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Can't Hear Above 13.5kHz. What Am I Missing?
botface
post Mar 28 2012, 17:12
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Using pure tones at "normal" listening levels I can't hear above 13.5kHz. I was disappointed with that result initially, but on thinking about it I'm not sure.

Assuming the usual 20kHz ceiling for perfect hearing that equates to a D# (give or take a few cents). 10kHz is also D# but 1 octave lower. My 13.5kHz limit is more or less a G#, which is a perfect 4th above the 10kHz D#, or to put it another way I can hear more or less half of the top octave. Given that there are no fundamentals from real instruments up there then at worst I'm losing some upper harmonics.

Add to this the fact that many people found MP3 low passed at 16KHz to be perceptually transparent - and I'm only 2.5kHz short of this - and I'm wondering what I'm actually missing.

I'm sure there are many 20 year olds that could easily ABX a suitable "full range" sample and that same sample low passed at 13.5kHz but how would the difference manifest itself and does it really matter (in a musical sense)?

This post has been edited by botface: Mar 28 2012, 17:13
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pdq
post Mar 28 2012, 17:27
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You will need to ask someone younger than I to listen to music w/wo 13.5 kHz lowpass. I can only hear tones up to 12 kHz. sad.gif
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Satellite_6
post Mar 28 2012, 17:42
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I'm 20 and can hear up to ~19k. No your not missing much I don't think. I have experimented with low passes before.

The bass and mids are all that really matters to me unlike most audiophiles who only seem to care about treble. sad.gif

So that's my unscientific post. . . .

This post has been edited by Satellite_6: Mar 28 2012, 17:42


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DVDdoug
post Mar 28 2012, 18:08
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QUOTE
Assuming the usual 20kHz ceiling for perfect hearing that equates to a D# (give or take a few cents). 10kHz is also D# but 1 octave lower. ...

... Given that there are no fundamentals from real instruments up there then at worst I'm losing some upper harmonics.
Right. There are no "notes" that high. But, it's not just harmonics, it's non-harmonic overtones too, which exist at non-octave intervals. At 13kHz, you are still getting most of the music, but you may also have some "loss" below ~13kHz. If you have loss between 5 - 10kHz, you'll definitely be missing some of the highs (as you probably know from playing with an equalizer).


You could get a real hearing test. Or, you might get some of your friends to do some tests with you just in case there is some drop-off in your speakers/headphones. And, you could compare your sensitivity at 10-13kHz (on the same set-up) with others about your age.... And, you could compare sensitivity at ~2kHz too...
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andrew_berge
post Mar 28 2012, 18:20
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An interesting thought is that the artists and sound engineers themselves might not have perfect hearing, and you might end up hearing stuff that wasn't intended to be there in the higher frequencies.

The song 'All I Need' by Radiohead comes to mind. I'm not sure what happened to this track, but there's a ~16kHz tone all through it, and it's really annoying when you notice it.
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pdq
post Mar 28 2012, 18:25
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A 16 kHz tone means that the equipment picked up the horizontal sweep frequency from a nearby TV set. That would be very easy to filter out without affecting the music.

An interesting point though - if it was from an analog source then this tone could be used to correct for jitter, such as wow and flutter.

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Canar
post Mar 28 2012, 18:42
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I've (internally) documented my own hearing loss throughout the years. In my teens, I could hear 20k. Now I'm down to <16k. Nothing of value (to me) has been lost. It has not negatively impacted my appreciation of music in the slightest, though I have to rely on tools to understand levels above that point. I just kind of assume they're fine and go about my business.


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 3 2012, 14:56
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QUOTE (botface @ Mar 28 2012, 12:12) *
Using pure tones at "normal" listening levels I can't hear above 13.5kHz. I was disappointed with that result initially, but on thinking about it I'm not sure.

Assuming the usual 20kHz ceiling for perfect hearing that equates to a D# (give or take a few cents). 10kHz is also D# but 1 octave lower. My 13.5kHz limit is more or less a G#, which is a perfect 4th above the 10kHz D#, or to put it another way I can hear more or less half of the top octave. Given that there are no fundamentals from real instruments up there then at worst I'm losing some upper harmonics.

Add to this the fact that many people found MP3 low passed at 16KHz to be perceptually transparent - and I'm only 2.5kHz short of this - and I'm wondering what I'm actually missing.

I'm sure there are many 20 year olds that could easily ABX a suitable "full range" sample and that same sample low passed at 13.5kHz but how would the difference manifest itself and does it really matter (in a musical sense)?


Due to masking, whatever hearing limit you establish for someone with pure tones is pretty much irrelevant with almost all music. Masking shifts the point where you can't hear a difference due to a hypothetical (or even real) brick wall filter quite a bit lower - maybe even most of an octave.

