The Absurdity of it All

50-60-70 year old ears stating with certainty that what they hear is proof positive of the efficacy of analog, uber-cables, your favorite latest and greatest audio "advancement." How many rock concerts under the bridge? Did we ever wear ear protection with our chain saws? Believe what you will, but hearing degrades with age and use and abuse. To pontificate authority while relying on damaged goods is akin to the 65 year old golfer believing his new $300 putter is going to improve his game. And his game MAY get better, but it is the belief that matters. Everything matters, but the brain matters the most.
   I’m a 64 year old road cyclist and my $2K Zipp carbon wheels shod with Michelin GP 5000’s II’s gave me a noticeable improvement  .    My $400 Loomis GLX rods gave me a noticeable improvement over my IMX rods . And 80 mg sildenafil gave me a noticeable improvement, in my depth of soundstage .  Am I Pontificating ? No , the facts Man, just the Facts. BTW my first big concert was Rory Gallagher , Fleetwood Mac , and Deep Purple . 
"And 80 mg sildenafil gave me a noticeable improvement..."

Easier breathing?
To quote Japanese wisdom:

If dancing makes us foolish, does watching make us wise?  Since we are all both wise and foolish... What a pity not to dance!

Love the hobby! Love the music!
It's a dance between the rational and irrational... to give me a smile.

I started building gear around 60+ years ago, built PA systems for pro use before they became commonly available... Electrovoice LR7's were thought to be a reasonable set up... Then came the VOX Churchill and the Super Beatle amps... Lots of stories there...

I worked in the pro and home audio profession for years... paid my way through school, owned my own custom installation business...  Played in various musical groups from marching bands to Rock and Reggae...  I used hearing protection on and off when needed, still do, ear plugs almost always in my pocket... and yes my hearing has taken a beating, no question about it.  

Do I love this hobby?  YES!  Do I still love music? YES!  
Do I still upgrade my system with various tubes and tweaks?  YES!  

Are there various remedies and tweaks to preserve and improve my hearing? YES!  I just happen to need them more now than ever before.
Do Keep a smile on...

Me thinks Life is too short for much other than learning gratitude.
Sure everything wears with age. Genetics come into play how resilient ones ears compared to anothers the same age. Usually high frequency is lost unless you have been too close to a sub woofer too often.  Just build speakers to suit your ears or buy some that compensate for what you lack. Good headphones may be the answer.
“@kevn  - I have a couple of tracks I listen to for mids....” - perkri

Thanks so much for your reply, perkri : ) 

miijostyn, I didn’t actually describe anything, but was just asking perkri for a few more tracks he uses for his critical listening moments to determine for himself when he detects change and difference in sound quality - his reference to sibilance by way of recordings of Nina Simone was simply my way in to inquire further about other specific tracks of specific singers, you see.

However, you have raised an interesting issue for me, for which I am grateful. Of course I understand the difference between natural sibilance, recording sibilance, and sibilance due to distortion from volume control or equipment. I believe it was the very point that perkri was making in his reference to Nina Simone’s voice and the recorded voicing of it. It is these very nuances that help me understand how to listen better, and to know if what i am hearing is imagined or real, and detailed or distorted. But the more important issue of interest to me was your mention of timbre. I believe that everything that we are in dispute over regarding sound differences and the abilities of the ageing human ear to pick up nuance, has to do with our abilities to distinguish timbre. While it is considerably more obvious when played back sound is artificially sibilant, it is a lot more subtle if the sound being heard has more ‘air’ around it, more lifelike, and more right there. The lightness and ‘weight’ in the flux of the tiniest vibrations and variations in timbre is what determines the subtlest differences and improvements we hear; pure tonal frequencies, brand of speaker, cost of power cable, and indeed, almost surely even type of speaker, be damned. All that minute information can come by way of wholesale or part change of equipment, and by extension, the smallest changes of tweaks, in room and all else that connects the signal path. And as the sensitive instrument the entire human body is, I do not believe it is only the eardrum that collects this infinite amount of timbral information. Are there some aspects of sound that cannot be measured definitely, but can be experienced? I am not able to say one way or another. But I do know my ears, body, and mind are still good enough to learn how to understand listening better ; )

In friendship - kevin

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