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Listening fatigue - is it me over-analysing, or is it my equipment?

andreasmaaan

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Thanks - looking at that FR graph from the YouTube video the S1000Mk2's seem to have a lot of energy in the 2-5kHz range

It's an in-room measurement there, so it's hard to say for sure. But it does appear to be the case, yeh.
 

MakeMineVinyl

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Thanks for the tip, I was cutting the highs rather than boosting the bass but I'll try both next time
It ends up being sort of the same thing, but there might be differences in the bass EQ verses the treble EQ curves which might make a difference.
 

Chris A

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Here is a distortion plot of one of the other Edifier loudspeakers (not yours, but similar):

index.php


The first plot shows the HD at 86 dB, while the second shows it at 96 dB. My ears (which are not 29 years old anymore) would tell me to stop listening to these loudspeakers. If your S1000Mk2's are anything like this (and there's reason to believe they are not far behind this kind of distortion), note that harmonic distortion turns into modulation distortion, which makes the speaker sound opaque and harsh (not the harmonic distortion itself).

I'd recommend looking at the measurements of other loudspeakers on this site, and find something with much lower levels of HD--probably much less than 1% at 90 dB is a good target, especially 1% distortion above 1 kHz. I'd recommend something that has a recess around the tweeter, and a better high pass cutoff on the tweeter at low frequencies than this model has.

Chris
 
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samwell7

samwell7

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Here is a distortion plot of one of the other Edifier loudspeakers (not yours, but similar):

index.php


The first plot shows the HD at 86 dB, while the second shows it at 96 dB. My ears (which are not 29 years old anymore) would tell me to stop listening to these loudspeakers. If your S1000Mk2's are anything like this (and there's reason to believe they are not far behind this kind of distortion), note that harmonic distortion turns into modulation distortion, which makes the speaker sound opaque and harsh (not the harmonic distortion itself).

I'd recommend looking at the measurements of other loudspeakers on this site, and find something with much lower levels of HD--probably much less than 1% at 90 dB is a good target, especially 1% distortion above 1 kHz. I'd recommend something that has a recess around the tweeter, and a better high pass cutoff on the tweeter at low frequencies than this model has.

Chris
Thanks for that Chris!
I'd hope the distortion profile is better, the R1280 is the lowest level of their speaker and the S1000 is close to their top of the line (and apparently tuned with KLIPPEL). I'm trying to take some FR measurements but having trouble with drivers on and older laptop (work PC is locked right down).

I've had a look through the other speaker measurements (this website is great) which led me to purchasing the Sony SS-CS5'S for my kitchen setup, looking through the active speakers it seems that the Audioengine A5s might be my best bet.
Thanks again
 

watchnerd

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It might just be your ears dont get along with edifier for some reason. Possibly have have harmonic distortion that's resonating with your ear shape.
Although they aren't active Warfedales current diamond line speakers may better suit your ears taste.

After a decade or more, I've learned that (not always, but often) certain driver materials are more likely to cause listening fatigue with me.

I've never been able to pinpoint a measurement, so my hypothesis became similar to yours: ear shape / brain processing mismatch to the incoming sound.
 

watchnerd

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Here is a distortion plot of one of the other Edifier loudspeakers (not yours, but similar):

index.php


The first plot shows the HD at 86 dB, while the second shows it at 96 dB. My ears (which are not 29 years old anymore) would tell me to stop listening to these loudspeakers. If your S1000Mk2's are anything like this (and there's reason to believe they are not far behind this kind of distortion), note that harmonic distortion turns into modulation distortion, which makes the speaker sound opaque and harsh (not the harmonic distortion itself).

I'd recommend looking at the measurements of other loudspeakers on this site, and find something with much lower levels of HD--probably much less than 1% at 90 dB is a good target, especially 1% distortion above 1 kHz. I'd recommend something that has a recess around the tweeter, and a better high pass cutoff on the tweeter at low frequencies than this model has.

Chris

Oh, nasty -- and it's right in the super sensitive part of the upper mids.
 
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samwell7

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After a decade or more, I've learned that (not always, but often) certain driver materials are more likely to cause listening fatigue with me.

