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I had it then it was ...... Gone

@Richx200, if I understand correctly, your "the magic faded away" experience was with two channel, is this right? What speakers are you using? If you're using any room treatments, can you describe them? I'm trying to get a feel for the speaker/room interaction so anything you can add about the room itself and your set-up would be helpful.

And, was the magic there again when you came back the next day? Or it is permanently gone?

I have observed something that may be similar to what you're describing, and the additional information would be very helpful.

Thanks!
Didn't play anything today...still working on cause … Reverberation in the music ?
Room size information Attached
Room is completely decoupled; soundproof
Front loudspeakers Focal Aria 936
AVR Anthem MRX 720
Front speakers powered by Anthem PA-7
Room correction by ARC Genesis
ARC settings and results Attached
No room treatments.

I think I'm going to run REW and see what's up.

I hope this helps :)
 

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In the same listening session? Did you move your seat? Just seems odd it would just change.

You have an analog pass through? Could you have accidentally switched into the DSP processing?

On my Pre Pro the modes are Reference Stereo or just Stereo the later being through the DSP EQ or no EQ. A simple accidental button touch on the remote is all it takes to change.

Rob :)
No nothing changed. All I do after everything is set is push play.
 
Yes, what your brain does to sound is amazing as it corrects what you hear to what you think you should hear. It's called the Mcgurk effect. Knowing about that saves me lots of $. The answer to it is to listen eyes closed, and focus on your hearing. This why for some people a pretty screen on a streamer improves the listening. My rig at the moment has no eye candy except the speakers, and sounds as good as ever to me.
 
Yes, what your brain does to sound is amazing as it corrects what you hear to what you think you should hear. It's called the Mcgurk effect. Knowing about that saves me lots of $. The answer to it is to listen eyes closed, and focus on your hearing. This why for some people a pretty screen on a streamer improves the listening. My rig at the moment has no eye candy except the speakers, and sounds as good as ever to me.
Strictly speaking the McGurk effect is specifically about the alteration of perception of the sound of speech due to the mouth shape of the person speaking. This is one example of a cognitive/perceptive bias. Expectation bias - which you are talking about, is another. There are many other biases which can alter the sound we percieve somewhere between our ears, and our conscious brain.
 
No nothing changed. All I do after everything is set is push play.

It never came back ever? I know mood and a head cold can play havoc we have all had "great nights" at some point or another. Hope you figure it out!

Rob :)
 
I have experienced the same thing and I attribute the sound quality loss to simply being worn out, tired, low blood sugar etc. If I came home excited and turned on the stereo it sounded fantastic. It was a tri-amp'd KEF speaker with all USA/California made amps so there was no issue with the speakers and I simply needed to be mentally into the sound on any given day to really enjoy them.
 
Didn't play anything today...still working on cause … Reverberation in the music ?
Room size information Attached
Room is completely decoupled; soundproof
Front loudspeakers Focal Aria 936
AVR Anthem MRX 720
Front speakers powered by Anthem PA-7
Room correction by ARC Genesis
ARC settings and results Attached
No room treatments.

I think I'm going to run REW and see what's up.

I hope this helps :)

Thank you for supplying so much information! Yes this is quite helpful.

To bring in a bit more imo relevant information, here are Stereophile's measurements for the Focal Aria 936:


Notice how smooth the quasi-anechoic on-axis curve is. It's very good in my opinion (ignore the low-end rise; that's an artifact of the close-mic measurement technique used for the low end).

Next, notice that the off-axis curves have some excess energy in the region from about 3.5 kHz to just about 8 kHz. This means that the spectral balance of the reflections will have excess energy in this region. Here is why I think this could contribute to listening fatigue:

The ear/brain system is constantly looking at incoming sounds to determine whether they are new sounds or reflections (repetitions of a recent sound). The ear/brain system compares the spectral balance of incoming sounds to the spectral balance of recent new sounds to make this determination. I hypothesize that when there is a significant spectral discrepancy between the two, the ear/brain system has to work harder to correctly classify reflections as such, and over time this can tire out that part of the brain and result in listening fatigue. I'm not saying this is definitely what's happening, but imo it's a possibility.

