Natural filters

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Not more than a few months ago workers completed a renovation of our building and life got back to normal. The painters had used some form of vile chemical to prime the trim around the doors and the smell was so intense we sent staff home. At one point I had cause to talk with the lead painter and mentioned the smell as it was difficult for me to even be in the same room with it. He gave me a quizzical look and replied, "what smell?"

Our abilities to get used to smells, sights and sounds common to us makes sense. That which overloads the senses obfuscates everything else. Our senses help us navigate the world and we need to eliminate the constant barrage of common inputs in order to differentiate less noticeable newer sights, smells and sounds.

I wonder how selective filtering might affect our hearing? When you get used to a certain sound, like the way music's presented on your reference system, you tend to ignore its failings–and its strengths–if those are always in abundance. That's the rounding off effect we call personal break in, how we get used to something so we can focus on something else.

I have witnessed this effect in my own reference system. There had been a time where the speaker capacitors separating highs in the IRS had begun to fail and, over a long period of time, highs began diminishing. The process was so slow I had gotten used to the lack of highs. Friends would walk in fresh from the street and comment on how dull the top end sounded.

I am not sure what to do about this natural filtering we go through, though inviting friends over to enjoy the system works well.

And shouldn't we be sharing the wonders of our music systems with friends, anyway?

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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