Question on hearing


Apologies in advance for rambling, but this is something that has been in the back of my mind for years.

When I was a teen growing up in the 70's, I listened with a basic Kenwood receiver, a Thorens turntable, and either Advent or Bozak speakers, all inherited from relatives. Speaker cables and cables were basic Radioshack. What I remember is having intense, hair-raising moments of connection to music, especially in response to fine textural and harmonic details.

Nowadays, I have what I consider to be a reference-level system with a mixture of tube and solid-state electronics, digital and analog sources, and a treated listening room.  I've achieved what I consider to be reference-level sound. Listening is truly enjoyable for me these days, but those special moments of physical and emotional connection to musical moments are much rarer than in the old, old days. Part of this is no doubt a result of mildly diminished high frequency hearing, but I suspect that other factors are at play. I was just wondering if others have anything to say about this? 
psag
Raging hormones!  Everything is more intense when you're a teenager.

and you were hearing great new music.  Not such a thrill to hear Stairway to Heaven or whatever for the ten thousandth time.  The present hardly compares to rock in the 60's to early 70's. 

I doubt that age related hearing loss is much of a factor.

I believe that we all need to remember that it is all about the music and that the system we use is just a tool to get us there, like you the quality of my system is at it's highest level ever but I do not find that I listen more because of the better equipment or enjoy the music more because of it. I also believe that their are really some great and gifted New artist out there that rival and in a lot of ways surpass our old idol's that we have grown up with since our youth.
I find the matching of music to the system is very different. There are a number of recordings I can enjoy in the car I can’t listen to at home. :)

Especially music from the 80’s and 90’s.

Notable exceptions are Pink Floyd.

I think this has a lot to do with the consumer equipment engineers were mixing to. This has changed quite a bit.

Best,


E

psag,

I think I understand what you are saying regarding enjoyment from your old system which is not as high tech as your system today.  I have had and heard a few systems, that even compared to your old one, would be considered totally basic, that just produced music beyond all expectations.  Of course memory can play games, and they are long gone and replaced by much more expensive gear.

For example, when I was living in Huntington Bch, CA I answered an ad from someone wanting to sell his stereo equipment. The system ended up being a non descript Sansui receiver, Cerwin Vega speakers with 12" woofers and a Denon CD player.  Truly the sound was enchanting and everyone who heard it would just out of nowhere comment on it.  Gave it away to a friend.

Another system had a set of Quadraflex speakrs.  However this particular model of Quadraflexs was voiced, it just sounded great.

Just reminiscing, thanks for this thread.


Besides declines in hearing ability with age, your mind also has a large store of memories now that it didn't have when you were young, and that likely affects emotional response to music, not to mention the hormone issue.
I sympathize with you psag.
As others have posted, it may be that we experienced that excitement because it was new to us.
I was beginning to feel like you did, but streaming music allowed me to find lots of genres that I never explored before.
I love late classical/early romantic music. Now I have access to composers I never heard of, and music from composers I knew but never thought wrote music other than what I heard on the radio- Like Hummel, Vanhal and Dussek.
Bob 
@psag I think there's still plenty of emotions to be mined from music even after suffering aging and hearing loss. 

While I don't experience the marijuana induced epiphanies of my youth any longer, there is still music that engages me. Maybe it sets a melancholy mood or gets my feet jumping or evokes a time passed. 

Thnking about it, much of my recent music emotion have come from the soundtracks of motion pictures. Whether it was a score written for the movie or a song - or group of songs - hearing them later always sets my emotion to the scene it accompanied. 

Then there's opera. And Youtube and those Flashmob videos.  In the last year Sturgill Simpson made my heart soar, Margo Price made me laugh out loud, Radiohead made me wonder what the heck, and Ramin Djawadi did these wonderful piano covers of some old and classic rock songs for the Westworld soundtrack.

Back in the day I couldn't imagine enjoying music without a little mind alteration. But no more. So change things up a bit. If you're imbibing while listening, try stopping. If you're not imbibing or doing anything mind-altering, well, I am certainly not going to be the one to recommend it but I understand it has worked for others. 

"I have tested and tasted too much, lover.
Through a chink too wide, there comes in no wonder."
---Advent, Kavanagh.

Stress?  Worry?  Health?   After a recent blood work-up for feeling tired, my B-12 was far below normal.   After several months of shots, my toes are tapping again.
There are many books discussing our reaction and love of music.
I submit it has less to do with either the perceived quality of the music or reproduction, but rather the stage of development our emotional maturity and the physical brain. I highly recommend "This Is Your Brain On Music" by Daniel Levitin. In it, he specifically addresses why we emotionally attach to music we listen to as teenagers. Ultimately, our enjoyment of music is, and will be, different than when we were young. It's the natural state. Still, in moments of significant emotional highs or lows, music can elicit profound reactions. 

What we need is a book by a cognitive psychologist on audiophiles & hearing
There are a lot of factors that go into something like this, but I really think it’s natural for anyone involved in the high-end realm to focus too much on the audio quality, whether intentionally or not. Also, some of us have put together systems that are much more resolving (brighter?) than our old ones and the flaws stick out more. That said, I’m very happy to say that the other night I pulled out my Sundazed reissue of the Vanilla Fudge first record and, horrendous audio quality aside, listened all the way through, without giving a thought to the audio aspect. My hearing is probably not over 12k anymore, but I really feel I was able to appreciate the music the way I did in high school, albeit with a different perspective on life.  It's possible that the audio quality was SO bad, nothing could be done to salvage it, so there was no sense thinking about anything but the music.  I don't know. 
I was in a similar space as you seem to be with your hearing.  I went to Costco, got a hearing test and was told about my deficiency.  I really thought my system was up to its highest level, (and it very well may be)...but when I got my hearing aids it was like a dawn comforter was removed from off my head.  If you are even a bit unsure of your hearing, I strongly advise you to get it checked.  My enjoyment of music  - both recorded and live is very much greater now.  If you try aids, you will not like many.....keep trying until you find one that is to your liking.  (I have the top of the line Bernafon which I find the most musical)  Good listening.....
Yes, as we age our ability to discern frequencies diminishes. It is also  easy for humans to become jaded over time, even with the best! In our youth, everything was new and exciting. Experiencing repetition does not excite as initially once did. Sad but true that variety and a "better high" is required to excite. For some, even the best will never satisfy. Hence the need to upgrade already stellar sounding rigs.....