Are my ears deceiving me?

purpleplexi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
1,792
Reaction score
3,482
I cleaned my guitar. Which I never do. Orville by Gibson sunburst LP. Anyway it came out shiny. Which I don't like. So I found some 6000 micromesh and and used it to slightly dull the top. Looked better. Thing is when I plugged it in it sounded different. Somehow it sounds brighter. Noticeably. Thinking my ears had gone stupid I checked all the settings but nothing had changed. So I took the micromesh and did the back of the neck and it sounded brighter again. I don't know WTF is going on here. All I've done is very slightly dulled the finish - I haven't removed it or anything like that.
The good thing is that the neck pickup on this guitar has always been very dark - not completely unusable but only suitable for certain tunes. Now it has a lot more detail and clarity which is nice. I have to drop the tone control on the bridge but it still sounds good. Still don't unnerstand what's going on.....
 

JamminJeff

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
261
Reaction score
580
Location
USA
It's likely not the top coat of finish. Dulling the gloss probably removed less than 1% of what is covering up the wood. I've done similar things and never noticed any real changes. YMMV

On some days my rig sounds great and I'm careful not to make any adjustments. On the next day, it sounds uninspiring and I wonder what happened.

I'm sure someone can explain away these mysteries, but it's probably just a combination of our ears and changes in the immediate atmospheric conditions of the room. Strings are metal and are also effected.

Even dirty power from the grid can effect an amp, especially a good tube/valve amp. Ask anyone who has played in a dive bar with garbage for electrical service. A hamster running on a wheel makes better power.
 

nickfox

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
647
Reaction score
1,709
It could be your ears have changed.

I'm 61 now and recently I noticed a change in my hearing. One of the things that I noticed is that things seemed brighter. So I went to get tested by an audiologist (who IS a medical doctor) and she said that can happen as we age and that it's normal behavior.

She said that our ears can become more sensitive to high frequencies. So what used to sound "normal" now sounds brighter.

I actually saw two doctors. The first was an ENT (ear, nose and throat) and the second was the audiologist. They both asked me what I do and I said I was a musician. They asked me how loud I listened to my music.

I said that typically when I'm recording, I try to keep it around 85 dB which is a figure that you will often hear on forums like this one, TGP and Gear Space (used to be gear slutz).

I asked them both how long I could safely listen to music at 85 dB and they BOTH said less than five minutes. I was shocked and I still am. I'm having to seriously reconsider how I treat my ears as I get older.

Something to think about...
 

El Gringo

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2015
Messages
4,315
Reaction score
5,652
Location
Shakedown Street
It could be your ears have changed.

I'm 61 now and recently I noticed a change in my hearing. One of the things that I noticed is that things seemed brighter. So I went to get tested by an audiologist (who IS a medical doctor) and she said that can happen as we age and that it's normal behavior.

She said that our ears can become more sensitive to high frequencies. So what used to sound "normal" now sounds brighter.

I actually saw two doctors. The first was an ENT (ear, nose and throat) and the second was the audiologist. They both asked me what I do and I said I was a musician. They asked me how loud I listened to my music.

I said that typically when I'm recording, I try to keep it around 85 dB which is a figure that you will often hear on forums like this one, TGP and Gear Space (used to be gear slutz).

I asked them both how long I could safely listen to music at 85 dB and they BOTH said less than five minutes. I was shocked and I still am. I'm having to seriously reconsider how I treat my ears as I get older.

Something to think about...
Same thing with me as well . Let me explain . In July my left ear was clogged as I have always had swimmers ear from wax buildup from stupid Q-Tips which just pushed the wax further into the ear . I have done this my whole life getting out of the shower and getting rid of the water . So I went to my MD and had my ear flushed by the RN with a mix of Peroxide and warm water . After that I hear everything crystal clear . Everything seems louder and brighter when I play the guitar thru my favorite 2555X's .
 

Weapons Man

Member
Joined
May 6, 2022
Messages
35
Reaction score
53
Location
The Lone Star State
There is this British guitarist on YouTube named Dave Simpson. Dave uses only solid state amps because he says solid state amps sound the same every day whereas valve amps sound different from day to day and sometimes even different the same day due to voltage irregularities.
 

