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Thread: A cure for my tinnitus

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    Super User JonFo's Avatar
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    Default A cure for my tinnitus

    I’ve been AWOL from the board the last few weeks due to an increasing issue with tinnitus (ringing in the ears). As you might imagine, anyone with a large investment in audio, along with superb Martin Logans, would not be amused by ear problems. I’m worried sick…

    So I started looking around at what might be the root cause. Playing music too loud? Maybe, but I do that very rarely, if anything most people ask me to turn it up when watching TV or a movie. So I don’t think that was the main culprit. So it had to be the 3 hours a day I spend in a car commuting the 50 miles each way to work. This is mostly secondary roads, so I maintain a decent clip during most of the commute.

    The trouble is, the car I’ve been driving for the past 2 years is substantially noisier than what I had before (Audi A6). The 2005 Subaru Legacy GT is wonderful car, handles like a sports car and out-drags many of them, and sure beats any 2wd car in the rain But, a rigid body, low profile tires, hard suspension and rough road surfaces all combine to generate incredible low frequency noise in the cabin, and to make matters worse, there was a standing wave at something below 20hz right at my left ear. 3 hours a day of that and no wonder they ring.

    So in December I decided it was time to consider alternatives, and while ear plugs were tried for a week, they a) don’t work that great at VLF and b) are illegal to use while driving. Frankly, it was time to find a quiet car again.
    The challenge is that quiet = heavy, as most ‘sport sedans’ in the luxury bracket all weigh in at around 4K pounds.

    My requirements are for AWD and reasonable performance, so that limited the field somewhat, but you’d be surprised how many $40 to $50K cars now have those features.
    I considered Lexus GS350 (w/AWD), Infinity G35x, BMW 3 and 5 series with AWD and the Acura RL. No Audi’s this time around.

    In the end, Acura RL won out with its fabulous new (introduced in ’05) RL with SuperHandling-AWD.
    I got an ’07 with the Tech Package (Navi, and tons of other gizmos).

    It definitely is very quiet. It even features active noise cancellation in the cabin. The system uses two microphones and the audio system to actively cancel noise inside the cabin. Very effective.

    My ears are no longer being pummeled, so hopefully in a few months, the tinnitus will decrease.

    Now, that grin on my face when I drive, that’s not going away anytime soon
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    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

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    Forum Administrator twich54's Avatar
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    Jonathan, I have to give you credit......... that's the best damn excuse I've heard of to justify a new car !!! Congrats, looks sharp !!
    Dave

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    Super User Joey_V's Avatar
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    The RL... stands for really luxurious, really lovely, really lickable, really loveable...

    Love the RL, sat in one at the auto show and it was truly a dream. One of the cars that I would love to have around.

    What color?

    I say..... white!
    Joey "kid with grey hair" V
    System 1: Emm Labs TSDX Transport -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Cary SLP-05 Pre -> Boulder 2060 Stereo Amp -> B&W 802D3, AQ WEL Power Cords, AQ WEL Speaker Wire, AQ Wind (reterminating to XLR)
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    Super User JonFo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey_V View Post
    The RL... stands for really luxurious, really lovely, really lickable, really loveable...

    Love the RL, sat in one at the auto show and it was truly a dream. One of the cars that I would love to have around.

    What color?

    I say..... white!

    It's just like the pic, Silver and has a Taupe interior. All my cars are silver...

    It is very, very nice.

    The reason I've been AWOL was I was hanging out on the AcuraZine forums doing research before I purchased.

    The purchase process was pretty nice. The dealer lent me their loaner for the weekend (pick up Saturday am, return Monday night). Very effective, as I was able to truly gauge if it was going to be quieter on my commute.

    On luxury products like these cars or high-end Martin-Logans, a ‘test-drive’ in your context is the best way to really see what the product can do.
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

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    Super User JonFo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twich54 View Post
    Jonathan, I have to give you credit......... that's the best damn excuse I've heard of to justify a new car !!! Congrats, looks sharp !!
    Dave, thanks, works like a charm on the spouse
    Jonathan

    System #45 (Monolith IIIx, Sequell IIb, SL3XC)

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    MLO owner/operator TomDac's Avatar
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    beautiful car. Can't go wrong with a Honda.

    Keep us up to speed on the ringing and hopefully it will go away.
    Tom D'Acquisto
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    Super User Pcar928fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomDac View Post
    beautiful car. Can't go wrong with a Honda.
    +1. Well done. I like that new RL too...you still don't see them very often and I think they are overlooked by many. Great cars!
    James Morrison
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    Senior Member lugano's Avatar
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    Been a Honda fan for the last 20 years, as Tom says you can't go wrong.

    Diesel CRV here !
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    Super User Joey_V's Avatar
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    There's a diesel CRV??

