Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Read 716 times.

slefley

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 79
I am driving a pair of Super Alnico HO Monitors with a Decware SE84UFO2 amp and for 99% of the population this seems to be a fantastic combination.  However, I have not been kind to my hearing and to me this combination lacks the high-frequency "sparkle" that I get with my ZU Omens.  Have you used an amplifier with the Omega Alnico's that may have sounded a little bright or too hot on top?  If so, this might provide the added hi-frequency energy that I'm looking for.  Thanks for your comments, Steve.

nature boy

Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #1 on: 3 Mar 2019, 08:55 pm »
Steve,

What kind of cables are you using? My SAHO speakers have plenty of high frequency extension.

HK

audioengr

Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #2 on: 3 Mar 2019, 08:57 pm »
For hearing loss, you need more than just HF energy, you need focus and detail rendering  The only way to get this from Digital is by reducing jitter.  If you are using a Transport and DAC, you can add a reclocker.  If you are using a Sonos, you can add a reclocker.

If you use your audio system for TV and movies, you can add a reclocker.

I have helped more than one friend that is losing their hearing to achieve better intelligibility in their sound.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

seikosha

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 207
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #3 on: 3 Mar 2019, 11:04 pm »
How about getting something like a Schiit Loki?  It’d be worth a try and much cheaper than getting a new amp.

slefley

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 79
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #4 on: 3 Mar 2019, 11:17 pm »
Thanks - I'll try the Loki.

S Clark

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 5638
  • measurement? We don't need no stinkin measurement
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #5 on: 3 Mar 2019, 11:19 pm »
There are some very good quality options for audiophiles that need hearing aids.  They are just pricey. 

slefley

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 79
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #6 on: 3 Mar 2019, 11:22 pm »
I receive at least one Hearing Aid ad per week it seems.  Are you aware of any brands that work well for music?

roscoe65

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 670
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #7 on: 3 Mar 2019, 11:54 pm »
I receive at least one Hearing Aid ad per week it seems.  Are you aware of any brands that work well for music?

If you are using hearing aids, you should just go to headphones.

pstrisik

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 974
  • It ain't easy being an audiophile in Alaska!
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #8 on: 4 Mar 2019, 12:45 am »
Hi Steve,

I wear hearing aids.  More on that in a bit.

I agree with Steve N. about improving the source.  I've been refining my system for years, but it was a game changer when I started into Auralic and moving up their line.  I'm a bit embarrassed as to what my streamer/DAC with external master clock cost, but now that the money is spent, I have no regrets whatsoever.  Everything improved but, most importantly, sound smoothed out while detail increased and the sound floor lowered.  Here's the porn:

. . . . .

. . . . .

I've been fortunate to have both a First Watt J2 and the Inspire pre and amp you see in the photo (red).  I just sold the J2.  It would do what you say you want, extend the freq range upward, but it did have ever so slight edge when compared to the tube setup.  I think smoothing and extending in other ways would be preferable.  And there is that magic tube midrange when you've got the right amp set and right tubes for your ears.  This may be due to my hearing and interaction with the aids since no one else seems to have that opinion about Pass designs.

At the other end of the chain from the source, consider supertweeters that roll off from about 15kHz.  If you power them with a separate amp, you can dial in the best blended level to complement the Omegas.  I have an older thread here about my supertweeter project.  I'm not using them currently.

Also with regard to speakers, Louis' ferrite drivers will have stronger/brighter highs than the alnicos.  I would never give up the glorious texture and depth of the alnicos though.

I bet my hearing loss is worse than yours or you would have aids already.  I started wearing them in the early 2000's and they have come a long, long way.  The current crop is aware of the demand for better music listening and will often have a music program (most have several programs like "automatic/general", restaurant, music, etc).  Alternatively, your audi can create a program for music by turning off as much of the digital processing as possible (compression, noise reduction, and the like).  This renders the music to have more natural sound than the harsher, speech oriented regular programs.  I adjust the volume in my music program to just supplement sound a bit and I get better high frequency experience. 

