Nottingham Dais

Appreciating music with partial hearing

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Not a day passes that I do not appreciate listening to music. I am sure many others feel the same; but perhaps for different reasons. I have no hearing at all in my right ear, following a virus that in 2011 killed all the nerves in just 24 hours. Two years later I lost the hearing in my left ear and thought my life would never be the same. It was 50/50 whether steroids could reverse the loss, but I was lucky. Within one week my left ear recovered fully. So it is hardly surprising that every day I feel very fortunate indeed.

But my appreciation of music is not solely from my gratitude to still be able to hear at all. Rather, it is because I have learned to listen better. Having only one working ear requires me to concentrate far harder on sound, mainly to hear what people are saying to me when they are standing on my deaf side. It took me a good couple of years to get used to the imbalance and to train my brain to process sound from the right. I am now able to hear pretty much everything that is said to me from any direction. (I am told that many people with profound hearing loss in one year never get used to it; another reason for me to feel fortunate.) The discipline of listening with high concentration has opened up for me a new opportunity; to appreciate listening to music in a way that I never did when I had two good ears.

As a teenager I was fascinated by hifi. I could not afford expensive equipment, but I could afford hifi magazines and imagine how miraculous the exotic components must have sounded. Now in my 50s, I can afford some mid-range kit. Mainly my components hail from the 1970s and early 1980s (I guess I am attracted to equipment from that era because they were the very items that I craved so much as a lad but could not have): an early Nottingham Analogue Dais turntable (built to last a lifetime), Quad 303, a Creek passive preamp (beautifully transparent) and old Heathkit Cotswold speakers (with 12 inch Fane bass units and 35kg of heft to each cabinet).

I cannot hear in stereo, so many might ask why I bother to listen to hifi at all. But my enjoyment now surpasses any that I ever experienced whilst gifted with hearing on both sides. I listen for detail. With just one ear I have, for the first time, heard things on LPs that I have owned for 40 years. As a teenager I was oblivious to all the complex rhythms and musicianship that lies subtly behind the prominent voices and lead guitars. And the reason I particularly love my old, heavy speakers is that I can feel the bass they generate just as well as anyone with perfect hearing. The sound brings me such joy, both because the newly-revealed music is great and also because my hearing loss (far from being an impediment) has, for me, opened a world I doubt I would have ever appreciated as much.

As a new member to this site I thought I would post these thoughts in case there is anyone else out there who can associate with this.

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Welcome to the Wam. Sorry for your hearing loss, but glad you are still able to appreciate the music. I had a similar revelation when I was fitted with hearing aids to both ears. It was as if I had been listening to music via noise cancelling headphones. Then after being fitted, I could hear many things on albums I had probably not heard for years. It took some getting used to, but was worth it. I think the neighbours might appreciate my music listening at a lower level these days :whistle:.

Dont forget to update your profile details.

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Thank you for the welcome and I am glad you have also reconnected with the sound of your LPs.

Is there anybody out there also using a Tom Fletcher Dais turntable? They were more expensive than Sondeks at the time. Less accurate than a Sondek but more musical in some people’s opinion. I would be interested to know how many are still in use.

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As a "Senior" citizen I obtained my first set of aids 5 years ago when I finally accepted that my wife was right and that the TV was too loud. Test showed the inevitable results of old age, substantial loss in both ears at the high end. Much better now but a word of warning. I acquired my 3rd set about 4 months ago and the change was substantial. Your hearing changes and it is important to check capability regularly, every 2-3 years, especially as you get older.

It is almost certain that I am missing out certain aspects of the music but the difference the aids made means it is worth while listening again. Also, I do not get input from the family re loudness of the TV and or system.  Also, do not buy the first set offered. I tried 3 suppliers with prices quoted from £1200 - £5000. Finally got mine from the NHS.

Checked out the Dias about 10 years ago along with a number of other decks. They all sounded good but not enough to get  me to change the LP12 I bought in the mid 80's.

