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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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Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect

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  • Inaudible High-Frequency Sounds Affect Brain Activity: Hypersonic Effect

    Here is an interesting study from Japan that challenges the notion that inaudible sounds do not affect the acoustic perception of audible sounds.

    http://jn.physiology.org/content/83/6/3548.full

    Note: The authors use "HFC" to denote high frequency components of sounds, above the audible range, below 22kHz. "LFC" denotes low frequency components of sounds, below the audible range, above 22kHz.

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    "Despite the fact that nonstationary HFCs were not perceived as sounds by themselves, we demonstrated that the presentation of sounds that contained a considerable amount of nonstationary HFCs (i.e., FRS) significantly enhanced the power of the spontaneous EEG activity of alpha range when compared with the same sound lacking HFCs (i.e., HCS). In parallel experiments employing exactly the same stimulus and methods, PET rCBF measurement revealed that FRS activated the deep-lying brain structures, including the brain stem and thalamus, compared with HCS. In addition, subjective evaluation by questionnaire revealed that FRS intensified the subjects' pleasure to a significantly greater extent than HCS did. We conclude, therefore, that inaudible high-frequency sounds with a nonstationary structure may cause non-negligible effects on the human brain when coexisting with audible low-frequency sounds. We term this phenomenon the “hypersonic effect” and the sounds introducing this effect the “hypersonic sound.” We do not think that the hypersonic effect is specific to the sound material used in the present study because we previously confirmed, by EEG analysis, that the same effect can be introduced by different sound sources containing a significant amount of nonstationary HFCs (e.g., Oohashi et al. 1994)."
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