This should be controversial....hearing tests...

How many audiophiles out there have had their ears tested for hearing loss? Even partial loss? I bet the fearless would be surprised by the results. Has anyone tested their hearing with their own rigs to hear tones above 12,000 hz? 15,000 hz? 16,000 hz? I won't even ask about frequencies above 16-17,000 hz since most adults can not hear these high frequencies.

A hearing test will indicated if you have partial loss. This is the most important factor when evaluating systems since the selective hearing which occurs from a loss/drop in certain frequencies will most undoubtedly have an effect on one's ability to perceive neutrality and hence the benchmark from which all components are evaluated...

I.e.... for someone with damage to hearing in the 6-8000 hz. range, sparkle in a tube amp may be too hard or bright to the person with no hearing loss or damage in those frequencies......

Just an aside, hearing loss statistics are quite high for the general population. 10 million americans have suffered from noise induced hearing loss and 30 million americans are exposed to dangerous noise levels everyday. 12 million americans or more have tinnitus.

Does everyone think their hearing is perfect? Has anyone checked?

Just curious.

Pabelson, while I do agree with your point, the only reason I can see it mattering is if you are describing then sonics of a component to others on these forums, I guess, so it can have some relevance in that context.

I myself have lost a bit of high frequency hearing in my left ear from a bout with some infection a few years ago, so I am not bothered by a lack of air that others might hear in my Lamm amps, for example. Howerver, there is a brightness range between 1 and 5Khz that I am sensitive to and do not like.

By the way, when I was at the ear doctor for that infection, the tones did not go beyond 8khz. We did some test tones in the NJ Audio Society at a meeting a few years ago, and while I couldn't hear the 10khz tone, I'm surprised at the number who did.
I know my hearing isn't perfect. I have a moderate hearing impairment which I have discussed with audiologists and medical specialists.

As you say, a sizable proportion of the population have some hearing loss. And by all reports from those with specialised knowledge, the popularity of iPods and other portable digital music devices is going to cause serious problems for many young adults as they grow older.

My response to the thread is what Pabelson stated. I hear what I hear, I enjoy my music, and I choose a system based on what it sounds like to me. Since no system is exactly like live music, it ultimately doesn't really matter. A person with perfect hearing isn't going to be hearing the real thing through their system either. They too are going to choose a compromised system with characteristics that appeals to them.

Just because your hearing is less than perfect doesn't mean that you can't discern superior performance. A number of years ago, J. Gordon Holt wrote an article in Stereophile about the effect his hearing deterioration had on his ability to evaluate components. He explained, with reference to physics and physiology, why he could still do a good job in evaluation of components. Sorry, but I can't remember the details of the article.
no wonder everyone in this noble hobby of ours can't seem to agree on anything................ :}
I have to have my ears tested every year. They turned out to be only 10 carat gold plated. I blame the stereo for causing my hearing loss and I enjoyed every minute of it.