Listening fatigue

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I believe the MA speakers need more break in. Most speakers do. However I believe you should stay with the QA speakers with the Rotel amplifier like you have now. It’s just show how important synergy is. It could be changing the Rotel amp to warmer amp can help with the MA speakers but I’d just stay with what you got for the moment. Enjoy the music or you’ll end up in never ending circle.

Speaking of vinyl, surely the vinyl pressings sound warmer then cd pressings. This could be because of differences in mix/mastering. Still cd, streaming should very good in fact. Now I have no vinyl experience but this is my conclusion. Of course other vinyl experts knows this but how come nobody mentioned this before I find strange.

Just saying the speakers aren’t the problem but the source is far fetched if you ask me.

MA speakers are very fast, high frequency speakers, QA aren’t.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I believe the MA speakers need more break in. Most speakers do. However I believe you should stay with the QA speakers with the Rotel amplifier like you have now. It’s just show how important synergy is. It could be changing the Rotel amp to warmer amp can help with the MA speakers but I’d just stay with what you got for the moment. Enjoy the music or you’ll end up in never ending circle.

Speaking of vinyl, surely the vinyl pressings sound warmer then cd pressings. This could be because of differences in mix/mastering. Still cd, streaming should very good in fact. Now I have no vinyl experience but this is my conclusion. Of course other vinyl experts knows this but how come nobody mentioned this before I find strange.

Just saying the speakers aren’t the problem but the source is far fetched if you ask me.

MA speakers are very fast, high frequency speakers, QA aren’t.
Hi,

I tend to agree with you. I don't think there is anything "wrong" with any of these components. It is the synergy between the amp, CD player, speakers, room and me. With every day that passes, I enjoy the QA Concept 40s more with the Rotel. At first I was underwhelmed. The Monitor Silvers 200 provide lots more detail, are fast, airy, spacious, impressive. They combine well with the Rotel amp and the turntable though, partly due to the warmth of the vinyl medium, and partly because of the Goldring E3 cartridge. If I use an Ortofon 2M Red, it is less relaxing. The E3, although a budget cart (£100), has a nice balanced sound, at least to me. The 2M Red is a bit more harsh sounding in the treble.

A weak point in my setup may be the CD player. One reviewer looked at the CD player by itself, hooking it up to an amp he knew well (not the Rotel A11 Tribute) and he said it was pretty bright. The A11 Tribute is not bright, so this may explain why the CDs sound so fatiguing to me on the Silver 200s. Maybe. Sadly, I cannot bypass the onboard DAC, as the amp has no digital inputs. I would have to buy a separate DAC, and then I start a whole other mission to find one that blends nicely with the rest of the setup. I am not really in the mood to do that now. Someone also suggested getting a tube buffer. I am very tempted by this, but again, its more money spent with a uncertain outcome. Using the Concept 40s with the CD has eliminated the fatigue I had with the Silver 200s and the Dali Oberon 5s.

I have run the Silver 200s in a bit too, and the sound does not appear to be changing much. They have had maybe 50 hours. To be honest, they sound more or less the same as they did when I got them. Or I just got used to them. Who knows...

The Concept 40s are not the prettiest or most modern looking speakers. For me, that is the only drawback. The sound very smooth and very easy to listen too. Not warm in my opinion, but even tempered and mild. They are slower and less detailed than the Silver 200s, but for me, that seems to be a good thing. The centre image is fantastic, solid and stable. The finer details off to the sides are not on the same level as the Silver 200s, but still enjoyable. I do, however, tend to find myself analysing the music less and just enjoying it more. This is a definite plus for me. I don't care if the music is "like being there in person" or not...I want the music to sound "good to me", to inspire and move me. The Concept 40s are allowing me to regain that after months of analysing.

I agree with you...after giving my situation some thought, I have decided to stick with my current setup for a while and either put the Silver 200s aside or part with them. I've considered several options for keeping them, or changing my setup, but I think I have reached a point where I just want to enjoy the music.
 
