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Is it my Ears, Headphones, Digital Audio Files or iTunes?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by TampaMan, May 31, 2020.

  1. TampaMan

    TampaMan Tele-Meister

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    I am 67 yo and I do not have the hearing I had up until my 40s. It is not bad but very hard to discern what people voclaize with overbearing background noise. So movie theaters are out with terrible acoustics at least to my hearing. Otherwise very average hearing, best with no sugar taken as that is very hard on my hearing. Makes them ring beyond pain threshold. I'm wearing Sony Dynamic Stero Headphones MDR-7506 that the ear liners are slowly deteriorating and is over 10 yo. It seems to get very good ratings on Amazon. IF I need to replace I would like a pair in the same price range.

    I recently heard Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing by Chris Isaak on an episode of The Blacklist that was crystal clear and the nuances of the reverb on the guitars were a revelation. So my ears and headphones were good enough to pick all that up.

    I got the stereo Sgt Peppers and I swear the A Day in the Life orchestra sections are muddy; no definition between the strings and horns. Is it me or Giles Martin's ****tty remastering?

    Same with The Best of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac; the song Oh Well is not clear as I recall and I cannot discern very well the electric guitar on the top melody. Again, was it the mastering?

    Do I need better or newer head phones? Better sources for my digital files or is it iTunes? I notice it does not have the graphic EQ anymore, not that it was much use but could compensate for a poor AD transfer.

    I am at a loss here, any ideas?
     
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  2. Mjark

    Mjark Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'm 68, listening to A Day in Life right now on Tascam TH 300X headphones. Sounds the same as ever to me.
     
  3. LutherBurger

    LutherBurger Poster Extraordinaire

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    Could be one of many factors, but probably not the headphones. 7506s provide good detail, and over-emphasize upper midrange frequencies.
     
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  4. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Super Moderator Staff Member Ad Free Member

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    I’m 47, and I’m already there.

    Almost no music sounds the same to me anymore.
     
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  5. TeleTucson

    TeleTucson Tele-Afflicted

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    Your ears are fine ... or at least they probably look fine. But it's a conspiracy for sure. :)
     
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  6. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Silver Supporter

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    Here is my perspective. Chris Isaak's stuff is impeccably recorded and as clear as it can be IMO. Sgt. Pepper is recorded on older equipment that was pretty good at the time, but ... not quite up to later recordings. I think your best bet is to listen to other songs before making any decisions.
     
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  7. bluzkat

    bluzkat Tele-Holic

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    Get your ears checked by an audiologist.

    :facepalm:
     
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  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    ^^^THIS.

    When was the last time you had a hearing test? They develop a frequency response curve of how well you hear in each ear; this is what audiologists use to tune the boost & cut for the EQ on hearing aids to compensate for the range(s) you have trouble hearing.
    [​IMG]
    If your hearing is not so bad that you require a hearing aid, you can still use this info to tweak the EQ on your audio gear to get it close to how you used to hear music when you had the hearing of a 20-year-old.
     
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  9. slauson slim

    slauson slim Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    There are different mixes on the streaming services - not all of them good, plus re-masterings, compression, and the audio quality of MP3 that affect how music sounds or will make things sound different than you remember them from lp or cd. Or they may vary from listening to listening or from service to service. There are horrible streaming re-mixes of Jimi Hendrix's first three studio releases that have the guitars on one side of the stereo mix and vocals on the other. Not at all like the original lps.
     
  10. TampaMan

    TampaMan Tele-Meister

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    Yes, that looks like my last hearing check. I can not make out wispers with ANY abckground noise, even with hearing aids. The trouble with hearing aids is that they can not filter out background noise, so ALL sounds get amplified no matter the sophistication of the electrionics. My last pair cost $1300 an ear and I do not wear them anymore, not worth the effort. I the place is quiet I can hear well enough.

    IF the place is quiet enough I can hear any female voice which can be hard to hear if too quiet. Also, anything sugar or high sugar content like grapes or fresh pineapple will cause my ears to ring off the hook!
     
