Best ways to upgrade... for free!

My2Cents

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Nov 10, 2023
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I'm going to give away a secret (some of you may already know it)... if you want an instant upgrade to your current system do this:
sit in the sweet spot, cup you ear lobes forward with your hands (you can adjust their positioning and amount of concaveness to suit) and most of all... close your eyes.
Many years ago I thought of developing a set of adjustable clip on 'ear lobe cuppers' but never got around to it (I think I saw a similar idea/product in a hi-fi magazine once). It's basically a form of room treatment, but it's a pain to have to keep holding your hands up and holding your ears lobes forward for an hour or two (or even for 3 minutes)!
However, closing your eyes is easy and increases you ability to hear detail by about 50%. A sleep mask can also be substituted for the closing of the lids and may be more relaxing for some.
 
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Gadusmorhua

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Jan 19, 2024
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I'm going to give away a secret (some of you may already know it)... if you want an instant upgrade to your current system do this:
sit in the sweet spot, cup you ear lobes forward with your hands (you can adjust their positioning and amount of concaveness to suit) and most of all... close your eyes.
Many years ago I thought of developing a set of adjustable clip on 'ear lobe cuppers' but never got around to it (I think I saw a similar idea/product in a hi-fi magazine once). It's basically a form of room treatment, but it's a pain to have to keep holding your hands up and holding your ears lobes forward for an hour or two (or even for 3 minutes)!
However, closing your eyes is easy and increases you ability to hear detail by about 50%. A sleep mask can also be substituted for the closing of the lids and may be more relaxing for some.
I'm lucky, my ears are naturally perpendicular to my skull, so I don't need to cup my lobes, thank you.
 
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My2Cents

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Unlike many animals humans typically can't move their ears.
Perhaps your dog or pet rabbit is benefiting the most from your hi-fi upgrades?

The concept of 'near field' studio monitors is that you sit quite closely to them. Because of this, much of the poor 'room' acoustics affecting the sound is overcome. Just a few bass traps and some rear wall and side wall absorbers can transform a small bedroom into quite a decent listening room.

In a bigger room, wearing ear extenders essentially does the same thing as sitting close to near field monitors. You are able to cut out many of the issues created by the poor acoustics in your compromised listening space.
You will be cutting out a great deal of the reflections coming from the wall behind you and you will be cutting down on some of the rooms side reflections too. It will enhance the quality of the sound in the sweet spot no doubt.
Along with the 'ear extenders', a little 'treatment' in the room will go a long way to improve your sound even further... some evenly placed soft furnishings, a rug or two (if you have wood/laminate floors) and thick curtains on key walls/windows is perhaps all that is required.

Another issue is movement of the speaker cabinets. If you take a picture with a camera at a slow shutter speed the camera shakes slightly and the picture will not be as sharp right?
Same with speakers... if they are moving slightly (especially at higher volume levels as they follow Newtons third law of motion) the sound will be out of focus and blurry. Large 'main' studio monitors are typically built into the walls (sometimes even fixed into concrete) this almost totally prevents the cabinets from moving.
This movement is an issue that affects cheaper floor standers as they are relatively light... yes, they may be level, weigh 18Kg and be standing on spikes but they ARE moving backwards and forwards slightly as the music plays... and guess where they mount the speakers... at the top of the cabinet... which creates a pivotal moment effect.
Even those expensive stands filled with shot/sand are not going to prevent 'stand mounters' from moving at high volume either.
Hi-fi magazines don't dwell on all of this too much as they survive by advertising. Manufacturers just want you to buy a new set of speakers when, in fact, you may never have actually realized the full potential of the ones you already own!
 

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Unlike many animals humans typically can't move their ears.
Perhaps your dog or pet rabbit is benefiting the most from your hi-fi upgrades?

The concept of 'near field' studio monitors is that you sit quite closely to them. Because of this, much of the poor 'room' acoustics affecting the sound is overcome. Just a few bass traps and some rear wall and side wall absorbers can transform a small bedroom into quite a decent listening room.

In a bigger room, wearing ear extenders essentially does the same thing as sitting close to near field monitors. You are able to cut out many of the issues created by the poor acoustics in your compromised listening space.
You will be cutting out a great deal of the reflections coming from the wall behind you and you will be cutting down on some of the rooms side reflections too. It will enhance the quality of the sound in the sweet spot no doubt.
Along with the 'ear extenders', a little 'treatment' in the room will go a long way to improve your sound even further... some evenly placed soft furnishings, a rug or two (if you have wood/laminate floors) and thick curtains on key walls/windows is perhaps all that is required.

