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?




May have hit on something yesterday. 😉

Very tired, I was listening to the system, and noted that for a moment I dozed off and when I came back too, the system sounded a bit different..., maybe more articulate.

We know that, within reason, louder sounds better. Perhaps when you doze, you still are hearing the music, but your brain resets the "baseline" so that when you wake, the music now seem louder, and louder seems better.

Maybe you only need to doze for a moment to reset the brain and you are more prone to doze late at night.

Worst "listening night" I can recall recently was the night before Thanksgiving day when every kitchen in the country was cooking all manner of delights and apparently staying up late to get'er done. I couldn’t take it for long and gave up the listening chair. I have dedicated line to my equipment. Most late nights are prime listening. Live on 20 acres in the forested exurbs. I have come to call this particular phenomenon "Thanksgiving hash."

@toddalin Maybe that's part of it (volume). I do know that during longer listening sessions my tolerance and desire for higher volume increases.

I do think this 'midnight effect' exists and I'm resigned to believing it's an external power phenomenon, probably some form of electrical noise. I still don't understand how it can pass through something like a PS Audio P10, which, as I understand it, converts the incoming AC into DC, then regenerates the DC back into a precise AC waveform. I would've thought that acts as a big filter and that line noise would be eliminated. Maybe someone should tag Paul McGowan at PS Audio. 

Assertion of this “effect” disregards the a lack of correlation between two things that are assumed to (1) be real and (2) have a cause-and-effect relationship, while neither has been experimentally demonstrated.

At the same time, nothing to tease it apart from the aforementioned phenomena of how we work, often preferring to gradually increase volume, etc.

Hence that “push-back.” 😉

Doesn’t mean the “effect” is not real, just means it’s, at best, highly suspect.

One thing that hasn’t come up is temporal variation in atmospheric pressure, with resistance purportedly reduced in the wee hours.

Why do birds call most actively in calm dawn air?…


I have studied this occurrence in depth and it is clear the quality of the sound is directly tied to the quality of the whisky.