    It's interesting how cars around the world are sorta different from ours.... and I take it most cars over there are manual?
    Joey "kid with grey hair" V
    System 1: Emm Labs TSDX Transport -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Cary SLP-05 Pre -> Boulder 2060 Stereo Amp -> B&W 802D3, AQ WEL Power Cords, AQ WEL Speaker Wire, AQ Wind (reterminating to XLR)
    System 2: Rotel RA1592 Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    System 3: Rotel RC1570 Preamp -> Rotel RB1582 Stereo Amp -> B&W CM10s2 (ESL11a replacement??)

  10. #10
    Senior Member lugano's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joey_V View Post
    There's a diesel CRV??

    It's interesting how cars around the world are sorta different from ours.... and I take it most cars over there are manual?
    Most, not, but quite a lot. The diesel CRV is available only with manual. If you pass your driving exam with an automatic, it gets written in your license and you can only drive automatic.
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    Senior Member charliemike's Avatar
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    Congrats! The RL is a really fine automobile. Especially with the tech package (I love the XM/Sat Navigation integration).
    Denon AVR-2307CI | Rotel DB-933 | Final Sound 300i | ML Grotto | Panasonic TH-50PH9UK | Samsung BD-P1000 | XBox 360 w/HD-DVD | Philips Pronto TSU 7000

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    Jonathan,

    Good luck with your new purchase, it looks like a real nice ride there!

    Jonathan, I have to give you credit......... that's the best damn excuse I've heard of to justify a new car !!! Congrats, looks sharp !!
    Dave that is funny!

    But seriously, tinnitus is nothing to laugh about. My ears have a permanent ringing from an stupid accident almost 20 years ago. Mine is a more permanent one...chronic I suppose you could say. It happened when I disconnected an air line hose from the wrong end of an air compressor and WHOA!! 135 psi... The loudest shrilling most painful volume of sound you could imagine in what seemed like forever to cover my ears but only lasted about two seconds from the time I heard the air to the time I covered my ears with my hands.

    Now mind you, I do listen to music at levels of 85 dB and at times to just over 90dB. I also worked in a recording studio where we would hear music and soundtracks at elevated volumes. But we're talking about short term exposure and acute tinnitus...it goes away after a day or so. I've also been to the loudest concert I ever heard, Black Sabbath when Randy Roads was the guitar player for that band...third row stage left. My ears rang for three days, but it went away about the fourth day.

    My ears have been ringing for about twenty years, lightly in the background...but if you let it get to you it can drive you crazy. I've learned to live with it, it is always there. In fact now that I make myself aware of it, I can hear it while I type...it's always there constant. I can't really hear crickets at night on a summer night, can't always hear light rain fall. It is hard to articulate pronunciation especially with people who speak softly. I say what when talking to people more than a lot of others would ask.

    Used to be worse than it is now, but it is nothing to fool around with. I can hear my music well and it is probably why I listen at slightly higher levels than most people would. I do not listen at long term high levels anymore.

    This thread is not about me but my experience with tinnitus and what you started to mention. I also noticed a very low frequency when driving my Suburban with the rear windows open (only the rear). Once I opened the fronts the "standing wave" disappeared.

    Lots of luck with your new purchase, it should be an enjoyable ride for you! So how many watts does the stereo system put out? Does it have a subwoofer?

    Sam

  13. #13
    Super User Joey_V's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sambob2 View Post
    Lots of luck with your new purchase, it should be an enjoyable ride for you! So how many watts does the stereo system put out? Does it have a subwoofer?

    Sam
    I say we have Lugano hook up a few Frescos in there and a Dynamo and we're set!
    Joey "kid with grey hair" V
    System 1: Emm Labs TSDX Transport -> Emm Labs DAC2x -> Cary SLP-05 Pre -> Boulder 2060 Stereo Amp -> B&W 802D3, AQ WEL Power Cords, AQ WEL Speaker Wire, AQ Wind (reterminating to XLR)
    System 2: Rotel RA1592 Integrated -> Sonus Faber Olympica 3
    System 3: Rotel RC1570 Preamp -> Rotel RB1582 Stereo Amp -> B&W CM10s2 (ESL11a replacement??)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Robin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Fuel-Cell -> AWD = Quiet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Joey_V View Post
    There's a diesel CRV??
    Jonathan,

    In the next couple of years ~ you should check out the AWD Totoya Fuel-Cell cars planned for the future, being as they will be using the sooooo quite electric motor... Although Hydrogen is most cheaply obtained from diesel fuel... I reccommend this as a viable, quiet and fuel efficant up-grade.

  15. #15
    Senior Member MotorToad's Avatar
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    Nice to hear you found a cure. (Badda-bing! Love those cheap puns!) As a note, though, this probably could have been cured with tires, or maybe wheels and tires. I've found low rolling resistance tires are really loud (and useless in the rain!), and for some reason everyone seems convinced that they need 18, 19, or even larger wheels which leaves tires with no sidewalls. A switch to better tires, or at worst to a reasonable wheel size, would make a big difference in a lot of situations. It might not have been your situation, but I've seen it often enough that I thought it warranted mention.

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