Listening fatigue

FootHealer

Active Member
@FootHealer - How did you get on with selling your excess kit ?
Hey man...how's it going?

I sold the Monitor Audio Silver 200s here on AVForums. The buyer seems happy with them (paired with an Audiolabs 6000a). I sold a few other bits and bobs, including a pair of Monitor Bronze 5s and 1s, and my old Cambridge Audio SR20 and CD10, but these went on the big auction site whose name shall not be mentioned ;) I didn't sell the Project Debut Carbon Recordmaster HiRes turntable...decided to keep it on my upstairs (second) system. Now have my Rotel system with the Concept 40s downstairs and the NAD and Concept 20s upstairs. Am still enjoying them very much, but miss that Monitor Audio detail a little bit, despite the fatigue after about 5 songs. But, in the end, I'd rather listen for longer, and the Concept 40s and 20s are sooooo smooth.

I recently bought a slightly used NAD D3045 as a replacement for the D3020v2. It was definitely a good choice...I only wish I had bought it in the first place. It has twice the power and a little less warm (more detailed) and you can really tell. The Concept 20s really pack a punch now...it almost makes me wonder if I really need a subwoofer. The D3045 has a high and low pass filter, so its ideal for setting up a subwoofer with the Concept 20s. I'm looking into options for a sub. I'm considering using the D3020v2 on an office PC setup, or I may sell it on. Haven't decided yet. I still feel the D3020v2 is a slightly more entertaining listen, but at 30w with a 60w max, it might not be getting the most out of a the Concept 20s. Am considering trying a pair of Klipsch bookshelves...never tried them before. Might be a laugh :)

Thanks for getting in touch. I hope you are well.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Morning - yeah funny enough I was reading the speakers forum first thing and read of a happy punter and his recently acquired from AVF, MA 200’s Assumed rightly they were yours.

Sounds like you have a couple of great little systems now to concentrate on your music !

A 2nd systems always on my mind and those QA Concept 20’s are an absolute steal at the moment ! How would you reckon they compare with the MA Silver 50’s which are also heavily reduced albeit more expensive ?
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Morning - yeah funny enough I was reading the speakers forum first thing and read of a happy punter and his recently acquired from AVF, MA 200’s Assumed rightly they were yours.

Sounds like you have a couple of great little systems now to concentrate on your music !

A 2nd systems always on my mind and those QA Concept 20’s are an absolute steal at the moment ! How would you reckon they compare with the MA Silver 50’s which are also heavily reduced albeit more expensive ?
Hi,

Yeah, those were my Monitor 200s. The buyer came to collect them in person...nice, friendly bloke. After a quick demo, he was happy to wrap them up and head back. I kind of miss them, but am happy with the Concept 40s.

To me, the Monitors are more detailed and crisp, while the Concepts are smoother and easier to listen to. When I listen to the Monitors, sounds like the crash of a symbal have a more realistic metalic sound and more sparkle. In one song I enjoy, you can clearly hear the sound of the electric guitar being played both through the pedals and amp, but faintly you can also hear the strings metallic tinging sound and the sound of the plastic plectrum, as if the guitar was being played without an amp. It was quite surreal, as I had never heard that before. While on the Concepts the same symbal is a little, well, rounded off, and the guitar sound is mostly what can be heard through the amp. For me, the extra detail was enjoyable but fatiguing...I found it lends itself well to "analysing the music", thinking about where the sounds are and how realistic they are. The Concepts are detailed, don't get me wrong, but the soundstage is just a touch softer around the edges. Its really subtle, hence my difficulty in describing them. Hope that made some sense?

One thing I noticed about the Concepts is that they like more power than their "recommended amp rating" suggests. I was running the Concept 20s on a 30w amp. With a 60w amp from the same manufacturer and series, the bass suddenly slams a lot more, despite only going down to 60Hz. The Concept 40s are the same...the bass extension is similar to the Monitor 200s, even slightly above it, but it has more weight. I feel the Monitors may have more extension, but less bass weight. Overall, the Monitors seem "light, airy, and detailed", while the Concepts are "smooth and punchy".
 
