Originally Posted by commsysman
Bad information?? I have my facts right; I don't know what your problem is.
Talk to any audiologist if you don't believe me.
My audiologist (at Kaiser hospital) is the one that told me that men over 40 can seldom hear 10 Khz, and she has actually tested thousands of them. Men under 30 do much better, of course.
My wife can only hear up to 13 Khz, and I can only hear up to 8 khz, but our audiologist says that that is much better than average for people over 60. It certainly has no effect on listening to music, since there is no significant musical content above 6 Khz anyway. Cymbals will produce frequencies around 10 Khz when brushed with wire brushes, but their normal output is much lower. Nothing else is that high.
A chart of the instruments of the orchestra show only the violin, piccolo and harp go up to 4 Khz, and nothing goes higher. The highest sound of the human voice is approximately 2000 hz. These are facts that are available to anyone who wants to look them up.
When people cannot hear past 2500 Hz they recommend hearing aids (or when the overall hearing acuity is poor).
Originally Posted by flyng_fool
As usual commysman is putting out more bad info.
Originally Posted by commsysman
Don't be sad; if you can hear 7 khz, you can hear 99.9% of everything there is to hear. Too bad about those brushed hi-hat cymbals, but you won't miss anything else.
I think you might be confusing the difference between fundamental frequencies and overtones and harmonics. Yes, the fundamental frequencies from many musical instruments are in the lower range, but I'd assume that the majority of folks here at AVS can appreciate the difference between audio systems that can fully reproduce ALL the components of a musical note. It's not only the sound of a wire brush stroking a cymbal that generates frequencies above 6kHz, ANY cymbal strike generates frequencies over 6kHz along with the lower frequency fundamentals.
How is it that we can distinguish the same musical note played on a variety of different instruments? The difference between the note played on a flute vs an oboe vs a saxophone, vs a trombone, vs a trumpet? They're all wind instruments, but the harmonics and overtones are different for each of them (I'm not saying that any person in particular may know exactly what instrument is playing, but they can distinguish that they are being played on different instruments). For that matter, some folks can distinguish the difference between a Stradivari and Guarneri violin, the same instrument made by the two different and most well known violin makers. Pianists and familiar listeners can also distinguish the difference between the sound of a Steinway Grand vs a Bosendorfer or Fazioli. The ability of the audio system to reproduce all the audible harmonics and overtones of a sound along with the fundamentals is a HUGE part of the quality of the system to me. There's a distinct difference to me between hearing a violin solo on a system that rolls off above 10kHz vs one that can play flat to 20khz.
The human hearing system is amazingly adaptable, which is why we can recognize voices even when they are played out of the tiny speakers on a cellphone or clock radio. We can even immediately recognize musical instruments played on these tiny speakers, because the human brain can recognize sounds from the fundamentals where the overtones and harmonics are missing, and also from the harmonics and overtones when the fundamentals are missing because the playback system cannot reproduce them properly.
Here's an interesting little interactive music chart.
It displays the frequency ranges that encompass the range of sounds produced by various instruments (including the male and female voices). There's also a little chart that displays the 'equal loudness contours' for average human hearing acuity. Our hearing is more sensitive to the mids (interestingly, our greatest sensitivity in the frequency range seems to be right around the frequency of a younger female or young child's scream that cuts through natural background ambient noise. Scientists pose that this might be an evolutionary bias, to trigger survival responses). Our brains are also incredibly adaptable, and surveys and testing has shown that people can actually 'fill in the gaps' so to speak, from progressive hearing loss. Tests conducted for hearing loss on orchestra members who are routinely subjected to pretty high SPL's have shown that a statistically significant percentage of them have higher than average levels of hearing loss for their respective age groups, especially in the ranges our ears are most sensitive to, but they have automatically adapted and compensated and aren't even aware that there are gaps in their hearing acuity. Their minds still hear the sounds they expect to hear, even when audio tests show that they don't hear them all that well anymore.
As long as an audio system can reproduce about 400Hz to 4kHz, (especially the 2kHz-4kHz range where our hearing sensitivity is most acute), we can recognize what we're hearing, but there's no question that I can hear a distinct difference between the quality of the sound coming out of a cheap clock radio from the 80's with very limited frequency reproduction from a 1/4" driver vs my sound system.
I can't speak for everyone else, but while I can still hear it, I prefer to hear everything produced by the instruments I'm listening to. Sure I can recognize the instruments being played on a clock radio, but when I'm listening to it for my enjoyment, I prefer to hear it on equipment that can reproduce the whole range as opposed to just between 400Hz to 4kHz.
Unfortunately, you're right, as we age, our hearing becomes increasingly deficient at the higher frequencies, and how bad this loss is varies from person to person based on genetics and lifestyle. I do know some folks over 60 who still have acute hearing up to 16-18kHz, as well as a few folks in their 20's who don't hear much over 12kHz (only one of whom did not routinely subject themselves to very high SPL's from concerts/clubs etc.). At 40, I can still hear 16kHz, (which I'm very fortunate and grateful for considering the abuse, both inadvertent and conscious, that my ears have been subjected to), These days, I try to take more precautions to preserve my hearing because I derive so much enjoyment from it. Hopefully, I'll be able to enjoy it and the pleasure that the enjoyment of music brings me, for many years to come.