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Balance

age136

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Evening all ,

I've unfortunately got a significant hearing difference in one ear compared to the other. Now , i've always thought the brain could do a decent job of making up for the loss in one ear . But..... I picked up a cheap Arcam Delta 60 amp the other night which has balance control . Apart from not sounding too shabby at all for £45 i was able to play around with the balance and i think i preferred it slightly biased to the right ( my worse ear ) .

Now , before i do anything drastic like selling my Elicit to make way for the cheap little Arcam , is there anything i can put between the Elicit and the speakers to give balance controls but not changing the sound of the Elicit ?

 

brystonian

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One thing I've noticed in my set up is that -2db of balance, Is equivalent to moving one speaker back about 2 inches.

So you might be able to achieve the same effect by moving your speakers.

As (in my 6ft near field set up anyway!) the perceived volume and centre image shifts a surprising amount with distance.

 

alienprophet

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I have adjusted the soundfield and balance to some degree by shifting the speakers about. It does work although probably not optimal performance.

Experiment a little with moving one back, the other forward. Or possibly something to absorb the sound slightly from one speaker?

Also i think it may have been musical Fidelity? Maybe someone else could confirm? Used to make a tone box some years back but i think maybe that went between pre and power amp?

Could be worth checking though.

Good Luck

 

Camverton

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Another solution is to move your listening chair a bit to the right or left in the direction of the weak ear. If you play something recorded in mono then adopt the position where the image appears central. But yes, a pre amp with a balance control is the best way. Amazing that pre's without balance controls are so much the norm even if they are cheaper to make.

 

poco a poco

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I sympathise with your (permanent?) hearing problem. At the moment I have an ear infection diagnosed as Eustachian Tube Disfunction causing me at first deafness and at present a much reduced level at my left ear also with some distortion. For me it has made listening to music via my system almost impossible as it sounds distorted and unbalanced. I,m told it could be another 6 weeks before I get an improvement.

I think some people are much more sensitive to balance via HiFi systems than others. Some of my (HiFi) friends, including one who has a similar permanent hearing problem to you don't seem very bothered by balance, but I find (when my hearing is good) that I'm always fiddling with the balance controls due to different recordings balance. If you are sensitive I think you really need an amp or preamp with balance controls.

 

RobHolt

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Attenuating one input would work, or making an attenuated link and inserting that into the tape loop. This allows the attenuation to impact all sources and can be switched out.

The Delto 60 is a very nice amplifier. It's an A&R A60 minus tone controls in a black box.

It won't give much if anything away to an Elicit.

 

a91gti

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I have a similar issue myself but just with transients, drove me crazy and I went through a lot of "faulty" speakers and amps before I realised I was the faulty component.

Anyway after that rambling start, I get round the problem by positioning my speakers in a fashion that compensates.

The jist of it is that the weak side is bolstered by having the necessary speaker further over so that it fires more directly into my ear.

Using myself to balance it rather than electronics seems purer somehow.

Hard to explain really but I would suggest just having a play with them.

 

RobHolt

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Andrew makes a good point, especially if the imbalance is HF related as it tends to be.

Having harder surfaces closet to one loudspeaker and softer/fewer surfaces near the other can pull the image successfully.

Not perfect since you also impact other areas but it might work well enough.

 

age136

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Another solution is to move your listening chair a bit to the right or left in the direction of the weak ear. If you play something recorded in mono then adopt the position where the image appears central. But yes, a pre amp with a balance control is the best way. Amazing that pre's without balance controls are so much the norm even if they are cheaper to make.
I'm not at home at the minute but downloaded the manual to my phone . The Delta 60 has a mono button . Could I use that to centre the image ? I don't own any mono records or CDs .

 

Radioham

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If you use mono, then yes you will get a centre image, but no more stereo effect, in which case you might as well only have one speaker.

 

awkwardbydesign

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Have you tried turning your back and listening? Just to make sure it's not a room problem. I know you were thinking of acoustic panels, and many rooms (including mine) are skewed to one side acoustically. And moving one speaker forwards IS a valid option, IMO.

BTW, if you are still considering panels, PM me.

 
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a91gti

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you might as well only have one speaker.
Not strictly accurate as one speaker in a stereo system will only give part of the recording where mono gives the whole.

Stereo is after all only a gimmick albeit a pleasant one.

:pop:

 

age136

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If you use mono, then yes you will get a centre image, but no more stereo effect, in which case you might as well only have one speaker.
i mean , just to use it to centre the image . And then once I'm satisfied with it being central . Turn the mono off . ??

 

awkwardbydesign

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but I find (when my hearing is good) that I'm always fiddling with the balance controls due to different recordings balance.
I suspect you have different sensitivities in each ear at different frequencies, so as each recording varies, so does the balance. If that is the case, then rebalancing for each recording will get pretty frustrating, I imagine.

 

age136

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Hi , dick , will pm you later as yes I do want them still .

But no , it's not the room ( though it's hardly ideal ) .

I had an operation a while back to restore hearing . But I have still got a significant drop in one ear .

 

awkwardbydesign

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Not strictly accurate as one speaker in a stereo system will only give part of the recording where mono gives the whole.Stereo is after all only a gimmick albeit a pleasant one.

:pop:
I think he meant to sum both channels.

 

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