Wow, so many replies! I’ll start replying to them, but this may take a bit.
Kingdeezie suggested some possible issues: room Acoustics, power supply issues and cables. The cables are Kimber 8TC’s with some aquarium tubing inserted to help minimize electrical connections. As much as possible I have kept all stereo related connectors to cross at right angles.
On the room acoustics, I already had some modest treatments. I put a blanket over both sides of the 55’ TV with little difference in sound. When I tried the Dyns (without the blanket treatment) the hardness went away. Based on that result, I don’t think the room was an issue. BTW, this is with playback around 75db.
On the possibility it’s an electrical source issue, I have a dedicated circuit the stereo system is plugged into. All other components are plugged into another circuit. This includes the dac. Over time I have noticed some changes over the course of the day, but this has been inconsistent and doesn’t seem to have an effect on the hardness I’m hearing.
I also use a PS Audio Humbuster
Avahifi wanted to know the preamp I’m using. Its a Primaluna Dialogue Premium.
Undertow suggests reworking the xover, upgrading the amp. I am unwilling to experiment on the xover. Cost of upgrading the amp would cost me at least $2k more and I’m unwilling to spend that much without a clear picture of what the change would be.
Richidoo suggested rolling off the tweeter at about 1k hz and increasing to about -6db at 20hz. This sounds a bit strong. I’ll see about giving it a try. I expect it will take me a bit to set up and listen.
Per Jim’s comments to me in an email, I made the changes starting at 300 hz to approximate what a resister change would sound like.
JonnyFive comments a different speaker would likely be the best solution and points to his experience with the Exotica’s.
Early B. Suggests it’s a placement issue. I put the Dynaudio’s in the same place as the Salk’s. Its based on that experience, along with my experiment with the blanket over the TV that I am starting to think it’s the basic sound characteristics of the Salk’s and not the room or other issue.
Folsom opines its dirty power. I don’t have a place to put a power conditioner, so that’s out.