  11. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Telefied Ad Free Member

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    My son the engineer always says, "I won't comment until I have all the data." Fits just about any situation.
     
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  12. TampaMan

    TampaMan Tele-Meister

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    Which source are you listening to? I was refering to the new STEREO version Giles Martin did for the 50th Anniversary. Ringo's drum fills are burried and the orchistration is not articulated andvery muddy. I just listened to the first stereo cd version and it is as I remebered it to be with everthing articulated and mixed perfectly.

    Same goes for the Hendrix remasters by the Hendrix family; each song is as I rememberd them to be from the original vynal. Those were done by Eddie Karmer who engineered most of the original masters where as Giles was not.

    I will get the new stereo remix of Sgt Peppers and try hearing it again and get back to you.
     
  13. TampaMan

    TampaMan Tele-Meister

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    That I am very familiar with, different media and different mixes can cause my issues.

    That being said, I found the iTunes grapic equalizer. Now I can make and save my own settings. Somehow I thought it was in the Song Info popup instead of the Windows drop down menu. THAT HELPED A LOT!
     
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  14. doghouseman

    doghouseman Tele-Meister

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    THIS.. it might not be your ears.

    Basically information (music) gets compressed so that it will go over the net fast.

    I love listening to a CD in my car because, I can hear the difference. A CD in an actual CD player is usually uncompressed data. If you are streaming to your car, or putting stuff on a USB mini disk, you really never know at that point.
     
  15. TampaMan

    TampaMan Tele-Meister

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    I was wondering about that, I intend to A-B some of the problem tracks and compare to the actula CD.

    Will get back to you on that.
     
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  16. Masmus

    Masmus Tele-Meister

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    I got the stereo Sgt Peppers and I swear the A Day in the Life orchestra sections are muddy; no definition between the strings and horns. Is it me or Giles Martin's ****tty remastering?

    For those of you that don’t know EMI Studios system could play back only all left, all right on mono. That’s why so much Beatles music seems mixed strange. I read an interview with the engineer that recorded A Day in the Life and he was extremely disappointed in what they did to that song when they remastered it. So if you think it doesn’t sound as good as it used to your right.
     
  17. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    My first thought is that you are using 10 year old headphones. If possible, try out a new pair and see what you think. I seem to notice a tonal degredation in headphones after about 6 years and a steady decline in overall sound quality from that point on.
     
  18. EsquireBoy

    EsquireBoy Tele-Afflicted

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    Yes indeed, always a good idea!

    A couple of years ago my hearing in one ear went a bit strange, there was some kind of distortion on higher frequencies. I got it checked and it was because of earwax. Once removed it was back to perfect.
     
  19. trxx

    trxx Tele-Afflicted

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    I wore out a pair of old Sony headphones over 20 years of daily use. They still sounded good but were literally falling apart. Sorry, but I'm not saying which model. I can find them cheap, and I want to keep it that way. I will say that they were made in Japan.

    Before searching for old pairs, I bought some new ones (made in Taiwan). Same model number, looked exactly the same, but they sounded like complete crap. I returned them. But first I took them apart and compared to my old pair. The drivers were very different. I searched out another old pair that were as good as new, and all was well again. The old pair sounded exactly like what I had loved since the first time I put on my original pair. The new ones sounded muddy and a bit tinny and harsh, where the old ones sound deep (not boomy) with an extended high and very smooth overall. Some people might argue that the new ones needed breaking in, but that wasn't the case. I left them playing moderately loud music for many days, but nothing changed. The old ones just killed the new ones in sound. Also I bought the new ones from an authorized Sony dealer, so I doubt that they were counterfeit.

    I mention this because headphones that have gotten lots of praise over a long period of time might not be what they used to be, literally. I don't know if Sony changed the MDR-7506's as well, but when I tried a new pair I hated them for pretty much the same reasons I hated the new pair of my favorite model. It seems to follow the same story as with tubes, speakers, and lots of other things.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2020
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