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Psychoacoustics (Read 612 times)
Palomino
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Psychoacoustics
07/15/14 at 22:04:14
 
Just another of my little observations...

So I get back from a fairly long vacation.  I listened to a little music during that time, but not much.

Upon firing up my system and beginning to listen, everything sounded absolutely huge.  Micro details out the ying yang.  Hall reverberations and instrument reverb I have never heard before.

My system/room didn't change, so I figure I must have.  I probably didn't have a million thoughts about work going through my head so I was more open to what my system was producing.

I've also noticed that generally, my system doesn't sound that good early in the evening, but it does later at night.  I always thought it was the power on the grid settling down, but maybe it was the electricity in my brain settling down as I relax (achieve Zen).

Anyway, do others have the same experience?
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #1 - 07/15/14 at 22:13:00
 

I've always had electrical issues with my brain. Some nights I can't concentrate, or let go, or enjoy. Some nights, I just feel like 60 seconds of even the best music and I'm already in the musical fatigue and have to call it quits.

I think getting away from anything helps you realize/notice things better. Kinda like how you're out of town for a bit, and when you come home it all feels new/different to you, even though you've driven down those roads 100 times before.


Hey, I'm having a listening session tonight if you want to stop by! I should be starting around 6pm.
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Palomino
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #2 - 07/15/14 at 22:14:46
 
Very tempting.  I want to hear that DAC, that's for sure.
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Lonely Raven
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #3 - 07/15/14 at 22:22:44
 

Last chance with the current lineup!

Tape and speakers are going this week!

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stone_of_tone
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #4 - 07/16/14 at 00:00:39
 
I hear you P, I'm back tomorrow from Vaca an I have witnessed this too in the past. I miss my DSD DAC too! I'm writing from my iPhone so over an out for now. LR, I will finally do the FW upgrade... .
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« Last Edit: 07/16/14 at 00:04:34 by stone_of_tone »  

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Brian
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #5 - 07/16/14 at 01:59:06
 
In the 1980s when I had a better system than later, I always enjoyed my music best when coming home after being away a few weeks.  How it struck me was the Bass was more dynamic than when I was listening to it day in day out.  I think this is because there was so much more Bass at home than on the car radio which was the only music I heard while on the road.  Once I had been home a few days, the new wore off.  
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will
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #6 - 07/16/14 at 03:31:30
 
This happens to me after being away from the system a while too. Everything comes out in all its glory. But it also happens to me when I reach a new level of beauty with the system. That indescribable thing where everything works extraordinarily.

It may be that the effect is similar. With the first, we are not accustomed to the system and have ourselves sort of cleaned out of all things home, so being grabbed by an incredible musical experience catches us awake and ready.

The latter may be reaching a similar state of openness in the relief and relaxation of "getting there" after getting something burned in and integrated, for example...something I have done too much lately. Like magic, another little change, and it just comes together setting up a moment of just getting sucked into the music and being amazed by the system/room.

I think this is why I am such a died in the wool explorer/adjuster. I reach different states of brilliant beauty regularly, and since they are variations on the theme, they are new every time!
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« Last Edit: 07/16/14 at 03:32:41 by will »  

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Palomino
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #7 - 07/16/14 at 12:23:58
 
I think there are a couple of thoughts being presented here.

One is "absence makes the heart grow fonder."  The other is tweaking leads to a new overall sound.  I can relate to both.

The third is your mental state can alter your ability to either concentrate, or hear or maybe just hear well.  Maybe less brain activity equals a meditative state which opens your senses to receive more of the sound your system is able to produce.

I'm most interested in exploring the later.  And how do "Zen" amps help you achieve that state - quicker? easier?

