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Graphic Equalizers - Page 3

post #31 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreadhead View Post
No worries. I did quite a bit of searching before I bought. I got some cash back and free shipping but that's about it.

I haven't compared the DAC to my DAC1. With the GEQ my setup is sort of shoe horned into place (pics here: DEQ2496 Digital-Crossfeed and Equalizer in One - Head-Fi: Covering Headphones, Earphones and Portable Audio) so switching between stuff is a real pain.

I know inquiring minds would like the comparison so maybe I'll do one later. I've recently had a chance to borrow a DAC in the $300 range and it didn't seem to have the same level of detail as the DAC1 and was more uneven in response. The uneven response was nothing that a GEQ couldn't take care of but I think the details were just not quite there. From reviews I've read in pro-audio stuff it seems like the Behringer is pretty excellent though. It's a sad fact that three clicks of a knob on this DEQ will change the sound a lot more than a 5 grand DAC ever will ("musicality", "warmth", insert your tube rolling/cable rolling statement etc... be damned).
Yep. And tube-rolling is relatively cheap. EQ through component upgrading is as common around these parts as sunshine in Florida. Geez, you talk about the hard way...

Of course it gives you a reason to buy something if that's really the objective.

Tim
post #32 of 109

Most definitely use a EQ

I am using a Crane Song ibis with my stax headphones and I am overwhelm on its performance. By all means, get a high-end EQ and connected right after your source. good day david picarsic
post #33 of 109

Well... Almost...

Well... all of that is almost 100% true.

Just a few caveats.

I'd try and find "highly regarded components" at "value prices" - and "slip a good SP into the chain to tune it to 'my sound.'" And... I'd want a pretty "transparent" SP - whatever that means.

Just remember... that there's quite a few components for <$1000 that sound within 10% of the best available. DO NOT CHASE THE HIGH DOLLAR STUFF... unless... you just don't mind spending the money - "it jes ain't gonna sound that much better" - especially, if you find your sound with a SP. A few percentage points of improvement... "jes ain't worth it." And "screwing around" with trying to "EQ your sound" by swapping components... "jes ain't worth the time and trouble... and money" - unless "that's your thing." "It ain't mine."

For example... if you've got low impedance phones (D2000/D5000/Grados/ATHs, etc.) - then you're going to want an amp with very low impedance output (e.g. X-CANv8, etc.) - no way around that requirement. And one that will drive high impedance phones, as well. And... if you like tubes... then it should have some tubes in there somewhere (e.g. Singlepowers, MAD, DV, WA, etc.). At it's price... there is very little "that can touch" the X-CANv8.

And... you should get a CDP/DAC that has the inherent sound you prefer, which is rated "as good as they come, at any price," despite their "bargain prices." For example... the Monarchy M24, or Marantz SA-8001, etc.

Then... if you still think you need a SP... by all means get one!!!

But... don't be surprised... if you don't think you do... except... for the HD650s - which you "damn well may."
post #34 of 109
An aspect I've raised in the past in this forum re employment of equalizers is their frequent usefulness in compensating for some personal hearing defect, especially in middle frequency ranges. I think it's curious that so little attention in this forum seems to be directed to this aspect as so many of us may be reaching ages where this can become a major factor in our ability to enjoy music fully. I myself use the quite small, simple and effective BBE Sonic Maximizer VG360, which sells for about $100.
post #35 of 109
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post #36 of 109
Here's the straight dope on equalizers... a well-designed equalizer in the hands of a knowledgeable person can tweak away small imperfections (real or perceived) in your headphones.

Unfortunately, most equalizers meant for home use are of pretty poor quality. Right or wrong, they're kind of perceived as being a bit "ghetto" in the audio world, so there aren't a lot of high-end manufacturers who make them. There are definitely quality equalizers made for studio use that you could get if you don't mind having a rack mounted piece.

The more important part is the fact that very, very few people know how to properly use an equalizer. 99% of the time I've seen people use them, they make some "cutesy" pattern that will look good to their girlfriend. If you're making a sine wave pattern on your equalizer, you are adjusting by sight, not sound; you might as well be using a toaster for your amplifier, it'll sound better. Proper equalizing takes a lot of time and a trained ear.