If you have any trouble hearing people talking either in a quiet place and/or a noisy place, aids will amaze you.  You'll feel less tired after events or work, if you communicate verbally there.  You can stream your phone to the aids.  Some have bluetooth built in for direct streaming (mostly iPhone) or via a disc you wear around your neck - under your shirt.  I can hear phone calls better now than I ever have!  I also have a small, remote, bluetooth microphone that others can clip on so that streams into my aids as well.  My work involves talking and listening.  Without the mic, I would probably be unable to do my profession adequately.  I use it only for about 15% of my clients now, but that is increasing as time goes on.

I buy mine a Costco and am fortunate that the dispenser there is very knowledgeable.  A pair of good ones there will cost about $1800-$2200.  They are about six months behind in what they carry, no big deal for me.  The same aids from a private audiologists will cost more than twice that.

Here's a link to the best hearing aid forum I've found:  https://forum.hearingtracker.com/.  They have reviews of various models and lots of experience there.

Anyway, that's probably about $.06.  :thumb:

. . . . .  .....Peter


BTW, Louis let me know my SAMHO's should ship this week.  They will be replacing the regular SAMS I've had.   :beer:

audioengr

Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #9 on: 4 Mar 2019, 01:39 am »
There is no need to spend a fortune on sources unless you want the user interface they offer or you must have native playback.  It's much less expensive just to add a good reclocker.  You can get 7psec of jitter at the end of the coax cable for just $699.  Noone seems to mind the resampling and 99% cannot even tell the difference between a low-jitter native track and resampled track, given the right reclocker.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

pstrisik

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 974
  • It ain't easy being an audiophile in Alaska!
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #10 on: 4 Mar 2019, 02:08 am »
There is no need to spend a fortune on sources unless you want the user interface they offer or you must have native playback.  It's much less expensive just to add a good reclocker.  You can get 7psec of jitter at the end of the coax cable for just $699.  Noone seems to mind the resampling and 99% cannot even tell the difference between a low-jitter native track and resampled track, given the right reclocker.

Steve N.
Empirical Audio

Too late!! 

Seriously, I never had tried a reclocker before this one.  Each step was on trial basis and there was no question about improvement with each step.  The master clock was the last piece to go in.  Maybe I'll have a chance to try what you mention to compare some day.  Have an example product?


S Clark

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 5638
  • measurement? We don't need no stinkin measurement
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #11 on: 4 Mar 2019, 03:01 am »
I receive at least one Hearing Aid ad per week it seems.  Are you aware of any brands that work well for music?
Sadly, yes, I'm very familiar with them.  I've been in the midst of an extended trial with Resound and Widex since Dec.  Both can be excellent, but not as factory configured.  As they are, they just don't get the idea of soundstage width or depth.  But with reprogramming, they can be quite realistic. One manufacturer was very interested in modifying their music program based on my extensive feedback notes.  With the other manufacturer, the regional reps actually came to my house and sat with me in front of my main rig- and only then did he begin to understand what I was looking for.    We did extensive reprogramming and changing of transducer (speaker units). 
If you decide to look at hearing aids, having an audiologist that is willing to spend multiple hours with you is important.   
I'll PM my contact info if you'd like to talk further. 

tybee

Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #12 on: 4 Mar 2019, 03:41 am »
I have been using Widex hearing aids the past 10 years in both ears and as S Clark suggests your audiologist is very important in helping you find the best aid for you.  My system is housed in a 24' x22' heavily acoustic treated listening room which allows me to adjust the soundstage as the program was recorded using a passive preamp with a Sayes Yamamoto a08 2 watt clone with 95 db efficient speakers. The hearing aids are programmed to fill in the frequencies that you have probably lost from parts of the high midrange into the treble area.  Living in Nashville, my audiologist sees many in the music industry with hearing loss and Widex is the preferred brand , but she also offers Resound. My current aids have a music specific program that enables me to enjoy music recorded on CD and Vinyl.  It also has a wireless device which streams tv or DVD audio to my aids and it is like hearing surround sound from movies.

Do not put off getting hearing aids or your risk further hearing loss. Since I began wearing aids, my hearing has stabilized with no further deterioration. 

