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?




You never state your source.  If it is at all internet/cable provided, perhaps what is happening is on their end (e.g., a bunch of people log off around that time freeing up bandwidth).

@toddalin source primarily is files played back from a local hard drive which is plugged into a SGC i5 (like a NUC), wired into a switch then the switch wired (Ethernet) to a network player/DAC.
I don’t stream much from the internet, just for sampling new stuff.

Also some vinyl playback, but usually not late at night when I’m half in the bag.


👍 Two direct lines… one for amp and one for the remainder of your components. The failure rate of it not providing a significant improvement in sound quality is extremely small. If it happened to you once, then it is unlikely to happen again somewhere else.

Since you don’t have direct lines… that makes the likelihood of the change in sound quality likely to be in your house. Especially since you said something like the change is like a switch thrown. Some automatic function hidden in some large electronic device in your house?

My system sounds better on late Sunday night… has here near Portland Oregon and years ago in Tucson. But it was never an abrupt change.

"Shuts down at 23:00"

Do you have any automatic lights that turn off at this time? Our driveway lights are on a timer as were our front door lights and even a Grunfos high pressure recirculating pump that delivers instantaneous hot water and 11PM is when things shut off before I go to bed. Timers can be noisy as can the equipment connected to them.

I’m racking my brains but I can’t think of anything that happens automatically in the house at or around midnight. We’re pretty low tech. But this isn’t something I’m observing that’s peculiar to this location, I’ve heard it at other places I’ve lived in the past, and there have been a few. Though perhaps not to the same extent as I’ve heard here, particularly last Friday.

I should add that I’m an older specimen and my being up and around after midnight is pretty rare these days.