Equalizers are totally necessary in studio recording because you're recording dozens of different musicians every year, each of them with a different sound that you may have to adjust (for example, a guitarist that insists on turning up the bass so high that the bass player's lines disappear in the mix). They are sometimes necessary for speaker setups in less than perfectly designed listening areas. They really aren't necessary for a proper headphone setup since the two factors I mentioned (random sound and room interaction) aren't a factor. For the amount of money you'll spend on a decent equalizer, you'd be better off investing in a set of headphones that sound the way you're wanting to make your headphones sound. You're not going to turn HD650s into GS1000s. You can, of course, make the GS1000s sound a bit less bright, but if you don't like bright headphones, my advice would be to buy a different model.
post #37 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
To put it rather bluntly: If you have to use an equalizer in addition to headphone amping, then you have the wrong headphones, or maybe the wrong amp, IMO.
Sometimes bluntness is needed... I just posted a long, rambling post before this, and it doesn't do the subject nearly as much justice as yours.
post #38 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post

I don't recommend the Aphex aural exciter. There is some kind of processing going on in there in addition to simple equalization that I suspect the listener would tire of in time ...

Tim
Tim,

Have you used the Aphex 204 in your system?

The way the 204 works is such that it can be adjusted to be not even noticed to very obvious...and everywhere in between.

I've had my 204 for over one year and continue to use it most of the time even if at minimal levels.
post #39 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatDane View Post
Tim,

Have you used the Aphex 204 in your system?

The way the 204 works is such that it can be adjusted to be not even noticed to very obvious...and everywhere in between.

I've had my 204 for over one year and continue to use it most of the time even if at minimal levels.
No. I've played with them in the studio, but never at home. I jumped in a bit quick with that remark, based on some unnatural effects that the early Aphex created, and I'm sure it is much better these days. I'm still not sure I'd recommend it to someone seeking eq, though. It's not straightforward eq. There's something else going on in there...

Tim
post #40 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by earwicker7 View Post
Here's the straight dope on equalizers... a well-designed equalizer in the hands of a knowledgeable person can tweak away small imperfections (real or perceived) in your headphones.

Unfortunately, most equalizers meant for home use are of pretty poor quality. Right or wrong, they're kind of perceived as being a bit "ghetto" in the audio world, so there aren't a lot of high-end manufacturers who make them. There are definitely quality equalizers made for studio use that you could get if you don't mind having a rack mounted piece.

The more important part is the fact that very, very few people know how to properly use an equalizer. 99% of the time I've seen people use them, they make some "cutesy" pattern that will look good to their girlfriend. If you're making a sine wave pattern on your equalizer, you are adjusting by sight, not sound; you might as well be using a toaster for your amplifier, it'll sound better. Proper equalizing takes a lot of time and a trained ear.

Equalizers are totally necessary in studio recording because you're recording dozens of different musicians every year, each of them with a different sound that you may have to adjust (for example, a guitarist that insists on turning up the bass so high that the bass player's lines disappear in the mix). They are sometimes necessary for speaker setups in less than perfectly designed listening areas. They really aren't necessary for a proper headphone setup since the two factors I mentioned (random sound and room interaction) aren't a factor. For the amount of money you'll spend on a decent equalizer, you'd be better off investing in a set of headphones that sound the way you're wanting to make your headphones sound. You're not going to turn HD650s into GS1000s. You can, of course, make the GS1000s sound a bit less bright, but if you don't like bright headphones, my advice would be to buy a different model.
A lot of good points there. The one I think you've missed is compensating for bad mastering. For the latter, good tone controls would probably be enough; the ability to turn down the upper mid/lower treble on some modern masters is a gift. Unfortunately there are almost no headphone amps with tone controls. They are, in fact, considered sort of anti-audiophile. So instead, we try to tweak tone with equipment choices -- copper cable for warmth, silver for bright, audiophile DACs with output stages tuned to sound more "analog," CDPs with tubes, that sort of thing. Thing is, the good masters don't need it. I'm listening to a brilliant CD re-master of Sonny Rollins' "Saxaphone Collosus" right now. It really is a great old piece of analog recording (1956) rendered beautifully into the digital medium. It really would be a shame if my DAC was rolling the top off the ride cymbal of this, so that treble-goosed, brick-walled modern rock masters would sound smoother. EQ, used only when necessary, is a much better option IMO.

