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HUG - here for all audio enthusiasts

Since its inception ten years ago, the Harbeth User Group's ambition has been to create a lasting knowledge archive. Knowledge is based on facts and observations. Knowledge is timeless. Knowledge is human independent and replicatable. However, we live in new world where thanks to social media, 'facts' have become flexible and personal. HUG operates in that real world.

HUG has two approaches to contributor's Posts. If you have, like us, a scientific mind and are curious about how the ear works, how it can lead us to make the right - and wrong - decisions, and about the technical ins and outs of audio equipment, how it's designed and what choices the designer makes, then the factual area of HUG is for you. The objective methods of comparing audio equipment under controlled conditions has been thoroughly examined here on HUG and elsewhere and can be easily understood and tried with negligible technical knowledge.

Alternatively, if you just like chatting about audio and subjectivity rules for you, then the Subjective Soundings sub-forum is you. If upon examination we think that Posts are better suited to one sub-forum than than the other, they will be redirected during Moderation, which is applied throughout the site.

Questions and Posts about, for example, 'does amplifier A sounds better than amplifier B' or 'which speaker stands or cables are best' are suitable for the Subjective Soundings area.

The Moderators' decision is final in all matters regarding what appears here. That said, very few Posts are rejected. HUG Moderation individually spell and layout checks Posts for clarity but due to the workload, Posts in the Subjective Soundings area, from Oct. 2016 will not be. We regret that but we are unable to accept Posts that present what we consider to be free advertising for products that Harbeth does not make.

That's it! Enjoy!

{Updated Nov. 2016A}
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Taking care of our ears

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  • Taking care of our ears

    It is gross, but funny nevertheless. Some of the ear cleaning procedures are not intuitive at all, and using Q-tips is bad. This is a discussion forum, so it would probably be prudent to verify the facts.

    http://www.hydrogenaudio.org/forums/...howtopic=76262

  • #2
    Re: Taking care of our ears

    ohhhh,

    cables, ear cleaning procedures, antiresonant devices.............

    Comment


    • #3
      Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

      Anyone dealing with "tinnitus"? No issues with this through my forties, but it has gradually caught-up with me. As I inquired around the internet I began to see that tinnitus is a big issue for many. Some sufferers even have trouble sleeping unless they have some "white noise" in the background. Like many health issues that present with aging, there is no "cure" for tinnitus per say - but there are measures which may help lesson the symptoms. For those among use who are still relatively young, I urge you to learn about tinnitus and protect the hearing that you now have. Not to be an alarmist, but a cautionary note is in order for those who listen to their music loud (and especially those who use headphones to do same). Listening to music at high volumes is certainly not the only precursor for tinnitus, but it is one cause over which you have control.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Taking care of our ears

        Originally posted by Vlado View Post
        ohhhh,

        cables, ear cleaning procedures, antiresonant devices.............
        I guarantee that it is nothing like that all all. The hydrogenaudio forum was setup by the guy who developed LAME, which many considered the best MP3 encoder. The forum is about different audio encoding. It is mainly about mathematics and computer algorithm - and nothing about XYZ brand of amplifier/cable/interconnect and whatnots.

        Apparently the forum is really no-nonsense. Nobody can get away with claiming one encoding is better than another without the proof of double blind experiment.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

          Yes, I have it to a degree. I listened to large amounts of heavily amplified music in my teens and early to mid-20s (live rock concerts, clubs with live bands, discos, etc.), without hearing protection of course, and I remember being at one show in my later 20s and the tinnitus just hit me, and has remained since. I rarely notice it unless I think about it specifically.

          I've had my hearing tested and have been told I have very good hearing acuity, better than normal, so the tinnitus doesn't seem to correlate with hearing loss per se, and I certainly enjoy and appreciate listening to music as much as ever. But I tend to avoid shows or environments that I know will be unduly loud, and if I have to go for whatever reason, I wear earplugs at least for part of it and usually all of it.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

            Originally posted by EricW View Post
            ...I remember being at one show in my later 20s and the tinnitus just hit me, and has remained since. I rarely notice it unless I think about it specifically...
            I attended a trade conference, and was standing at the bar with another delegate in conversation when we both overheard someone mention hearing damage. We stopped talking to listen-in on their conversation.

            One said that his hearing had "never been the same after a live rock concert in about .... 1973...". At this, my friend said that his hearing too had been permanently damaged in approx. 1973. He asked the first person if he could recall when, where and the name of the group. "Yes, it was Jethro Tull at the Brighton Dome".

            My friend said "Yes - same as me. Same concert, probably same evening". I added - 'that's incredible, because I have a school friend who attended the same convert at the same venue and who also consequently suffered permanent hearing damage'. So that's three people that we know of whose hearing was ruined from that one night's concert. How many of the entire audience were equally crippled? I understand that loudness is now regulated (or should be by the local council) and that there are enforceable rules about how loud these concerts can play; but as I don't attend them I'm not sure. Always take cotton wool to be sure: nobody can see it in the dark.

            Listening too loud is not clever, not a badge of honour. It frustrates and annoys me when I see questions about how loud our speakers will play etc. etc.. You only get one set of ears and we design for a good sound at a moderate, safe, responsible loudness.
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

              About 15 years ago I visited a Motorhead concert. It was a wise decision to wear hearing protection. It was so incredibly loud that you couldn't distinguish between instruments or voices without ears protection (what I tried for some milliseconds or so). I'm sure that I would have lost most of my hearing without anything in my ears.