I've never been able to pinpoint a measurement, so my hypothesis became similar to yours: ear shape / brain processing mismatch to the incoming sound.

I have found I generally prefer soft dome tweeters over metallic ones, with the exception of my old Yamaha monitors.
 
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samwell7

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Oh, nasty -- and it's right in the super sensitive part of the upper mids.
Yeah that is pretty full-on distortion! I feel that with the r1700BT's I had there was noticeable distortion through the mids, not so much with the S1000, but without measurements it's hard to quantity because of expectation bias etc.
 

watchnerd

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I have found I generally prefer soft dome tweeters over metallic ones, with the exception of my old Yamaha monitors.

Ditto.

Be tweeters being the latest iteration, such as those used in the various Revel Be models, that gives me fatigue.

I was never really was bothered by diamond tweeters, though.
 
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samwell7

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Ditto.

Be tweeters being the latest iteration, such as those used in the various Revel Be models, that gives me fatigue.

I was never really was bothered by diamond tweeters, though.
It seems to be a somewhat widespread issue with metallic tweeters (when googling it) but as you said earlier there's no been no real quantifiable evidence of the problem, I can only find anecdotal evidence.

I've only had pretty short listening sessions with diamond tweeters in a showroom so I can't say if they caused me any problems.
 

andreasmaaan

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You're both drawing conclusions from experiences in which far too many variables other than tweeter diaphragm material were completely uncontrolled. No wonder there's no real quantifiable evidence of the "problem" :p
 

RayDunzl

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"Listening Fatigue" for me just turns out to be "not in the mood" or even "don't like" whatever it was that was playing.

I don't find my gear to be fatiguing, be it the main system or the multiband transistor radio out in the garage.
 
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samwell7

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"Listening Fatigue" for me just turns out to be "not in the mood" or even "don't like" whatever it was that was playing.

I don't find my gear to be fatiguing, be it the main system or the multiband transistor radio out in the garage.

I'm usually the same - which is why I initially said I think it's because I'm focussing too hard on the equipment and not the music.
 
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samwell7

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You're both drawing conclusions from experiences in which far too many variables other than tweeter diaphragm material were completely uncontrolled. No wonder there's no real quantifiable evidence of the "problem" :p
Honestly I sometimes wonder if it's my brain telling me the treble is going to be harsh or hard because I think of a piece of metal ringing.

I need a double blind test
 
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samwell7

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Here is a distortion plot of one of the other Edifier loudspeakers (not yours, but similar):

index.php


The first plot shows the HD at 86 dB, while the second shows it at 96 dB. My ears (which are not 29 years old anymore) would tell me to stop listening to these loudspeakers. If your S1000Mk2's are anything like this (and there's reason to believe they are not far behind this kind of distortion), note that harmonic distortion turns into modulation distortion, which makes the speaker sound opaque and harsh (not the harmonic distortion itself).

I'd recommend looking at the measurements of other loudspeakers on this site, and find something with much lower levels of HD--probably much less than 1% at 90 dB is a good target, especially 1% distortion above 1 kHz. I'd recommend something that has a recess around the tweeter, and a better high pass cutoff on the tweeter at low frequencies than this model has.

Chris
Interestingly enough Edifier have just responded to me, I asked for some graphs and info about their KLIPPEL tuning.
They said they used the KLIPPEL process during manufacturing to reduce driver resonance and distortion (no graphs though)
 

andreasmaaan

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Interestingly enough Edifier have just responded to me, I asked for some graphs and info about their KLIPPEL tuning.
They said they used the KLIPPEL process during manufacturing to reduce driver resonance and distortion (no graphs though)

It sounds to me like they are talking about about different Klippels modules than the near-field scanner that Amir uses to measure speakers. Klippel also produces a large number of modules specifically designed for driver testing and optimisation. Based on their reply to you, it's at the driver design phase of the process that they use Klippel tools.
 
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samwell7

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It sounds to me like they are talking about about different Klippels modules than the near-field scanner that Amir uses to measure speakers. Klippel also produces a large number of modules specifically designed for driver testing and optimisation. Based on their reply to you, it's at the driver design phase of the process that they use Klippel tools.
Interesting, thanks for that!
 