Maybe I just have too much time on my hands...
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marky
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #8 - 07/16/14 at 14:25:03
 
Sigh, the longest I`ve been away from my system is...2 days. Now the world cups over I`m back at the routine default level of not watching tv and spending the evening hours in the listening room.
The Decware amps,(five of them including ZMC1), p/cables and i/c`s
allways deliver an aural lanscape which lets me in to wander hither and thither. Voyeurism. I`ve stopped wondering if I`m hearing micro/macros and once my next projet is done ( new, reasonbly priced `audiophile` silver plated plugs x7, to replace the, no doubt excellent Decware ones that have to go through an adapter, the ZP3 has a Furutech uk fitted by Steve [ 1 for my tt, 1 for mains cleaner, 2 for e/stats], a silver plated wall recepticle, and new shieded Belkin mains cable for tt, e/stats and mains unit) then I can do the fine tuning of vibration control at my leisure.

I came to the conclusion ( always dodgy for me   Smiley ) that the  times I`ve heard the system do magic isn`t easily definable, it just happens. Knowing this is good....for me. It means I`m hearing the magic all the time just that I (and the amps) have moved up a level and the time spent listening from then on is more involving. I try and rotate albums that aren`t new once a month and I can hear the magic
interprate them differently.
Like when you try a new tube. You hear the change. Thats your new reference.
But yes of course if your mind has stuff thats bubbling away then you may miss parts of the performance. I try not to even take the laptop into the listening room...I`ll play a few correspondence chess moves and an album can pass me by.
Oh yes I did have a couple months away from sounds when the CSP2+ and ZP3 went in for beeswax caps. I heard exactly what they brought to the table, as is generally stated, more detailed and organic. Now it`s my reference and all the old albums sound slightly different ...again.

Do you find it`s always an old favourite lp that confounds you by blowing you away...maybe late on a summers evening.


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Palomino
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #9 - 07/16/14 at 19:53:31
 
For me its just that everything sounds better when I am in the right mental place.

We condition our power.  Maybe there is a better way to condition our minds (not including mind altering substances).
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Lord Soth
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #10 - 07/17/14 at 05:52:36
 
I don't have any answers as to the "why" part.

After returning home from a 2 week vacation or from a week long business trip, my sound system seems to sound much better.
It's as though I'm listening to it for the 1st time.

I'm glad to learn that this is not peculiar to just me or my system.
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Lon
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #11 - 07/18/14 at 01:55:26
 
But, remember guys: these systems got to the wonderful way they are by being PLAYED and PLAYED!
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Lon
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #12 - 07/18/14 at 16:44:39
 
I just got back last night from two weeks away from my system and will be away again starting this afternoon for three days.

It did sound amazing when I first fired it up but in fact I heard what I always do: that it's not exhibiting the ease and depth that it will in a few days. I had everything but the DVR and the PPP and my PowerBases turned off. It takes about 24 to 48 hours for my digital front end to really be all it can be. There's a "closed in" feel to the music that I notice right away.

Does always sound really good though, if not all it will be later. I always MISS the sound. Most of the music I heard since leaving for Texas was on my friend Dave's system. He has the RL-2 speakers I gave him, and the PeachTree Decco amp I used to have, as well as some nice cabling I've given him and a cd player I recommended he buy as it sounds great. Was a really nice sounding-system to hear, but man it was good to sit down and listen to my own.
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will
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #13 - 07/19/14 at 01:50:31
 
To Palomino's observations about Zen and Zen Amps, I think these lucid music experiences we speak of illustrate how Zen Amps can stimulate Zen Mind.

It seems we are all speaking of noticing seemingly extraordinary perception.

I have been involved in Zen practice a long time, and thought maybe a traditional description of it could be useful in this conversation???  

Zen came to Japan mainly from China and "Zen" is the early Japanese way of saying the Chinese term Chan. Likewise, "Chan" is a Chinese way of saying Dhyana, a Sanskrit term in the language many Buddhist teachings travelled to China with. Dhyana translates as meditation, or meditation consciousness. So "Zen" is literally meditation or meditation consciousness.

Calming down our conditioned, thinking mind's dominance, Zen practice is designed to reveal other aspects of Mind that we tend not to notice much, and understand less. Gut mind and heart mind are some descriptors, and since these are not as fleshed out as thinking, they can seem mysterious.

