
Some Belkin pureav cheapos
Cambridge Audio £10 ones (warmest)

Any particular cables from vdh to try?
 

deaf cat

Active Member
Werhay I had a CA Pacific:thumbsup: after a £10 red one, and the next IC...well we won't disclose the cost of it, but I think the CA cables are FAB! for the money.

In my search for the perfect cable I came across Cardas, which seemed very chilled out and layed back to my ears, the one I tried was way way over £30, but I would guess the general sound (like other makes) may well have started at the less expensive end but I do not know if they would fall with in your budget. I have no budget now, so things are simple, can't buy a bean regarding stereo stuff at the mo:(


I'm trying to remember.....
I found the £10 CA warm but bass was a tad uncontrolled, not as clear or tight as the Pacific, I think (brain cells weerring) the profigold may have been a tad more controlled than the £10 CA. Can't compare as in different price brackets but the Cardas had wonderfull control and detail.

Sorry only heard one VDH for a little while a long time ago so unable to comment on VDH's I'm afraid.
 

KingKrell

Novice Member
dingwall said:
Any particular cables from vdh to try?
You could try the Bay, but I notice it has carbon and silver plated copper too, so it could be only a subtle change. Try and loan one if you can. It's worth trying the Profigold as it's cheap. Cheap copper cables can lack detail and most detail is in the treble, just keep your ears open for flabby bass though.

I have a feeling you'll need to change your speaker cable too.
 

Dr Zaius

Novice Member
I have VDH The Name but it didnt seem to reduce the brightness issue (The Name has no carbon).

What Hifi says of the Ixos XHA406-100:
"Fluid-sounding with a refined delivery. Would be useful in an overly bright system." A quick browse finds it around £27 on the net.

and of the Profigold PGA-3000:
"Solidly made cable. Will flatter systems that tend towards thinness or brightness." Around £23.

I found this review of the VDH First Ultimate on AVReviews but it is very expensive:
"Van den Hul First Ultimate
Van den Hul makes a substantial range of cables and the odd high end cartridge too. This is the top model in its interconnect range and features 12,000 individually insulated conductors made of vdH's preferred material, Linear Structured carbon. In use First Ultimate has a smooth refined sound that's devoid of the edge that some call precision and others distortion, producing a rich, detailed soundstage with very good bass weight and control with clean, relaxed highs. Some will prefer the bite of metal cables but this gives an unusually natural and musical result that will suit top flight systems.

Plus points: Natural yet revealing, good bass
Minus points: A little smooth for some tastes
Construction: coaxial
Price: £175/1m pair"
 

Pat Marcus

Novice Member
In a minute someone will tell you that there's nothing that can be done by cables as they only make a difference in your mind. Persevere, experiment and avoid high end chord cables at all cost (in this instance). Their attack and energy could just about push you over the edge if you have a system that is already leaning towards brightness. In a laid back sounding system, on the other hand, they are just perfect.
 

j0hn

Banned
maybe try this???????


And when it all goes wrong? I once visited a customer to install a turntable and he asked me what to do about his Yamaha NS1000 speakers that were too bright and boomy in his room. This was the 1970s before speaker stands were standard. When he left the room, I took the fronts off, turned them upside down so the excess treble was absorbed by the carpet and the bass unit was away from the floor and put the grilles back on. "Brilliant" he said, "What have you done?" "A trade secret", I said!


http://www.russandrews.com/viewindex.asp?article_id=HFNRuss&src=email104
 

Nic Rhodes

Well-known Member
Put some tissue paper over the tweeter if you want a treble roll off. If you get -3db for treble you have a faulty cable! What ever one you want will be the same (no-3db) unless there is a RC network inside and many of the cables listed here are just NOT £30 ones. I would look to positioning (see post above) and room controls first, it sounds like cable swap is the wrong solution for your problem.
 

arfster

Novice Member
dingwall said:
Any recommendations for an interconnect with the specific intention of taming a very bright treble? Equivalent to say a -3db reduction of a typical treble control, so nothing is too warm!
-3dB is something like half the volume.

No interconnect that is better than a rusty coathanger is going to make more than 0.1dB difference, and doubt even that.
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known Member
You might try series resistors on the treble inputs or (shock horror) possibly even a graphic equaliser, though passive equalisers which impose the least of their own character or undesirable artefacts aren't cheap. They're commonly used in recording studios. Personally, I think tone controls are much maligned and, although nothing is totally free of some degree of compromise, if a tone control can render the unlistenable listenable, it may well be worth trying. Just MHO.
 
There's really not much point in adding anything to a 7-year old Thread, you know !

Didn't you get a page suggesting just that ?
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known Member
It did occur to me but, just out of curiosity, I wondered if anyone might read it and respond ~ and somebody did. A different power cord (nothing of any special note) to my pre-amp has helped. When you get into the realms of hi-rez systems (mine's Bryston and PMC), even seemingly incidental changes can make a small but crucial difference.
 
