The Midnight Effect - Who-How?

You have high end equipment designed in a way to make it seemingly impervious to power line fluctuations. You add expensive conditioners and/or power line regenerators just to be safe.

You sit and listen to your system for a few hours and everything sounds great. Then, from nowhere, like someone flicked a switch…. the sound opens up… becomes more natural, more focused… the soundstage suddenly blooms and becomes more dimensional, more depth and more space around instruments. WTF just happened? The only clue is the clock on the wall and the empty wine flagon next to your chair.

I’m long past questioning whether the phenomenon is real. To what extent it exists depends on certain variables, but it exists. But how? I live in the boondocks, there’s no industry or commerce that suddenly shuts down at 23:00 every night. 
Do others experience this? Do you have an explanation? Perhaps even some empirical data?

Is it just the booze?




Whether you reside in an industrial zone or not, power load exhibits a similar time-of-day pattern universally. Particularly, the peaking is most pronounced during the summer months, as we all comprehend.  However, I find myself questioning: Is this truly what happens?


Just a couple things based on some comments above… equipment warm up is not what I’m referring to when I talk about the midnight effect. That’s real, but it’s a different thing altogether. I might start a listening session in the early afternoon, I’ll hear an improvement in sound for the first hour or so but it isn’t like I hear late at night or early in the morning.

The power charts and the whole concept of power line loading is the most obvious explanation, but it falls down when you consider that everything is running from regeneration and power line loading and variances shouldn’t be getting through to the system. 

 The FM radio comment is interesting. I wasn’t aware of that.

 I can also take alcohol out of the equation. While it was a small factor on Friday just gone, I’ve had plenty of long stretches where I’ve been alcohol free, including for two years around a decade ago.

So I’m still unsure. I heard it on Friday/Saturday morning and it was almost like someone had flicked a switch. Or more like someone had suddenly placed extensive acoustic treatments in the room.. the soundstage just opened up in all directions and the sense of presence and of natural tone…. I would pay a lot of money to have whatever it was become a permanent fixture, way more than I paid for the two PS Audio units, whose contribution to the sound is barely noticeable in comparison.

Any more ideas?

My dealer told me that a certain preamp he sells, which I do not own, takes about 5 hours to reach its peak. While my equipment sounds good after an hour, I do find it sounds better after a few hours, regardless of the time of day. I cannot say whether it’s psychological or not, but that is my experience.  So you are not alone. 

Radio stations have to reduce transmitting power at the evening per FCC regulation. 

That is completely false. In fact, broadcasters are required to maintain xmitter output to within 90 to 105 percent of authorized power output at all times.

There are some AM stations that are required to reduce power at night, and of course there are still some "daytimers" on the AM band.