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With aging ears, do we turn to Low-Fi now?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by TT-newbie, Jun 18, 2017 at 9:30 PM.

  1. TT-newbie

    TT-newbie Member

    Messages:
    72
    Having read a few posts lately regarding people having trouble hearing high frequency sound when they age, I am certainly on the same boat here. I did some hearing tests and found that I could only hear up to 10-12Khz these days, I think mostly because of working in noisy heavy industry at young age. I have some fairly decent set ups in my main listening rooms. However, I found myself using them less often because they sounded somewhat flat to me, but using and enjoying a modest set up in my study more, which consists of a Sony STR-6065, a Technics SL-23 and a pair of Celestion Ditton 15. For some reason, this modest system produces far more enjoyable music. The sound is more engaging, punchy, better clarity and more details. Ditton 15 can only reach 12khz at most, but it has more forward (in your face) sound. With smaller and close proximity of the listening space, the sound it produces has compensated my hearing loss on high frequencies in my opinions. This has generated my thoughts, do we turn to low-fi systems to satisfy our needs when we are aging?
     
  2. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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    Yeah we did this in another thread that got closed. Just build the system/ systems that work for you and you like the sound of.
     
    botrytis likes this.
  3. OvenMaster

    OvenMaster Ears Of Tin Subscriber

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    Being in the same boat you are, hearing-wise, my own thought is that the really high treble becomes less important. We can't hear it anymore, so why chase it?
    Like 4-2-7 says, if it works for you, enjoy it.
     
  4. ferninando

    ferninando AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    absolutly not. the higher the fi the better.
    screw a bunch of low-fi.
    and my hearing sux big time and I still hear all my music and enjoy the hell out of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017 at 9:31 AM
    mkane, Ds2000 and red 111 like this.
  5. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    2,789
    Why join an audio forum if you have no interest or see no value in members sharing their experiences? Maybe your ears haven't aged enough to appreciate the topic.
     
    Bodyblue likes this.
  6. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    Because this type of thread ends up being a religious discussion, where no one's opinion is changed and everyone gets offended in some way.
     
    Eric Lloyd likes this.
  7. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    A poster on another forum was of the opinion that Bose knows how to voice their products to satisfy aging ears. I have many family members and friends who increasingly find a Bose wave product to work well for them, happily using them to replace component stereo systems. I recently had the experience of really enjoying the Lawrence Welk album "Apples and Bananas" over a Bose wave table radio. Lawrence Welk and Bose! I think I've finally arrived.
     
    faber12, Ds2000 and Bodyblue like this.
  8. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

    I hope at least you got the bubbles with that listening experience or it was a waste.
     
    Alobar and darkblue94 like this.
  9. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

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    Not the kind that Welk is associated with, but is the champagne of beers close enough?
     
    Ds2000 likes this.
  10. Gibsonian

    Gibsonian AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Maybe the modest setup is just better?
     
    bluemooze likes this.
  11. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
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    This^
    I have interest, that's why I made the post I did and shared my experience and opinion. It's a subjective topic and really doesn't matter if it's low fi, hifi, high end, low end and the endless options in between. We all like what we like no mater what's going on with our hearing. That's why we all build the systems that work for us and like the sound of.

    Maybe, but I don't see why that maters, we all hear differently anyway.
     
  12. Hyperion

    Hyperion Roobarb & Custard Subscriber

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    Have you thought about others listening with you? - maybe their ears are better than yours?
     
  13. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    16,374
    No. The frequencies that are available to your brain will still still benefit from sound quality. Other sensory cues will still be available such as bass harmonics from high resolution bass. Lo-fi muddies the image so much that these details are lost.
     
    Nightwisher, Mystic and Alobar like this.
  14. maxhifi

    maxhifi Super Member

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    1,138
    Location:
    Canada
    Frequency range, is only one aspect of high fidelity, and far from the most important one. There's many other aspects by which the quality of speakers can be judged, most of which will still be audible despite the reduced range of hearing.

