Thanks for the links guys. So, ViVA is a soundstage widenening effect that focuses the center channel, so I assume that's good for video/movie playback? I'm assuming ViVA2 is just an increase in the effect, and not a different effect altogether? What about BBE Headphone, 2, & 3? To my ears they do different things, and not just more or less of whatever it is it's doing.
Some of the effects are weird, like Feel The Wind and Crystal Clear...they are neat exercises in playing around with sound, but I'd never listen to music that way. Most of them I just don't use, and the custom EQ has so much variability that I haven't even started playing with them. I pretty much just try to find a setting based on the music and phones that gives me a natural or "fun" sound depending on the mood, so I just stick to any of the BBE's.
ViVA/ViVA2/BBE Headphone seem to be a mix, hardcoded presets that combine the effects of BBE, M3B, Stereo Enhance. It's almost possible to get the same sound when tweaking these separately, but not quite.
As far as the presets go that don't have a BBE prefix, they're something Cowon came up with, and are IMO far from the quality of the BBE algorithms. The 3D Surround setting is again another thing, it's a hardware effect of the Wolfson DAC, AFAIK (and it's no good either, IMO, very muddy - Stereo Enhance is similar, yet better). Personally, I only use the EQ, BBE, M3B, MP, Stereo Enhance. I don't use 3D Surround, Reverb, or the non-BBE presets.
Here's a few RMAA tests of the ViVA presets (tested with the S9, but the J3 is the same anyways): http://rmaa.elektrokrishna.com/Comparisons_%28No_Loads%29/Cowon%20S9%20-%20BBE%2B%20ViVA%20Test.htm
Edited by dfkt - 12/11/10 at 2:21pm