I've been doing a lot of critical listening, with a new amp (Luxman 507ux) and new DIY power cable. I've been trying to find an audible benefit or difference in either.
Regardless of my findings, I wanted to share something else, coincidental. I woke up, listened to music and it sounded horrible. Very tinny. Very bright. Gave up and decided to run the dishwasher instead... and guess what? The dishwasher too was too bright!
What I mean is, I was being irritated by the sound of it. To my ears that morning the dishwasher sounded like a chalk board.
What do I think I learned? That my ears are not consistent devices. That they too have their own sensitivities and behaviors which I need to take into account when listening.
Already told you the DIY power cable was a waste of time. Remember the story about my friend who ruined his whole system? To the point he couldn't hear any difference between cables until he tried them in mine, and then even he could hear everything clear and obvious.
Can't trust your own ears, may as well trust mine.
Nowhere have I ever ever meant to say this. I trust my own ears above all else. I may write about how easy it is to muse something is better or worse when it is not, but please, back up and take a seat because asking you to tell me what I hear is not on the menu.
DIY power cables are just fine if materials are quality.
My thoughts on the matter are I wake irritable sometimes, bad dreams, whatever. Sometimes I just need quiet. Don’t be so critical first thing, it’s kind of like hoping your 'mental' filter is in place when you’re aggravated.
It’s got nothing to do with DIY power cables. Talk about trolling, and from a different thread. I don’t think the guy likes you, Erik.
It’s believed that our hearing is much more acute in the morning since our ears have rested and weren’t subjected to any real sound for an average of eight hours. Even the smallest of noises can trigger memories that can dictate the course of dreams.
When I first awake, I find sounds to be more direct and irritating, even if on the slightly loud side of normal. When I grind my coffee beans, all bets are off: it’s irritating no matter the time of day. 😄
It’s got nothing to do with DIY power cables. Talk about trolling, and
from a different thread. I don’t think the guy likes you, Erik.
That seems clear! :) Given how little A'gon matters, overall, sometimes I feel like vendors feel I am attacking their complete livelihood by questioning an industry. They certainly make me feel much more powerful than I think I am.
Over the years of working in a loud environment of manufacturing, I was required to take a annual hearing test. It was explained to me that the overall baseline hearing level can vary as much as 10 decibels over short periods of time for no particular reason. As Elizabeth stated, the eustachian tubes in your ears can become plugged, or partially plugged and can wreak havoc with your hearing including hyper sensitivity to sharp quick sounds which occur around you throughout the day. Fluid behind the eardrum can also be quite nasty.
My hearing is quite variable. I have tinnitus that comes and goes, and high frequencies suddenly disappear then reappear. The result of 1- being in bands with guitarists who turn up their amp too damn loud, especially the Fender Twin Reverb, an amp I HATE!; and 2- soundmen who make "mistakes". I was on stage at The Pantages Theater on Hollywood Blvd., about to start a set with some of the guys in the core band that backed Emitt Rhodes at his "comeback" appearance at the Poptopia Festival a couple years earlier (video viewable on You Tube), when suddenly there was EXTREMELY loud feedback. I instinctively covered my ears with my hands, but the damage had already been done. All the high frequencies were gone, everything sounded muffled. I was suppose to sing harmonies that night, but that was now impossible. My hearing eventually returned to normal, but the anxiety about it didn't.
What a horrible thing to go through. It reminds me of the scene from 2001, A Space Odyssey, when the monolith sends it's signal to a moon of Jupiter. The the astronauts could hear through their helmets but couldn't cover their ears, despite their attempts.
Very interesting thread. It's hard to tell tbh as I would not dream of attempting anything useful or definitive until at least 2 cups of coffee have been consumed. By that time any hearing imbalance has already been rectified I think.
I normally throw some music on about 1 hour after rising at the earliest so should be equalised.
It is likely that hearing is more acute early rising as I know my eyes are better after a few hours sleep. I can usually successfully type in my email password early am sans glasses which is not the case later in the day.
I thought that everyone goes through similar experiences and wondered why people were writing very firm/absolute statements about their music-listening findings. It has been silly and enjoyable to read them.
At some recent point, in one thread full of those absolutes, I suggested that taking Afrin before a listening session may be beneficial.
The only response I got was from geoffkait…
"Glubson, you realize there’s a very thin line between being stupid and pretending to be stupid, don’t you?"
So girls/guys, be careful with these theories. Even if you are right, someone less adept at understanding may challenge your intelligence.
Squire- Check back about 6 months or so and read the responses I received to my post "Am I hearing Things"? It may be of use or perhaps not applicable. I too feel I love the sound in my speakers and other times I am wondering why they are so harsh, bright and painful to listen to and know I need some very polite British Speakers.
