Well, maybe it isn’t my hearing after all…
I was just listening to something on iMusic, a recording of Daphnes et Chloi by Ravel. And I started to notice the hearing in my right ear growing fuzzy again.
Wait a minute! I have been listening at reduced volume all day, and it hasn’t been that long yet… It’s only been about 6 hours of listening, on and off. Nowhere near 16 hours at full volume.
I pulled up an EQ and found that I had to dip a couple of dB with a broad dip at around 1 kHz, e.g., 750-1500 Hz. That’s very strange… I never had any real problems at 1 kHz before…
It was a Deutche Grammaphon release, touting something in the upper right corner of the album cover image “4D Audio Recording”. What the heck is that?
So I did some searching on the Web, and found out that 4D Audio Recording was DG’s marketing hype for an improved method of remixing records from old recording, in the late 1980’s, early 90’s. Digital was just taking off, but DG had a backlog of old analog recordings.
And then I found a remark on an old Audiophile forum:
[ Re: DG’s Original Image Bit Processing
Here’s an interesting comparison. Recordings of Strauss Metamorphosen. They are Karajan/BPO (’73) DG Galleria release, same Karajan recording in later DG Originals release, and Blomstedt/SFO on Decca (90’s). Audio power as a function of frequency from 20-20,000 Hz. Both power and frequency are on a logarithmic scale. Notice the precipitous drop below 60 Hz on the DG Galeria release. There’s your traditional DG anemic low end. Low frequency has been restored in the Origionals release, comparable to the competently engineered Decca recording, but both DG releases have a big excess in the upper midrange (~1000 Hz). That’s your DG “why do my ears hurt“ harshness. ] (emphasis added…)
Ahem… 1 kHz hump… that’s right where I found that I needed some EQ dip to make it listenable.
Here I thought it was my tender hearing. I took special care to be gentle all day long. Turns out, my Crescendo is soooo… good that I hear the problems in the recordings.
So take that as a warning. If you get a Crescendo for yourself, either be prepared to shitcan half of your CD collection, or else turn off the Crescendo when listening to those lesser recordings.
[ … makes me wonder how many mixing engineers have unacknowledged hearing problems… ]