Ear pain - Same amp, same volume, 12'' vs 8'' speaker

asangster1

Member
Messages
12
Here's the deal. I've got an 8'' combo amp that I can play at volume x (we're talking bedroom levels) without ear pain. However, when I plug in a 12'' external cab, I notice ear pressure (like when climbing altitude) that soon turns to pain. No adjustment on the EQ. So... Is it the cab? The amp? The room? It's not the highs, I don't think.

What do you think?
 

Geeze

Member
Messages
2,423
New speaker [i.e. broken in]? Same db rating? Can you EQ it out? What brands / models?

Russ
 
Messages
430
It could be that the 12" speaker is more efficient, thus, louder. In addition, the 12" speaker IS moving more air.
There may also be specific frequency ranges that one speaker is enhancing that the other isn't.
 

asangster1

Member
Messages
12
The 8'' combo speaker is a piece of junk generic. The 12'' is a WGS Reaper and is fairly new (not completely broken in by any means). I'm playing both at the same db and have not yet been able to eq it out. Obviously both speakers should different, but not to the extent that I can pin-point the specific tonal quality does it. The only thing that I can think of is that there are inaudible frequencies (high or low) that are causing the problem.
 

MHG

Member
Messages
5,825
Very strange, because none of these variables should be creating actual ear pain at bedroom volumes.
 

asangster1

Member
Messages
12
I know, right? My wife noticed it as well, although she's more sensitive to noise than I am across the board.
 

michael.e

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
20,520
I had two amps that caused this for me. /13 RSA 23 and a 25/50 Jubilee. No other amps did that to me.
 

Rod

Tone is Paramount
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
22,111
My ears are very sensitive to Vintage 30's and G12H30's and JBL's They can cause me pain, but that's at high volume levels
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
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33,084
Freq spikes extend beyond average db levels.
How are you at coping with rock band sound levels? Loud Hi-fi? Dance club/DJ. Industrial noise.
Chronic ear pain?
 

Phletch

Member
Messages
9,898
If you're getting ear "pain" at "bedroom levels", regardless of anything else, it's time to invest in some ear protection or go modeler with headphones or hollowbody unplugged.
 

asangster1

Member
Messages
12
I've never noticed this quality of ear pain before. When things get loud, sure it can hurt, but it's the run of the mill sort of piercing pain, not the pressure type. Also, I usually wear hearing protection at loud gigs, shows, etc.
 

Krackle

Member
Messages
53
I'd be willing to bet it comes from some nastiness in the 1k-2k zone..this frequency range in some speakers (many IMO) is rough, unrefined and fatiguing..I've experienced exactly what you're talking about..it transfers to recordings and can be found easily with an eq..but hard to get rid of.

Did you say what kind of speaker you're using in that cabinet? closed back or open?

What kind of amp?

curious to know..
 

Geetarpicker

Member
Messages
2,908
Most 12" guitar speakers are WAY more efficient than an 8" guitar speakers. Its enough to make a 6-10db difference in the room which quite a bit! That is like multiplying your wattage by 4 or 5 times.
 

asangster1

Member
Messages
12
It's a WGS Reaper in an open back cab (that I made - Orange 1x12 clone). The amp is an old crate. Ive run Orange and Matchless amps through it and felt the same pressure, although the Matchless was much less of a problem.
 

Stu Blue

Member
Messages
3,166
Most 12" guitar speakers are WAY more efficient than an 8" guitar speakers. Its enough to make a 6-10db difference in the room which quite a bit! That is like multiplying your wattage by 4 or 5 times.
Geetarpicker is right. Also the OP is talking about "sound pressure" which is usually the low end. 12 inch speakers will deliver way, way more low end than an 8inch, easily +100db with a couple of watts. In a small room (bedroom) you can quickly reach saturation levels where you feel uncomfortable... also the room itself will resonate and amplify peak frequencies especially in the low end. Humans are lousy judges of amplitude when it comes to low end stuff... you can easily double, treble and more the levels without being aware of what a huge difference you'd got.

However if the OP truly means "bedroom levels" then his hearing needs looking at medically because no-one gets pain at those levels.
 

Krackle

Member
Messages
53
I've definitely experienced this in 1k region..and the effect is broad..extending down into the lower mids and boxy area..making it difficult to get rid of with eq in post without completely trashing a guitar sound.
 

asangster1

Member
Messages
12
I've definitely experienced this in 1k region..and the effect is broad..extending down into the lower mids and boxy area..making it difficult to get rid of with eq in post without completely trashing a guitar sound.
What have you done to address the issue? Swap cabs or amps?
 

djd100

Member
Messages
3,113
What "exactly" is your "bedroom level"?

There are any number of free DB Meters available for your phone, get one and see what your level actually is.

If you're having pain at levels around 85db or less, you should see a hearing professional!

If you're getting ear "pain" at "bedroom levels", regardless of anything else, it's time to invest in some ear protection or go modeler with headphones or hollowbody unplugged.
 

asangster1

Member
Messages
12
I'll grab the exact DB numbers after work. It just so happens that a good friend of mine is an audiologist. I explained what I want experiencing and asked his opinion. He thinks it has something to do with the equipment rather than my hearing. He did say, however, that people have sensitivities to different frequency bands that can be quite narrow. It may be that I fall into that category and that the speaker emphasizes that particular region.
 




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