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Are my ears just dying? Help.

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ajb7074, May 20, 2016.

  1. ajb7074

    ajb7074 TDPRI Member

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    My band has a practice room that has cement flooring with very thin carpet and it is plain drywall. It is about 15 feet by 10 feet in size. The acoustics make everything pretty loud. When we practice, my Dual Terror and PPC412 is usually at around 9 - 10 o'clock on the volume and the gain is a little more than 1 o'clock. For maybe the first 15 minutes the sound is perfect but then I start to notice I lose the bottom end slightly and the gain/sustain is noticeably lost. When playing clean it just starts to sound thin and a little weak. Something just doesn't feel right.

    I replaced all the power tubes and I have swapped out the preamp tubes with some vintage 12ax7 from another amp. Could the problem be that I just need to get new preamp tubes? Possibly just some ear fatigue messing with my head? Thanks.
     
  2. heavypic

    heavypic TDPRI Member

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    OP - Your hearing does something called accommodation when exposed to loud noise levels...tempting you to turn it up. Those room conditions are not good and potentially harmful to your hearing. Are your ears ringing during and after playing in that setting? Ringing in the ears is a symptom of hearing damage. High frequencies are usually the first to go. Once it's gone...it's gone. Turn it down...wear ear plugs to cut the decibels....add more sound absorbing surfaces to the room.

    You don't want hearing damage or chronic tinnitus. My dad has that from years of working in the construction trade without ear protection. Tinnitus can drive you crazy figuratively speaking. Search about tinnitus with old rock 'n rollers...not good...
     
  3. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, beware tinnitus. Mine is work-related, and any loud noises aggravate it.
     
  4. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like ear fatigue to me. Get some sound absorbing materials up. Bare walls and thin or no carpet + a small room is a recipe for excessive treble and flutter echoes. Cymbals in a room like that can be brutal. Heavy blankets on multiple walls, acoustic fiberglass wall panels scattered around, or even putting full bookcases against one wall to scatter reflected sound can help a lot.
     
  5. ajb7074

    ajb7074 TDPRI Member

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    thanks for the replies guys. I have a set of custom made prescription ear plugs. sometimes I forget to bring them. Guess I will have to remind myself
     
  6. pdmartin

    pdmartin Tele-Meister

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    If it weren't for the voices in my head arguing, my tinnitus would drive me crazy.
     
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  7. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I reread the original post twice just to make sure...I have to ask: does the sound in general of all of the instruments change, or is it only the sound of your rig that changes. Fatigue, tinnitus, and frequency specific hearing loss all would cause the loss of hearing those frequencies from any source, correct? So, if the bass guitar is still there for you and if the bass and tom drums are still there for you but your guitar has lost the lows and low mid, then it may be that your amp has an issue. Just wondering...
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And...I am hoping that the problem is the amp, ajb7074.
     
  9. jwp2

    jwp2 Tele-Holic

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    I just started practicing with a new band and it gets pretty loud in a small basement room pretty much like you are describing. I am wearing my earplugs every time we practice.
     
  10. djangomango

    djangomango Tele-Holic

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    From my personal experience, don't gamble with it. You only have one pair of ears, if they get screwed it's for the rest of your life. I'd recommend the best place to ask is a doctor if you're worried. They have the proper knowledge and equipment to test your ears.

    I've had tinnitus "thanks" to medication I was on long time ago. In the beginning it was bad and drove me totally crazy. It got better to the point I barely notice it, but still hear a permanent (but slight) hiss in my ears if I pay attention to it.

    So even with the slightest doubt => doctor!
     
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  11. boredguy6060

    boredguy6060 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have the same hissing sound in my ears. The only time I notice it is when I'm in a room or car that is totally silent.
    Silence is a very rare condition around here, so it's not much of a problem.
    But I can't wear head phones anymore or the hissing sound is noticeably stronger for several days.
     
