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Hearing Loss & new gear

LouB

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After discovering this forum a few weeks ago & reading up on different topics a question has come to me that would have never come up without reading about some actual Audio science & what we hear.
I'm looking for some real world knowledge/opinions on my situation. I can finally afford what I think will be a big step up, currently running a large Yamaha AV amp, Paradigm towers, center & sub. which all sounded pretty darn good 8 years ago when I bought it, movies always better than music but it worked. We moved and now system sounds kinda muddy & weak for music. I figured it's the room & did DSP correction which helped but still not great. Gotta be the gear right ? I have a 5K budget for music only gear really like Marantz amp & JBL L82's or L100's.
I have some hearing loss in high freq. I can still hear all the high notes on all instruments but some digital high sounds like kitchen timers or movie sound track effects I simply can't hear them anymore.
I never considered my hearing loss to be a reason my old gear just doesn't sound like I remember it.
My question is maybe it's not my gear & maybe dropping 5K on quality gear would be stupid what do you guys think ?
Spend the money (YOLO) or buy some earbuds & call it day ?
Background in live sound & played in a LOUD rock band for years probably some of reason for the hearing loss. I love music and hate headphones/earbuds.
Thanks for your time
 

mkh1099

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I would say that your current dissatisfaction is probably more with sub par gear than with hearing loss. I too have hearing loss, and at one time, a similar question. But I've learned to just enjoy the music, and know that you can greatly improve your gear, but that you probably can't improve your hearing very much.
 

TomK

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After discovering this forum a few weeks ago & reading up on different topics a question has come to me that would have never come up without reading about some actual Audio science & what we hear.
I'm looking for some real world knowledge/opinions on my situation. I can finally afford what I think will be a big step up, currently running a large Yamaha AV amp, Paradigm towers, center & sub. which all sounded pretty darn good 8 years ago when I bought it, movies always better than music but it worked. We moved and now system sounds kinda muddy & weak for music. I figured it's the room & did DSP correction which helped but still not great. Gotta be the gear right ? I have a 5K budget for music only gear really like Marantz amp & JBL L82's or L100's.
I have some hearing loss in high freq. I can still hear all the high notes on all instruments but some digital high sounds like kitchen timers or movie sound track effects I simply can't hear them anymore.
I never considered my hearing loss to be a reason my old gear just doesn't sound like I remember it.
My question is maybe it's not my gear & maybe dropping 5K on quality gear would be stupid what do you guys think ?
Spend the money (YOLO) or buy some earbuds & call it day ?
Background in live sound & played in a LOUD rock band for years probably some of reason for the hearing loss. I love music and hate headphones/earbuds.
Thanks for your time
Get your hearing tested and see what is going on. You might be at a point where you need to go beyond room correction EQ and require a boost or cut here and there to sound "right". I have a similar background in live sound / music but starting wearing IEMs while in my late 30s. I used to get my hearing checked annually for free at the NAMM show.

But definitely pay a visit to an audiologist.
 

Beershaun

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Welcome! At 5k if I was starting clean sheet I would look at active speakers. The current KEF LS60 are everything you need at your price point. All you would need to do is plug them in, plug your TV and record player into one of them and then stream music from your phone to them.
 
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LouB

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Did you apply EQ/PEQ when you applied DSP?
No, the DSP is is automated when you plug in the mic the menu only allows to have a "set"listing spot or random spots in the room. I use the amps EQ control after the fact but the Yamaha EQ has always seemed like an afterthought on this amp.
 

Doodski

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No, the DSP is is automated when you plug in the mic the menu only allows to have a "set"listing spot or random spots in the room. I use the amps EQ control after the fact but the Yamaha EQ has always seemed like an afterthought on this amp.
Are you using a Win or Mac desktop? If using a Windows desktop then install this PEQ and if using Mac then use this. They are EQ/PEQ softwares. The Windows one is free and the MAC one is a 20 minute free trial. If you exceed the 20 minutes then restart the software for another 20 minutes trial period. :D You should be able to get a indication of the operation of the gear and your ears by using the EQ/PEQ software.
 

DSJR

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I have to chip in and ask if you can get your hearing professionally checked. I benefit from the NHS here (they try so hard under often difficult circumstances)) and the aids I have are equivalent to a good mid priced pair of privately bought types. The difference for me was that previously, the mid hf region was severely muffled and diction on real and reproduced speech became very difficult. It'll never be the same as my fully working hearing in the heights of my audio career, but my current appreciation of music through anything from the telly to various sound systems of different prices has increased hugely and I'd be lost without them.

I'm just suggesting that if your ears can be aided or sorted out, your existing gear may prove to be absolutely fine. I was going to flog the lot (a lot of stuff believe me) and end up a seriously miserable and angry old git unable to enjoy reproduced music any more, but I don't need to now and listening is fun and immensely enjoyable again - whew!!! :D
 

AdamG247

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Buy a set of relatively good IEM’S and see if you can hear them and if they sound better then what you have now. Or headphones. Any place nearby you can go demo some headphones? This will give you some insight on what you may or may not be missing. Just a thought…
 
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LouB

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Welcome! At 5k if I was starting clean sheet I would look at active speakers. The current KEF LS60 are everything you need at your price point. All you would need to do is plug them in, plug your TV and record player into one of them and then stream music from your phone to them.

