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Old 17th December 2007, 05:37 AM   #1
fauxpas is offline fauxpas  Australia
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Default The Critical Ear

The scene... I'm in my room/office... My partner is out watching TV...

"Sweetheart, come here for a sec'. Quick." I yell.

"Yeah yeah, what...?" she replies walking into my room like I just interrupted her finding the cure for cancer.

"Listen to this." I say, like I did find the cure to cancer.

Music plays for some time...

She looks at me with a blank face... "What?" she asks.

"What? What?? Can't you hear it?" I ask.

"Hear what?" she replies.

"Don't worry, go back to your TV." I say.

Why is it some of us have this ability to be very critical of the music/sound we hear? Sometimes I wish I wasn't this way. It'd be a hell of a lot cheaper.

Anyhow, I change my cheapie 6P3P tubes which came with my amp new with some 6L6GC Mesa tubes [Sylvanis/Philips]. Much more revealing of the music. Buena Vista Social Club justs bursts with new sounds. I'm having to go through my collection again and have a good listen...
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Old 17th December 2007, 05:54 AM   #2
dejanm is offline dejanm  Austria
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If you showed her the new pair of shoes - then you would see the difference ...
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Old 17th December 2007, 06:01 AM   #3
Jeb-D. is offline Jeb-D.  United States
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That is quite true and it can be frustrating. A lot of people I know do not have the ability to critically listen. Even if one system is 3 notches above another, they can't hear a difference.

Luckily, I've secretly turned my girlfriend into an audio snob. Our home system is tube amps that I built. She never comments how good it sounds, but whenever we listen to music somewhere else she says "it sounds like crap"
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Old 17th December 2007, 08:15 AM   #4
Colt45 is offline Colt45  Serbia
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She didn't smoke a few rocks before listening.
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Old 17th December 2007, 02:35 PM   #5
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A lot of people I know do not have the ability to critically listen.
This is why we have MP3's!!! Actually I believe that in todays rush rush society, most people have never taken the time to learn how to listen.

Did you ever notice that cats and dogs can tell the difference. I get comments from customers that say "my dog was startled" or the cats ran and hid when I put a movie on, that has never happened before." Have we humans lost this ability because of all the noise pollution in our environment?
Tubelab, it's 5 year mission. To explore strange new tubes, to seek out new circuits and topologies, to boldly go where no tube has gone before......
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Old 17th December 2007, 04:26 PM   #6
fizzard is offline fizzard  Canada
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Is it really that important to be able to "critically listen?"
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Old 17th December 2007, 04:34 PM   #7
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IMHO, no. In some cases it gets in the way of enjoying the music.
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Old 17th December 2007, 04:40 PM   #8
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Default Listen carefully!!

So it is not just me! The listening public does indeed seem to have lost (Or never had in the first place) the ability to critically listen.
We are seeing it everywhere, the audio quality in telephones has deteriorated (frequency spectrum)....we see people "listening" to music thru laptop is this possible?
Are we going back to a modern equivalent of the 60s' six transistor AM radio glued to the ear?
Often times I will pick out a frequency span on a musical passage and my wifes remark is a "Thats' fine honey". Perhaps if one has never heard true high fidelity before, they don't know what they have been missing.
I can hear clipping, overtones, frequency shifts, sub-harmonics, tube vs. SS,
My "test" is to invite someone to my living room with an acoustic guitar to "jam" with my system....with closed eyes...who is the real thing and who is the "reproduction".
Fortunately my wife has acquired 'the ear' to good sound reproduction....she just doesn't know how to quantify just what she is hearing.
_____________________________________Rick......... ...
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Old 17th December 2007, 04:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Listen carefully!!

Originally posted by Cal Weldon
IMHO, no. In some cases it gets in the way of enjoying the music.
Amen. The more we know, the harder we listen. The harder we listen, the less we enjoy.

Originally posted by Richard Ellis

... the audio quality in telephones has deteriorated (frequency spectrum)....we see people "listening" to music thru laptop is this possible?

I have given up trying to find a decent sounding cell phone (just for communication purposes). They have so much c rap stuck in them now (camera, MP3, bluetooth, internet, games, software that would have filled the average computer 10 years ago, etc.), there's no room for distortion free sound.
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Old 17th December 2007, 04:50 PM   #10
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IMHO, no. In some cases it gets in the way of enjoying the music.
There was an article in BBC Music magazine some time ago that had people from different areas of the music business select a new stereo system for themselves. It turned out the only person who selected a big fancy audiophile grade system was a BBC music producer, while the musicians selected fairly cheap micro systems. Now it may be because the producer makes more money than the musicians, but it may also be that the musician only cares about the "music", notes, harmonies, chord progressions, playing techniques, the artistic meaning of it all, etc, and not about the "sound".
Robert McLean
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