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?




👍 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. 


Alcohol or late night delirium if no one else hears it, too.

One person on multiple nights is a repeated measure from a sample size of one. Not particularly conclusive.

OP, I’m not saying the phenomenon you describe isn’t possible; I’m saying it’s a sort of thing that’s extremely easy for people to assume whether real or not.

There is some evidence out there to suggest even very small (real) changes to the noise floor might be enough to trigger a “different/better/worse” perception from some folks. But add alcohol to that and I stay skeptical at most.

Stupid lucky, I'm going to assume....( ... yeah, I heard that....we all have our moments....)🤨

We've a 'live/work' situation in a small commercial ped traffic, just biz goings' on ....any 'day' music is just 'flow control' for mood....

At night, there's more of a reduction in 'exterior' noise, and any is what I make of it.

Outside, a small city asleep....Inside, as loud as I might....(spouse might sleep thru a nuke strike....lucky her...)

Plenty of available amps.....major hospital .5 mi. away, and reasonably 'quiet'....

HS closer, but effects the water more than power....

20ish dB nights......Space suks more, but a comm bldg. with high ceilings (14') has it's benefits....