Yeah, you should sign up for Qobuz or Tidal to fix the holes in your MP3 frequency response. MP3 discards a lot of information believed to be imperceptible.
Ok, in case you use MP3, you don’t have to search deeper, then that’s the problem at first. I guess most of us wouldn’t expect someone looking for better sound quality, using it
Have you considered that the problem is age related? When I was young I could hear all the overtones of, say, a hihat. I don’t really hear those now - I know it’s a hihat but I no longer hear the magic.
That did cross my kind, but I do get my hearing check every other year because of the industry I’m in and the machines say my hearing is fine. Hahaha we’ll see at my next check up
I’m looking into getting some DSD for my DAC, since it’s capable… also thinking about Amazon HD. This is all good feedback. Thank you
By my calculation you’re probably at least 50 years old so you won’t have the hearing to 20k that you would have had at 20 years old. Maybe your hearing is ok for your age (and hence ok for work) but is decreasing with frequency and cutting off at maybe 14khz so you’ll have lost half an octave or so.
Here is the priority list for stereos:
From biggest impact on sound to lowest:
- recording mastering, there is nothing you can do about that except of buying a different recording
- speakers and integration of speakers in the room, if cimbals don’t sound right try repositioning and if that doesn’t do it buy new speakers or upgrade them up if that is an option
- power amps
- For analog sources only: cartridge and phono stage
- Speaker cables + interconnects
- pre amp amp
- For digital sources only: DAC
Typical budget ratio speakers / entire electronics:
- 80 % / 20 %
- 40 % / 60 %
Although I am more in the 40 % / 60 % camp because speakers can sound significantly better with better amps, US$ 600 / pair speakers on US$ 6000 BHK preamp seems very much out of balance. Put all that money in the speakers and a Stellar Strata integrated, there will be money left for a real cimbal at home and you will hardly recognize any difference. Put all that money in the BHK Pre Amp first and you will regret the investment as the speakers will not be able to unfold the BHK Pre Amps potential. The weakest link in the chain determines the sound quality and the effect of the speaker and room is the biggest.
Indeed - last time I had a clinical hearing test the test itself only went up to 8kHz…
As a former high school percussionist, I completely understand your disappointment. I have never listened to your speakers, but in my low 20’s fell hard for the Infinity ribbon tweeter (and tight woofer). Nearly 40 years later, I’m still a vintage Infinity enthusiast. I don’t know if they would give you what you want, but I still enjoy some lively percussion on my Infinity’s.
I would consider both monitor and floor standing Martin Logan dynamic Motion speakers. They have good sensitivity, frequency response, and folded motion tweeters.
Yes, will be better than their Electrostatics there. After Maggie’s I had Logan stats long time and while they sounded fast and detailed in highs, imo their reproduction of cymbals was always artificial and kind of plastic instead of metal. Nice in its own way, but what I heard was always Electrostatic characteristic, not cymbal characteristic.
Heard nothing better than AMT ribbons yet, but I also heard other great speakers without them, and with other qualities and/or crossover effort, where this tweeter thing didn’t play a major role anymore in comparison.
In this scenario, he needs something to replace stand mounters, not spend an arm and leg, and have something easily driven by the existing gear with the added benefit of good tweeters.
But a top end freak can find AMT’s in quite affordable speakers…and this also means less room acoustic problems in that area.
A critical point that I missed
Speaker constraints aside if you are seeking extended “Shimmery” highs, you might consider introducing some tubes (and thus tube rolling opportunities) in the path
The fact your class A (F8) amplifier does not give you what you want at the top is surprising and does point to the speaker or room acoustics
Sorry, not much help…
Aside of the HW, it will be interesting if you also notice the “plastic (material)”, dead, slightly muted, audiophile digital kind of cymbals on most ECM Jazz albums compared to better recordings. I love tons of their music, but their recordings sound typically old digital to me, although digital doesn’t have to sound like that. I think the sound is liked quite much anyway, because it plays quite uncritically in slightly bright environments.
Together with the label’s “produced” and mostly similar music esthetic, also the sound to me is an interesting but artificial product, nothing like live sounding, especially on cymbals (with exceptions).
I’m not sure what’s more depressing, the over-estimate of my age or that I am expected to lose hearing as I get older, or have lost it already. hahaha You can always ask how old I am, you don’t have to guess.
Ignore the negative and focus on the positive. Never let go of hope and dream of better days to come. Challenge life’s challenges and enjoy the music not the system.
How old are you?
Not sure if you mean their full range electrostats or hybrids but above 500Hz the hybrids would be pretty much the same. I owned their Aerius back in the mid-/late-90s and if you mean a bit etched at times then I know what you mean. To me it was always more recording dependent and the speakers revealing that quality because it wasn’t always so. In the 2000s I owned full range Quads – the 989 and to my 10 year older ears it was never, ever etched and cymbals sounded quite real. It was to the point where I could hear the zills on a tambourine vibrating quite clearly. Once again it was dependent on the recording.
Just my 2¢.