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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello fellow AVS'ers
,


I've had ear fatigue problems ever since I bought my surround system and thought I might bring my problem to you all for a little help/advice.


Basically, whenever I attempt to utilize my system for playback of movies, music, shows, and surround use with videogames, I experience a phenomenon where my right ear begins to feel very fatigued and very shortly thereafter, closes up. I recently (about 2 weeks ago) bought a RadioShack spl meter and recalibrated my speaker levels with it, as I had previously done this by ear. While this helped to achieve a better balance between speaker levels, I am still having the fatigue problem.


Equipment:


Left Front- Infinity Primus 152 Bookshelf


Right Front- Infinity Primus 152 Bookshelf


Center- Infinity Primus PC 250


Left Surround- Infinity Primus 140 Bookshelf


Right Surround- Infinity Primus 140 Bookshelf


Subwoofer- Cheap Sony 10"




Measuring: I used a tape measure and inputted the resulting measurements into the receiver's distance settings.


The measurements are:


Left speaker- 10' (10 feet)


Center speaker- 9.5' (9 1/2 feet)


Right speaker- 10' (10 feet)


Subwoofer- 10' (10 feet)



Left Surround- 4' (4 feet)


Right Surround- 4' (4 feet)



A quick question about measuring:

Should I measure the speaker's distances by measuring to the speakers enclosure, or just to the distance that the speaker is sitting in the room? For example....


Surround speakers mounted on back wall facing forward



...should I measure to the surround's physical enclosure which would be 5.5' (5 1/2 feet), or just over from the seated position, not taking the surrounds height into consideration (this is what I did), which would be 4' (4 feet)?



In the interest of full disclosure, I thought I'd add a few pics of my setup so far (it's pretty much a work in progress so please be gentle
)


Front soundstage from an angle....



Front soundstage (from seated position)....



Subwoofer corner placement....



Side Note: I've been meaning to build speaker stands, so the current "placement" is temporary.....and I also really need to dust my room.



I would appreciate any help you may be able to provide. Thanks
 

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I really don't think its your setup that's doing this. If it were your setup then both ears would do this. This is something you should definitely see and ear specialist on. No joke. You don't want to go deaf in your right ear.


Let me take a wild guess about something too...you're a musician that generally play with your right ear pointing towards your amps? Either that or you have a large car stereo that you listen to with your windows down.
 

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I agree, see a physican who specializes in ear / hearing problems and get checked out soon. The audio system may be just making a hearing problem or ear infection very noticable. The loss of one's hearing is a serious, serious problem....and if not treated early, the resulting loss can be irreversable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey guys, thanks for your responses.


I guess I should have elaborated on/brought up a few things, my bad.



I am a guitar player actually, but I never play loud enough to cause any damage (not in a band or anything), and I usually play sitting down on the edge of my bed next to the amp, so my left ear usually absorbs more of the "attack" (I hope the quality of my guitar playing isn't to blame
).


Also, I haven't noticed any ear fatigue when I attend a showing at one of my local theaters (Warren theaters) or watch a movie/show/play a game at a friends house.


I also calibrated my speaker levels to 75db at a volume setting of 0db (my receiver's volume ranges from -80db to +16db), the highest volume setting I've used to watch a movie with was at -10db which was "Indiana Jones and the Kindom of the Crystal Skull", but I haven't gone that high with anything else. I've played with the delay and level settings and experienced the ear fatigue problem in my left ear as well at one point.


I will probably look into seeing a specialist now (very, very good advice), but could it also be a serious acoustics problem that could be mitigated with room treatments, especially since my room is small?


Thanks for your help, you guys are awesome.
 

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Maybe your ears just doesn't like the characteristics off the sound in your system? I would probably check out the tweeters first. put a cloth or something in front off them and check if your get problems again.


My ears didn't like the tweeter on these 2 big towers I had, I placed some table paper/tissue layered a little in front off them and that was enough to absorb the irritation sound from them without effecting sound all to much. The sound was kinda "To sharp" for my ears, but the tissue was just enough to lower the sharpness off it so I could listen to stuff LOADS longer. My ears got tired when there was nothing in front.


Now I use different speakers and they have different tweeters and don't cause problems at all without any special solutions. Could be something similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi Nighthog,


Thanks for the suggestion, I will definitely try that.




Edit: My receiver is the Yamaha RX-V459, I've had people tell me that both Infinity speakers and Yamaha receivers are bright separately, but a pairing of the two would yield a too harsh, overly bright sound (I'll admit, my system does sound pretty bright), could this just be compounding the issue?
 

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See the specialist. Very good advice. To answer your question about distance, take a measuring tape from your listening position to the center of the cone. It's the complete distance that matters, not just the hor or vert distance. But this should not be causing what's going on. See the specialist.


You said you've done level setting by ear, I assume with and AVR's internal test tones, or similar ones from a test disc, which would be pink noise... does the sound change (other than sheer volume) as it scans each speaker?


We'll look at acoustics later. For now, see the specialist.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by glaufman /forum/post/17040286


You said you've done level setting by ear, I assume with and AVR's internal test tones, or similar ones from a test disc, which would be pink noise...

