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Don't "always trust your ears"!

Discussion in 'audio' started by ToTo Man, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. ToTo Man

    ToTo Man the band not the dog

    A day last week I switched my hifi on for an evening listening session and thought it was broke. It sounded decidely low-fi and the high frequencies, especially in the right channel, were not only a bit subdued but also 'choppy', lacking their usual smooth and airy decay. It was essentially like listening to a 96kbps mp3 file, if you can remember what those sounded like!...

    I got the mic out and ran a frequency and distortion sweep in both channels in case there was a problem with my speakers, amp, DAC or computer. Nope, everything measured as normal. Earlier in the day I noticed that the water flowing through the taps and toilet cistern sounded different but assumed there must be work getting done to the water mains somewhere along the road as a couple of days previous the water was running dirty. Also, immediately before putting my hifi on I'd been watching tv and hadn't noticed anything strange with the sound.

    It turns out it was my ears at fault! Earlier in the morning I'd sprayed a shot of Earol into each ear as I normally do every few days as a preventative measure against dryness in the ear canal. I can only assume that some of the oil that went into my right ear either coated my ear drum in a film and impaired its movement, or actually permeated into my middle ear, because a visual inspection showed no wax in the ear canal.

    My hearing took several days to return to normal, improving marginally each day. During this time I experienced gentle periodic 'crackling' and 'popping' sounds in my right ear, perhaps implying the clearing of the oil from my ear drum and/or Eustachian tube.

    Here's the interesting thing though...

    Last night, my hifi sounded more 'airy' than it has for years. I checked my EQ in case I'd accidentally boosted the 10kHz-20kHz region. Nope. All settings were as per usual. I got the mic out again and took another measurement. The measured response was exactly the same as the previous week when I thought the system sounded sh1te!

    I don't know the cause of my ears' newfound 'sparkle'. Perhaps my brain is over-compensating, like the effect when you remove your earplugs after a gig and everything sounds tinny for a few minutes until your brain damps your auditory system back down. Whatever the cause, I'm going to make the most of it for as long as it lasts!...
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2021
  2. booja30

    booja30 pfm Member

    I think someone has been swapping your cables. That is the only possible explanation!
    Dozey, ToTo Man and Rockmeister like this.
  3. Colin L

    Colin L High-tech low-life

    The lesson is trust your ears and dont squirt shit in them :D
    ToTo Man, booja30 and mega lord like this.

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