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Johann Pinto, Clinical Audiologist | the Genius of Michel Vanden Broeck

Johann Pinto, Clinical Audiologist

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"The experience of the Tenor Amplifier was life changing to say the least.”

December 2012

I am a biologist, more specifically, an audiologist. I have a Master's degree in Anatomy and a Master's of Clinical Science in Communicative Disorders specializing in the field of Audiology.  This background has led me to the quest of finding the reason why people with hearing loss are not for the most part helped with the current hearing aid technology that is out there in the market.  The number one glitch in this technology is that it has a difficult almost impossible task of trying to mimic what the human brain does on the cellular level in understanding the speech signal in less than ideal listening situations. 

Frequency mapping in human ear and brain - 10.1371 journal.pbio.0030137.g001-L

The human brain can overcome noise levels in the environment and provide a clean speech signal to the auditory cortex in the temporal lobe that enables us to hear clearly in those situations. Once the hearing is damaged it seems that it is impossible to restore that filter with a hearing aid. My own system as started to break down in that loud inputs from my stereo have become too harsh for my auditory system. This is due to the natural degeneration of my neurons as I age leading to the phenomenon of "recruitment" where my neural network provides an abnormal growth of loudness due to the neuronal damage. Sounds that were pleasant to my auditory system have become so shrill that my system rejects them and I have to turn the volume of my music to lower levels to accommodate this change in my neurology. 

I encountered the Tenor Amplifier as I was introduced to Jim Fairhead by my good friend and colleague  Dr. Robert Ballagh. I had a chance to listen to this piece of technology and these are my thoughts:

I specifically, chose music that my system had rejected with the system I had in my home.  The experience of the Tenor Amplifier was life changing to say the least. The sound and the fidelity of that sound was immense in that my system was bathe in a sound so complete that I was transported to the venue with each band and felt that I was being treated to a personal concert. The sound produced by this amplifier was clean and at no time was my auditory system offended by the music I was listening to in that two hours. This technology has somehow found a way to mimic what the brain does on an ongoing basis when our auditory system is intact.  

The recruitment that I felt with my own system was not present with the Tenor Amplifier at very loud levels, something that I did not think possible. It gave me reason to pause and re-evaluate my own system in my home. It has also given me hope that my audiophile history will continue in that I know that this superior technology can and will provide me with countless hours of listening and the soothing of my mind. As clinicians, we know that there is no more important thing to one's psyche than finding a medium that will soothe that psyche following the hard days work. It is most important to keep that balance in one's life so that we can live healthy lives both physically and mentally. I have hopes that this technology if applied to a smaller technology can provide something in a hearing aid that can mimic what the human brain does with such ease. I stand in awe of this technology and hope that I get an invite back to take me back to music nirvana!


Johann pinto, 

clinical audiologist, 2012

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