    Also, speakers that have extended response are more likely to be "flat" in the range you still can hear.
     
    guiller likes this.
  15. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

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    16,374
    IMO, this is another audio myth that can be explained by tinnitus. That ringing in your ears is high pitched hence the move towards mellower, warmer sound offered by low powered receivers.
     
    Mystic likes this.
  16. ferninando

    ferninando AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Low power does not mean low fi.
     
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  17. ferninando

    ferninando AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    modest does not mean low fi
     
    DaveVoorhis likes this.
  18. E-Stat

    E-Stat Super Member

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    Most of music lies in the midrange where nuance and subtlety most certainly exists.

    Just don't bother considering buying one of these. :)
     
    musichal likes this.
  19. Ricktptman

    Ricktptman AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I spent my life as a professional Musician/Teacher. From the time I was twelve (Marching Bands/School Bands) to as a working Musician (Orchestras, Brass Quintets and R&B/Top 40 Bands, starting about age sixteen) I tried protect my hearing, which was MUCH tougher to do in clubs than in amphitheaters/Concert Halls. The monitor situations in amphitheaters aren't as "Hi-Fi heaven" as most folks would assume, but in general the space between the individual Musicians was greater and that tended to favor random chance in terms of your being able to hear yourself if you played an acoustic instrument (potentially amplified, but not very much unless YOU paid the sound guy.....lol) or were a singer. All that is by way of explanation for what I've been VERY interested to observe since I retired from playing/teaching about seven years ago. I was briefly bothered by Tinnitus in 2010-2015 and it turned out to be a side effect of an anti-peripheral Neuropathy medication. I had to dial those doses back and I haven't had a problem since.
    But here's what I'd like to share: My hearing self tests out to being better NOW (not quite 18K, I can still hear a flyback transformer on the rare occasions I run across them) than it was when I was playing three to six nights a week. It wasn't hearing LOSS. It was psychological DESENSITIZATION. I don't play my gear (the main system features a boatload of multi-Carver and Sunfire Amps fed into proprietary custom Subs and a pair of Carver Amazing Plats Mk. III's) anywhere NEARLY as loudly as I used to when I was younger. Part of it I attribute to the increases of Dynamic Range in the Blu-Ray format. I knocked the shutters off the outside of my listening room, when I played "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" a while back. At THAT point, I decided "reality" was as close to having arrived as I should ever want. The subs are SVS/Hsu inspired enclosures with 4 15" D2 Stereo Integrity Drivers from the "heyday" of Car Subwoofage. So here's the punch line: I just don't turn it up as much anymore. There are several reasons. First, knowing it's THERE and not having to worry about its BEING THERE tends to extinguish any OCD tendencies (I'm not just a client, I'm the President) about "did it REALLY do what I thought I heard it do?". (Either positively or negatively valued.) The second thing is having not been in a live (often amplified) environment most of the time has made everything ELSE seem louder. (And easier to perceive at lower levels.) We are the LEAST (while still being the most important) objectively calibrated evaluation tool in the equation. I know I have just a BIT of loss in my left ear. (Thanks, idjit jukebox hero Drummer, RIP....I hope you eventually discovered that watching Animal on the Muppets was NOT the same thing as trying to BE "Animal" from the Muppets in real life. The only person who couldn't hear you was YOU....very sad....) It's because "Horn sections" in Club Bands almost always wind up in front of the keyboard player (I carbon date back to dual stacked Leslies and B3's) or in front of the Drummer. Loud's good, just like spicy food's good. But our sensory wetware is adaptive (and self-protecting) and the transmission/delivery infrastructure decidedly (and increasingly) delicate. I have to do the same thing with food. One GOOD but reasonable amount of something doesn't hurt anything. I just can't kill a whole bag of Tortilla chips or a pint of Ice Cream anymore. Look after whatcha still have.....(off soapbox.....) All that said, the "Fi" always matters.
     
    Bigboi33 likes this.
  20. SoCal Sam

    SoCal Sam Lunatic Member

    Messages:
    16,374
    I said nothing about fidelity. Hi-fi. Mid-fi, and Llo-fi are all states of mind and fall squarely within the subjective arena. Anything at any price point can be hi-fi or lo-fi. It depends on where you rank them according to personal preference.
     

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