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Old 6th April 2008, 11:57 AM   #11
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Listening fatigue is mostly found when the 1k-4kHz sound is more pronounced.

You will probably find that a lot of the speakers you may have listened to have a metal or Kevlar cone, with no appropriate filter to remove the break-up nodes of that cone. This will cause excessive listening fatigue even if the boost is relatively minimal (and most people will attribute it to a bad tweeter also).

Probably the crossover is also "minimalist" (1st order, one cap + one inductor).
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Old 6th April 2008, 12:06 PM   #12
Dag is offline Dag  Sweden
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Go to a Linn (or Naim) store and all your listening fatigue will vanish!
Only the music is there!

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Old 6th April 2008, 12:16 PM   #13
tinitus is offline tinitus  Europe
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It can be simplified to say that listening fatigue occurs when your brain has too much work to do or is unable to adapt
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Old 6th April 2008, 01:53 PM   #14
poldus is offline poldus  Europe
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Quote:
edit: Actually, I'm quite interested in that 'chip' u mention, for doing it digitally rather than analog. Have a link or something?
Check the thread: Try ambiophonics with your speakers

You may also google the words: `yss901 stereo dipoleŽ for a pdf on the chip from yamaha.
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Old 6th April 2008, 02:59 PM   #15
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Arrow Some possible causes

Quote:
Originally posted by critofur

What do you guys think usually causes "listening fatigue"?

My guesses:

Amplifier
  • High order harmonics
  • Transient Intermodulation Distortion
  • Crossover distortion (of push-pull amplifiers)
  • Noise
  • Intermodulation distortion between power supply and signal
  • Modulation of noise in some strange way
  • Principally inaudible frequencies that somehow reach our subconscious
  • Modern electromagnetic noise (from cell phones, computers etc.)
Loudspeakers
  • Enclosure resonances
  • Somehow bumpy response in audible frequencies
  • Some distortions of phase response usually caused by passive crossover networks (inductances)
  • Comb filter effects in mid frequencies caused by distant speaker drivers
  • Baffle diffractions
  • Early reflections from floor or walls caused by lack of directivity
  • Resonant networks, filters or other structures that momentarily store energy release energy thus spreading transients
Recordings
  • Compressed CD
  • Otherwise ill re-mastered CD
  • Worn out vinyl records
  • Old CD player with jitter
  • Some strange filters in CD players
  • Worn out needle of the turntable
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Old 6th April 2008, 03:46 PM   #16
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Arrow Something else

Quote:
Originally posted by critofur

What do you guys think usually causes "listening fatigue"?


Some other guesses:
  • Noisy environment
  • Hectic life and nervousness
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Old 6th April 2008, 04:09 PM   #17
soongsc is offline soongsc  Taiwan
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Default Re: What causes listening "fatigue"?

Quote:
Originally posted by critofur
If I go to an audio store that carries mostly $1,000+ per pair speakers I would expect most to at least be fairly pleasant to listen to. But, at least 9 out of 10 of these (and other) speakers I've heard do not draw me into the music, do not soothe me when I hear them, and, more often than not, are so poor sounding to me that I usually want to turn them off in a mater of minutes.

I don't know if something in me has changed now that I'm old compared to when I was 20-something and before, I loved listening to all kinds of music even on my cheap-o bookshelf speakers. Now, each time I try, it's not pleasant, I end up giving up quickly and turning it off.

I still enjoy the sound of live instruments though, and I like watching movies (and listening to the soundtracks while I watch them). I love the sound of a good home theater audio setup and am consistantly impressed by good DTS (or DD) 5.1 sound tracks playbed back through my Onkyo TX-DS787 reciever - it's simply awesome for DVD playback. But, other than being able to play loud and clear, I always feel like something is missing (besides my hearing) when listening to music using it.

Surely, some of the displeasure is because my hearing isn't as good as it used to be, but that's not the only thing.

What do you guys think usually causes "listening fatigue"? This is a term that I never heard being used 20 years ago, but, I think I've seen it tossed about frequently for the past several years. It seems that speakers have become more fatiguing over recent years, perhaps? Almost as if a flat FR doesn't make our ears happy, it seems, however senseless that may sound...

I just want to say AHHHH..., sit down, relax, and be drawn into music again, for it to be soothing, and pleasant. Will I have to get a crappy pair of two-way paper cone bookshelf speakers and rumage around garage sales to find another old 2 channel tube amp before my ears can be at peace again?