It did occur to me but, just out of curiosity, I wondered if anyone might read it and respond ~ and somebody did.
But my response was only to suggest that YOUR response to such an old Thread was rather pointless ! - That's hardly a 'reason to be cheerful' !
A different power cord (nothing of any special note) to my pre-amp has helped. When you get into the realms of hi-rez systems (mine's Bryston and PMC), even seemingly incidental changes can make a small but crucial difference.
How can changing a power cord possibly result in a reduction in treble response, which is what the OP was hoping for ?

In my opinion, the resultant change was purely to your perception of what you were hearing, strongly biased by you WANTING to hear a change, to justify having spent whatever you have on your 'hi-rez' system !
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known Member
Did I say the power cord had effected a reduction to the treble response? Rather, it's smoothed the treble response, not hugely but to a welcome degree, moderating some excess splash and sizzle. This is by no means an uncommon result of changing a power cord, as reported in many reviews.

Of course I want to iron out niggles with a system that's cost quite a bit of money and get the best possible results ~ who wouldn't? Experimentation with power cords is just one method of achieving that. If you consider such changes to be no more than placebos, then there's nothing I'm likely to be able to report that will open your mind.
 
Did I say the power cord had effected a reduction to the treble response? Rather, it's smoothed the treble response, not hugely but to a welcome degree, moderating some excess splash and sizzle. This is by no means an uncommon result of changing a power cord, as reported in many reviews.
As I understand it, 'splash' and 'sizzle' are usually associated with higher frequency components of a sound (produced by a cymbal, perhaps).

If these have been 'moderated', how has that been accomplished, other than by a (perceived) reduction in high frequency, i.e. treble, response ?

And how has this been achieved by changing a 1 or 2 metre length of external mains cord, when there are several 10's of metres of quite crude mains cable within your house, fed by up to 100 or 200 metres of buried mains cable, back to the sub-station which supplies your property, as well as many others ?

Of course I want to iron out niggles with a system that's cost quite a bit of money and get the best possible results ~ who wouldn't? Experimentation with power cords is just one method of achieving that.
But do you ever just listen to the MUSIC; or do you always listen to the SOUND ?!?

Similarly, do you ever get completely engrossed in the ACTION or EMOTION of the movie; or do you continuously analyse the PICTURE for flaws ?!?

My system may may well have not cost as much as yours; but it suffices for my needs and I ENJOY the experience it provides.

If you consider such changes to be no more than placebos, then there's nothing I'm likely to be able to report that will open your mind.
Your admitting that the placebo effect exists might eventually lead to an acceptance in YOUR mind that it has been quietly operating throughout your life.
 

Alan Mac

Active Member
Did I say the power cord had effected a reduction to the treble response? Rather, it's smoothed the treble response, not hugely but to a welcome degree, moderating some excess splash and sizzle. This is by no means an uncommon result of changing a power cord, as reported in many reviews.

Of course I want to iron out niggles with a system that's cost quite a bit of money and get the best possible results ~ who wouldn't? Experimentation with power cords is just one method of achieving that. If you consider such changes to be no more than placebos, then there's nothing I'm likely to be able to report that will open your mind.
If the treble response has actually been altered then the electrical signal driving the loudspeakers MUST have changed. Such a change, if it existed, would be measurable.


But in reality, when we change the power cord we find there to be absolutely zero change measurable in the electrical signal driving the loudspeakers.


Hence it must be concluded that a change in power cord has no physical effect on the sound produced by the loudspeaker.




Alan
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known Member
So, in your personal opinion (which is all it is ~ an opinion) what we've not yet learned how to measure simply...........doesn't exist, even though many people, apart from you, do notice and can describe subjective differences that many other people also notice and are prepared to spend money to have in their systems what they perceive to be the benefits of those differences? Such people are just fooling themselves or being fooled, are they, because they have nothing better to do with their money than spend (some of) it on fancy bits of wire that look nice and which somebody in a magazine has reported as making a difference? Such people are just gullible fools?

And, in your opinion, are all the issues of interconnects/speaker cables/power cords/dielectrics/plugs & sockets/metal plating/equipment supports/siting of various components and so on just a collection of con tricks to which no level-headed person should pay any attention? Do you not hear and/or refuse to acknowledge any differences between different materials and methods of construction? If that's your avowed and immoveable opinion and you're not prepared to consider or give credence to those of anyone else, why are you on this forum? Why do you own a Quad power amp instead of just any old competently designed and constructed alternative? If memory serves, Peter Walker was of the opinion that all power amp's meeting these criteria sound pretty much the same, by which logic there's no justification for buying any 100 wpc power amp other than a Quad one.

Does your system sit on a cheap MDF cabinet? Are all its components connected with just the interconnects supplied by the manufacturer, connected to the mains with the stock power cord that came in the box and your speakers wired with the cheapest cables available in your local Maplin store or maybe just lamp cord?

From what you say, given that no measurable electrical differences exist, you cannot hear any subjective differences and that therefore none exist, I can only assume this to be the case. So why are you on this forum other than to decry the opinions of everyone else?
 
So why are you on this forum other than to decry the opinions of everyone else?
Or, just perhaps, to try and assist and educate with proven facts and information; rather than to evangelise, based on purely subjective opinions ???
 

Julian Stevens

Well-known Member
So all systems and components and connections and arrangements thereof that measure the same sound the same? Is that what you're saying?
 

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