I posted this in the official Audyssey FAQ thread but decided to make a separate thread to keep from going off topic in that thread. Basically, after listening to music for a little while, I can hear a difference after maybe a half hour to an hour of listening. While it's most likely my ears adjusting/getting "fatigued," I thought I'd ask anyway. I like to listen loud. Sometimes louder then others. I don't normally crank the hell out of it, but I'll listen to averages of 90 to 95db with 2 channel music listening. At first when I just start listening, everything sound nice and silky smooth, full and rich. After listening for about a half an hour or more, that starts to change. It starts to sound a tad bit more harsh, not very smooth or "silky." Sometimes a singer can sound what seems "muddled" on lower notes and a bit more "ear piercing" on higher notes then I notice when I first start listening. Because of this, I tried doing the Audyssey calibration after listening to music until it got to the point where I noticed the smoothness and richness was lessened. Still, made no difference. I'm sure this is my ears. My poor ears have been through quite a bit of abuse. When I was a kid, I'd always listening to everything REALLY LOUD all the time. Now that I've grown up, I realize how stupid that was and I fear I am paying the consequences and that more are to come as I age.
I basically copied and pasted what I posted in the Audyysey thread:
Starting at post 59321
My system consists of Seaton Catalyst 12Cs for LCR, 2 Submersive HP's and sparks for surrounds with an Integra DHC-80.3 processor.
This is more or less where the conversation ended with Kbarnes on the Audyssey FAQ forums with a few more users suggesting that distortion is creeping in somewhere and that perhaps something is wrong with a component in the system.
Originally Posted by kbarnes701
It is possible you have permanent hearing damage, but only an audiologist can tell you that for sure - maybe an appointment with one would be a good idea?
If it isn’t that, then the symptoms you describe - harshness, roughness etc - are typical of distortion in an amplifier, especially if the amp is running too loud for its designed capability. It is possible that it is running into clipping for example. 'Listening fatigue' when using high SPLs is common if you are overdriving the amps. In fact, one of the characteristics of a system with bags of headroom is that you can listen at incredibly high levels all day and the system continues to smooth and unstressed. When someone says a system sounds 'loud' they often mean it sounds 'distorted'. Systems with plenty of headroom rarely sound 'loud'. For example, in my own system, I often find that I think I am listening at a modest level until I try to speak to my wife and then find that not only can she
not hear me, but I cannot even hear myself!
What amp or AVR do you have, what is the efficiency rating of your speakers and how close do you sit to them when you are listening at these 90/95 dB averages. I assume you have used a SPL meter to determine the average level? If the average is truly 95dB then you are likely to be peaking at significantly higher SPLs than that. Depending on your answers the questions at the beginning of this paragraph, those sort of levels could indeed be a strain on your amps.
You could try listening for an hour or so at averages of 85dB (which is still fairly loud) and report back if you continue (or not) to hear the harshness - that may give us a clue if you are running the amps into audible distortion.
Whatever is happening here, it doesn't sound like an Audyssey issue - so we are going OT, but with the forbearance of the other members, maybe they will cut us a little slack, as this topic is interesting and possibly relevant to some other members too.
Originally Posted by Blackdevil77
Thanks for the response. My pre/pro is an Integra DHC-80.3 and my speakers are Seaton Catalyst 12Cs for LCR, 2 Submersive HP's and Seaton Sparks for surrounds. I KNOW I'm no where near the limits of these speakers. The clip lights remain dark as night at un-godly levels and I usually listen MUCH lower then that. If it is not my ears, the only thing I can think of is the amps can't perform to spec with the amount of current/power they are receiving. I have a dedicated room in the works with 3 dedicated 20 amp circuits just for the sound system. These speakers are currently in a bedroom on the 2nd floor, and the ENTIRE 2nd floor is run on 1(ONE) 15 amp circuit. I have never tripped a breaker with this system, but that's the only system related scenario I can think of.
Not sure of the sensitivities of the speakers since they are powered, but I would assume around 96db or more. I do have an SPL meter and about 90-95 db were the averages of the LOUDEST 2 channel listening I would do. However, I doubt these levels are straining the Seatons. I have had them MUCH louder (about 10db ABOVE reference) and the clip lights still have yet to light.
Anybody have any ideas? As I stated in that thread, MY guess is the system is running out of steam from the single 15amp breaker it's running off of. I'm feeling quite certain the problem isn't with the speakers or amps since they are being used WELL within their limits.