So here is my story. When I bought it brand new somewhere back in 2003-2004, my volume pot has always been on 34 dB. I had to decrease that to 40 dB over time (maybe my ears adapted?). I've used it with Musical Fidelity X-24K DAC for many years like this with my Sennheiser HD-600 (Cardas cable). Sound was very plush and intimate, balanced and laid-back. Top end was a bit muted, but not lacking detail. Really comfortable. I could listen for hours..
Three years ago I've put it down in a box and sold my X24K.
Now I've plugged it into my new MF V-DAC II (w/ Pyramid PSU) and started playing my favorite music again, same music I've listened on this exact amp countless times.
Now I can barely handle it on 54 dB. Sometimes have to put it all down to 62 dB. It became louder. But what is worse - almost untolerably bright.
High end is very harsh and sound overall is a bit thin, lacking the warm atmosphere it always had. I literally have pain in my ears after few hours of listening (I almost feel the constant pressure on my ear membranes from the aggressive treble, but I can't turn the volume down even further so it becomes too quiet).
What is to blame here? Source? Maybe I was spoiled by a warm tube output stage of my old X-24K through all those years??
Or did my X-CAN just get old? Like 10 years now.. And it was turned on almost 24x7 for many years... I've just ordered a pair of
Russian 6H23n-EB, going to see if that helps. I've checked the caps inside and they look normal to me. I don't hear any noise, hiss, hum, whatsoever.
There's no audible distortion. But I'm not enjoying the music now... It's just really bad on my ears (too bright, like there's too much treble).
Even piano sound is unpleasant now and trumpets/cymbals/acoustic guitars (basically any instrument or vocal with lots of higher registers) are killing me.
Thanks for any advices.
Edited by madwolfa - 9/4/13 at 9:17pm