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Your opinion on bad sound

Discussion in 'Electronic Design' started by [email protected], Dec 1, 2008.

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  1. Guest

    I like to go clubbing. I've noticed that sometimes the sound quality
    is terrible. Distortion like clipping due to using underpowered amps.
    I've also noticed that after a night out at these places I get a bad
    ringing that lasts for weeks, and it's not just my regular tinnitus,
    it's new tones and a weird screeching sound when I listen to everyday
    loud noises.

    It usually subsides after a few weeks. However, when I got to louder
    techno places but with proper sound, I get ringing but it subsides
    after a day or two.

    I'm well aware that hearing doesn't regenerate itself and that any
    extra ringing indicates the loss of more sensitive cells...

    My theory is that the human ear protects itself by tightening the
    eardrum or stiffening the impedance transformer at the entrance of the
    canal. Is it possible that crappy sound with a low average level but
    high peaks of distorsion energy actually let more sound into the ear?

    I think that ultrasonic energy will damage your hearing, much like
    invisible UV radiation will burn your skin. Do clipping amps generate
    a lot of energy that is above 20KHz? I can't bring my equipment into
    these clubs...

    I'd like to start somewhere with this theory... I want clubs and bars
    to have decent sound.
     
  2. James Arthur

    James Arthur Guest

    The clipped, compressed sound may just flat-out have more RMS
    energy. (Hams do that deliberately to boost their transmitters'
    effective power.)

    Your ear does contract a muscle to protect itself against impulse
    damage, but any noise that causes a reduced "threshold of hearing",
    like after flying in a jet, can cause permanent hearing loss. The
    amount varies with the amplitude, frequency, and duration.
    Anything that causes your ears to ring *does* produce irreversible
    hearing loss each time you do it.

    Clipping amps would produce more high harmonics, and yes, higher
    frequencies are more damaging to hearing.

    Best way of improving the sound in clubs is wearing ear plugs.
    Then you can boost the signal (hence signal-to-noise ratio),
    without overloading your ears.

    Cheers,
    James Arthur
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Guest

    also avoid the ultrasonic scalers at the dentist...

    Mark
     
  4. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Cheap amps without anti-clip limiters too no doubt, or the sound guy is
    too dim to engage them.

    I's stop going there. Seriously. It's the impulsive noise of clipping that
    does the damage to hearing, not the music, just as steel hammers of old
    used to which led to stupid noise rules based on averaging meters.

    Still quite a time. Where are these clubs ?

    You're almost on the right track, except that it's called impulsive sound.
    Like a hammer on a piece of iron. And the ear is most sensitive at those
    frequencies.

    Well they will do but the speakers won't recreate much of it.

    It's something I do.

    Graham
     
  5. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Actually, the best way is to have higher power amps and / or more sensitive
    speakers so that clipping is entirely avoided.

    Graham
     
  6. Guest

    I dunno, lots of club tweeters look like giant stacks of piezo horns,
    I'm sure they go out to 30 40 KHz.
    Well then come to Montreal. Lots of work for you, except we can't pay
    you right now.
     
  7. Guest

    Yeah, I just don't know which muscle. I think I have permanently
    damaged my hearing just to be able to dance with married women...
    Fucking sound assholes who don't check their equipment.
     
  8. James Arthur

    James Arthur Guest

    Or both, in combination. But if you're a patron and
    not in charge of the sound system, ear plugs are good.

    The _best_ way to improve the sound is...
    listen to something else!

    (I don't do concerts much, but I was an
    invited guest to one that will go unnamed.
    The speakers overhead were BOTTOMING out,
    banging against their mechanical stops,
    I kid you not. Sound quality was a notch
    below 'train station.')

    Cheers,
    James Arthur
     
  9. Guest

    I suspect that most clubs skimp big time on equipment and knowledge.
    This is an entirely avoidable situation.
     
  10. Guest

    Well, the band Chromeo is a Jew and an Arab working together to make
    some nice 80s style funky music. Their show was great, good sound and
    great opening act.
     
  11. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Another cretinous sound engineer who hasn't heard of a high pass filter.

    Graham
     
  12. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Not in this pub that I have a long association with.
    http://thehorn.co.uk/

    10 mins walk from here.

    Graham
     
  13. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    They are the cheapest crap in the world ! No wonder the sound is bad. The
    owners aren't black by any chance ?

    A continual problem.

    Graham
     
  14. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    See the FTC 'Amplifier Rule' ! 16 C.F.R. Part 432

    TITLE 16 - COMMERCIAL PRACTICES

    CHAPTER I - FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

    SUBCHAPTER D - TRADE REGULATION RULES

    PART 432 - POWER OUTPUT CLAIMS FOR AMPLIFIERS UTILIZED IN HOME
    ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTS

    432.2 - Required disclosures.