So the short answer is that having your cutoff point moved down to embarrassingly low frequencies may have a very limited audible effect, because it was masking that set your upper hearing limit with music.

OTOH, if you completely lose your top critical band, you have lost quite a bit.

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dhromed
post Apr 3 2012, 20:44
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QUOTE (andrew_berge @ Mar 28 2012, 18:20) *
An interesting thought is that the artists and sound engineers themselves might not have perfect hearing, and you might end up hearing stuff that wasn't intended to be there in the higher frequencies.

The song 'All I Need' by Radiohead comes to mind. I'm not sure what happened to this track, but there's a ~16kHz tone all through it, and it's really annoying when you notice it.


There's some intermittent warble around 16K and an occasional monitor tone at 14+K. I'm surprised anybody can hear these, since they are really very quiet, even if clearly visible in a spectrograph. They're about 40dB less than the intro.

Perhaps my version is a different master somehow?

But your point is made — I don't think that 16K warble would have made it to the final product if any of the engineers on that album had heard it.

This post has been edited by dhromed: Apr 3 2012, 20:48
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Glenn Gundlach
post Apr 4 2012, 01:15
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QUOTE (botface @ Mar 28 2012, 08:12) *
Using pure tones at "normal" listening levels I can't hear above 13.5kHz. I was disappointed with that result initially, but on thinking about it I'm not sure.

<snip>


I too 'suffer' the same problem but can reliably tell the difference between material low pass filtered at 16 KHz / not filtered and I don't know why.

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extrabigmehdi
post Apr 4 2012, 01:18
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QUOTE (Glenn Gundlach @ Apr 4 2012, 00:15) *
I too 'suffer' the same problem but can reliably tell the difference between material low pass filtered at 16 KHz / not filtered and I don't know why.


Interesting, so there's no good "low pass" filtering able to "fool" you ears ? You might try different eq.
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pdq
post Apr 4 2012, 02:11
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QUOTE (Glenn Gundlach @ Apr 3 2012, 20:15) *
I too 'suffer' the same problem but can reliably tell the difference between material low pass filtered at 16 KHz / not filtered and I don't know why.


That sounds like a hardware problem to me.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Apr 6 2012, 14:53
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QUOTE (Glenn Gundlach @ Apr 3 2012, 20:15) *
QUOTE (botface @ Mar 28 2012, 08:12) *
Using pure tones at "normal" listening levels I can't hear above 13.5kHz. I was disappointed with that result initially, but on thinking about it I'm not sure.

<snip>


I too 'suffer' the same problem but can reliably tell the difference between material low pass filtered at 16 KHz / not filtered and I don't know why.





TOS 8?
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Roseval
post Apr 6 2012, 19:07
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Frequencies above the upper threshold of our hearing are not audible.
An undeniable logic. Period.
But is it true?

There is some anecdotic evidence floating around on the internet.
People who has bought a Hires recording and report on an audio forum that it don’t sound like hires. Other chime in with responses like ”Small wonder, this is a BISS recording. They recorded everything at 24/48 so this cannot be a true 24/96 recording”
Often somebody generates a frequency plot showing a sharp roll off at 21 kHz.
Obvious not a true hires recording.
In this way people has found out that they have been scammed and paid a premium for a plain up-sampled recording. But some seems able to detect this by listening.

There are some references to an experiment where people with a hearing limited to 13 kHz (age) could hear the difference between a recording and one filtered at 14 kHz.
Briggs or so? Never found the paper.

This makes me wonder if it is possible that inter modulation distortion of the content above our upper threshold alone or in conjunction with the content below this threshold could map itself into IMD inside our audible range.
It this is true than we are able to hear the impact of a filtering of signals above our upper limit.


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julf
post Apr 6 2012, 19:24
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QUOTE (Roseval @ Apr 6 2012, 20:07) *
There is some anecdotic evidence floating around on the internet.

I think that is an universally true statement - logically a tautology smile.gif

QUOTE
People who has bought a Hires recording and report on an audio forum that it don’t sound like hires. Other chime in with responses like ”Small wonder, this is a BISS recording. They recorded everything at 24/48 so this cannot be a true 24/96 recording”
Often somebody generates a frequency plot showing a sharp roll off at 21 kHz.
Obvious not a true hires recording.
In this way people has found out that they have been scammed and paid a premium for a plain up-sampled recording. But some seems able to detect this by listening.

The BIS recordings I have studied have actually been true hires recordings, but of material that doesn't have much content above 18K or so.
On the other hand, I have seen a bunch of HDtracks stuff that is definitely upsampled from red book (CD) material, and there are still a lot of people claiming it sounds better than the CD "because it is hi-res".

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Roseval
post May 4 2012, 13:03
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QUOTE (julf @ Apr 6 2012, 19:24) *
The BIS recordings I have studied have actually been true hires recordings, but of material that doesn't have much content above 18K or so.