I’ve written in several forums about how much I enjoy my Sony Noise Canceling BT Headphones. I flew to the East Coast 2 days ago and was dismayed at how awful they sounded. The sound was muffled, distant...Exiting the plane I sneezed, both my ears had loud explosions, and suddenly my hearing returned...it was Eustachian tube dysfunction induced by the pressure changes
I truly believe when I first wake up in the morning my hearing is more sensitive. I turn on my bedroom receiver to listen to my FM station and the music sounds more amplified. I go into the bathroom for five minutes and then renter the bedroom and the music sounds as if someone turned doen the volume a tad.
We can learn a lot from machine learning and neural nets which can see around optical issues to detect disease.
I find myself doing this, and aghast when other audiophiles do it in ways I don’t. :) I think a lot of this is why some don’t mind horrible rooms, or are so cable sensitive.
Which then makes me wonder about how much do I want to train my own neural pathways? Do I want to reach the point where I can tell whether an IC is gold or silver? How does that make me happy? Is this a video game, where I pick up skills to collect coins?
It isn’t. At some point I have to ask how and for what purpose I want to train my ear/brain mechanisms.
Yes, I've had bad tinnitus since the mid 90's or so. But I mostly habituated to it long ago and it very rarely has intruded upon listening to music (except that I don't want to blast at high levels which can exacerbate it).
Hyperacusis is a whole other ballgame though. It makes sound, reproduced sound especially like music, shrill and painful. It becomes like the equivalent of going through the Clockwork Orange-like aversion therapy in which the very music Alex loved leaves him nauseous.
I only had rare bouts of it over the last 20 years, but I've had a huge relapse. Been something like 8 months since I've been able to truly enjoy music :(
Coming to these forums is sort of like being an amputee habitually scratching a phantom itch on the limb he has lost.
Anyway, onward and upward....
Good that it only took a shower to return to normal :) Remember how lucky you are!
I agree about the concern of sensitizing yourself to every difference there is to hear and every distortion. Often that's something you can't roll back once you've heard it. Some level of ignorance can aid one's bliss.
As a mastering engineer full time, meaning almost 7 days a week, this is a topic I know well ! When we sleep, out hearing recovers and in the morning things will sound different than they did at night. I think of my hearing like an hourglass full of sand. In the morning it’s as full as it can be based on the quality of sleep. As the day goes on the sand falls down, acerbated by a concert, or car window open, and eventually it’s all out, can no longer listen. Alcohol, sugar, stress, all factor into it also. In fact, just the presence of daylight vs dim night light will change our perception.
I prefer to do new work at night, and analytical fixes in the day. Others differ.
So yes our hearing is a moving target, yet in a range, and the more we know it, the better our perceptions. Listening daily with refs we know well for decades is the way to test ourselves. And of course, listen with the WHOLE body. Let the vibrations hit you head to toe. Bodies remember things like smells and tastes and sounds better than brains alone. Enjoy your listening !
Wonder if any others have experienced....suddenly hearing in one ear becomes lower in volume. Slowly my body adjusts and hearing feels normal.....until the volume comes back up minutes later. almost like only one ear is suffering from airplane pressurization.
"Caffein (sic) can cause slight and temporary hearing loss in some individuals too." Oh no!!!!
@jacksky, I have that experience frequently. I have tiny Eustachian tubes compounded by some radiation therapy to the area. The left is more problematic than the right. I've always insisted on having R/L balance control in my system for this reason. However, recently I've found that speaker positioning is much more effective.
Other techniques that help are sniffing, swallowing, and drinking something really cold. Or my favorite, eating an ice cream sandwich. Jack & Jill. MMMM
My hearing _perception_ changes constantly. I think the variables are countless and I'm certain mood has a lot to do with it.
Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) can be a real problem. When severe you feel like your head is in a fish bowl and nothing will relieve it. When moderate it can fluctuate even with changes in barometric pressure with the weather and can be just as annoying.
Allergies are a common cause and even something as simple as Allegra or Zyrtec can help. Flonase nasal spray helps too if used regularly.
Decongestants like pseudoephedrine can work but have other precautions associated with them.
Afrin nasal spray (oxymetazoline) can work well and sometimes even work fast but using it for more than about three days will actually make things worse. A puff or two before flying can help prevent in-flight and post-flight issues.
A hearing test will not measure compliance and mobility of the ear drum and eustachian tube dysfunction can cause abnormal audiometry. A tympanogram does measure the mobility of the ear drum and can be useful in diagnosing ETD. It is a simple test with the proper instrument.