    (a) Whenever any direct or indirect representation is made of the power
    output, power band or power frequency response, or distortion
    characteristics of sound power amplification equipment, the following
    disclosure shall be made clearly, conspicuously, and more prominently than
    any other representations or disclosures permitted under this part: The
    manufacturer's rated minimum sine wave continuous average power output, in
    watts, per channel (if the equipment is designed to amplify two or more
    channels simultaneously) at an impedance of 8 ohms, or, if the amplifier is
    not designed for an 8-ohm impedance, at the impedance for which the
    amplifier is primarily designed, measured with all associated channels
    fully driven to rated per channel power. Provided, however, when measuring
    maximum per channel output of self-powered combination speaker systems that
    employ two or more amplifiers dedicated to different portions of the audio
    frequency spectrum, such as those incorporated into combination
    subwoofer-satellite speaker systems, only those channels dedicated to the
    same audio frequency spectrum should be considered associated channels that
    need be fully driven simultaneously to rated per channel power.

    (b) In addition, whenever any direct or indirect representation is made
    of the power output, power band or power frequency response, or distortion
    characteristics of sound power amplification equipment in any product
    brochure or manufacturer specification sheet, the following disclosures
    also shall be made clearly, conspicuously, and more prominently than any
    other representations or disclosures permitted under this part: (1) The
    manufacturer's rated power band or power frequency response, in Hertz (Hz),
    for the rated power output required to be disclosed in paragraph (a) of
    this section; and (2) The manufacturer's rated percentage of maximum total
    harmonic distortion at any power level from 250 mW to the rated power
    output, and its corresponding rated power band or power frequency response.




    TITLE 16 - COMMERCIAL PRACTICES

    CHAPTER I - FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION

    SUBCHAPTER D - TRADE REGULATION RULES

    PART 432 - POWER OUTPUT CLAIMS FOR AMPLIFIERS UTILIZED IN HOME
    ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTS

    432.3 - Standard test conditions.

    For purposes of performing the tests necessary to make the disclosures
    required under 432.2 of this part: (a) The power line voltage shall be 120
    volts AC (230 volts when the equipment is made for foreign sale or use,
    unless a different nameplate rating is permanently affixed to the product
    by the manufacturer in which event the latter figure would control), RMS,
    using a sinusoidal wave containing less than 2 percent total harmonic
    content. In the case of equipment designed for battery operation only,
    tests shall be made with the battery power supply for which the particular
    equipment is designed and such test voltage must be disclosed under the
    required disclosures of 432.2 of this part. If capable of both AC and DC
    battery operation, testing shall be with AC line operation; (b) The AC
    power line frequency for domestic equipment shall be 60 Hz and 50 Hz for
    equipment made for foreign sale or use; (c) The amplifier shall be
    preconditioned by simultaneously operating all channels at one-eighth of
    rated power output for one hour using a sinusoidal wave at a frequency of
    1,000 Hz; provided, however, that for amplifiers utilized as a component in
    a self-powered subwoofer system, the sinusoidal wave used as a
    preconditioning signal may be any frequency within the amplifier's intended
    operating bandwidth that will allow the amplifier to be driven to
    one-eighth of rated power for one hour; (d) The preconditioning and testing
    shall be in still air and an ambient temperature of at least 77 F (25 C);
    (e) Rated power shall be obtainable at all frequencies within the rated
    power band without exceeding the rated maximum percentage of total harmonic
    distortion after input signals at said frequencies have been continuously
    applied at full rated power for not less than five (5) minutes at the
    amplifier's auxiliary input, or if not provided, at the phono input.

    (f) At all times during warm-up and testing, tone loudness-contour and
    other controls shall be preset for the flattest response.
     
  15. HardySpicer

    HardySpicer Guest

    The ringing is ear damage - Tinitus. Bad for your ears and probably
    and caused permanent damage. Clipping causes harmonics which are harsh
    to the ear - in particular 3rd.
     
  16. Bob

    Bob Guest

    Best way of improving the sound in clubs is wearing ear plugs.
    I put half a wax earplug in each ear so that people don't
    notice. I feel self-concious wearing yellow foam earplugs,
    unless I actually want to give the impression that I don't
    like the music.

    I'v been in clubs with a goods sound and some with
    terrible sound. I once paid a stiff entrance fee to
    see Aphex Twin to sit at the front and press play on
    his laptop. I roughly estimate the bass was 40dB above
    the mid and trebble. My favourite track was halfway
    through before I even recognised it.

    Bob
     
  17. z

    z Guest

    i tend to agree with you; the ear can protect itself from high levels
    at low freqs by decoupling the incus and stapes with the stapedius
    muscle. but i also noted that distorted lound sound gives me ringing
    afterwards, whereas undistorted sound which seems louder doesn't; i
    don't have any evidence but i'm guessing that the decoupling is less
    effective on higher freqs. of course this would not be surprising
    evolutionarily; the body tends to be protected against things that our
    ancestors encountered but not things that they didn't; and high power
    high frequency long duration sounds are not something commonly found
    in nature, compared to high power low frequency long duration sounds.
     
  18. Adrian C

    Adrian C Guest

    What was that place doing between 1985-1990. Used to walk by it to catch
    the 341 (or was it 340) to the Poly - never thought about stepping in!

    Mind you St. Albans had a few too many pubs, it's all a bit of a blur...
     
  19. Guest

    Son of a bitch. This was a home-brewed theory to explain these events.
    It's good to hear someone else agreeing.
    These cheap-ass club sound cocksuckers are causing harm to many
    people. How can research this more so I can make a case?
     
  20. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    That was its bad patch. Biker pub.

    I hope it was a nice blur. ;~)

    Graham
     
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