Another issue is movement of the speaker cabinets. If you take a picture with a camera at a slow shutter speed the camera shakes slightly and the picture will not be as sharp right?
Same with speakers... if they are moving slightly (especially at higher volume levels as they follow Newtons third law of motion) the sound will be out of focus and blurry. Large 'main' studio monitors are typically built into the walls (sometimes even fixed into concrete) this almost totally prevents the cabinets from moving.
This movement is an issue that affects cheaper floor standers as they are relatively light... yes, they may weigh 18Kg be level and sitting on spikes but they ARE moving backwards and forwards slightly as the music plays... and guess where they mount the speakers... at the top of the cabinet which creates a pivot effect.
Even those expensive stands filled with shot/sand are not going to prevent 'stand mounters' from moving at high volume either.
Hi-fi magazines don't dwell on all of this too much as they survive by advertising. Manufacturers just want you to buy a new set of speakers when, in fact, you may never have actually realized the full potential of the ones you already own!
Therefore get headphones.
Problems solved....
 

Rodolfo

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Jul 31, 2023
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I'm going to give away a secret (some of you may already know it)... if you want an instant upgrade to your current system do this:
sit in the sweet spot, cup you ear lobes forward with your hands (you can adjust their positioning and amount of concaveness to suit) and most of all... close your eyes.
Many years ago I thought of developing a set of adjustable clip on 'ear lobe cuppers' but never got around to it (I think I saw a similar idea/product in a hi-fi magazine once). It's basically a form of room treatment, but it's a pain to have to keep holding your hands up and holding your ears lobes forward for an hour or two (or even for 3 minutes)!
However, closing your eyes is easy and increases you ability to hear detail by about 50%. A sleep mask can also be substituted for the closing of the lids and may be more relaxing for some.
Good one: We do this for some concerts regularly, especially for symphony orchestras, and we've never seen others even trying it.
 

My2Cents

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Nov 10, 2023
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Therefore get headphones.
Problems solved....
Of course, headphones are an alternative to speakers but headphones have their own set of problems too.
I have mild tinnitus, party due to the fact that I used headphones when I was listening to music at home as a teenager.
I'm finding that music played through a good system in a good room is actually more enjoyable than headphones as it's closer to listening to the music in a live situation and the music is all around you... reflected sound, as Amar Bose probably agreed, makes music playback more 'real', hence the Bose 901's.
Most people perceive music to sound better when it is played at a higher volume level, Fletcher Munson/equal loudness experiments have proven this to be true (until the sound becomes too loud/painful to the listener, at which point the sound begins to be unbearable).
This leads most people to listen to music using ear buds/headphones at levels that are quite damaging to one's hearing over time. It simply sounds better at dB levels that are beyond what we should be using with headphones.
A good speaker system in a quiet room can reproduce high quality sound at much lower dB levels and sound more 'real' to the listener.
Of course, a symphony recorded live in a theater using the binaural microphone technique may sound fabulous on headphones... just like sitting there live in the best seat in the house, but most music is not recorded that way.
 
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My2Cents

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Nov 10, 2023
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Some time ago, after experimentation with hearing, MIT published and article in The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
Their conclusion was that hearing is not 'improved' by closing ones eyes. However, our auditory 'attention' increases (alpha power modulation increases in the brain).
That alone could be worth a $1,000 system upgrade, I just saved you some moolah... you're welcome LOL
Certainly as good as new speaker cables?!
Warning: only do this while seated, walking/moving around with ones eyes closed can lead to serious injury or death.
 
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Some time ago, after experimentation with hearing, MIT published and article in The Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.
Their conclusion was that hearing is not 'improved' by closing ones eyes. However, our auditory 'attention' increases (alpha power modulation increases in the brain).
That alone could be worth a $1,000 system upgrade, I just saved you some moolah... you're welcome LOL
Certainly as good as new speaker cables?!
Warning: only do this while seated, walking/moving around with ones eyes closed can lead to serious injury or death.
I always said my system sounded better at night in the dark but not necessarily with eyes closed.
Less external noise to deal with and yes, if you did close your eyes less to contend with.
......and I didn't need a double blind test to tell me otherwise...
 

Witterings

Well-known member
I discovered the ear lobe but by chance a few years ao, the hearing in my left ear isn't great and sitting sideways on a sifa with my feet up and resting my head in my hand found I could hear dialogue on the TV much better.

I've recently done a lot of listening with my eyes shut and can't hear a bloomin thing ....... I normally wake up at 3,0am am still on the sofa freezing cold as the fire's gone out :ROFLMAO:
 

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