JLM

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 8889
  • The elephant normally IS the room
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #13 on: 4 Mar 2019, 11:29 am »
Have typical loss of high frequencies and trouble hearing speech especially in noisy settings, nothing serious so have resisted getting hearing aids.  Wife got one (has loss in one ear) and lost it within a month and is now waiting until insurance will pay for another. 

Better off adding EQ/DSP to compensate for high frequency loss.  Type of speaker, amp, or jitter reduction are not the answers to this problem.

I resist because as roscoe65 said, it makes no sense to have a nice audio system that would get played through a hearing aid. 


S Clark

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 5638
  • measurement? We don't need no stinkin measurement
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #14 on: 4 Mar 2019, 02:00 pm »
If you are using hearing aids, you should just go to headphones.
This isn't an option due to feedback issues.

S Clark

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 5638
  • measurement? We don't need no stinkin measurement
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #15 on: 4 Mar 2019, 02:05 pm »
I resist because as roscoe65 said, it makes no sense to have a nice audio system that would get played through a hearing aid.
In my experience, this is not true.  Good hearing aids, properly set up, can accurately reproduce a very resolving system.  Besides, so much of the quality of your musical experience is in the 150-3000 hz range, where many hearing impaired still have little loss. 

pstrisik

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 974
  • It ain't easy being an audiophile in Alaska!
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #16 on: 4 Mar 2019, 03:57 pm »
I resist because as roscoe65 said, it makes no sense to have a nice audio system that would get played through a hearing aid.

Totally disagree.  I enjoy the hell out of this hobby.  I just have to treat my aids as components in the chain. 

BRN

Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #17 on: 4 Mar 2019, 04:23 pm »
I just got Widex hearing aids last Oct and it has made a difference in being able to hear conversations. I was worried that it would be a negative to my music listening, but it has actually helped.

S Clark,

I would like to hear more about what you did to improve the performance of your hearing aids.

tybee

Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #18 on: 4 Mar 2019, 04:41 pm »
Like my other hearing impaired but inspired music lovers, I must disagree also.  Since retiring, I listen to vinyl and CDs an hour or more daily and continue to enjoy it more than when I was younger.  A good system can demonstrate the differences for example between a Martin from a Gibson guitar. Hearing well recorded music over a good system is a quality of life issue for me as I age.  And yes, I can hear the differences in my tubed system. My glass is still half full not half empty.  Having privately discussed hearing impairment with other music lovers, most that I have encountered listen to tubed equipment.  While digital amplification has evolved over the past decade and now considered high end by many, I still cannot explain why digital gives me listening fatigue unless combined with tubes in the system. But, I suspect this problem will be resolved as technology improves.

Like many of my aging friends with hearing loss, pride and embarrasment, often prevents them from admitting the need for hearing aids.  Again, let me remind the skeptics that your hearing will continue to deteriorate unless you preserve what hearing remains. Is you glass continuing to empty or like me continue to fill up?



Canada Rob

  • Industry Participant
  • Posts: 1055
    • Industry Participant
Re: Amp recommendations for Alnico monitors & hearing loss
« Reply #19 on: 4 Mar 2019, 06:13 pm »
A few years back I had a Decware Zen (pre UFO equivalent to the UFO 2), higher end NOS DAC, SAMs, and Decware cabling.  It was incredible, but didn't quite have the top end sparkle of Louis' RS5 based speakers.  It did however dig deeper into the music, had better layering and texture, deeper soundstage, and was able to play more complex music than the RS5.

Today I'm running a TPA3116 amp, Modi 2 DAC, Blue Jeans and Monster cabling, and CAMs.  I now have top end similar to the RS5 along with all the aural goodies that come with the Alnico driver.  The TPA3116 is a great match with the Alnicos, due to its top end (which with some speakers can be strident).  For around $25 a person can get "red board" TPA 3116 and experiment.  Just give the amp at least 50 hours of break in before passing judgement.  Also, I got a 19V/5A power supply from the flea market for 2 bucks.  I would stay away from any of the Tri-path Class D (great RS5 match) as they sound totally different than the TPA3116.

I realize my advice to some seems like a toddler offering his slobbery Farleys biscuit to an adult sitting at their steak dinner, but it's worth a try.  :thumb: