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Annoying speaker sibilance, and how I cured it


wwaldmanfan
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My venerable B&W CDM7SE speakers are getting a bit long in the tooth, but I don’t have the wherewithal to upgrade them right now. One of their shortcomings is some tweeter distortion when pushed to high volume levels (which is how I like to listen to music when the wife is not around). This manifests itself as irritating sibilance on some recordings.

 

I recently started a thread about possible drawbacks of hi-res music, quoting an article which suggested that high-frequency sampling can create audible artifacts and/or IM distortion. Not passing judgement on that idea, but it got me to thinking.

 

I took an online hearing test, and discovered that my 62-year-old ears cannot hear anything above 14KHz. So, what I did was simply employ the Apple AUHighshelf Filter included with Audirvana, set to 20KHz, -32.0 dB, which gently rolls off the highs above my hearing threshold. The music sounds exactly as it did before, but the tweeters are not pushed nearly as much. The sound reproduction is much improved, cleaner, more realistic, and less fatiguing.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 5.24.55 PM.png

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  • 4 weeks later...
My venerable B&W CDM7SE speakers are getting a bit long in the tooth, but I don’t have the wherewithal to upgrade them right now. One of their shortcomings is some tweeter distortion when pushed to high volume levels (which is how I like to listen to music when the wife is not around). This manifests itself as irritating sibilance on some recordings.

 

I recently started a thread about possible drawbacks of hi-res music, quoting an article which suggested that high-frequency sampling can create audible artifacts and/or IM distortion. Not passing judgement on that idea, but it got me to thinking.

 

I took an online hearing test, and discovered that my 62-year-old ears cannot hear anything above 14KHz. So, what I did was simply employ the Apple AUHighshelf Filter included with Audirvana, set to 20KHz, -32.0 dB, which gently rolls off the highs above my hearing threshold. The music sounds exactly as it did before, but the tweeters are not pushed nearly as much. The sound reproduction is much improved, cleaner, more realistic, and less fatiguing.

 

Actually high rez reduces sibilance. Sibilance can be complex, it took me 2 years of tweaking gear to root mine out with the biggest offender being DAC and source solution for digital playback.

Regards,

Dave

 

Audio system

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