Hi glaufman, thanks for the reply.


Your advice on the specialist and distance advice is most appreciated.


Regarding setting speaker levels:

I had originally done it by ear up until a few weeks ago (I've had this system for almost two years now). I recently bought a Radioshack spl meter and re-calibrated all speakers to 75db with my receiver's volume set to 0db (my receiver's volume ranges from -80db up to +16db) , using my receiver's internal pink noise test tones.

Quote:
does the sound change (other than sheer volume) as it scans each speaker?

I have noticed the timber of my speakers changes as I switch the pink noise generated from the front left speaker, to the center speaker, and finally to the front right speaker...the timber goes from brighter, to darker. The front left speaker has always seemed to stand out a little more than the front right.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by goku14139268520 /forum/post/17040491


Hi glaufman, thanks for the reply.


Your advice on the specialist ... is most appreciated.

In fairness, it wasn't my advice, I was just reinforcing what others have correctly said...
Quote:
I have noticed the timber of my speakers changes as I switch the pink noise generated from the front left speaker, to the center speaker, and finally to the front right speaker...the timber goes from brighter, to darker. The front left speaker has always seemed to stand out a little more than the front right.

See a specialist... do you have another set of speakers you could hook up to see if they do the same thing? Or, play the pink noise through just the center, and turn your head right and left, do you hear the same timbre change? see a specialist...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by glaufman /forum/post/17040859


Or, play the pink noise through just the center, and turn your head right and left, do you hear the same timbre change?

Yeah, I can hear a slight difference in timber, the center sounds slightly brighter to my left ear.


Thanks for your help everyone, I will look into seeing a specialist. *Facepalm* "Aww man, I'm goin' deaf" *Sigh*
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by goku14139268520 /forum/post/17046740


Yeah, I can hear a slight difference in timber, the center sounds slightly brighter to my left ear.


Thanks for your help everyone, I will look into seeing a specialist. *Facepalm* "Aww man, I'm goin' deaf" *Sigh*

Well, if it's only a slight difference, I wouldn't panic just yet. But I would make an appointment, just to be sure. Let us know what happens.


If you don't have another ste of speakers to try, try swapping lefts and rights...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by glaufman /forum/post/17048122


Well, if it's only a slight difference, I wouldn't panic just yet. But I would make an appointment, just to be sure. Let us know what happens.


If you don't have another ste of speakers to try, try swapping lefts and rights...

Hi glaufman, thanks for your reply.


I do have a set of Panasonic bookshelves I was using in a basic stereo setup before I bought my current Infinity speakers that I could try. I never noticed any timber changes between those but I had my room layout (speakers, tv, seating, etc.) shifted to the left by about 1 1/2' - 2' or so. Once I bought my surround setup, I "centered" the room for symmetry. It was around this time that I started noticing a little bit of "ear pressure". It almost seems as though the "pressure" has gotten slightly worse after my recent re-calibration, but I could be imagining that. Anyway, as has been stated, a specialist is the call now...I'll look into an making an appointment. *Crosses fingers, while hoping things aren't as bad they could be*
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by goku14139268520 /forum/post/17039141


Hi Nighthog,


Thanks for the suggestion, I will definitely try that.




Edit: My receiver is the Yamaha RX-V459, I've had people tell me that both Infinity speakers and Yamaha receivers are bright separately, but a pairing of the two would yield a too harsh, overly bright sound (I'll admit, my system does sound pretty bright), could this just be compounding the issue?

As to the brightness of your receiver, BS. As to the sq of your speakers, spot on. While some may love Infinity Primus I find them to be horrible speakers. Mid range is simply terrible. If your speakers sound bright to you then, yes, they are compounding the problem. But I agree that the problem is with you ear not your system. Although I'd get rid of those Primus speakers
 

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I've always had ear problems when flying (right ear won't "pop"/pressurize) and I had bought a Def Tech speaker system (they don't make the model anymore). When listening to that system, my ears felt tlike they do when I'm flying; they would feel plugged up. My room acoustics aren't that good, bathroom was located behind the tv and acted like a bass chamber; large windows behind the couch. But I replaced the speakers with a Mission setup and had no problems. Don't know if it was the powered subwooferes in the Def Techs or the types of tweeters, but there was a definite difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimB /forum/post/17071607


I see headphones in a picture ... does this happen when using those?

Hi TimB,

No it doesn't. I can crank the volume while using the headphones and not experience any "ear pressure" (though I don't "blast" while wearing headphones).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Tomaskovic /forum/post/17053749


I've always had ear problems when flying (right ear won't "pop"/pressurize) and I had bought a Def Tech speaker system (they don't make the model anymore). When listening to that system, my ears felt tlike they do when I'm flying; they would feel plugged up. My room acoustics aren't that good, bathroom was located behind the tv and acted like a bass chamber; large windows behind the couch. But I replaced the speakers with a Mission setup and had no problems. Don't know if it was the powered subwooferes in the Def Techs or the types of tweeters, but there was a definite difference.

Hi Phil,

That's the feeling I get. After a short period of listening, my ear just sorta' closes/plugs up.
 
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