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Ashley9462

Active Member
FootHealer,

I’m in the same boat as you, same room layout but without the chimney. I upgraded my speakers from Dynaudio Evoke 10 to Dynaudio Special 40s, both have been quite forward in the treble in my room, I’m experimenting with different DACs to see if I can Taylor the sound, I have purchased some panels to put behind me and the speakers and they should turn up tomorrow. I also have 2x BK Double Gems Subs at either end of the room running through a DSP, this has helped a lot but doesn’t disguise the harshness/analytical sound. I must say though that I live in a new build which is timbre frame and cardboard walls, I find this sucks the bass from my speakers hence the investment in two subwoofers. I have a Naim Supernait 2, SMSL M400/Topping D70 DACs and Bluesound node 3 with linear power supply. I also am starting to waste money.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
FootHealer,

I’m in the same boat as you, same room layout but without the chimney. I upgraded my speakers from Dynaudio Evoke 10 to Dynaudio Special 40s, both have been quite forward in the treble in my room, I’m experimenting with different DACs to see if I can Taylor the sound, I have purchased some panels to put behind me and the speakers and they should turn up tomorrow. I also have 2x BK Double Gems Subs at either end of the room running through a DSP, this has helped a lot but doesn’t disguise the harshness/analytical sound. I must say though that I live in a new build which is timbre frame and cardboard walls, I find this sucks the bass from my speakers hence the investment in two subwoofers. I have a Naim Supernait 2, SMSL M400/Topping D70 DACs and Bluesound node 3 with linear power supply. I also am starting to waste money.
Hey,

Dude...I feel your frustration! Your setup costs way, way more than mine though, so my small financial losses are probably not that big in the grand scheme of things (pun intended).

For me, I started with a very simple, very inexpensive budget system and was totally content with this: a Denon PMA600ne, Denon DCD800ne, and Monitor Bronze 5 speakers. Then I moved house and had a bit of spare cash, so I decided to upgrade. My hope was that by getting more "lifelike" sound, more accurate, I would somehow enjoy the music more. In the end, it was not what happened. For the past few months, I have not enjoyed my music much at all, only analysing equipment and trying new things, messing with speaker placement, selling basically new items for half the value I spent on them, stressing, feeling frustrated, trying to get the sound of my old system back (had sold it by this point) and wishing I had never sold my old system, since it suited my needs just fine and did not mess with my room or my ears. I think I have lost about £1000 doing this now. I have now reached a point where the desire for better sound has collapsed, and frankly speaking, I simply cannot be bothered any more. Thankfully, I found something that sounds good to me, a slightly better version of my old system, and which doesn't cause listening fatigue. All the other ideas, getting new amps, tubes, DSP, subwoofers, etc...well, I've decided to just let it go. But in hindsight, would I do it again...probably not.

But I have several pieces of HiFi gear that I am not using, including a £1000 pair of speakers. I have decided to sell them all on, to have a big clear out, and stick with my modest little system, to learn to love it for what it is, to be grateful that I have this (in a world where so many people have so little). If I think about it, I am very lucky. Many people are not so fortunate. I am grateful for finding a combination that sounds good to me and that doesn't overwhelm my room or my ears (or wallet). I have already sold several items, and even though I lost a bit of money, I feel it is rather liberating. I look forward to moving the rest of it on and ending this chapter in my love of music.

I hope you can sort out your issues. Best of luck :)
 

Ashley9462

Active Member
I went down the same road, I actually gave up hifi all together 4 years ago as it took over my life, I ended up buying some Wi-Fi speakers and put them around the house, at least you know what to expect from them. I now want a system again but getting everything right is so hard, and as your say the more you spend the harder it gets to integrate everything and then on top of that you expect more from it. Sometime things are best left alone lol
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I went down the same road, I actually gave up hifi all together 4 years ago as it took over my life, I ended up buying some Wi-Fi speakers and put them around the house, at least you know what to expect from them. I now want a system again but getting everything right is so hard, and as your say the more you spend the harder it gets to integrate everything and then on top of that you expect more from it. Sometime things are best left alone lol
It's an expensive thing to get into. If you have money to throw at it, why not. But for me, I am not a rich man, nor even a well-off person, so the cost is prohibitive. I think I have had a fair go at it, and now it is time to settle in and enjoy what I ended up with.
 

DT79

Well-known Member
FootHealer,

I’m in the same boat as you, same room layout but without the chimney. I upgraded my speakers from Dynaudio Evoke 10 to Dynaudio Special 40s, both have been quite forward in the treble in my room, I’m experimenting with different DACs to see if I can Taylor the sound, I have purchased some panels to put behind me and the speakers and they should turn up tomorrow. I also have 2x BK Double Gems Subs at either end of the room running through a DSP, this has helped a lot but doesn’t disguise the harshness/analytical sound. I must say though that I live in a new build which is timbre frame and cardboard walls, I find this sucks the bass from my speakers hence the investment in two subwoofers. I have a Naim Supernait 2, SMSL M400/Topping D70 DACs and Bluesound node 3 with linear power supply. I also am starting to waste money.
I know that there are a few of us on here that are starting to sound like broken records with the same recommendation time and again, but there‘s a good reason for it. If you trade in everything upstream of the speakers for a Lyngdorf 1120 (or s/h 2170 but keep the node) then I’m confident you’ll solve your issues at a stroke. The Room Perfect room correction will address any room issues and if even then you still find it too bright there are a range of DSP ‘voicings’ to tailor the sound to your preference (customisable on the 1120).

