Listener Fatigue Tips

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Woland, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    remove all chinese made components from the signal path. chinese dacs, amps, wires, capacitors, transformers. china is killing musicality!

    insert mpingo into the system wherever applicable, whenever affordable. mpingo feet, cones, discs, cable dampers, knobs, resonance bells, tuning forks.

    make sure all cables are connected in the correct direction. wires connected in the wrong direction will exhibit rudeness and loudness which may be initially pleasing but fatiguing in the long term.

    these are 3 of my top 10 tips. to unlock the rest, please subscribe to my patreon
     
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  2. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    OK, first time I've laughed out loud on SBAF! I'll remember that code next time I sweep the peak.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  3. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Damnit. I had a pair of LCD-R's in the shopping cart earlier today, and did not pull the trigger.
     
  4. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    for me

    1. have zero narrow peaks in the FR or ringing in the highs
    2. don't let upper midrange - low treble area exceed midbass amplitude
    3. net compensated downslope of 5-15dB from 50hz to 15khz (to taste)
    4. mix up musical styles (boredom is a kind of fatigue)
    5. anything with side-chain or parallel compression will be less fatiguing with a broad bass boost
    6. remove digital noise/glare
    7. take a 10 minute break for every hour of listening.
    8. be sure your sinuses aren't congested
    9. don't always listen critically

    With these qualifications met I can listen for 10 hours a day at a strong 80dBSPL average. 99% of systems fail within minutes even at 75dB for me.
     
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  5. 7seven

    7seven Acquaintance

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    so touchy and oversensitive...
    An overreaction that misses the point with no attempt to explain.

    Entire thread here, although the eletrostatic is main subject.
    See posts from some trusted members on planar resolution that ring very true with my hifiman experience.

    I simply said that was my impression of Hifimans, not planars, again try not to over react. The posts from that thread, among other reasons I already mentioned, make me not want to bother spending hundreds another one, that's all.
    Fact is with a grado you would be able to hear some characteristics of a dynamic driver that all of them share.

    2 of the biggest brands have no idea how to make planars, nice. Of course you dont mention who can (you wouldn't share that in your Hd650 thread either).

    You are saying planars have less resonance and FR peaks, I was simply asking if the measurements generally show this, ortho ringing seemed relevant. Sorry you dont get to decide what is and isn't audible at these kind of levels or sweep things under the rug.

    My bad for questioning the planar god.
     
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  6. E_Schaaf

    E_Schaaf MOT: E.T.A Headphones

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    Implementation over tech. There are shitty planars and shitty dynamics. In fact, most of both are shitty. Both can be good. Case closed.
     
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  7. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    I could care less what you think douchebag, I'm sick of this kind of generalized bullshit being spread about orthos. You think you could describe the sound of an HD650 from listening to just a John Grado? I would love to see that.

    And you should read more about ortho wall ringing before making claims about it. Or STFU.
     
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  8. k4rstar

    k4rstar Britney fan club president

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    you should've read @rhythmdevils origin story (Ortho Whisperer vol. 1 ~ DC Comics)

    then you would know during his developmental years, an evil electrodynamic transducer murdered his family with its voice coil, and left him permanently injured (unable to appreciate music through genetically superior moving coil drivers)

    as such, he can only find comfort in the big wall of sound generated by thin traces on a thin diaphragm, with no nasty voice coils to trigger his PTSD. today, he continues the fight, modding very shitty stock orthos into something somewhat listenable.

    maybe if you understood this, you could be more excellent to each other.
     
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  9. 7seven

    7seven Acquaintance

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    Our 'discussion' in summary.
    You make the generalisation about planars having less resonance and FR peaks than dynamics, I question you (no claims) to learn or clarify some things but the only response is to be told i'm wrong and generalising, even though I only referenced others, whose advice I trust more than you.
     
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  10. ChaChaRealSmooth

    ChaChaRealSmooth SBAF Poopsmith

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    My biggest piece of advice that isn't already stated by many others here:

    Stop critically listening and enjoy yourself.

    I'm dead serious. Many don't have an idea of how bloody tiring listening to music gets when all one is doing is critically listening (I experience this even when I'm not sitting down to do detailed comparisons). While I think it’s safe to say all of us got into this hobby to enjoy listening to our music in greater fidelity, ultimately we need to enjoy ourselves.
     
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  11. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    First the AutoEq setup

    Then setting up a work directory
    Code:
    mkdir clear
    cp measurements/oratory1990/data/onear/Focal\ Clear/Focal\ Clear.csv clear
    
    Then creating the filters..
    Code:
    python3 autoeq.py --input_dir="clear" --output_dir="clear" --compensation="compensation/zero.csv"  --equalize --convolution_eq --fs=44100,48000,176400,192000 --show_plot
    
    That creates the graph below a bunch of WAV filter files I can load into Roon and other convolution filter software.. Now for some listening time.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  12. rhythmdevils

    rhythmdevils Best SBAF member of all time

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    yes proof of this - meets are exhausting.
     
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  13. schnesim

    schnesim Rando

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    You mean a list of non fatiguing DACs? Not that I know of.
    My approach was read as many comments / reviews on a DAC as possible and if there seems to be a general consensus that it's easy on the ears give it a try.
     
  14. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I, too, would read impressions of trusted online friends, especially when I am unable to audition. It's invaluable. On the other hand, I have never even owned a DAC that would be, for instance, SBAF-approved, much less headfi FOTM (Oh, wait: an ODAC, yes!).

    I have only come across one DAC that was, for me, personally fatiguing to the point of being unlistenable: it was (the first model of) a Schitt DAC that is popular with others.

    So my point of view, from my limited (many years, but not many pieces of equipment) is that most audio equipment is capable, very occasionally it is really not, very occasionally it is tuned to doesn't-suit-me. That is always possible, which brings into question the gear, as is the degrees of ok to superb.

    Then there is the unexplainable. Of course, it is explainable, but not by me. I have no clue why rebooting my computer changes the sound from fatiguing (or, at least, not engaging) to enjoyable. My technical knowledge will never extend that far. But my anti-audiophool cynicism is strong, and I am convinced that this is a real experience. And a very simple answer, sometimes, for me to listening fatigue.
     
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  15. Biodegraded

    Biodegraded Friend

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    Ugh - EQing that to flat will sound, er, the opposite of fatiguing. Because it was made on a head simulator, that measurement includes the gain from all the ear components so a 'flat' target would look something like a combination of these curves (different in detail depending on the specific coupler model & manufacturer's ideal ear):

    [​IMG]

    You'd be best doing it subjectively, including with sine sweeps, focusing on the 3-6k area and treble and iteratively (and gently!) tweaking it down around there.

    If you really want to start with an algorithm, though, find the target curve the HATS manufacturer specifies and start by EQing to that. Or you could use the FR from a flat plate coupler which avoids all the anatomical stuff (the data files are in here) and tweak that (the compensation embedded in the Clear FPC files is this one; the measurements shown in the first link are raw, the data files are compensated with this).
     
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  16. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    Yes, the flat target was awful and I switched to a better target soon after. Thanks for the explanation and links! I'll have another go soon.
     
  17. Philimon

    Philimon Friend

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    But which is better? Or is Stax Orpheus da bess? What if you enjoy all categories of music and have million dollar budget but could have only one headphone and no speakers?

    Did anyone else see that Audeze LCD-R? Nice!
     
  18. Woland

    Woland Friend

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    An update to the creation of filters to smooth the treble on the Focal Clears and boost the bass:

    Code:
    python autoeq.py --input_dir="clear" --output_dir="clear" --compensation="compensation/harman_over-ear_2018.csv"  --equalize --convolution_eq --fs=44100,48000,88200,96000,176400,192000 --phase='both' --max_gain 12 --show_plot; zip clear/Clear_Linear.zip clear/Focal\ Clear\ linear\ phase\ *.wav
    
    [​IMG]

    Notably this has a different target (Harman Over-Ear 2018), uses linear filters rather than the default of minimum-phase, and produces a Zip file of convolution filters for Roon's upsampler. I'm actually mostly using the 176400 convolution filter in HQPlayer though.

    Once I've got this nutted out, I'm keen to follow @Biodegraded advice and do more subjective tuning.
     
  19. atomicbob

    atomicbob dScope Yoda

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    Really good advice.

    Limit critical listening as not only does it induce listening fatigue but the quality of resulting data deteriorates.

    If "inside the head" localization is an issue consider using spatialization such as Redline Monitor or Waves NX. There have been several others who resolved this specific listening fatigue category on headphones with spatialization.
     
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  20. GoldfishX

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    Happy to see this thread! My ears are EXTREMELY sensitive and will explode in tinnitus in a split second. I don't have all the answers but things I have learned/found:

    1. "Neutral" sound makes my tinnitus explode. As in, the HD600 does, but the HD650 does not. I have tested this several times on multiple setups and subjectively prefer the sound of the HD600, but my ears cannot handle it. The HD800 takes a good half hour before the tinnitus starts but when it does, it's more intense and long lasting (all headphones are stock). All listening is done at fairly low, comfortable levels. My listening preference is more high end V-shape anyway, but I really don't have the option of going to more of a flat sound (I will likely experiment with the new Lokius in the near future).

    2. Not having the power cord firmly in the units creates a NASTY harshness in the chain. There is a night and day difference when this happens. Easy fix, but is part of trouble-shooting.

    3. Optical or SPDIF sources fatigue less than USB, although I have not heard the Unison. The Schitt Gen 5 USB on my Bifrost MB and Yggdrasil (from four different sources) is noticeably worse than, say, a PS4 (running Spotify) running into a HDMI switcher with an optical cable and going optical into the DAC (which in theory should not work as well as it does).

    4. Every solid state amp I have used causes fatigue. I have had better luck with tube amps, but I am nervous about going to a "big boy" amp because I am worried tinnitus will ruin the experience and I'll have to end up selling it. I still use the Lyr 1 with the high dollar Voskhods and I have luck with that. I feel like I "dialed in" the right frequency with it at one point and could go 10-12 hours straight with listening. But this also took about 10 pairs of toobs before this "magic" frequency happened (and the Lyr 1 sounded awful with non-Voskhods).

    5. I have played around with vinpocetine, a nootropic that I had read SUPPOSEDLY helps fight tinnitus (by increasing bloodflow to the ears). It's not a perfect solution, but I do find it helps. It's also cheap and non-addicting.

    6. "Popping" my ears lightly (holding my nose and pressing the back of my tongue against the roof of my mouth, as well as holding my nose and humming to make myself sneeze) a few times a day helps. This is noticeably during extended listening sessions.

    7. It's more manageable in an air conditioned environment. I suspect this is due to the coolness increasing bloodflow to the ears.

    8. Piano ABSOLUTELY makes the tinnitus go off. I can maybe get through one sonata and I'm done after that. It's slightly better through speakers and does not seem to happen around a live piano, but headphone listening for piano is a no-no for me.

    Edit: 9. Enabling crossfeed in the source is a must for me. Especially with closed back headphones.

    Again, no audio science to back any of this up. This is just what I've discovered over the past 15 years or so.
     
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    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021

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