Last edited:

FootHealer

Active Member
PS. I would add that it seems Monitor speakers benefit from a warmish amp, like NAD or Marantz, while the Concepts are happy with anything I have put them on.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
The NAD is an option for a 2nd system amp, shelf length is limited whereas the NAD would give me more speaker choices
 

FootHealer

Active Member
The NAD is an option for a 2nd system amp, shelf length is limited whereas the NAD would give me more speaker choices
I highly recommend both the NAD D3020v2 and the NAD D3045. The D3045 is about double the size, but also double the power. The D3020v2 is a little warmer and easier to listen to. Don't pair it with warm speakers, or you may fall asleep. It works nicely with the Concept 20s, as they are easy to drive and not warm, more neutral and smooth. I'm still contemplating putting my D3020v2 on the AVF classifieds. It just a really nice little amp and I keep thinking of ways to use it in my house...but do I really need 3 systems? Even my wife likes it (the looks and that it has Bluetooth for her phone) ;)
 

gasolin

Member
One other thing that just came to mind is the vertical off-axis response of the speaker. I don't know what this is (may check to see if there are measurements). Generally, the tweeter is a few inches below my ears when I am listening. The only way to get the tweeter level with my ears is to slouch back on the chair or sit on a cushion on the floor. On my upstairs system, the tweeter is exactly level with my ears. Could this be significant enough to cause issues? I could experiment with raising the speakers or sitting so my ears are level and see if this helps.

EDIT: Stereophile did measurements of the Silver 300 and its vertical off-axis response was maintained within a 10 degree range. So, this may not be the issue.


 

gasolin

Member
Another development: out of curiosity, morbid or otherwise, I decided to put everything in the lounge back as it was (except for the acoustic panel) and to replace the Silver 200s with the Q Acoustics Concept 20s I use upstairs. While there is a significant reduction in bass, and perhaps in imaging, dynamics and separation, the listening fatigue is completely gone. Like 100% completely. I just did a 1 hour session and could have carried on for longer, whereas before I was lucky to get to 15-20 minutes.

I am now at an impasse...if the Rotel A11 Tribute and the Monitor Silver 200s are a poor combination, then which should I replace. Sadly, I can return neither. I did consider putting the Rotels upstairs with the Q Acoustics Concept 20s, but on second thought, this wouldn't work for me.

Consisdered buying the Q Acoustics Concept 30 (new) or the concept 40 ?
 

gasolin

Member
I would say a sub would be worth auditioning is there any hifi shops near you who will loan you one. I got myself a rel t5i and it works great.

Often you need 2 subs to get the best bass and that could be expensive
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Didn’t you get new speakers recently?
Yeah...I have since tried the 3030i. They are a keeper and I use them on a system upstairs with a matching turntable and an NAD D3045. Like the Concepts, they are easy to listen to with just enough sparkle to make them interesting and some pretty hard hitting bass. They are not as refined and "audiophile" as the Concept 20s, but they sure are fun.

I also recently got a pair of Polk S15e speakers at a price I couldn't refuse (new at 75% off the RRP). I've never heard any speakers by this company before, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. They are based on an older American version (S15), but the "e" version has been tuned by Karl Heinz Fink for European tastes. They are actually pretty good...they were given a good review here on AVForums and even got "Speaker of the Year under £1000" back in 2019. I was reluctant after reading the review of the S15 on Audio Science Review, as it was bright. The S15e has clearly been tamed for the EU market, but still have a slight scoop in the mids. I wouldn't say the highs are boosted, only elevated relative to the slightly dipped mids. The bass is surprising and doesn't bloat or get muddy even in cramped conditions. I tend to listen to a lot of singer-songwriter, which these speakers don't replay as well as the QA speakers I have. They are great for EDM though. Probably metal too, which I don't tend to listen to. They don't aim for realistic reproduction...instruments and voices sound a little, well, not lifelike...but it is a fun speaker and would be great for most people for casual listening.
 

gasolin

Member
Hi...you are quite correct. I have considered getting a tube amp, and am looking at my options. Sadly, they tend to be quite pricey and since I have zero experience with tubes, I have put this off for fear of wasting large sums of money, which, ironically, I did anyway.