The S40s really should not sound overly bright so the issue is either the room or the upstream kit, or both (mainly the former I strongly suspect) - it is possible to solve both issues in one go!

@FootHealer - The only reason I didn’t recommend this to you is because it didn’t sound like you wanted to spend that much cash on the problem (didn’t want you to feel like I was giving better advice to someone else on your own thread :) ).
 

FootHealer

Active Member
@FootHealer - The only reason I didn’t recommend this to you is because it didn’t sound like you wanted to spend that much cash on the problem (didn’t want you to feel like I was giving better advice to someone else on your own thread :) ).

Thank you...I didn't feel you were giving better advice to someone else. You are correct, buying a Lyngdorf is out of the question for me at the moment (have plenty of work to do on the house). I am happy with my current setup (Concept 40s and Rotels) and don't feel the need to make any more changes at this time. Thanks again everyone for your help. It is very much appreciated.
 

dave48

Active Member
I was going to answer the same as @DT79 - after trying everything to address similar kind of issues you @FootHealer describe, I finally got a secondhand Lyngdorf 2170 and by using the voicings managed to fix it (as well as getting a range of other benefits, eg stereo imaging far beyond anything I’d got before).
 

Ashley9462

Active Member
I was going to answer the same as @DT79 - after trying everything to address similar kind of issues you @FootHealer describe, I finally got a secondhand Lyngdorf 2170 and by using the voicings managed to fix it (as well as getting a range of other benefits, eg stereo imaging far beyond anything I’d got before).

Hi Dave, I’ve taken the plunge and bought a 3400 as recommended by many people, I’m going to keep my current set up and try it against the Lyngdorf, I am worried that it will not be better though. I must admit though I’ve noticed a huge improvement today when I inserted some acoustic panels but if the Lyngdorf beats the Naim it will be straight on flea bay.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
I was going to answer the same as @DT79 - after trying everything to address similar kind of issues you @FootHealer describe, I finally got a secondhand Lyngdorf 2170 and by using the voicings managed to fix it (as well as getting a range of other benefits, eg stereo imaging far beyond anything I’d got before).
Well, I guess you get what you pay for ;)
 

DT79

Well-known Member
I am worried that it will not be better though.
You don’t need to worry about that. I had a Supernait (1) a while back and I can tell you that even the 2170 is in another league, so the 3400 will absolutely kill it.
 

DrH

Well-known Member
A bit late to this thread.

I had the concept 20’s in my lounge across the shorter wall like yours but with the TV and unit in between them. They were powered by a Marantz amp. I always found them so easy listen to no matter the volume. Even paying the original RRP I thought they were a bargain. Ok they did not go really low in the bass department but what was there was quality

Moving forward to now they are gone and a sound bar is under the TV.

I have been a stand mount with a sub supporter for many years. Still am, in the last upgrade was to Kef R3 with, soon to be replaced, BKXXLS400 sub. I do find the R3 to be not at all fatiguing, and very detailed, clearer than the MA Gold I auditioned.

It is good to hear that you are enjoying the Concept 40’s
 

FootHealer

Active Member
A bit late to this thread.

I had the concept 20’s in my lounge across the shorter wall like yours but with the TV and unit in between them. They were powered by a Marantz amp. I always found them so easy listen to no matter the volume. Even paying the original RRP I thought they were a bargain. Ok they did not go really low in the bass department but what was there was quality

Moving forward to now they are gone and a sound bar is under the TV.

I have been a stand mount with a sub supporter for many years. Still am, in the last upgrade was to Kef R3 with, soon to be replaced, BKXXLS400 sub. I do find the R3 to be not at all fatiguing, and very detailed, clearer than the MA Gold I auditioned.