              But here is the funny thing that I will never forget. After the concert was over, a really dangerous looking rocker approached us quite quickly and I first thought that he has a problem with someone of us. But when I looked into his face I saw the tears in his eyes. He asked us very friendly to help him getting his ear protection out of his ears ...

              So it doesn't matter who you are or where you attend a concert, it's no shame to wear ear protection!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

                I?m 34 and have suffered for two years. Luckily I?ve always protected my ears with industrial ear plugs when attending amplified concerts (both as audience member and performer,) and stopped attending such events altogether when the tinnitus started. I can still enjoy classical concerts, so I?m happy. There are a couple of broad causes, one is due to a shock, e.g. the Jethro Tull concert, leaving behind possible nerve damage (which can be detected via MMR scan) hence the ringing is from damage to some part of the ear system. The other is ?auditory memory? I think, where one?s brain believes that there is a signal from the ears that doesn?t actually correspond to an external sound. My hearing itself is very good, so I haven?t damaged my hearing, however the most common cause is from a high SPL event. The other issue associated with prolonged exposure to high SPL is permanent threshold shift, so another good reason to keep the volume down!

                For me, about 30% of the time the ringing is loud enough to distract me from my hi-fi. (Classical music played quietly.) In this case I switch to headphones which masks the ringing more effectively. (But means I can?t enjoy my Harbeths!) I?m currently under the care of new consultant, my second visit to him is in a couple of weeks, so my fingers are crossed.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

                  There is good reason to air this subject which is not given any attention amongst hi-fi enthusiasts. I truly believe that I have not only respected my ears, but as I do not listen to music daily, live in the countryside and enjoy silence, they have received an average exposure lower than most people today.

                  That said, for reasons unknown, my right ear has a dip in its frequency response at about 8kHz, recovery to normal above this frequency which was not there a few years ago. How this came about I don't know: I wish I did and assuming it's exposure related, I'd avoid that exposure. It came to light about five years ago on a routine check. It's high enough up the scale and in one ear only (excepting this blip, they are both thankfully remarkably flat I'm told, even for my age) to make no difference to my work or enjoyment of sound. If I knew the reason for this I'd pass it on to you as a warning. Please do take care of your own ears: I value all our ears and design for a full, natural, warm sound listening at a moderate level - other don't.

                  Audiologists can make two tests on hearing acuity: one using headphones where they are testing the conversion process through the drum, inner ear (tiny bones) and on to the nerve cells. The other, the bone conduction test, clamps a small speaker onto the skull behind the ear and this transmits sound through the skull to the nerve cells. If both tests show a similar result, then, sadly, the nerve cells have been damaged and cannot be repaired, restored or replaced. Once they're gone, they're gone.

                  If we receive any more questions about playing speakers at extreme levels I'm really tempted to delete them. Harbeth users do not need to play loud to enjoy perfect quality of sound. I through our loudspeakers do not want to be party to damaging anyones hearing.
                  Alan A. Shaw
                  Designer, owner
                  Harbeth Audio UK

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

                    TW - I've seen Motorhead at least 6 times and you're not wrong about protection being necessary! I understand they play at 130dB(A), which is 10 above the threshold of pain. Plus a doubling of sound energy is such an environment would only increase the SLP by 3dB so I can't imagine the damage it'd do. I saw them in Leeds once and they turned the volume up after the guy from the local council had left with the sound level meter! I wonder what exposure is allowed by law nowadays? Maybe an 8-hour average [LAeq] with a similar criterion to the noise at work regs?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

                      If I had my way, they'd face criminal prosecution and a long jail sentence. Playing that loud is as socially irresponsible as dousing the audience with radioactive dust - incalculable long term damage.

                      If you find yourself in such a lunatic asylum get out as quickly as you can. It only need seconds of exposure for your ears to be permanently destroyed.
                      Alan A. Shaw
                      Designer, owner
                      Harbeth Audio UK

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

                        On the subject of tinnitus, Eustachian tube - the tube that balances the middle ear and the back of the throat, malfunction can also play a part. This can be measured easily by an audiologist using a device that gently pressurises the ear. It takes a couple of seconds only and can determine if this is a factor very quickly.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

                          Do you know what this procedure is called?
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

                            Just as an aside - Tinnitus can be caused by Blood Pressure **********, in particular Diuretics like Frusemide and Bendrofluazide. If you're on these and being driven up the wall, you should speak to your Physician.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Tinnitus aka "ringing-in-the-ears"

                              I used to go to quite a lot of rock concerts when I was in my 20s and one in particular that stands out is a Metallica gig at Wembley Arena around 12 years ago. I was sitting high up at the side, towards the front of the venue, almost in line with the stage, in fact. Directly above me was this huge bank of speakers. Needless to say, the music was LOUD - very loud. I could have sworn I heard whistling in my ears for around three days afterwards, after which it died down.

                              I hesitate to say it's back to normal, though, because it was around that time that I recall experiencing what I thought was tinnitus for the first time - I definitely recall a 'ringing' in my ears, at home at a time of extreme silence. At night I usually have the radio on anyway because I often have trouble sleeping and I think I was also afraid I'd hear the ringing again at night. It was eerie enough during the day time, but at night...!!

                              I have to say that these days, I haven't experienced the ringing sound in my ear since that time, which makes me wonder whether what I heard was tinnitus-related at all or simply my brain working overtime one day. All I know is, I'm glad I found Harbeth, because what I need is a pair of speakers that will give me all of the music at low-to-moderate volume levels - it is good to know that Alan Shaw makes this requirement one of the key factors of his design brief.

                              Comment

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