Seek hermeneutic of ear fatigue
Mar 9, 2006 at 4:47 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 5

Lerman

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I'm curious about the phenomenon, which I've just started experiencing, as it's somewhat counterintuitive. I come at audio with no knowledge to speak of, small budget, great love for music, and distressingly rapidly rising standards of hifi sound reproduction.

I used to listen (Grado SR80) directly from my CD player (Marantz 5400). Then I purchased an integrated amp (NAD 320BEE) and now listen through that. The sound is immeasurably better--I hear more--but it can get tiring, for lack of a better word.

Is this because:
a.) The new amp is exposing limitations of my entry level headphones?
b.) The amp is exposing limitations of the CD player, previously hidden by the player's own headphone amp/jack?
c.) The amp lets me hear more because it's more powerful (?), but is unrefined and thus presents MORE music but more harshly?

All of these seem plausible, but all point in different directions for next upgrade, with different implications for my wallet. Would appreciate thoughts and insights.

Thanks
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 6:28 PM Post #3 of 5

Lerman

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Yes, of course, that's my secret fear!

But what accounts for it--the sense of fatigue? Too much sound? It's not distorted sound...it arguably sounds better! What IS it?
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 7:05 PM Post #4 of 5

Riboge

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I previously experienced this as well when I started using headphones, even with the HD600's and a good headphone amp and decent sources and even though I was used to high quality sound from speakers. Of course, distortions and harshness are fatiguing, but I also think just hearing more and, I'm guessing, listening louder and having the music presented so close to and concentrated at the ear just is more fatiguing. At least they are until one gets accustomed to it. Newly available highs, especially, are fatiguing compared to listening to music with less high frequency information coming thru.
 
Mar 9, 2006 at 7:13 PM Post #5 of 5

lewtz

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I think it just happens when you change up. When I got my HD650's I was getting bad fatigue, but have worked through it, and can now wear them prettymuch non stop for like 6+hrs, with no problem.
 

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