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Old 15th February 2011, 07:37 AM   #1
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Default speaker design for high freq. hearing loss

According to my hearing test, I would need roughly a 6-10 dB sound pressure level (SPL) boost at 4K and above, until about 11K where it's gone. This is rough, but you get the point. What could I do to make a speaker that would boost a certain amount in certain ranges? What I have in mind is a two or three way system with a sensitive mid-range driver and a crossover that could be tweaked to correct for this condition. I still love music and I'm frustrated with this limitation.

Alternatively, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to separately drive the woofer and midrange drivers and maybe even a tweeter with discrete amplifiers so that one could EQ and power each driver separately. In fact, I wonder if this wouldn't even be the cheapest solution, without the need for a crossover possibly.

I have no experience with speaker design but I know I can get some good ideas here.

Ron
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Old 15th February 2011, 09:51 AM   #2
CLS is offline CLS  Taiwan
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How do you feel about the loss? I mean, in everyday life, there're all kinds of sounds surrounding us, or we may attend some live musical events. What do you feel about the sounds you hear? Do you feel dark sounding? Do you feel the cymbal is muffle, or something like that?

ps. for that range and boost, I think of Lowthers.

Last edited by CLS; 15th February 2011 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 15th February 2011, 10:13 AM   #3
GDO is offline GDO  Spain
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ps. for that range and boost, I think of Lowthers.
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Old 15th February 2011, 11:12 AM   #4
DavidL is offline DavidL  United States
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It would be a lot better to just get hearing aids so you can also enjoy the rest of the audio world. Imagine having friends over to listen to your schreechy designed speakers. They would run screaming covering their ears no doubt.
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Old 15th February 2011, 11:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLS View Post
How do you feel about the loss? I mean, in everyday life, there're all kinds of sounds surrounding us, or we may attend some live musical events. What do you feel about the sounds you hear? Do you feel dark sounding? Do you feel the cymbal is muffle, or something like that?
I think I know what you're getting at, CLS.

Ron, I still turn the treble down on my guitar amp, just as I did when I was younger. When I go to practice, and listen to cymbals, I hear X. When I get home and put on a record, I need to hear X for it to be realistic, not X+Y.


That said, if things do seem muffled to you, then I think building the speakers flat and using EQ is a better approach. I can think of several reasons, but mostly they come down to EQs are meant to be easily adjusted, speaker systems aren't. (You might want to move your speakers, change out your speakers, have friends over....)
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Old 15th February 2011, 11:59 AM   #6
Mooly is offline Mooly  United Kingdom
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I agree that applying the EQ electronically has to be the best solution.

I can't advise on graphic or parametric equalisers as I have never used them but the latest offerings look very tempting... I'd love to try a good one myself. You could set a curve to match your hearing... in theory... how it would be in practice I don't know.

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Old 15th February 2011, 12:25 PM   #7
GDO is offline GDO  Spain
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I am not sure that any boost is really needed. One thing is how you ears react to sound pressure, and another is how your brain processes the signals.

I am afraid that a Lowther wll shout to your ears as it shouts to most people's...

... because your brain must have some calibration data of your ears.
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Old 15th February 2011, 12:28 PM   #8
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The Behringer DEQX2496 has to be the best (and most flexible) deal in this realm, although there are certainly detractors. I have one and love it. It won't make bad speakers in a bad room sound good (I've tried that!), but all other things being equal, it may be just the kind of tuning device you need. And with 99 presets OR the option to just bypass the unit all together, it would be easy to tune the system to your ears, but pop it out when you have company.
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Old 16th February 2011, 03:20 AM   #9
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Thanks for the replies. I'm trying to figure out options right now and determine if I even need to do anything special. I can still enjoy music at normal levels, but I'm sure I'm missing something.

I've been working with the software equalizer that is in Realtek (my PC audio driver) today to figure out if EQ is going to work for me and I think it will help a lot. I discovered something that I've heard about before, but was skeptical about. My hearing drops out completely after 10K (and I have tinnitus), but using the EQ's 12 and 16 khz sliders, I could actually tell the difference between up or down even with the 16K slider. Now, it could be that the slider has so wide a band that it's affecting sub10K frequencies, but I have heard that people can perceive such things, albeit not dramatically so. Still, I could make a very nice improvement overall with just this simple EQ, so I'm encouraged. The DEQ2496 sounds fantastic. I'll definitely look closely at it.

I may try a cheaper Behringer unit, model FBQ800 with 9 bands ($69) before splurging for the $300 one. I can always use it for something else anyway, like a semi-portable headphone EQ.

Does this sound like reasonable plan?

I'm also still curious about the idea of maybe using an external tweeter driven by a separate amplifier. Maybe I'll just fool around with that and see what happens. I won't need to modify a cabinet to do that. I can probably find an inexpensive horn tweeter somewhere.
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Old 16th February 2011, 03:36 AM   #10
AEIOU is offline AEIOU  United States
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4K and above is pretty much treble territory. If you want more treble, get a more efficient tweeter. Something that is horn loaded for max SPL and efficiency. Horns also have a constant power response, so they'll "throw" more sound into the listening area.
But I think if I had significant hearing loss, I'd use an equalizer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sprinter View Post
According to my hearing test, I would need roughly a 6-10 dB sound pressure level (SPL) boost at 4K and above, until about 11K where it's gone. This is rough, but you get the point. What could I do to make a speaker that would boost a certain amount in certain ranges? What I have in mind is a two or three way system with a sensitive mid-range driver and a crossover that could be tweaked to correct for this condition. I still love music and I'm frustrated with this limitation.

Alternatively, I wonder if it would be worthwhile to separately drive the woofer and midrange drivers and maybe even a tweeter with discrete amplifiers so that one could EQ and power each driver separately. In fact, I wonder if this wouldn't even be the cheapest solution, without the need for a crossover possibly.

I have no experience with speaker design but I know I can get some good ideas here.

Ron
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