SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test

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SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test
« on: 31 Mar 2017, 01:51 am »
Especially useful for the "other guy's gobs-of-negative-feedback amps"....

Back in the day, my father had a test for listening fatigue.  Place your hands on your legs or the arms of the chair, palms open.  After half an hour of medium-loud playback, are your hands still open?  Have you shifted in your seat?  Do you want to lower the volume?

I also heard of chewing gum to see if you're so into the music that you don't notice it lost its flavor.

The big advantage of Cherry Amplifiers is the easy, smooth sound that doesn't cause the fatigue typical of most current Class-D offerings.  Any comments?  Thanks.

G Georgopoulos

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Re: SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test
« Reply #1 on: 31 Mar 2017, 02:47 am »
I had to look it up on google because i get it as i age more,most severe with headphones.

"Listener fatigue (also known as listening fatigue) is a phenomenon that occurs after prolonged exposure to an auditory stimulus. Symptoms include tiredness, discomfort, pain, and loss of sensitivity. Listener fatigue is not a clinically recognized state, but is a term used by many professionals."


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Re: SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test
« Reply #2 on: 2 Apr 2017, 02:29 am »
I know that for me the Digital Amplifier Company equipment provides the opposite of listener fatigue if you'll accept my interpretation of the term.  As it happens, I deal with chronic muscle tension which is exacerbated by a great many things and is extremely fatiguing in itself.  Music through DAC equipment provides an effective antidote to that whole body fatigue, in a way I never experienced with any other equipment.

I once heard a wonderful description by an orchestra conductor of something I had long felt but never had the insight to articulate as he did.  He said, "Come in and play half-heartedly and you'll leave more worn out than when you came.  Play with your entire attention and you will come away energized by the experience." 

I don't have a simple listening fatigue test except to be aware of the tension in my body which, after getting lost in the music even a short time, is noticeably better, as is my energy and attention.  The DAC equipment certainly doesn't produce in me any listener fatigue as I understand the term, and that goes for long periods of listening as well as short.  I suspect that is because of the natural presentation.  DAC equipment does reproduction without the subtle distortions that cause tension, fatigue, or loss of attention that pulls you out of the performance.  The result is all the good things we hope for in music.             


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Re: SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test
« Reply #3 on: 3 Sep 2017, 05:34 am »
My listening fatigue test is simple. Do I want to keep playing music after a half hour or not? I rarely want to turn off the music unless it is badly recorded classic rock (classic rock is my old favorite, not my present fave). I just really get into listening to well recorded music and I let it play all day long. I can't stand more than 10 minutes of fatiguing music before I turn it off or go into the other room (which is what I do if I'm in someone else's house). There have been many instances at audio club meetings that I had to go into the kitchen to relieve my ears. Sometimes I stay in the kitchen, rather than suffer in the listening room. Sorry, but that's how it is for me. My ears are touchy.  About 50% of the time I'd rather be home listening to my system than theirs. I love mine and it just keeps getting better thanks to Tommy and his products.

Larry D.


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Re: SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test
« Reply #4 on: 3 Sep 2017, 02:12 pm »
My experience with audio equipment and 'listening fatigue'.
Back in ?? 1985 or so, I owned a nice Hafler DH110 preamp I built from the kit.
For reasons I fail to remember, I traded that in for a new all bells and whistles Sony digital processing preamp Something1000. Had all sorts of settings for adjusting the sound.
But after a few weeks of playing around with it.. I stopped listening to music.
After a few months I thought about why did I stop listening???
Went out, bought a Counterpoint 2000.
Back to listening, and the Counterpoint was the most wonderful sound!
(sadly after it broke twice, I dumped it. big mistake)

Anyway, lesson learned. That Sony preamp just killed my interest in listening.
So now, I know if I stop listening.. something is WRONG with the system...

Wind Chaser

Re: SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test
« Reply #5 on: 3 Sep 2017, 03:03 pm »
There are numerous causes for listener fatigue. One thing is certain, you know when it hits you.


Re: SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test
« Reply #6 on: 3 Sep 2017, 05:18 pm »
There is an AES Paper ... somewhere ... that describes listeners preferences, and listener fatigue.

The short answer is ordinary, untrained listeners tend to prefer the slightly bright amplifier with high order distortions for about one hour, at which point they no longer wish to continue listening. After that one hour period, they then tend to prefer the amplifier that exhibits low levels of high odd order harmonic distortions.

Then there was the demonstration at RMAF by Audio Precision (the company that manufactures the better distortion analyzers) where they played back music to panels of show-goers with specific introduced harmonic distortions. Audience members were asked to raise their hands when the sound became objectionable.

For high order odd harmonic distortions, the majority of listeners raised their hands with relatively low distortion percentages, and the entire audience had raised their hands at levels around 1%. When second harmonic and third harmonic distortions were the added components, audiences were able to tolerate significantly higher levels; for second order some members didn't raise their hands until the level reached 30%.

Taken together, there is much evidence that the harmonic profile is critical to listener enjoyment.

The amplifiers that I first noticed I enjoyed over most of the competition, forty years ago, was the Luxman tube amps and the Threshold 400A.

Shear Bliss VMPS

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Re: SIMPLE listening fatigue(?) test
« Reply #7 on: 3 Sep 2017, 05:34 pm »
Late night listening is the best say after 1am. The noise levels drop (din) and the power grid gets cleaner with most industry asleep. My favorite time to enjoy my system where the dark becomes even darker in the background. Working the afternoon shift in a factory will teach you this.

Now retired I don't get to listen late unless I plan to do so but its always rewarding for me even now. I have added two more Patrick Cullen"s filtered wall plugs to my audio only line, three total. Also added a Equi=Tech T-1000 to handle Preamp, DAC DAC and tuner duties. The T-1000 offers up even darker darks throughout and noticeably raises dynamics as well, something about balanced power ?? There is no listening fatique here but audio cannot be forced upon oneself rather you need to let it wash over you when the mind/ears are in sync. When its all aligned it is magical.