Well there now 7K at Crutchfield & not my cup of tea, but thanks.

Are you using a Win or Mac desktop? If using a Windows desktop then install this PEQ and if using Mac then use this. They are EQ/PEQ softwares. The Windows one is free and the MAC one is a 20 minute free trial. If you exceed the 20 minutes then restart the software for another 20 minutes trial period. :D You should be able to get a indication of the operation of the gear and your ears by using the EQ/PEQ software.

I'll give that a try. I used the on board Yamaha Yapo system I may have it wrong I thought the Yamaha YAPO was DSP.
The YAPO has mic into amp, amp sends out signals/noise to speakers and adjusts system from feedback it gets from the mic.

I have to chip in and ask if you can get your hearing professionally checked. I benefit from the NHS here (they try so hard under often difficult circumstances)) and the aids I have are equivalent to a good mid priced pair of privately bought types. The difference for me was that previously, the mid hf region was severely muffled and diction on real and reproduced speech became very difficult. It'll never be the same as my fully working hearing in the heights of my audio career, but my current appreciation of music through anything from the telly to various sound systems of different prices has increased hugely and I'd be lost without them.

I'm just suggesting that if your ears can be aided or sorted out, your existing gear may prove to be absolutely fine. I was going to flog the lot (a lot of stuff believe me) and end up a seriously miserable and angry old git unable to enjoy reproduced music any more, but I don't need to now and listening is fun and immensely enjoyable again - whew!!! :D

Sounds like you got it sorted out & maybe I need to go see an audiologist (my wife will be extremely happy:D). Good to know with a hearing aids you can recover the loss & still enjoy the music.

So overall it seems new gear will not be a waste of money & after I get it if there's not an OMG moment when listing than it's off to the ear Doc.
Thanks for all the replies
 

Doodski

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I used the on board Yamaha Yapo system I may have it wrong I thought the Yamaha YAPO was DSP.
The YAPO has mic into amp, amp sends out signals/noise to speakers and adjusts system from feedback it gets from the mic.
That sounds like it is all automatic. For your possible ear issue you want a manual adjustment so you can change what you have to better suit your hearing ability.
 

JoachimStrobel

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I am in a similar situation, did post a thread in 2019 about it. While your doctor’s hearing check has great value for aids and work, you might want to do a real world check with your equipment too. Get yourself REW and run test tones to hear what you can hear from your system and from what speaker at what angle. There is quite some difference for 13khz coming from center or side. Get a younger member of your household for comparison. Just to make sure that the setup is ok and possibly to frustrate you.
Then …. 2 ways to go:
You can try and use Dirac (or other stuff) to create a hearing corrected EQ set. That would be a Herman kind of room curve with your personal Profil added in a smart way, giving possibly a strong boost at 13khz which Dirac will not do and your tweeters neither, so you have to compromise. Compare that with a normal Dirac Profil and rediscover those high-hats…
And invest in Multichannel. The experience of immersive sound is not related to hearing loss and gives you a new dimension (plus, 9 Speakers blasting a 12khz boost at +6Db might make you wish you’ll not hear that).

PS: Running those tones via REW is a critical step. Try different ones or a mix of them. I am not sure if REW has improved there. There was a suggestion that REW generated some frequency bracketed noise but it was not taken serious. Using a single sharp frequency with a tolerance of 1% is not good as your room might absorb just that one.

PPS:
Hearing loss is gradual and the brain is constantly compensating. Hence I would not think that the sudden change in your system’s perceived fidelity is related to that. I assume it is the room - hence room correction is a good idea anyway.
 
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tonycollinet

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You say you moved and then the sound was bad.

This sounds more like room problems than equipment. What is different in the new room? Open plan compared with single room? Lots of hard surfaces compared with lots of soft furnishings/carpets etc?
 
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LouB

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You say you moved and then the sound was bad.

This sounds more like room problems than equipment. What is different in the new room? Open plan compared with single room? Lots of hard surfaces compared with lots of soft furnishings/carpets etc?

What I failed to say there was a 2 year transition period where the gear was in storage or not in use.
And the high freq hearing loss seemed to have just started in the last 2 years or so.
But there is a big difference in the room size, shape & materials which has me a bit concerned on which speakers to buy, another can worms I'm getting into. Old room pretty standard family room 14'x18' 9ft ceiling, hardwood flrs with some throw rugs & soft furniture.
New room is very open 16'x25' sloped ceiling from 11' to about 17' high, one solid glass wall floor to ceiling that runs the long dimension, hardwood flrs, throw rugs & furniture.
I want to get the JBL L82 classic but with room size I'm not sure how they would work.
 

Peterinvan

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Gross, but real… get checked for ear wax build up.
I have learned how to use a bulb to flush out my ears every few months. BE CAREFUL with the pressure however.
 

St8kout

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I'm gradually losing hearing in my right ear, likely from way too many rock concerts. I had them checked and lavaged (a fancy term to charge you $250 to flush them out with a large bulb of warm water), but sadly it didn't make much difference because it's likely happening behind the ear drum. Old age.

If you have sudden hearing loss, run, don't walk, to the nearest doctor. Gradual loss isn't a real emergency, but sudden loss is.
 
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