Thomas_A

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First up a bit of background.
I have only starting near field listening again, for the last 7 or so years I've just been using headphones (Sony MDR-7520, Audiotechnica ATH M50 or Etymotic MC5s) without issue while working (office environment).
Because I've been working from home I've got back into loudspeakers and it's enjoyable listening without something on my head.

I'm 29 and my hearing is fairly sensitive, loud sounds (especially treble) hurt, I'm usually asking my wife to turn stuff down, to her annoyance. The last time I checked (was testing a speaker, so it may be higher) I could hear to around 17kHz.

When I was listening years ago I enjoyed accurate and detailed mids and treble, my old speakers were Yamaha MSP5's and they were excellent, I don't recall ever having listening fatigue with them, even when listening loud (mixing/mastering).

Fast forward to 2020, I'm listening fairly quietly at my desk - my microphones aren't calibrated but sound meter apps on my Pixel 4 and work iPhone both gave the same reading of a max of around 60dB during regular listening (usually around 55dB or less).

I purchased a set of Edifier R1700BT speakers after seeing how well the R1280s respond to EQ in their review, after around 30 or so minutes of listening my ears would feel irritated, almost like I'd just got out of a hot shower. I reduced the treble on the back of the unit but it didn't really help so I returned them.

I then purchased a set of Edifier S1000Mk2s, while the ear irritation is much better it still pops up a bit, with my ears almost feeling 'constricted' or stuffy after a little while. The S1000mk2's aren't overly bright however they do sound fairly detailed.

I'm listening either via Bluetooth or through an Apple USB C to 3.5mm adaptor with Spotify premium with volume normalisation turned off.

Could the 'fatigue' be because of the fact that I'm listening critically (trying to assess the speakers) while I'm listening fairly quietly (while working) so my brain is working too hard? I'm thinking this may be the case because I haven't had any 'ouch' moments (harsh or sibilant treble will usually hurt me pretty well straight away).

My other thoughts were there being potentially too much treble or distortion due to driver material; before I got the Edifiers I was using a Sony microsystem (cmt-sbt40d) without issue, the system had a 37mm soft-dome tweeter and was generally less detailed, the Edifiers have titanium tweeters and aluminium midwoofers which I've heard can ring or have harsher distortion outside of the audible range which can still have impacts on listeners.

Any thoughts? Or advice on how I can stop listening to the equipment and start listening to the music to see if this is actually an issue?

I'm not sure if it's a shelf filter but I've turned the treble to -6dB on the S1000mk2's today and it wasn't really any different.

Try other speakers. A good speaker neither gives harsh nor irritating sound.
 

vavan

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You're both drawing conclusions from experiences in which far too many variables other than tweeter diaphragm material were completely uncontrolled
From the 3rd edition: "It sounded good, but some listeners thought they could hear a “metallic” quality. In blind tests that problem went away. The curves show no evidence of resonances, metallic or otherwise, which was the point of using beryllium. The susceptibility of humans to biasing influences was and remains a major problem"

And another one: "The probability of any high-Q resonance being heard is low because exact frequency matches with some component of the program are required. However, it does happen. Anyone who holds negative opinions about resonances in metal diaphragms has heard very high-Q, very-narrow-bandwidth effects. Superb metal diaphragms exist, and high-resolution measurements confirm their excellence"
 
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samwell7

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From the 3rd edition: "It sounded good, but some listeners thought they could hear a “metallic” quality. In blind tests that problem went away. The curves show no evidence of resonances, metallic or otherwise, which was the point of using beryllium. The susceptibility of humans to biasing influences was and remains a major problem"

And another one: "The probability of any high-Q resonance being heard is low because exact frequency matches with some component of the program are required. However, it does happen. Anyone who holds negative opinions about resonances in metal diaphragms has heard very high-Q, very-narrow-bandwidth effects. Superb metal diaphragms exist, and high-resolution measurements confirm their excellence"
Thanks for that, sounds pretty similar to what I said in post #34!

The brain overrides so much of what we hear, this is why I'm still on the fence as to whether the speakers are an issue or whether it's me.
 
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