Relative to our musical experiences, thinking-mind functions in word-time, the pace we talk or write…Linear, mechanical, and slow. It cannot possibly take in all that music offers in a single phrase. Comparatively, Heart-Mind, from the Zen view, integrates all aspects of perception and consciousness and is very, very fast, allowing us to process loads at once...like a group of musicians playing with all the complexities of interacting note structures, tones, timbre, ambience and on and on.

A foundation of Zen practice is noticing and integrating broader perception as a means of expanding consciousness. When we experience spontaneous lucid listening, this is a Zen experience. Zen practice is practicing to allow the expanded experience more often and more deeply.

I like "Open-Mind" to describe unbiased, and unlimited consciousness. How we intuitively roll as we fall in order to protect our head is an example of Open Mind….taking in loads of information and processing it in a flash. Or those moments that pass "out of time"… like absorption in songs or albums and being shocked to notice the clock some time later…

Zen is not about killing thinking mind, it too is clearly a useful tool of consciousness. It is more about seeing what else there is under thinking mind, about waking up the rest of Mind.

Imagine our many levels of involvement with music... from not really noticing anything else but our being captivated by it…to being deeply absorbed and fleetingly noticing a brittleness…..then maybe the mind shifts to, "I might try that other power cable or tube to solve this," …then back to awe of absorption by the beauty, no thoughts, just the music.

Sound familiar? Adding the intent to notice, develop, and "practice" the functions of perception and consciousness, experientially exploring how the Mind works, this is Zen practice.

So what makes Zen Amps Zen?

Since Zen is a "study" of the experience of Nature, the Zen Amp had to start right. It had to have a sound we can innately gravitate toward. Even order harmonics and overall natural voicing of Zen Amps enable the possibilities of complete involvement with music. If the listening experience is not how we hear things in life, our Mind notices and is repelled. But when the sound is natural to our body, we can relax and enjoy. Add to this finesse from excellent tonal and dynamic voicing, and then add a synergistic blend of really good system parts and room, and the music can feel/sound better than it did in the studio in many cases. Finally, luckily for us, natural presentation of music can stimulate our experience of harmony with the music. Zen experience.

As importantly, Steve is an artist. With accomplished artists, technique is always developing, but also a comfortable arena from long practice. Not having to focus as much on technique, the artist can let deeper exploration enliven the art. As focus on creative process causes conditioned concepts and definition to soften, a fresher, freer mind is better able to "be there," better able to perceive the vast complexities of music. Process enlivening the art becomes normal, naturally bringing insights.

I think this is the nature of creativity. Rather than being ruled by dominance of habituated thoughts, concentrated process and a quest for finding something really better, we are open to what we don't already know. At the same time, the intensity of process and inquisitiveness opens our Mind to what is right here in the moment. This sets us up for new discoveries. Then, changing the baseline, broadened and more complex, discovery creates a new starting place, a place from which to explore further!

Discovery stimulating exploration, and exploration leading to discovery, the Creative Cycle starts to roll. Within it, the tendency is to get deeper and deeper into a less biased, less complicated consciousness. And a simpler, less distracted Mind is more Open, more capable of perception, setting the stage for insight and innovation. Finally, since Creativity stimulates Open Mind, it is natural Zen, natural meditation.

As it rolls on, it can go places we never really imagined. Whether it is experiencing the expression of Steve's art in our rooms, or Steve practicing the art in his, Zen Mind participates and contributes...Very useful whether designing, or listening, or adjusting our system/room.
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« Last Edit: 07/19/14 at 01:58:04 by will »  

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Palomino
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Re: Psychoacoustics
Reply #14 - 07/19/14 at 02:21:27
 
Wow.  Thanks for that well thought out and complete explanation.  I think that nails it.

Rough week. I am hoping the even order harmonics can help calm and open my mind a bit tonight.
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