It is good to hear that you are enjoying the Concept 40’s
Thank you. Yes, I am enjoying the Concept 40s and 20s both very much. The more I listen to them, the more I feel grateful for the people who designed and made them. They really are brilliant for the price. I spent a bit of time doing an A-B comparison between the Concept 40s and the Silver 200s today. My amp has 2 sets of 4 speaker binding posts with the option to switch between speaker with a quick click of the remote. The difference is slight, but significant. I am keeping the Concepts and have put the Silver 200s in the classifieds here on AVForums, as I don't really have space for 2 systems...and my wife agrees ;) One system in the lounge is enough for her too.
 

willsmusic

Standard Member
If you have the budget experiment with different kit? Don’t be afraid to go for a different sound and see if you like it. 3 months ago I had a class D power amp going into some MA silver 10s….now I have a Willsenton R8 going into some Wharfedale Linton’s. It’s a much more relaxing and addictive sound, with a huge enveloping sound stage making up for any loss of grip, punch and detail…for me anyway. This isn’t a system I ever thought I would end up with, but I don’t think I am going to swap anything out for a long time now.

I have heard the 200s and think they are relatively analytical and it might be you just don’t respond well to metal dome tweeters?

I read someone else a moment ago, commenting on their hi fi journey, and staring one of their most important realisations was obtaining a system they could listen to for hours because it was non fatiguing. I have come to the same conclusion.

I would demo some different speakers first.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
If you have the budget experiment with different kit? Don’t be afraid to go for a different sound and see if you like it. 3 months ago I had a class D power amp going into some MA silver 10s….now I have a Willsenton R8 going into some Wharfedale Linton’s. It’s a much more relaxing and addictive sound, with a huge enveloping sound stage making up for any loss of grip, punch and detail…for me anyway. This isn’t a system I ever thought I would end up with, but I don’t think I am going to swap anything out for a long time now.

I have heard the 200s and think they are relatively analytical and it might be you just don’t respond well to metal dome tweeters?

I read someone else a moment ago, commenting on their hi fi journey, and staring one of their most important realisations was obtaining a system they could listen to for hours because it was non fatiguing. I have come to the same conclusion.

I would demo some different speakers first.
Hi, and thank for your reply. I have already experimented with different speakers, amps, sources, positioning, cables, etc, and found a combination that I enjoy and can listen to without fatigue. I am not looking to improve things any more. My observation is that I easily get addicted to wanting more and more, better and better, leaving me perpetually unsatisfied. This is not because of the thing itself, but how I feel or what I think about it. When I was younger, I loved my music, and had the time of my life with a little boombox and Sony cassette walkman. Until 2 years ago, I still enjoyed my music, but on a little mini system I bought second-hand in a charity shop. Then I somehow got caught up in upgrades. Several systems and a few thousand pounds later, I was unhappy and not even enjoying my music. Chasing a dream of "HiFi happiness", actually had the opposite effect. I even considered throwing it all in a skip and buying a little mini system again, but thankfully I found the Concept 20s and 40s, which made my music sound wonderful. I am sticking with it now. I learned my lesson. If I start tinkering, I will probably end up disatisfied again, tempted to spend more and more money till maybe I get back to the same feeling of being happy. If I make my happiness dependent on having better sounding equipment, then I will spend many years, perhaps the rest of my life swinging between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, as there is always a better system out there, some new upgrade, some rave review. I feel happy when I get a new thing, then unhappy when it doesn't live up to my expectations. But I see now that it isn't the thing that needs changing, but my expectations and value judgements. So, instead of reading reviews endlessly and swapping more and more equipment, I will be grateful for what I have and use it till it stops working properly. Hopefully that will be a long while from now. And when that time comes, my only requirements for new equipment will be, "can I listen to it without fatigue" and "does it sound more or less as good as my last system". Chasing the dream of better is not a good idea for me. My experience has been that it only makes me miserable. Instead I willbe grateful for what I have and let go of any judgements or opinions about the equipment sounds, and just enjoy the music.
 