One possible solution would be to increase the direct-to-reflected sound ratio, which would decrease the relative contribution of the reflections. This could be accomplished by listening up closer to the speakers, such that the direct sound becomes louder but the reflections don't get any louder.

Something else I noticed is that the equalization applied to your Focals is boosting the region from about 1.5 kHz to about 5 kHz. I assume the EQ is based on in-room measurements, which tend to be generally downward-sloping because most speakers have a radiation pattern that generally decreases in width as we go up in frequency. So if my assumptions are correct, and if Stereophile's measurements are good, then imo arguably the EQ is degrading that really nice first-arrival sound that we see in Stereophile's on-axis curves by boosting the output in the 1.5 kHz to 5kHz region. If it is possible to disable the EQ north of 500 Hz or so, imo that might make an improvement in long-term listening enjoyment.

Again thank you for providing so much information, and I hope you find the cause(s) and a workable solution.
 
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The title of this thread put me to mind of a great song by the great Lucinda Williams -- which she has recorded (at least) twice, very early in her career, and then again for her epochal Car Wheels On A Gravel Road.

 
I would be already off by the second or third step on that list, if this lasted until you played back anything it was a great success anyway!
 
I have experienced the same thing and I attribute the sound quality loss to simply being worn out, tired, low blood sugar etc. If I came home excited and turned on the stereo it sounded fantastic. It was a tri-amp'd KEF speaker with all USA/California made amps so there was no issue with the speakers and I simply needed to be mentally into the sound on any given day to really enjoy them.
or sometimes that can work in your favour. I recall coming in late one cold January evening, after a very long day, and spotting a bag of presents that my pal who was a landlord had dropped off. I'd said I would take them round to his tenant. So I dragged my ass out again and delivered them.

On the way back I passed a shop that was still open so went in and got a can of beer. Back home I thought I'd chill out so put on 'Sinatra At The Sands' and cracked open the can. Totally immersive experience, superb sound-stage, it was like I was in the auditorium.

I was never able to repeat that experience even though I tried many times to replicate it (being tired, the beer, the time of day etc) and the system and room were the same.

I also use Focals and agree that using EQ boost above the tweeter crossover is a good way to get fatigue.
 
I think my old 80s-era B&Ws never sounded better than this morning, when I set them up to demo them so someone could come buy them from me. I was sad to see them go... perhaps that was just state of mind. They're good speakers for what they are, but did I really convince myself that 40-year-old 2-ways sound (somehow) better than Genelecs + a sub based on actual performance?
 
Sometimes just the song I'm playing floods me with a wave of emotion that transcends whatever gear I run it on...

 
k, so... here's how I can translate my method of magic recapture in your situation.

Set one 7.2.4 and one 2.2 to extended bass boost ... check

Set another to 2.0, and turn off all room correction for this setting.
Set main speakers to zero toe, straight into the room.

Listen for a day, sit different places, listen to diverse music. Get used to it. Then go back the next day.

Works for me. I do use two different systems in my case, and I don't need a day to get acclimated any more. But the effect is pretty reliable.

All you need to do is set up one setting and turn 2 speakers. Simple. Worth trying.

It is a constant process. We acclimate, we get used to the most extreme of extremes in many ways. So being able to re-set your baseline by getting away for a bit, that is generally good advice for things in life, particularly ones that are losing their sheen.
 
The best upgrade possible is people.
Going around friend's houses and share listening experience and music and the same at my place.
My gear never sounds better as with being with company,specially when you share the same mindset about music and gear.

But even right after they go away,gear sounds better.
It's all a state of mind.
 
It never came back ever? I know mood and a head cold can play havoc we have all had "great nights" at some point or another. Hope you figure it out!

Rob :)
Don't know if it will come back ?
Working on it.
 
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