Ear Fatigue??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bryan_Tams, Feb 24, 2003.

  1. Bryan_Tams

    Bryan_Tams Agent

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    Can someone discribe ear fatigue. Not sure, but I might of experienced it last night during The Rock on cable on my new Axiom HT set-up (60, 150, QS8). The sound is great, but I felt like I should clean my ears after the movie? Is it because the speaker is so pure, that I am hearing sounds I did not hear from my older and I mean older Kenwood speakers? 25 days remaining on the audition. Thanks.
     
  2. John Doran

    John Doran Screenwriter

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    bryan,

    i have always taken "listening fatigue" to mean, quite literally, fatigue caused by listening; in my experience, some source material on some systems actually leaves me feeling tired.

    i'm not sure what it is exactly, but i suspect that it has something to do with bright highs - when i listen to stuff like that, i get slightly and bodily tense as i anticipate and then consciously tolerate the discomfort of the treble.

    it has only happened for me when it's loud, and i believe only with regard to excessive high-frequency information. i have no idea if it's either or both of the actual source material and the system itslef (amplification, speakers, etc.).

    on the one hand, i do know that the movie gladiator, for instance, has a lot of high-end (the arrows and catapults in the opening battle scene are painful on every system on which i've ever listened to it).

    but on the other, so too does LOTR (at least the extended edition does). however, i listened to it with bryston amplification and PMC MB2's and there was no fatigure whatsoever - i didn't even realize just how loud it was until i tried to talk to my buddy and couldn't hear myself; i could easily have listened to it 6-10db louder.

    i don't know if this is the sort of information you were looking for, or how helpful it is...

    - jd
     
  3. Charles Gurganus

    Charles Gurganus Supporting Actor

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    Bryan, it is a little more unusual to experience fatigue when listening to movies. It is more common with music. Your speakers may need some more break-in time so try leaving some music on repeat play, even while you are not home. Also, pay close attention to your room setup. Do you have high reflective floors (tile, hardwood for example)? Are your speakers possibly toed-inward? If so, try pointing them straight ahead. Is your sub setup properly? (do you have it in the ideal position and tuned properly) Have you setup your speakers using a radio shack SPL meter? Having not done this could cause some problems. You have many things you can do to battle fatigue so I just listed a few things to consider. (you also have tone controls, right)
     
  4. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    John,

    What do you mean by the music makes you tired?

    I routinely fall asleep when critically listening to music
    at night with the lights dimmed down.. I consider it to be
    extemely soothing and it puts me out like a light [​IMG]

    That's not fatigue.. Fatigue is when you have to leave the
    room and clean the wax out of your ears because the tweeters
    shook it all loose! [​IMG]

    heh
     
  5. Jeff Kohn

    Jeff Kohn Supporting Actor

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    Axiom speakers are pretty revealing, they may take a little getting used to if you're accustomed to a more laid back speaker. That said, I consider the Axioms to be accurate and revealing, not bright or harsh.

    One thing to consider, some DVD soundtracks use the original theatrical mix which has the X-Curve intact. These discs will sound bright when played back consumer equipment. If you're happy with the sound on some DVD's but others sound bright, you might want to try engaging the CinemaEQ/Re-EQ functionality on your receiver for the bright discs. This would would be more noticeable with revealing speakers than with more laid-back ones, and also might vary in severity depending on the accoustic properties of your room.
     
  6. John Doran

    John Doran Screenwriter

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    Brett,

     
  7. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    John,

    Nah I listen at 75-80Db unless I am not criticaly listening
    and not in the same room.. Then I crank it up a good ways..
    But I am very careful of my tweeters these days.. I fried
    one pair already from pulling an RCA cable out while the
    stuff was powered up, so I tend not to get too crazy with
    the volume when I am not in the room either.. Don' want to
    cook another pair [​IMG]
     
  8. Bryan_Tams

    Bryan_Tams Agent

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    Charles, my HK525 has some tone control, but nothing like seperate EQs for music and movies. The front speakers are currently toed-in...I will correct that some tonight. The room is a carpeted room with cathedral ceilings with hardwood floors about 13 feet away. I did try reference set with a SPL meter, but from reading another tread, I understand I may have made the same HK mistake on setting the reference at -15 to start and used the internal test tones. I have not purchased Aiva or VE yet - hopefully this week.