I did realise that the speakers were not necessarily the issue, because with a modest vinyl setup, I can listen happily without fatigue. Sadly, as a person who was a teenager in the 90s, most of my favourite music is not on vinyl, but on CD. I guess I have been trying to find a way to make my CDs sound more like vinyl (without the pops and static, of course). The Silver 200s provide the detail I enjoy and with analogue music, sound great. No fatigue. But with the digital sources, both CD and streaming, I think it is just too much detail. I considered my options, changing speakers or changing electronics, and perhaps mistakenly I latched on to the idea speakers were the issue. Sure, the Concept 40s and the Rotel being me closer to that vinyl sound when playing CDs, but with a slight loss of additional detail given by the Silver 200s. For example, last night I was listening to a track on CD on which the Silvers allowed me to clearly hear the sound of the electric guitar throught the pedals and amp, but also the actual sound of the strings vibrating, even the sound of the plectrum. On the Concept 40s, its still there, but only just, easily missed or lost in the overall woosh of the music. The tradeoff however was that I could listen for longer and with more ease. Finding that illusive "sweet spot" may be further, or closer, than I imagine, but as it stands I feel it may be better to accept a little less detail in exchange for a more relaxing listen. I've been toying with ideas about what to do with the Silvers, other than to sell them, but might as well keep and swap them back and forth with the Concepts depending on my tastes.

Yamaha CD-S300 To make it short i wanted to link to a different review but couldn't find it, the cdplayer (theres a new 303 that replaces the 300) is one of the few with no digital harsness what so ever, might look (listen) into that

 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Yeah...I have since tried the 3030i. They are a keeper and I use them on a system upstairs with a matching turntable and an NAD D3045. Like the Concepts, they are easy to listen to with just enough sparkle to make them interesting and some pretty hard hitting bass. They are not as refined and "audiophile" as the Concept 20s, but they sure are fun.

I also recently got a pair of Polk S15e speakers at a price I couldn't refuse (new at 75% off the RRP). I've never heard any speakers by this company before, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. They are based on an older American version (S15), but the "e" version has been tuned by Karl Heinz Fink for European tastes. They are actually pretty good...they were given a good review here on AVForums and even got "Speaker of the Year under £1000" back in 2019. I was reluctant after reading the review of the S15 on Audio Science Review, as it was bright. The S15e has clearly been tamed for the EU market, but still have a slight scoop in the mids. I wouldn't say the highs are boosted, only elevated relative to the slightly dipped mids. The bass is surprising and doesn't bloat or get muddy even in cramped conditions. I tend to listen to a lot of singer-songwriter, which these speakers don't replay as well as the QA speakers I have. They are great for EDM though. Probably metal too, which I don't tend to listen to. They don't aim for realistic reproduction...instruments and voices sound a little, well, not lifelike...but it is a fun speaker and would be great for most people for casual listening.
I didn’t mean you. Misunderstanding. I meant @gasolin. Though, why is he upgrading to floor standing speakers. He is writing in codes all the time😀
 

gasolin

Member
Hi,

Yeah, those were my Monitor 200s. The buyer came to collect them in person...nice, friendly bloke. After a quick demo, he was happy to wrap them up and head back. I kind of miss them, but am happy with the Concept 40s.

