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  1. #1

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    Default Damn Damn Damn--ear distortion

    A while back I thought I had damaged my Fxi5 surround speakers, after some checking I figured I had damaged the processor rather than the speakers. So I bought a new Emotiva pre-pro and then figured that the distortion I kept hearing was coming from the Fxi5's after all.

    Using the Avia dvd, I pinpointed that the speakers were making a slight distortion sound at a certain frequency. So I finally sent the Fxi's to a Polk approved repair shop near here to get them checked out. 2 weeks later I got them back and they said that nothing was wrong with them....hmmmm.

    Working 86 hours a week doesn't leave much time for music, so when I did make some time tonight for some listening, I pinpointed the problem to.... MY FREAKIN' RIGHT EAR!!

    Now I knew that I had slight damage done to my eardrum when, during a walk in the forest years ago, a branch snapped back and hit my ear, it didn't go IN the ear, it just hit in such a way that it "popped" the eardrum (I had blood coming out of that ear).

    I thought it had healed years ago, but I knew there was a slight problem when I'd hear distortion from applause at a live concert. But now I hear it sometimes when listening to music!!.....AHHHH the horror!!! Man this is real depressing, here I am trying to better my sound system, but how the hell am I supposed to know if I actually improved anything?

    The other thread about speaker break-in has some folks talking about how we "perceive" sound. So if my perception is crap, what the hell do I have all this gear for? I may as well just sell it and get a $200 boom box....man this really sucks!

    Joe (tired and depressed)
    Amplifiers: 1-SAE Mark IV, 4-SAE 2400, 1-SAE 2500, 2-SAE 2600, 1-Buttkicker BKA 1000N w/2-tactile transducers. Sources: Sony BDP CX7000es, Sony CX300/CX400/CX450/CX455, SAE 8000 tuner, Akai 4000D R2R, Technics 1100A TT, Epson 8500UB with Carada 100". Speakers:Polk SDA SRS, 3.1TL, FXi5, FXi3, 2-SVS 20-29, Yamaha, SVS center sub. Power:2-Monster HTS3500, Furman M-8D & RR16 Plus. 2-SAE 4000 X-overs, SAE 5000a noise reduction, MSB Link DAC III, MSB Powerbase, Behringer 2496, Monarchy DIP 24/96.

  2. #2

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    At the top of the list should be a trip to the ear doc. Other than that, get rid of all that processing gear, keep the volume down and enjoy.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  3. #3

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    You're alive with nothing major wrong. Count your blessings and be thankful for what you DO have.

    Aside from that, sorry about the hearing. That would piss me off as well. Maybe it's time for some headphones? :p

  4. #4

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    I think I've got the same thing with my right ear as well. Does it sound like the distortion that happens when you change a radio station? I've been to a an ear doctor, who diagnosed me with Meniers disease, which I'm not 100% sure that is what the problem is.

    Definately get a checkup! If it is Meniers, there are things you can do to minimize it.
    Rob

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by F1nut
    get rid of all that processing gear, keep the volume down and enjoy.
    This is a very good point. To much signal processing can distort (by overdiving) an input signal at the pre-amplification stage. Many think of distortion at the output stage, but a signal can be overdriven at the input stage and cause all kinds of nastiness.

    I would start with running a simple multi channel listening session without all your processors in the loop. And a trip to the an ear specialist is a definate must.

    Hopefully the situation can be remedied.

    H9
    "Appreciation of audio is a completely subjective human experience. Measurements can provide a measure of insight, but are no substitute for human judgment. Why are we looking to reduce a subjective experience to objective criteria anyway? The subtleties of music and audio reproduction are for those who appreciate it. Differentiation by numbers is for those who do not".--Nelson Pass

    Pass Aleph 30; Eastern Electric Mini Max; Adcom GDA600; MIT S3/Z Pc; SDA 1C; Squeezebox; Tubes add soul!

