LOUDEST Concert and Tinnitus

This is a two part question.

1. What is the loudest concert (or event) that you have attended?

2. How long have you had tinnitus, is it getting better or worse and how are you dealing with it?

Personally, the loudest concert was UB40 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver. Loudest event was drag racing at SIR (Seattle International Raceway) which was like sticking your head in a jet engine.

Regarding tinnitus. Over the past year or so I have noticed a constant high pitched "sound" in my ears. Mostly the left ear. At this point I don't actually know if it is constant or whether I just forget about it sometimes. I know use a white noise box when I go to sleep. Otherwise I tend to fixate on the ringing.


Deep Purple July 2/71 St Lawrence Market in Toronto. A small shopping mall with about 300 people in attendance. Seating was on the floor, stage was about 2 ft high. I was about 6 rows from the front, dead center. I was lucky I had some kleenex in my pocket, even then it was so loud I felt like I had been physically abused. Rush was another loud band, played at our pub nights in college. Hearing is still OK at 69, I have been wearing hearing attenuators to concerts for years.

I find loudness depends on the venue.  The Joint at Hard Rock Casino In Vegas was wayyy too loud.  I saw Ted Nugent and Alice Cooper there and lost 90% of my hearing for two days.


I find loudness depends on the venue. 


Smaller venues are the worst for me.

They usually have terrible acoustics and often no easy means of finding a quieter position.

Best gig I went to was to see Richard Hawley.

Great sound, loud enough but not silly.

I have spent 60 years learning and studying classical piano, and have been an audiophile since 1975. Currently I own refurbished and modified Apogee Divas, Velodyne sub, Rosinni cd/streamer/dac with clock, a pr of stereo D'Agostino amps, a ARC SP-20 preamp, and a Walker airbearing turntable fitted with a Sumiko MM cartridge. I designed and treated the room for dedicated listening 30 years ago. I am a patron of the Cleveland and Chicago Orchestras, but enjoy almost anything from classical to jazz to folk and techno. I've protected my hearing because I honestly value that sense over even sight! I am passionate about music and it's performance and reproduction. 

On 9/3/22 my musical life abruptly changed permanently in an instant. In retrospect, I was careless inflating an old bicycle tire. At 48 psi the tire blow up, causing a traumatic sudden and nearly complete hearing loss. I did not wear ear protect like I always did when piloting or at the gun range. I treated myself with high dose steroids (I'm an MD), saw the ENT and multiple audiologists. The first time I played the piano 14 days later it destroyed me to hear my Bosedorfer concert grand piano so distorted, out of key or missing notes - I literally cried. 65 dB loss of hearing from 500-5000Hz, with substantial distortion of what I can hear, and tinnitus! It sucks - real bad.

Tinnitus is clearly associated with hearing loss, and it deserves medical evaluation. I auditioned 4 different aides, even the Earlens which has a broader range of frequency amplification. What worked best for me (although still compromised) was Resound aides for voice clarity. I use noise-canceling headphones while practicing piano (still distorted sound). I bought a Roon Nucleus+ for its equalization ability on streaming music. Finally, I traded the tubed SP-20 for a Trinnov Amethyst preamp so I may equalize vinyl and cd's. It's room correction showed a 2 dB emphasis at 20 and 50Hz, but was otherwise flat. It really helps, but it still has limitations. I am learning to listen a different way that is still satisfying, but WITHOUT wearing hearing aides in my lstening room. At a CO concert last week Vikingur Olafsson beautifully interpreted the Ravel Piano Concerto in G. His encore was heavenly - his piano transcription of Bach's 4th Organ Sonata, Andante movement. Music can still bring tears of joy, even with the help of limited aides!! But I wonder what it would have sounded like without my hearing loss. Still, I'm considering what else I can do to improve the timber of voices, violins, piano and choruses at home. Some recordings are better than others, but none are even 6/10's now. Nothing sounds like it did before.

I share this so that I might impress upon even one audiophile to protect your hearing! Avoid excess sound levels - most music has an optimum level to fully appreciate a performance. It might be a loud concert or a bike tire that takes your hearing from you permanently and irreparably. When it happens you might never pray so hard to get it back! Music cannot sound natural with even the best hearing aides, which I might add is the $12k Earlens. One exposure to a loud sound can destroy your hearing, sometimes permanently and suddenly; some persons are genetically predisposed to that traumatic neuro-sensory hearing loss. The movie Sound of Metal should be experienced by anyone valuing their hearing! Do not abuse your ears with loud music and noise.

May your enjoyment of music remain a divine gift! 


The Raveonettes at Mercury Lounge NYC spring 2005???

Small room, low ceiling - band cranked up to 11 or 12!!!  I think they wanted to hurt us.

Ears were ringing for 2 days.

I was a DJ at The Peppermint Lounge way back when BUT we never hand any band play nearly as loud as them. Of course it was a gigantic venue compared to Mercury - but Jeez!!

As far as tinnitus, I notice in the winter ( dryer air?) that I get some background noise almost like tape hiss or test tones that comes and goes.

Luckily nothing that normal listening levels can't override BUT I'm no spring chicken and I have spent many years working in clubs, arenas, recording studios, mixing /editing rooms, etc. I'm surprised how good my hearing still is.

I don't know how long my luck will last....

I use a dB app on my phone now if I doing "critical" listening at home to help monitor the enjoyment