To me, the Monitors are more detailed and crisp, while the Concepts are smoother and easier to listen to. When I listen to the Monitors, sounds like the crash of a symbal have a more realistic metalic sound and more sparkle. In one song I enjoy, you can clearly hear the sound of the electric guitar being played both through the pedals and amp, but faintly you can also hear the strings metallic tinging sound and the sound of the plastic plectrum, as if the guitar was being played without an amp. It was quite surreal, as I had never heard that before. While on the Concepts the same symbal is a little, well, rounded off, and the guitar sound is mostly what can be heard through the amp. For me, the extra detail was enjoyable but fatiguing...I found it lends itself well to "analysing the music", thinking about where the sounds are and how realistic they are. The Concepts are detailed, don't get me wrong, but the soundstage is just a touch softer around the edges. Its really subtle, hence my difficulty in describing them. Hope that made some sense?

One thing I noticed about the Concepts is that they like more power than their "recommended amp rating" suggests. I was running the Concept 20s on a 30w amp. With a 60w amp from the same manufacturer and series, the bass suddenly slams a lot more, despite only going down to 60Hz. The Concept 40s are the same...the bass extension is similar to the Monitor 200s, even slightly above it, but it has more weight. I feel the Monitors may have more extension, but less bass weight. Overall, the Monitors seem "light, airy, and detailed", while the Concepts are "smooth and punchy".

It's about finding something that is detailed but not extreme analytic a little detailed and also a musically sounding system where you don't miss any details and want to listen to music
 

gasolin

Member
Hi... Yes, I bought a pair of Concept 40s and it totally sorted out my issues with listening fatigue.

Don't spaam, im only now at the last page
 

gasolin

Member
Yeah...I have since tried the 3030i. They are a keeper and I use them on a system upstairs with a matching turntable and an NAD D3045. Like the Concepts, they are easy to listen to with just enough sparkle to make them interesting and some pretty hard hitting bass. They are not as refined and "audiophile" as the Concept 20s, but they sure are fun.

I also recently got a pair of Polk S15e speakers at a price I couldn't refuse (new at 75% off the RRP). I've never heard any speakers by this company before, but I must say I was pleasantly surprised. They are based on an older American version (S15), but the "e" version has been tuned by Karl Heinz Fink for European tastes. They are actually pretty good...they were given a good review here on AVForums and even got "Speaker of the Year under £1000" back in 2019. I was reluctant after reading the review of the S15 on Audio Science Review, as it was bright. The S15e has clearly been tamed for the EU market, but still have a slight scoop in the mids. I wouldn't say the highs are boosted, only elevated relative to the slightly dipped mids. The bass is surprising and doesn't bloat or get muddy even in cramped conditions. I tend to listen to a lot of singer-songwriter, which these speakers don't replay as well as the QA speakers I have. They are great for EDM though. Probably metal too, which I don't tend to listen to. They don't aim for realistic reproduction...instruments and voices sound a little, well, not lifelike...but it is a fun speaker and would be great for most people for casual listening.

To me q acoustics 3000i are ever so slightly soft in the upper midrange,lower tweeter

If you like a wamer sound with no agressive highs, to me the dali spaktor 1 are really good except the have alot of warmth and the bbc dip
 

gasolin

Member
I didn’t mean you. Misunderstanding. I meant @gasolin. Though, why is he upgrading to floor standing speakers. He is writing in codes all the time😀

ME ?

I never in 11 years had floorstand speakers and never gonna buy a pair unless im rich and move to a bigger house.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
ME ?

I never in 11 years had floorstand speakers and never gonna buy a pair unless im rich and move to a bigger house.
Misunderstanding. I thought it was your tread I was watching. How’s the active speakers treating you?

Are they better then the passive (KEF) speakers?
 

FootHealer

Active Member
ME ?