  6. #6

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    That sucks. Have you had your ear examined by a specialist?
    polkaudio speakers: SDA-SRS-2.3 (modified) SDA-2B SDA-CRS+ RT3000p CS400i LF-14 Monitor 7B

  7. #7

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    i'm not too good at getting myself to the doctor, but even if you've been to the doctor before with this, you should go again if you've noticed a change since the last visit.

    that said, earwax removers with the bulb have made a difference for me several times in the past. i think sometimes after i've been in environments with different combinations of things like dirt, dust, smoke, noise and/or wind normal every day type cleaning isn't enough to let your ears' self-cleaning ability do its thing. anyway, if you're unsure about how much force is safe to use with the bulb, maybe ask your doctor to demonstrate for you.

    )

  8. #8
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    Joe don't despair. I've had hearing problems in my right ear from childhood. I have perfect pitch which as I get older has become more and more impared. But the thing is, just as with anything that this great human body can do, you will get used to it and your brain will adjust to the hearing loss and after awhile you won't even know what you are missing.

    When I am listening to music with other audio nuts the main difference I notice compared to their hearing is that my audio image is in a differenct place then theirs is. Mine seems to be more to the right than a normal persons audio image. Other than that over the years I've become accoustomed to the loss so I really don't miss anything.

    If I were you, I would get to an ears, nose and throat specialist. . . they can do wonders today with ear surgery to correct hearing lose up to 100%. I've had 3 surgeries over the years but the extent of the damage in my ear causes only mild improvements with surgery. The funny thing is that on most days the hearing lose is better than others.

    Hope things work out.
    Joe

  9. #9

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    Thanks for the input guys. The last time I was at the doctors' office ( a couple of months ago), I got my ears cleaned out. They were quite blocked up with wax and he did get a big plug out of one ear and things sounded better. It didn't clear up the distortion though, which, as I mentioned, was most noticeable at concerts when the crowd would applause.

    Rhullett, if I were to describe this distortion, I would say it sounds like when you are moving an RCA jack with a bad connection until the sound clears up.

    I'm going try Heiny9's suggestion and go back to a very basic connection of the system and bypass all the sound processors. This will be easy to do because I have easy access to the back of the system. Then I'll add in one component at a time and see if I hear any improvement or not.

    Now I know where hearingimpaired gets his name. I'm gonna get this checked out further to make sure there is nothing serious going on.

    Thanks again guys, you've made my day!

    Joe
    Amplifiers: 1-SAE Mark IV, 4-SAE 2400, 1-SAE 2500, 2-SAE 2600, 1-Buttkicker BKA 1000N w/2-tactile transducers. Sources: Sony BDP CX7000es, Sony CX300/CX400/CX450/CX455, SAE 8000 tuner, Akai 4000D R2R, Technics 1100A TT, Epson 8500UB with Carada 100". Speakers:Polk SDA SRS, 3.1TL, FXi5, FXi3, 2-SVS 20-29, Yamaha, SVS center sub. Power:2-Monster HTS3500, Furman M-8D & RR16 Plus. 2-SAE 4000 X-overs, SAE 5000a noise reduction, MSB Link DAC III, MSB Powerbase, Behringer 2496, Monarchy DIP 24/96.

  10. #10

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    You may want to be sure to wear hearing protection at work. Those air impact guns can create some serious problems, especially working the hours of exposure you are working. Hearing loss in the 4-5K hz range can cause the issues you are describing. Certain sounds standout more than others, which could be sensed as distortion. Sort of a crackling sound.
    >
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  11. #11

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    Hmmmm....good point Polker85, I'll look into some hearing protection at work.

    Joe
    Amplifiers: 1-SAE Mark IV, 4-SAE 2400, 1-SAE 2500, 2-SAE 2600, 1-Buttkicker BKA 1000N w/2-tactile transducers. Sources: Sony BDP CX7000es, Sony CX300/CX400/CX450/CX455, SAE 8000 tuner, Akai 4000D R2R, Technics 1100A TT, Epson 8500UB with Carada 100". Speakers:Polk SDA SRS, 3.1TL, FXi5, FXi3, 2-SVS 20-29, Yamaha, SVS center sub. Power:2-Monster HTS3500, Furman M-8D & RR16 Plus. 2-SAE 4000 X-overs, SAE 5000a noise reduction, MSB Link DAC III, MSB Powerbase, Behringer 2496, Monarchy DIP 24/96.

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