Tim
post #41 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
No. I've played with them in the studio, but never at home. I jumped in a bit quick with that remark, based on some unnatural effects that the early Aphex created, and I'm sure it is much better these days. I'm still not sure I'd recommend it to someone seeking eq, though. It's not straightforward eq. There's something else going on in there...

Tim
I've only used a current model Aphex. I tried a 31-band EQ in my HP rig and it wasn't what I was really looking for...I spent too much time playing with it.

That "something else going on in there" is what makes it work for me.I don't consider the 204 to be an EQ, more like a fun box.
post #42 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatDane View Post
I've only used a current model Aphex. I tried a 31-band EQ in my HP rig and it wasn't what I was really looking for...I spent too much time playing with it.

That "something else going on in there" is what makes it work for me.I don't consider the 204 to be an EQ, more like a fun box.
Well, I can certainly understand the attraction to a "fun box," but I'm just looking for a way to drop the masking effect out of overzealous warmth and reduce the glare in goosed-up masters. And really the 10 bands of digital eq in iTunes are enough for that. If I ever buy another eq, it will be digital, it will include automatic analysis and room compensation, and it's primary purpose will be fixing the room acoustics of a speaker rig. I think the effects of bad room acoustics are underestimated if not totally overlooked by most audiophiles. A dip here, a spike there and pretty soon, a $1000 nearfield system with a sub under the desk will kick your $20,000 rigs silly booty.

Tim
post #43 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
Well, I can certainly understand the attraction to a "fun box," but I'm just looking for a way to drop the masking effect out of overzealous warmth and reduce the glare in goosed-up masters. And really the 10 bands of digital eq in iTunes are enough for that. If I ever buy another eq, it will be digital, it will include automatic analysis and room compensation, and it's primary purpose will be fixing the room acoustics of a speaker rig. I think the effects of bad room acoustics are underestimated if not totally overlooked by most audiophiles. A dip here, a spike there and pretty soon, a $1000 nearfield system with a sub under the desk will kick your $20,000 rigs silly booty.

Tim
Anyone interested in the Aphex should buy one from a place with a 30 day return policy. That is what I am going to do tomorrow based on the recommendations in this thread. Best case scenario I could love it or return it if I don't...no worries.

BTW...the equalizer in iTunes is not an ideal solution either.
post #44 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfarney View Post
A lot of good points there. The one I think you've missed is compensating for bad mastering. For the latter, good tone controls would probably be enough; the ability to turn down the upper mid/lower treble on some modern masters is a gift. Unfortunately there are almost no headphone amps with tone controls. They are, in fact, considered sort of anti-audiophile. So instead, we try to tweak tone with equipment choices -- copper cable for warmth, silver for bright, audiophile DACs with output stages tuned to sound more "analog," CDPs with tubes, that sort of thing. Thing is, the good masters don't need it. I'm listening to a brilliant CD re-master of Sonny Rollins' "Saxaphone Collosus" right now. It really is a great old piece of analog recording (1956) rendered beautifully into the digital medium. It really would be a shame if my DAC was rolling the top off the ride cymbal of this, so that treble-goosed, brick-walled modern rock masters would sound smoother. EQ, used only when necessary, is a much better option IMO.

Tim
Yeah, crappy recordings are the thorn in the side of us all.

I kind of take a philosophical point of view on it, however. "It is what it is" has saved my sanity on many occasions when I wanted to leap out of my chair and hunt down whatever braindead engineer decided that the lead guitar should overpower every other band member, or that the best way to deal with cymbals is to crank up the treble as far as it goes. Good engineers are hard to find, so instead of getting angry over every crappy recording, I just consider the good ones to be a piece of heaven.
post #45 of 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by dspargo View Post
BTW...the equalizer in iTunes is not an ideal solution either.
Oh, it's not even close. But for the little bit of correction I do on occasion, it's fine.

Tim
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