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Ashley9462

Active Member
Hi, and thank for your reply. I have already experimented with different speakers, amps, sources, positioning, cables, etc, and found a combination that I enjoy and can listen to without fatigue. I am not looking to improve things any more. My observation is that I easily get addicted to wanting more and more, better and better, leaving me perpetually unsatisfied. This is not because of the thing itself, but how I feel or what I think about it. When I was younger, I loved my music, and had the time of my life with a little boombox and Sony cassette walkman. Until 2 years ago, I still enjoyed my music, but on a little mini system I bought second-hand in a charity shop. Then I somehow got caught up in upgrades. Several systems and a few thousand pounds later, I was unhappy and not even enjoying my music. Chasing a dream of "HiFi happiness", actually had the opposite effect. I actually considered throwing it all in a skip and buying a little mini system again, but thankfully I found the Concept 20s and 40s, which made my music sound wonderful again. I am sticking with it now. I learned my lesson. If I start tinkering, I will probably end up disatisfied again, tempted to spend more and more money till maybe I get back to the same feeling of being happy. If I make my happiness dependent on having better sounding equipment, then I will always be unhappy, as there is always a better system out there, some new upgrade, some rave review. So, instead, I will be grateful for what I have and use it till it stops working properly. Hopefully that will be a long while from now. And when that time comes, my only requirements for new equipment will be, "can I listen to it without fatigue" and "does it sound more or less as good as my last system". Chasing the dream of better is not a good idea for me. My experience has been that it only makes me miserable. Instead I willbe grateful for what I have and let go of any judgements or opinions about the equipment sounds, and just enjoy the music.
So well written, this is exactly we’re I want to be.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
@FootHealer

“as I don't really have space for 2 systems...and my wife agrees ;) One system in the lounge is enough for her too.”

👏🏻👏🏻 You accepted defeat valiantly 🤣🤣
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Hifi is a never ending quest. The hifi industry knows this better then anyone. There big money in spikes, cable lifters. Sometimes you need to stop searching and listen to the music not the hifi setup. It we’ll never be perfect, but hey that’s okey.
 

willsmusic

Standard Member
Hi, and thank for your reply. I have already experimented with different speakers, amps, sources, positioning, cables, etc, and found a combination that I enjoy and can listen to without fatigue. I am not looking to improve things any more. My observation is that I easily get addicted to wanting more and more, better and better, leaving me perpetually unsatisfied. This is not because of the thing itself, but how I feel or what I think about it. When I was younger, I loved my music, and had the time of my life with a little boombox and Sony cassette walkman. Until 2 years ago, I still enjoyed my music, but on a little mini system I bought second-hand in a charity shop. Then I somehow got caught up in upgrades. Several systems and a few thousand pounds later, I was unhappy and not even enjoying my music. Chasing a dream of "HiFi happiness", actually had the opposite effect. I even considered throwing it all in a skip and buying a little mini system again, but thankfully I found the Concept 20s and 40s, which made my music sound wonderful. I am sticking with it now. I learned my lesson. If I start tinkering, I will probably end up disatisfied again, tempted to spend more and more money till maybe I get back to the same feeling of being happy. If I make my happiness dependent on having better sounding equipment, then I will spend many years, perhaps the rest of my life swinging between satisfaction and dissatisfaction, as there is always a better system out there, some new upgrade, some rave review. I feel happy when I get a new thing, then unhappy when it doesn't live up to my expectations. But I see now that it isn't the thing that needs changing, but my expectations and value judgements. So, instead of reading reviews endlessly and swapping more and more equipment, I will be grateful for what I have and use it till it stops working properly. Hopefully that will be a long while from now. And when that time comes, my only requirements for new equipment will be, "can I listen to it without fatigue" and "does it sound more or less as good as my last system". Chasing the dream of better is not a good idea for me. My experience has been that it only makes me miserable. Instead I willbe grateful for what I have and let go of any judgements or opinions about the equipment sounds, and just enjoy the music.
I hear you on this.

I received the Willsenton R8 last week. It sounded fabulous day 1, a revelation. Now a week on, it is ‘just’ my amplifier. My ears have adapted to and normalised what I am hearing.

So I agree you can’t keep chasing that moment of revelation in sound. Ultimately learn to love what you have, or you will stop enjoying the music.

I have bought and sold enough boxes over the last few years to figure what I like sound wise and I now have a system I intend to enjoy for the next couple of years.
 

musicphil

Active Member
I hear you on this.

I received the Willsenton R8 last week. It sounded fabulous day 1, a revelation. Now a week on, it is ‘just’ my amplifier. My ears have adapted to and normalised what I am hearing...

Have you tube rolled yet?
EL34 or KT88?
Enjoy your R8 it is very special......
 

musicphil

Active Member
Ken Rad 6sl7. Stock apart from that - KT88 version.
Try 6SN7 Tung sol too and decent EL34 tubes maybe Svetlana c wings great for folk, jazz, acoustic and vocals music.
KT 88 Svetlana Cwings are also very good, especially for rock etc.
 

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