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Music Sounding Better Late at Night and in Spring and Early Fall...  

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
The measurement guys will love this.

Last night whilst listening on my tube amp with the 681f's I noticed that London Calling sounded cleaner. Less sibilance which the Superlux line is well known for.

Listened to the FLAC again today, noon. Sibilance returns.

I have noticed this for decades. In Spring and Early fall, and late at night 2am-5am, music sounds better. Less electronic hash in the highs and upper mids.

I posit that it is power line artifacts dropping off as electricity usage drops late at night and during the seasonal changes when heaters and aircons are not used. Fewer machines cycling on the line, less junk into your p/s, less noise at the output.

This has even extended to listening to music on a car radio in North America.

Can I prove this to the measurement religionists? Of course not.

However it seems best to post this here.

No harm in firing up the system late at night to listen and see if things sound better.

Anyone else notice this?
post #2 of 13

I have and especially with tube amps I have owned.

 

Now the less hashy noise on the power line sounds good.  But when I looked with o-scopes there wasn't any visible difference. 

 

What is different, and measurable is the noise floor.  The ambient noise in your listening area.  Going to be 10 db or more quieter late at night.  So it will sound better.  Why does sibilance come and go?  Could be you turn it up a bit more in the noisier hours.  Meaning peaks call for a bit more power and voila, you may be pushing it enough to get a little nastier sound.  It is also likely that more of the noise increase is in low frequencies.  I have heard such situations give an overall lighter sound to music.  The low end obscures some of the bass and you don't notice it, but the sound of the upper frequencies is less masked which is noticed out of proportion.   A good example you can try to see what I mean is a car.  If you have decent sound in a car. Stop listen to something with engine idling, then turn the engine off, but leave music playing.  You likely will hear increased bass definition and increased bass as well as a warmer sound.

post #3 of 13

I find music sounds better when I am wearing green socks.

post #4 of 13

Reasons I can think of:

 

- Listener's physical and mental condition.

 

- Electrical noise in mains.

post #5 of 13

It would hopefully be difficult for differences in mains electricity (say at different times of day, assuming no extreme problems like blackouts or bad brownouts) to cause appreciable changes in signals delivered, but that's not how it was for the "reference" tube amp to be emulated in the Carver challenge, for example. The mains power can readily be measured, and so can be output of electronics and transducers, and these things can make a difference in certain scenarios (the key point being the magnitude of such changes and also the type; magnitude may be undetectably small in many cases for certain measurement apparatus or our ears). I don't know that there's anything controversial there.

 

My expectation would still be that, very much especially for gear with better power supply filtering and/or lower susceptibility to power line fluctuations, the more key contributing factors would be ambient noise level and listener state of mind.

 

By the way, it depends on where you live but many people feel more comfortable in spring and early fall because of the typical weather patterns. In many homes it is also less likely in those times for heating or cooling systems to be running—as you point out—and many of those make noise.

 

As humans, it is a good thing that subjective experiences vary. However, when proving a point or at least providing arguments about cause and effect relationships, it helps to be mindful of confounding variables and address them. A lot more is different between two listening experiences than just the electricity going to the electronics, even given the same gear and music and even same volume (though it was unspecified whether volume was kept constant, and that is a big deal perceptually). And some of these aspects definitely do alter the perception of those experiences.

 

 

Usually when offering discussion with respect to new or not by-the-books ideas with respect to science (which is a good thing; that's often a way how knowledge is expanded), it is better to provide solid evidence or at least some well-reasoned concepts and ideas.  Hopefully this was posted here in earnest and not to troll, which is an intent that may be inferred by the childish-sounding name calling right out of the gate.


Edited by mikeaj - 1/9/14 at 11:03pm
post #6 of 13

Also occurred to me that in spring and early fall, fewer heat pumps or air conditioners will be running.  That could clean up the AC though again I find less changes in AC quality than is imagined.  More likely would be just the lower noise of all that stuff not running much if at all. 

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by marone View Post

Anyone else notice this?

No, but then again I don't haven broken components.

 

 

Quote:
Can I prove this to the measurement religionists? Of course not.

So according to you it is not only impossible to measure sound waves but now it's also impossible to measure electricity? Thanks for another good laugh.

 

Why do you call people religionists though? Do you even know what the word means? It's like you're asking for the ban hammer.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post

I have and especially with tube amps I have owned.

Now the less hashy noise on the power line sounds good.  But when I looked with o-scopes there wasn't any visible difference. 

What is different, and measurable is the noise floor.  The ambient noise in your listening area.  Going to be 10 db or more quieter late at night.  So it will sound better.  Why does sibilance come and go?  Could be you turn it up a bit more in the noisier hours. 

All good points. All irrelevant. Ambient noise the same, volume level the same. This was an A/B with the same headphone, source, player, levels and amp. The only thing that changed was the hour of the day.

Ambient noise won't be an issue as headphone listening is at 75dB or greater and the median household neighourhood is at 40 to 50dB.

One would simply not hear the increased ambient noise as it would be masked by the system volume at even very low levels. Ambient noise would also not effect sibilance issues.

It also does not explain the better sound in the spring when listening in an auto, an auto that is on the freeway during the day. Music simply sounds better then, and it is reasonable to conclude that both effects are due to transmission line artifacts.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

No, but then again I don't haven broken components.


So according to you it is not only impossible to measure sound waves but now it's also impossible to measure electricity? Thanks for another good laugh.

Why do you call people religionists though? Do you even know what the word means? It's like you're asking for the ban hammer.

I am stating that we cannot measure all that we can hear. This is different than stating that we cannot measure sound waves and cannot measure electricity.

I do not know why you assume we can measure everything that we can hear, when the evidence is very clear that we cannot.

P.S.
Will you continue to stalk me on the forum to make mocking posts in my threads? Should I alert the moderators?
post #10 of 13

He isn't stalking you. You're in the sound science forum. Discussing how sunspots, haircuts and your dinner affects the sound of your stereo don't go over well around here.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

He isn't stalking you. You're in the sound science forum. Discussing how sunspots, haircuts and your dinner affects the sound of your stereo don't go over well around here.

Are not insults a violation of the TOS? Or do you get held to a different standard than I get held to?
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Only if you want to make fun of yourself.

Post reported to the moderating team.
post #13 of 13

No trolling threads please.

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