Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky
Late last night with the Phonak HAs I was listening to "Chillin" (Carmell Jones/Joe Pass) (High Definition Tape Transfers) and "4 Wheel Drive" (Nils Landgren/Michael Wollney/Lars Danielsson/Wolfgang Haffner) (ACT Music). Although everything sounded great naked (that is, no HAs), sonics were better with the HAs. Treble, cymbals, fullness simply seemed a bit more real with the HAs. Dynamics weren't lost one iota, and there is some really good dynamic drumming. The Spyro Gyro concert the other night I pretty much preferred no HAs overall, but in my theater the HAs were nice last night! I'll continue demoing the HAs and I can see there are times I do not prefer them and times that I do!
Tonight Christian McBride Big Band Concert at Mesa Arts Center. My impression was similar to last week's Spyro Gyro concert, preferred going "naked" without HAs, only one one song did I seem to hear highs that I missed without the HAs on.
Tonight. listening to Art Pepper "Gettin Together" and Chet Baker & Art Pepper "Playboys" (High Definition Tape Transfers). With my Trinnov Altitude 32 SSP ROON Ready via ethernet playing in Auro-3D at a nice level approximating live (as best one can without blowing out tweeters. HA!) I've gotta say that the HAs offer no benefit. Sound is maybe a tad different HAs vs "naked" in the HAs tend to "enclose" one in a bit like headphones, whereas "naked" is simply somewhat more open, at least that's how I perceive it in general. Keep in mind that although the HAs v "naked" have an approximate matched level, when you deal with EQ there is no perfect matching, and one might prefer how one sounds over the other at a given system volume and if one varies the volume that preference might disappear.
I just put on "Chillin" again. "Somewhere Over The Rainbow". Interesting. I am hearing the cymbal metal that last Nov (prior to my appendix rupture and IV antibiotics course) that I could only hear using the HAs. Now, I am perceiving on this song no difference tonality, I am heaing the cymbals "naked" without HAs in fully glory. But it does sound different with the HAs vs "naked". It is like being more enclosed, with soundstage less wide and instruments more on top of each other. Definitely no longer prefer the HAs on this jazz. I think its taken me time for my ear - brain to understand what I am hearing and what sounds better or more "normal"?
On the other hand, playing "So What?" a Miles Davis tune from Yuko Mabuchi Plays Miles Davis, the highs and cymbal metal seem more pronounced and clear with the HAs, but now I'm thinkin' that the spacing of the sounds that I'm hearing with the HAs engaged is simply more "together" and "enclosed" and thus the higher sounds seem to get more emphasis - whether one likes one or the other better may simply be subjective preference.
My subjective impression is Yuko's piano seems a bit lighter compared to the highs with HAs on - so I just raised the volume a tad and listened without HAs and presto, I seem to have the benefit of the "naked" spacing with "clearer" highs!
My HA evaluation continues for at least the next week including a few concerts.