    Thanks for your responses, and I will give it another shot tonight.

    Ps. Most of my duaghters Disney DVDs sound great. No fatigue...even though she makes me watch them often [​IMG]
     
  9. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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    If the wife will allow it, check out room treatments for the 1st order reflection points at least. There are many types of panels, one example being Echobusters. I own a few panels and find they do help when placed strategically in your room. [​IMG]
     
  10. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    That is why i have PSB speakers, they are very neutral and i can listen to music for hours and hours and not get tired...
     
  11. Roberto Carlo

    Roberto Carlo Second Unit

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  12. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And, of course, there's the issue of potential damage to one's hearing.

    Excessively high volume levels (and corresponding distortion) can produce physical fatigue as well as temporary or permanent hearing loss.

    Once, I covered an experimental Texas rock band called Course of Empire. The band put on a record-release party at a local club in Hollywood, and I reviewed the show. If I had an SPL meter on hand that night, I shudder to contemplate the instrument's readings. The guitars ran through a sound system way overdriven beyond specifications.

    Toward the end of the show, I felt a tinge of nausea (yet I liked the band's album).

    When I got home my ears were ringing severely. At about two in the morning, I decided beer might soothe my head and body. But I was simply too fatigued to sit up.

    (The particular hour had nothing to do with the fatigue; I wasn't even sleepy. I was covering rock acts in clubs regularly in those days.)
     
  13. Steve Zimmerman

    Steve Zimmerman Second Unit

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    Maybe you just had the volume up to loud in your excitement over your new speakers.

    --Steve
     
  14. Bryan_Tams

    Bryan_Tams Agent

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    I don't think it is a volume thing. I used an SPL meter to set my speakers...and I an nowhere close to reference. Actually, the movie that I watched was at low levels as my family had already gone to bed.

    I read on the Axiom site about some resisters that you can add to the tweater that reduce the db and normaly solve the problem. Not sure about spending this kind of money, then needing to tweak the speaker more. Besides, I have eight tweaters in this set-up

    Anyway, I have them playing now while I'm at work for some additional break in, but I may have a set (M60,150,QS8) to unload (Cols, OH) or return in 30 days if I keep hearing what I am hearing - which I will admit is a very clean sound. I'll let you know.
     
  15. Matt Odegard

    Matt Odegard Stunt Coordinator

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  16. Guyza

    Guyza Stunt Coordinator

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    Bryan,

    My experience with Axiom is with the M22Ti. I ordered them based on all the great reviews, posts, etc... If I liked them a lot I was prepared to grab a whole 7.1 setup.

    Like you, I have an H/K 525.
    Out of the box, they were very harsh. I proceeded to break them in over a 5 day period. 24 hours a day. I would place them physically face-to-face, wire them out-of-phase to cancel the bass, toss a blanket over them both to kill the highs into the room, crank up a local FM rock station, and go to work, go to sleep, etc....
    They warmed up a *lot* and started to sound really good, but still had a bit of high-end harshness. I could not live with them and sent them back and got my $$ back.

    I work on computers all day long and like to come home and crank music to balance my brain out. After less than 1 hour, I couldn't take the M22ti any more. Even after going to bed it still felt like I had a slight "tinge" in my ear. This would go away by morning. Turning down the treble control did nothing to help.

    Axiom suggested a resistor fix but I was getting close to my 30-days and decided I didn't want to have to "fix" a brand new speaker. Axiom is a great company to do business with, no doubt. Just the Axiom sound is not for me and my room dynamics.

    Axiom will tell you their speakers don't break in but your ears do. My ears didn't and I don't want them to! I like my ears just the way they are. [​IMG]

    As a contrast, my Dahlquist QX6s can play all day long, at moderate-to-high volume and I never get that same "tinge" in my ear. The Dahl's have a metal tweeter, but are not as "up front" as the Axioms. They sure are more pleasing for long term listening sessions, though. I'm listening to the remastered "Yes: Fragile" and "Liquid Tension Experiment" right now and these speakers are sweet!

    As you can probably tell, speaker preferences are highly individual! Buying on recommendations and reviews is no substitute for hearing them yourself, in your room.

    Good luck and let us know what your course of action is,
    Guy
     

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