Have a look here: http://www.audioasylum.com/forums/pcaudio/...es/7/72955.html


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smok3
post May 4 2012, 13:46
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QUOTE
Given that there are no fundamentals from real instruments up there then at worst I'm losing some upper harmonics.

not missing much imho, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Lindos4.svg


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Arnold B. Kruege...
post May 21 2012, 13:21
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QUOTE (botface @ Mar 28 2012, 12:12) *
Using pure tones at "normal" listening levels I can't hear above 13.5kHz. I was disappointed with that result initially, but on thinking about it I'm not sure.


Before you start contemplating the audio equivalent of Hara kiri or Seppuku you might want to run your tests at an appreciably higher SPL. ;-)

QUOTE
Assuming the usual 20kHz ceiling for perfect hearing that equates to a D# (give or take a few cents). 10kHz is also D# but 1 octave lower. My 13.5kHz limit is more or less a G#, which is a perfect 4th above the 10kHz D#, or to put it another way I can hear more or less half of the top octave. Given that there are no fundamentals from real instruments up there then at worst I'm losing some upper harmonics.


In the context of actual music the actual limit of detection of brick wall filters is more like 16 Khz.

QUOTE
Add to this the fact that many people found MP3 low passed at 16KHz to be perceptually transparent - and I'm only 2.5kHz short of this - and I'm wondering what I'm actually missing.


Good question. I was wandering around Youtube this morning looking at the various downloads, and I immediately noticed that two videos sounded vastly different. It turned out that the one I liked was brick wall filtered at 16 Khz, and the one that sounded obviously chopped was brick walled at 10 Khz. Given that I'm 65 I feel pretty good about that. BTW the one with the chopped high end was also somewhat more compressed even though the envelope of both songs aside from the introduction looked pretty thoroughly mashed at - 0.5 dB or so.



QUOTE
I'm sure there are many 20 year olds that could easily ABX a suitable "full range" sample and that same sample low passed at 13.5kHz but how would the difference manifest itself and does it really matter (in a musical sense)?


Don't get too optimistic about 20 year olds. Many of the ones I work with don't hear what I hear easily. Ditto for their parents. Drummers who love acoustic drums or guitar players who love standing in front of their amps and playing loud, if you catch my drift...
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yourlord
post May 21 2012, 21:43
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I just ran a test on myself the other day by generating sine wave tones at various frequencies and found my hearing cut off right at 12.9kHz..

I was kind of shocked at how low it was, and how abrupt the cut off was for me.. I could hear 12.9kHz clear as a bell and just as loud as I can hear 8kHz, but I stepped from 12.9kHz up to 13kHz in 10Hz increments and my ability to hear the tones decreased dramatically, to essentially being completely gone at 13kHz, and barely perceptible at all at 12.99kHz.

I otherwise haven't noticed any detriment to my music listening activities.

I'm 40 and have been listening to metal at ear bleeding levels my whole life. To add to the bad vibes, I also played bass in a metal band for 17 years at skull splitting levels. (My rig is a 700Wrms head driving 8 10" and 2 15" speakers. The last 2 years of the band featured 3 guitarists all pushing 100 tube watts minimum into 4x12" cabs. All of that backed by acoustic drums.)

I've not been kind to my ears.
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yetanotherid
post May 22 2012, 07:12
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QUOTE (yourlord @ May 22 2012, 06:43) *
I'm 40 and have been listening to metal at ear bleeding levels my whole life. To add to the bad vibes, I also played bass in a metal band for 17 years at skull splitting levels. (My rig is a 700Wrms head driving 8 10" and 2 15" speakers. The last 2 years of the band featured 3 guitarists all pushing 100 tube watts minimum into 4x12" cabs. All of that backed by acoustic drums.)

I've not been kind to my ears.


I'm 48 and like you, I haven't been kind to my ears. I used to play in bands years ago and these days I'm the sound guy. Fortunately it's rarely as loud at the mixing desk as it is on stage. But anyway......

According to the last person who tested my hearing, loud noise, and the possible resulting nerve deafness, kills the mid/high frequencies first. Somewhere around the 2K mark. Which is why people with nerve deafness have problems with speech. If the mid frequencies haven't taken a dip then any high frequency loss is most likely just the joy of getting old. At least that's what I was told.....
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Martel
post May 22 2012, 07:23
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When I was around 20, I could hear up to 20kHz. I'm slightly above 18kHz now (being over 30).
Generally, I would say you're not missing any musical content (notes). I know I don't like low-passed music because it loses a good deal of shrilling/tickling metallic sounds (heard in acoustic guitars, percussions). But this is something one can live without. As long as the loss of range is not abrupt, I think it's not hard to get used to it and enjoy the range one still has. smile.gif


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