Most tweeters have much less vertical dispersion than horizontal dispersion. What you are hearing (not hearing?) is the fact that the tweeters' output is being attenuated because you have them higher than ear level.
And, since it seems to be working well for you, you should leave them setup like this. If you want to test my theory, stack up a few phonebooks on your listening chair and see if your hearing problem is re-introduced...
"Most tweeters have much less vertical dispersion than horizontal dispersion."
Unless you are referring to horn or some planer/ribbon tweeters I have not seen this statement to be true.
However it is possible that the relief the OP is describing is a result of combining less floor reflections with possibly some frequency lobing at the crossover point.
Lobing is caused by several factors such as slope and type of crossover as well as distance between the drivers. End result is that if you get to far above or below the tweeter height there will be some dropout at the crossover point.
If you have two way speakers you can also try turning them upside down.
Thanks for these informative responses. I don't really understand the technical causes but if I can discern a difference, it must be a somewhat significant one.
Steuspeed, I do have two ways (Jamo Concert Eights) and turning them upside down to increase the elevation of the tweeter never crossed my mind. What a good idea. If I had thought of it maybe I could have saved the cost of new pedestals. It wouldn't have raised the speakers high enough, though, to clear two pieces of furniture which was the original goal of raising them. The improvement, then, was accidental on my part.
some have used felt around tweeters to tone them down a bit
I have done this myself and it worked, though a bit too much for my tastes
something to consider for cheap
Broadstone.... I feel for you since I too have Hyperacusis. I'm very happy with the sound of my system, but my tower speakers have metal tweeters and sometimes can cause some killer pain from high frequencies.
I can only suggest what I've tried and it's been very successful, but there will always be certain CDs that I can't play. (LPs are much more kind).
I tried many different speaker cables (as you probably have) and am using 2 different cables in a double-run configuration. Cardas for highs, which sound smoother and rolled-off. But the biggest improvement was to use a lot of room treatments for standing wave absorption. Acoustic panels on side and rear wall and a tapestry hung behind my listening position.
Raising the speakers sounds like a good idea, but what is your room treatment situation?
I also have hyperacusis and I agree with Lowrider57. Room treatment can help very much in taming the highs. Speakers with silk dome tweeters , tube amps that roll off the highs and speaker cables and interconnects (Cardas Golden Cross can really help to smooth out the sound.
Also a tube DAC (Synthesis Matrix) with a Marantz 8004 as a transport will really help your digital side of your system.
Why don't you try a single-driver Fostex speaker? Many companies make them. Removing the tweeter might help your situation considerably. They work best with simpler acoustic music, which may or may not suit your taste, but that's another story. I have a pair that Fritz did for me with the 4" drivers and they really sound nice.
These responses are very much appreciated and I will attempt to explain further what I have done. To begin with, my present setup consists of a Shanling S100 solid state CD player, California Audio Labs tube DAC, Rogue Audio Shinx hybrid amp, and two pairs of permanently A/B'd speakers. For many years I have used the Martin Logan Odyssey hybrids and, recently, added a pair of Jamo Concert 8's on a permanent A/B switch between the two.
Both pairs of speakers are very good and I recently added the Jamo's because they are more efficient than the Odysseys allowing me to listen at lower volumes while maintaining detail and tight bass. This particular model by Jamo, btw, is incredible in almost every way.
Probably the biggest single improvement came with the addition of the tube DAC but close behind was increasing the speaker elevation. As a matter of fact, of the things I've tried, these two changes were the only ones that I could detect any resultant improvement. Between these two things, I'm enjoying my system more, although I know I'll never get back what I've lost over the years to compromised hearing.
As far as room treatment goes, because my listening room is also our living room, my options are limited. The room is 15' by 21' with the entertainment center placed against one of the short walls. Furnishings include a large area rug over wood floors, 18' of curtains on one long wall and a lot of upholstered furniture. Even when the floors were all wood, before my hearing became so messed up, this treatment, though a compromise, worked well for me.
Lowrider, I'm especially glad to hear from someone also afflicted with hyperacusis because at least someone out there understands the effect that this condition has on critical listening and, to a lesser extent, every day function. Mine is accompanied by very loud ringing at more than one frequency somewhere between 5 and 7,000Hz, according to the audiologist. It seems that tinnitus and hyperacusis often go together. I've found a couple of hyperacusis forums but never one associated with HiFi listening; if you know of anything like that, please let me know.
Hang in there, Broadstone, and I also have tinnitus...didn't know about that relationship. My tinnitus is very mild, however (I've been tested). I haven't looked for any forums, but after seeing the ENT and Audiologist, I'm now going to a migraine center for treatment...my diagnosis is called "Atypical Migraine" which includes the symptoms we have without the headache. The hyperacusis pain comes from the same area of the brain as a migraine.
I hope you're getting some type of therapy. The ENT had nothing for me, so I now see a neurologist specializing in head pain.
Also, there are devices sold to treat tinnitus; google it (but ask a doc about it since they might just be selling snake oil).
And it really does suck when you're grooving to a song and some loud trumpet starts in and I have to shut it down.
Right on Timo62, my next step is a soft dome tweeter. BTW, hanging the tapestry on my rear wall was such a significant improvement in trapping high frequencies.
Thanks again. I'm not seeing anyone for treatment as the two specialists that I saw (an audiologist and an otolaryngologist ) basically said that the treatment for either tinnitus or hyperacusis is learning tricks to deal with the condition. Both seem to agree, which is consistent with what I've found on the Internet, that these conditions are often associated with hearing loss. The audiologist designed a pair of hearing aids for me but I'm afraid the the resultant increase in volume may exacerbate the frequencies that cause problems and I don't want to experiment at a cost of approx $6500 a pair. Ironically, my hearing drop off seems to occur at around 5000Hz, the very frequency that I think is where my sensitivity starts.
One solution that was offered was ear devices that generate white or pink noise to mask the tinnitus; that just seems unacceptable on its face.
Low rider, I think I remember that you responded on another thread to someone with a similar issue but I don't remember the specifics. I think it was in reference to a question regarding the use of equalizers. As a last ditch effort to throw more equipment at the problem, I'm considering trying one and am curious to know whether you've tried or even recommend this approach. One way or the other I'd like to know whether a graphic or parametric equalizer would be best for the purpose. I've never dealt with any kind of equalizer control in 50+ years of listening and know very little about them.
Broadstone, yes I was part of a EQ thread but cant find it. Basically the recommendations were only add it if being used in the digital domain. If it's in the analogue chain, then there's more processing being done, noise being added, possible change in imaging and soundstage and buying more ICs.
I've worked in recording studios (analogue) and you would need to spend some $ to get professional results at home. Plus the result would be attenuating already compressed frequencies on the recording.
Look in the archives. I found lots of pros and cons on adding an EQ to the system. Many users are using EQ to balance their rooms, some using it for the reason we're talking about. (there are also some recommendations of good EQs; I think in the $1000 range)