  12. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    I wear earplugs when doing anything loud: band practice, testing amps, drumming, playing out, and so on. Hearing loss is a real risk at above 85dB, let alone at the kind of SPL a healthy Fender or Marshall can put out when you're out in front of it. I buy them by the box and set them out in the practice room for everyone that wants them.
     
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  13. Drubbing

    Drubbing Friend of Leo's

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    You went to talk tube changes to stop losing bottom end, but you forget to wear earplugs to preserve your hearing? Mandatory equipment for band practice. That room set up sound awful, not just for your ears, but the acoustics.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2016
  14. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    I like to crank it a bit sometimes but I'm 65 and just had my ears checked (they're good) and what you're describing sounds loud.

    I have a lotta deaf friends. Maybe dial her back a bit, do other stuff to get yer ears outta damage zone.
     
  15. ajb7074

    ajb7074 TDPRI Member

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    It seems as though the sound that changes is just my rig but then again, when I am troubleshooting my tone problems, the only rig I am paying attention to is my own.
     
  16. ajb7074

    ajb7074 TDPRI Member

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    We made it a point to turn down significantly at practice last night, I wore my prescriptions, and things sounded much better in general although I do still feel as though I am losing sustain. This is not necessarily something I only hear, I can also feel the notes dying sooner... Is this characteristic of faulty preamp tubes? Like I mentioned, they have not been replaced with a brand new set. I am going to replace them either way.

    It's hard to warrant spending thousands on acoustic treatment or a new room. We practice with what is available to us.
     
  17. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I understand that troubleshooting 'tone problems' should be focused on the rig that is having those problems. The thing is as I see this situation is that you are not sure if it is an equipment problem or a personal hearing problem. The way to know the difference is to pay attention to the entire band's sound to know if the problem exists in your hearing or in your amp. IT is a valid test, imho, to pay attention to the function of your rig AND the sound of the whole band. After all, it is that 'whole band sound' we are after as group musicians...we have to listen to each other. IF you are hearing your amp 'fall out' of the mix while the sound of everything else is stable, you have an problem in you r amp. IF only your amp is losing those frequencies, then the problem is not in your hearing...even though playing at 'sane' volume levels is advisable at all times. IF the sound of the entire band is changing, then your hearing is a concern.
    Does the amp lose its character when you are playing by yourself....at the same volumes? How old are the power tubes in the amp? Do you have an amp tech, or do you do your own tech work? Have you ever taken note of how those power tubes are performing,....what is the plate dissipation?
     
  18. clintj

    clintj Friend of Leo's

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    That's a good point. Having a bass amp in the room, especially if the bass player is falling victim to volume creep, can make the guitar amp sound anemic - the bass and low mids get buried leaving mids and treble. As a band, we usually cut some lows from the guitar to leave room for low drums and bass to occupy. This does make an anemic guitar tone when you play by yourself, but the audience mix is more clear sounding.
     
  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A Twin Reverb would cure the temptation for the bass and the drums to do that 'volume creep'
    thing. (;^)....but a good discussion of what music is and how it is best made would be a more constructive approach. This type of discussion will sometimes lead to people deciding that they can't play together, though.

    I remember an evening about 40 when 3 fellows who jammed together a lot were getting together in a garage. The guitarist had a Marshall Super Lead. The bass player had an SVT. The drummer was using axe handles for sticks!! LOL....They didn't have a vocalist and wanted to do 'Under My Thumb' first song out of the box. I made the mistake of saying that I would do that one with them. They fired it up.....and there was no way that anybody could hear anything musical due to the massive volume. I couldn't hear my own voice inside my own head....and the P.A. was of no help.....it was all one huge din of chaos. After the end of it, the guitarist's girlfriend told me I needed to sing louder!!! LOL.... I didn't hang around long after that....I treasure my hearing too much. Those people are probably wearing hearing aids these days.....they were already talking at increased volume at that time so they had punished their ears way before they were 30.
     
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