I never in 11 years had floorstand speakers and never gonna buy a pair unless im rich and move to a bigger house.
You don't need to be rich or have a huge house to have floorstanding speakers. The Concept 40s cost me £700 and I live in a modest, and typically small, UK size house and am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. While it can be argued, even using scientific evidence, that there is an ideal sound for a speaker, I think it is similar to arguing that there is an ideal taste for a meal. After a few years and dozens of different speakers, I am learning more about the kind of sound I enjoy and even how my brain works. I find speakers that are revealing to be fatiguing. This doesn't mean bright. The Monitor Audio Silver 200s were not bright, forward or harsh in any way...but they were very detailed. I have very sensitive, uh, senses, and when it comes to hearing, I actually prefer a little less detail. The same way I like Japanese food for its simplicity and use of only a few flavours that just work well. I don't like Indian food...its just too much flavour. The Concept 20s and 40s are not as detailed as the MA Silvers, KEF Ls50s, or many other speakers, but what they do have is smoothness, softness, easy to listen sound with great vocals and enough detail to satisfy me. Picking the right electronics is also important, and I find NAD and Rotel to be good fits for me. Again, I've tried many other brands, Denon, Cambridge, Technics, Yamaha, Onkyo, Marantz...but NAD and Rotel have it for me. I am not saying the speakers or electronics are the best. They just work for me. I put on my music, no fatigue after 10 minutes, foot tapping away, having a great time. That is all I am and was ever after. Not some ephemeral "ideal". Just my view. Thanks for your input. Take care.
 

gasolin

Member
They don't have the sparkle in the upper midrange,lower tweeter, lots of bass if the recording has it, it's a little bright if the recording is bright, they go loud, very low hiss,white noise, amoungst the best under 1000 euros mabye the best for under 500 euros.

Acoustic space on b highs on -2db (3khz and up), i wonder why some might use them on 0db, there are clear in the highs if the recording allows them to be that but for modern edm on twitch 0db could be to much unless you like it that way, are somewhat older and hard of hearing in the higher frequencys

I just wish i could leave them on 24/7 and that they would turn off aut

The 5's are really good, the 6's has more sound, wouldn't be able to afford genelec with 6-7" woofer if i wanted to upgrade and for shure not the versions with dsp.


If the next gen MR624 would be noticeable better i would buy a pair

For non fatigue listning you also want the system to have so much power you don't push it to it's limit, where the sound change, most speakers don't sound good close to there spl limit as well as having an amp playing almost as loud as it can with dynamic peaks sounding ever so slightly distorted, you want it to sound clean or else dynamic music can be fatiguing because of distortion, agressiveness
 

gasolin

Member
You don't need to be rich or have a huge house to have floorstanding speakers. The Concept 40s cost me £700 and I live in a modest, and typically small, UK size house and am not rich by any stretch of the imagination. While it can be argued, even using scientific evidence, that there is an ideal sound for a speaker, I think it is similar to arguing that there is an ideal taste for a meal. After a few years and dozens of different speakers, I am learning more about the kind of sound I enjoy and even how my brain works. I find speakers that are revealing to be fatiguing. This doesn't mean bright. The Monitor Audio Silver 200s were not bright, forward or harsh in any way...but they were very detailed. I have very sensitive, uh, senses, and when it comes to hearing, I actually prefer a little less detail. The same way I like Japanese food for its simplicity and use of only a few flavours that just work well. I don't like Indian food...its just too much flavour. The Concept 20s and 40s are not as detailed as the MA Silvers, KEF Ls50s, or many other speakers, but what they do have is smoothness, softness, easy to listen sound with great vocals and enough detail to satisfy me. Picking the right electronics is also important, and I find NAD and Rotel to be good fits for me. Again, I've tried many other brands, Denon, Cambridge, Technics, Yamaha, Onkyo, Marantz...but NAD and Rotel have it for me. I am not saying the speakers or electronics are the best. They just work for me. I put on my music, no fatigue after 10 minutes, foot tapping away, having a great time. That is all I am and was ever after. Not some ephemeral "ideal". Just my view. Thanks for your input. Take care.

I just don't have the space for floorstand speakers

My main system is with my pc
 

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