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Not a day passes that I do not appreciate listening to music. I am sure many others feel the same; but perhaps for different reasons. I have no hearing at all in my right ear, following a virus that in 2011 killed all the nerves in just 24 hours. Two years later I lost the hearing in my left ear and thought my life would never be the same. It was 50/50 whether steroids could reverse the loss, but I was lucky. Within one week my left ear recovered fully. So it is hardly surprising that every day I feel very fortunate indeed.

But my appreciation of music is not solely from my gratitude to still be able to hear at all. Rather, it is because I have learned to listen better. Having only one working ear requires me to concentrate far harder on sound, mainly to hear what people are saying to me when they are standing on my deaf side. It took me a good couple of years to get used to the imbalance and to train my brain to process sound from the right. I am now able to hear pretty much everything that is said to me from any direction. (I am told that many people with profound hearing loss in one year never get used to it; another reason for me to feel fortunate.) The discipline of listening with high concentration has opened up for me a new opportunity; to appreciate listening to music in a way that I never did when I had two good ears.

As a teenager I was fascinated by hifi. I could not afford expensive equipment, but I could afford hifi magazines and imagine how miraculous the exotic components must have sounded. Now in my 50s, I can afford some mid-range kit. Mainly my components hail from the 1970s and early 1980s (I guess I am attracted to equipment from that era because they were the very items that I craved so much as a lad but could not have): an early Nottingham Analogue Dais turntable (built to last a lifetime), Quad 303, a Creek passive preamp (beautifully transparent) and old Heathkit Cotswold speakers (with 12 inch Fane bass units and 35kg of heft to each cabinet).

I cannot hear in stereo, so many might ask why I bother to listen to hifi at all. But my enjoyment now surpasses any that I ever experienced whilst gifted with hearing on both sides. I listen for detail. With just one ear I have, for the first time, heard things on LPs that I have owned for 40 years. As a teenager I was oblivious to all the complex rhythms and musicianship that lies subtly behind the prominent voices and lead guitars. And the reason I particularly love my old, heavy speakers is that I can feel the bass they generate just as well as anyone with perfect hearing. The sound brings me such joy, both because the newly-revealed music is great and also because my hearing loss (far from being an impediment) has, for me, opened a world I doubt I would have ever appreciated as much.

As a new member to this site I thought I would post these thoughts in case there is anyone else out there who can associate with this.

While my hearing still seems OK, my wife Ann's hearing has deteriorated and she now needs hearing aids.  The HiFi gives her great pleasure, due to it's clarity and definition.  Enabling her to still enjoy the music and the sound from the TV.  Started down the path to HiFi in the 1960's, after listening to a friend's B & O rig.  Then along came Comet, if my memory is correct,  retailing out of Leeds? They advertised a package of a Garrard SP25, Amstrad IC2000 and a small pair of Wharfedale speakers.  Never got over it, heaven in an affordable package.  Many people associated with the HiFi trade sneered at Comet.  Their entry into the HiFi retailing arena opened the door for many of us.  They expanded nationwide and HiFi at the lower end, became accessible and affordable for many of us and all of my early upgrade purchases were made at Comet. This paved the way for Laskys and Richer Sound.  This was as near as we have ever got to the mass marketing of HiFi.  Of course only one of them is still in business and they have had to broaden their product range to prosper.  Have purchased countless HiFi components over the last 50+ and would like to thank the dealers for their honesty and technical know how.

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I'm intrigued. Listening to many mono recordings from early Jazz vinyl through to the Beatles and the Stones, I find the musical reward actually higher in many cases.

Have you experimented with a mono preamp perhaps in your case with a balance control?

As I say, I find mono to be a really enjoyable way of listening a lot of the time.

I should also add to the others expressing their sadness for your ailment. I know what it's like to have a very keen hobby denied me by health issues and there is undoubtedly a void that many cannot appreciate - especially when knowing it will not get better.

Edited by Tune

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