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Can't hear cross-feed

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I know that my hearing isn't what it used to be but now I'm getting really worried. I've tried to hear the difference between the processor on and the processor off on the Headroom Cosmic. I've tried both with and without the filter. The result at this point for me is subtle at best. I was expecting a more dramatic difference. I've just started experimenting so perhaps it will take a while for me to hear the difference.

Is it possible that the processor AND filter switch are broken (I do hear a click through the phones when I switch between on and off)? I've listened only to classical music (chamber, vocal, and orchestral); perhaps another type of music will show the difference better? (I'm listening with Senn. 600 through my home system).

Perhaps some kind Virgil can guide this hapless Dante toward the world of cross-feed bliss or bane and tell me what I'm supposed to be listening for.

post #2 of 6
The difference you hear entirely depends on the recording. In general, the worse the recording, the more crossfeed helps. Venture into pop-land for awhile and you'll hear the difference soon enough.
post #3 of 6
You will not generally notice the effect on classical as easily. If you want to try it out to make sure it works, try an old stereo jazz or pop recording from the 60s that has extreme seperation, especially if it has constant drumming with highhats and cymbals in it to check the filter action out. There are two types of things to expect. One is the crossfeed action, which on some material will move the sound closer between your ears, filling a void in the center. The real benifit of this will be after an hour or so of listening, it will be less fatiguing.

The other effect is the treble boost of the filter, and the reduction of treble and a boost of bass when the processor is on. These aren't huge either, so you have to try it during a passage that has a lot of low or high frequency information.
post #4 of 6

Crossfeed effect is NOT dependent upon the quality of recording. It has to do with the amount of spatial information already in the recording.

Classical/Orchestal recordings generally have very wide recording field, thus you get pretty good amount of spatial information in the recording (including the delay sound). Therefore, adding more delayed crossfeed should not result in more pleasureable sound. I found it better to bypass crossfeed for this type of music since crossfeed does nothing but it does attenuate the signal. You will get fresher sound and you will suffer very little or no psychoacustic problems.

Some recording have very narrow recording field. For example, in solo recording mics are located closer to the player. This make it have very little spatial information making it unusually discordant sound field and prone to psychoacustic annoyances. In this case, adding delayed crossfeed might be good idea.

Note this circuit will not do anything at all if the signal is MONO.

You might like to switch the crossfeed on or off according to the music you listen.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all. I think I'm begining to hear it. I haven't tried to listen for an extended time to cross-feed on and then switch to cross-feed off. (so I can't comment on fatigue) I've usually just switched back and forth during a recording. There does seem to be more "staging" of the music with cross-feed. I have to admit that at this time, I notice the affect of more stage presence and more concentration in my head when I flip the cross-feed on, but then when I switch it off again I think it's still pretty much there (must be those memory fantoids playing havoc with my perception).

Thanks again,
post #6 of 6

The easiest way to hear crossfeed working is to unplug one of your inputs, so, for example, only the left input is plugged into the amp. The difference is very obvious then. As other people mentioned, the efficacy of crossfeed varies with recording technique. Crossfeed also takes time to learn. After 7+ years with a HeadRoom Supreme, I miss crossfeed on just about every recording I listen to now, whereas I was in your shoes when I first got the Supreme --- it was almost too subtle to hear.

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