Getting tired?

October 9, 2019
 by Paul McGowan

We’re elated when our systems sound open, lush, and musical.

We’re not so happy when they cause us fatigue. Yet, fatigue can be a useful indicator of system setup.

When setting up a new system or working on a new design, one of the cautionary signals we look for is listener fatigue. If the music’s a bit over-etched or the upper details too pronounced, the ear gets tired. Instead of diving deeper into the music, we turn down the volume or find other activities.

Exaggerations in the upper musical regions can be enticing at first listen. It seems like a door of greater detail has been opened and we’re impressed. Unbeknownst to us our ear’s protective mechanisms fire into action. Our guard is raised.

Over time, those out of balance edginesses lead to our ears getting tired of the battle. Fatigue sets in.

None of us want our listening experiences to be anything but pleasurable.

When we get fatigued it’s time for action.

What we do depends largely on the source of edginess: cables, setup, speakers, electronics.

More tomorrow.

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