On this and other forums, I read all kinds of gushing and praising of this and that (DIY) speaker - I have got to go to some DIY-fest type event and hear some of these speakers for myself...
Aftertones of the driver remains too long, some cone breakup mode exists, non-transient perfect XO design, peaky impedance curves, etc. could be anything.
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Old 6th April 2008, 04:14 PM   #18
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Don't forget the most important factor, your preference. Some people swear by drivers like Lowthers, I personally swear at them.
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Old 6th April 2008, 05:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nikolas Ojala

Some other guesses:
  • Noisy environment
  • Hectic life and nervousness
Hmm, I needed music more back then when my life was more stressful, it was like therapy. Now, it's something I miss and long for, a distant memory.

Quote:
Originally posted by soongsc

Aftertones of the driver remains too long, some cone breakup mode exists, non-transient perfect XO design, peaky impedance curves, etc. could be anything.
What are the odds that a cheap simple two way system with a 1st order crosover would be transient perfect?

Quote:
Originally posted by pinkmouse
Don't forget the most important factor, your preference. Some people swear by drivers like Lowthers, I personally swear at them.
I used to like most good systems that I heard years ago (anything that wasn't the super-cheap one way 5 watt K-mart special P.O.S. speaker, basically - do you know, the ones with the FAKE tweeters? :P )

The only recent (well, maybe not recent anymore) speakers I liked much were the Madrigal Revel Salon Ultimas. I have to go audition a bunch of new speakers again, it's been several years... I thought those B&O Beolab fancy flying saucer looking speakers were going to be great, I left the store very disapointed.

-----------------

I'm a skeptic, I can't stand hearing BS about expensive cables, "high end" capacitors, indcutors, etc... Maybe where I am not being objective is this notion I have that it must be complex crossovers that ruin everything, that, a "good design" is one where the crossover has no more than a few components. I also suspect that if a speaker can't reproduce a square wave, then, our brain must be going nuts trying to process the unatural mutation of sound coming out of speakers where the music has been twisted into some kind of alien sounds that sound just about right, but are yet somehow "not right" as the inductors mutilate the phase.

CDs more clearly capture flaws, CDs can more easily have too much treble mixed in compared to vinyl or cassette tapes.

When I used a cheap pair of two way rectangular box medium size "bookshelf" (I put them on a shelf most of the time, anyway) speakers which had one 8 inch paper cone and one paper cone/aluminum dustcap tweeter with no more than a few parts in the crossover (might have been only two, I can't remember exactly) I NEVER felt like my ears were tired, I never had need of this phrase "listening fatigue".

If someone had said "listening fatigue" to me back then, I would have answered "huh, is that some kind of strange military uniform you wear when you listen to music" -or- "do you mean you're tired of hearing your wife nagging" BUT, I would not have associated that idea with listening to music on a stereo because it wouldn't have made sense to me based on my experiences listening to stereos.

I would have to guess that my speakers had distortion, that the freq. response was not particularly flat. Whether played loud or soft, the music was fun. It didn't fool me into believing that the instruments were actually right there in the room. I didn't care about "imaging" and the notion of a "sweet spot" never occured to me. Didn't matter at all where I was in the room, sounded good (by good, I mean fun and pleasing to hear, accurate enough that I never felt like saying "this sounds like ****" as I do when I hear rumbling ghetto blaster SUVs roll down the road)

I seems like there are a few factors here: the source material - vinyl records and cassette tapes, the amp - a 2 channel Dyna tube amp, and the speakers - simple two way paper driver boxes.

But another thing to consider is, most of the systems I listened to in those years were pleasing to hear - my dad's Magnapan Tympany 1D, my neighbor's Onkyo Integra setup, etc... There were lots of stereo systems back then that didn't give one the feeling of tiredness or irritation from listening for more than just a few minutes.

Even a cheap record player playing records that weren't in the best shape could still bring me music that brought pleasure, made me smile and close my eyes to enjoy the music. Todays systems mostly make me: sit up, frown, open my eyes, and wonder "is there something wrong with me? because this just isn't pleasant to hear and the salesman would have you believe these speakers belong on Gold pedestals with diamonds, and that the cables feeding them should be 3 inches thick with special secret "black boxes" on either end... power filtering line conditioners, amps designed by an ex-military high freq. radar electronics engineer, etc... But still, the sound, mediocre...
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Old 6th April 2008, 06:24 PM   #20
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Unless there is something obviously wrong with the system, ie gross distprtions or anomolies of some kind, I believe listener fatigue is simply the result of the individual's brain chemistry at the time, and whatever external factors are causing it. That and silly audiophile preoccupation* with the sound more than the music.

* to me, there are two different hobbies here: I'm a nerd who likes to design and build audio gear. That is completely different to enjoying the music itself, which I can do equally well on a boombox or average car stereo with no fatigue if it's not cranked into distortion.
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