EJstrat&JVM

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
273
Reaction score
186
Yes, the difference is subtle, wood resonates more. You can hear the difference only it if you are a good player, with not too much gain, no effects, and pick hard. If you use too much gain and a few power chords, you won't hear any change.
 

EJstrat&JVM

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
273
Reaction score
186
There is this British guitarist on YouTube named Dave Simpson. Dave uses only solid state amps because he says solid state amps sound the same every day whereas valve amps sound different from day to day and sometimes even different the same day due to voltage irregularities.
Then why not to use a battery powerbank and compare the two sounds?
 

Jethro Rocker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Messages
10,871
Reaction score
17,701
Location
Saskatoon, Canada
It could be your ears have changed.

I'm 61 now and recently I noticed a change in my hearing


Huh?
:D

There is this British guitarist on YouTube named Dave Simpson. Dave uses only solid state amps because he says solid state amps sound the same every day whereas valve amps sound different from day to day and sometimes even different the same day due to voltage irregularities.

7a55b45d-7426-4a46-8d5f-149129cffc73_text.gif
 

Jethro Rocker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Messages
10,871
Reaction score
17,701
Location
Saskatoon, Canada
I asked them both how long I could safely listen to music at 85 dB and they BOTH said less than five minutes. I was shocked and I still am. I'm having to seriously reconsider how I treat my ears as I get older.
Shocking to me too. Wow.
We really don't play all that loud relatively but jeez. Also my dad and uncle are very deaf so I gotta watch. Just turned 59.
 

Jethro Rocker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2011
Messages
10,871
Reaction score
17,701
Location
Saskatoon, Canada
Yes, the difference is subtle, wood resonates more. You can hear the difference only it if you are a good player, with not too much gain, no effects, and pick hard. If you use too much gain and a few power chords, you won't hear any change.
With a 6000 grit light sanding? Sorry I don't buy that anyone can hear that unless they think they can up front.
Unfinished or heavily worn guitars should therefore be miles brighter.
Possibly cleaning it helped if it was extra grungy.
I don't know how anyome can play filthy guitars.
 

RLW59

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2017
Messages
1,205
Reaction score
1,577
It could be your ears have changed.

I'm 61 now and recently I noticed a change in my hearing. One of the things that I noticed is that things seemed brighter. So I went to get tested by an audiologist (who IS a medical doctor) and she said that can happen as we age and that it's normal behavior.

She said that our ears can become more sensitive to high frequencies. So what used to sound "normal" now sounds brighter.

I actually saw two doctors. The first was an ENT (ear, nose and throat) and the second was the audiologist. They both asked me what I do and I said I was a musician. They asked me how loud I listened to my music.

I said that typically when I'm recording, I try to keep it around 85 dB which is a figure that you will often hear on forums like this one, TGP and Gear Space (used to be gear slutz).

I asked them both how long I could safely listen to music at 85 dB and they BOTH said less than five minutes. I was shocked and I still am. I'm having to seriously reconsider how I treat my ears as I get older.

Something to think about...
That shocked me too, as I'm very familiar with OSHA noise standards (which say 85dB is safe for up to 8 hours a day). There was always a part of the medical community that thought OHSA's standards were a little lax, with many thinking a 6 hour limit for 85dB was safer.

So I Googled to see if there's been a radical shift in medical consensus. The most conservative standard I could find was the CDC's recommendation of 2 hours per day at 85dB. But that's not widely cited and OSHA's limit remains 8 hours per day at 85dB.
 

nickfox

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Messages
647
Reaction score
1,709
That shocked me too, as I'm very familiar with OSHA noise standards (which say 85dB is safe for up to 8 hours a day). There was always a part of the medical community that thought OHSA's standards were a little lax, with many thinking a 6 hour limit for 85dB was safer.

So I Googled to see if there's been a radical shift in medical consensus. The most conservative standard I could find was the CDC's recommendation of 2 hours per day at 85dB. But that's not widely cited and OSHA's limit remains 8 hours per day at 85dB.

That's what shocked me. I've been reading those charts for many years and I was under the same impression.

I am going back to see the ENT next week and I will take one of those OSHA/CDC charts with me and ask him why the discrepancy...
 

Latest posts



Top