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Why don't more people use EQ to get the desired sound? - Page 14

Poll Results: Do you use EQ regularly?

 
  • 34% (82)
    Yes
  • 40% (95)
    No
  • 18% (44)
    Absolutlely not!
  • 5% (14)
    Of coarse!
235 Total Votes  
post #196 of 299

I don't see quite how one just can EQ third harmonics, which tubes do just fine.

 

Warning: Sidetracking in tubes! (Click to show)

The major characteristic of the tube amplifier is the presence of strong second and third harmonics, sometimes in concert with the fourth and fifth, but always much greater in amplitude. The extreme difference in the tube amplifiers is the interchanging of the position of the second and third harmonics. This effect is not just a characteristic of the pentode, it is common to triodes too.


Musically the second is an octave above the fundamental and is almost inaudible; yet it adds body to the sound, making it fuller. The third is termed quint or musical twelfth. It produces a sound many musicians refer to as "blanketed." Instead of making the tone fuller, a strong third actually gives the sound a metallic quality that gets annoying in character as its amplitude increases. A strong second with a strong third tends to open the "covered" effect.


The transistor characteristics which our subjects noted were the buzzing or white-noise sound and the lack of "punch." The buzz is of course directly related to the edge produced by overloading on transients. The guess that this is white noise is due to the fact that many of the edge harmonics like the seventh and ninth are not musically related to the fundamental. The ear hears these dissonant tones as a kind of noise accompanying every attack. The lack of punch is due to the strong third harmonic which is inaudibly "blanketing" the sound.


The feeling of more bass response is directly related to the strong second and third harmonic components.

 

http://www.butleraudio.com/tubesvstrans2.html

 

post #197 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by bisayaboi View Post

People get tube amps to "color" sound. I ask, why not just equalize?

 

 


 

Or, if you like the sound of tubes, you could get a tube amp and then equalize it to perfection. Different EQ curves for different headphones, etc.

 

EQ is like icing on the cake.  You can't have a cheap, bad tasting cake and try to make up for it with a ton of really good icing. Get your cake in order first, then top it off.

post #198 of 299

Just to be a little Socrates-like here, please define "original sound".
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stockpimp007 View Post

I would never use an EQ, completely alters the original sound imo



 

post #199 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by sesshin View Post

 

Or, if you like the sound of tubes, you could get a tube amp and then equalize it to perfection. Different EQ curves for different headphones, etc.

 

EQ is like icing on the cake.  You can't have a cheap, bad tasting cake and try to make up for it with a ton of really good icing. Get your cake in order first, then top it off.


x2. By George, I think you've got it!

I couldn't have said it better myself.

EQ is icing on the cake be it a 3rd harmonic cake or not.

Let me eat Cake with frosting, too (if need be!). biggrin.gif

 

post #200 of 299

x3 - good analogy. EQ is tough to use as a cure (though it will work well for that in some cases), but can be very sweet to use as an enhancement.

 

For instance, as a "cure" I "help out" music that is compressed with lossy compression methods, like streaming audio from Internet radio stations, by brightening the high end somewhat to bring back the "sparkle" lost during the compression. As a "sweetener" I often enjoy a curve similar to Apples' "Acoustic" EQ curve.

 

It is all about making the experience more enjoyable. If you enjoy the "purity" of your sound without EQ in the chain... well, you enjoy it, and that's all that needs to be said.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sesshin View Post




 

Or, if you like the sound of tubes, you could get a tube amp and then equalize it to perfection. Different EQ curves for different headphones, etc.

 

EQ is like icing on the cake.  You can't have a cheap, bad tasting cake and try to make up for it with a ton of really good icing. Get your cake in order first, then top it off.



 


Edited by tbritton - 6/27/11 at 6:33am
post #201 of 299

I've always wondered how "purity" is any valid reason for not to EQ. What does purity sound like, does it taste well? How can you not want the best possible subjective result you can get to your ears, why let something silly like that stop you from getting as good listening experience as possible? I'd appriciate some logical answer on that as I can't figure out one myself. How can enjoyment/satisfaction come 2nd hand to something so dillusional as purity? How can you prioritize things that way is what I'm interested in.

 

EDIT: I understand this only in case we're not all after the same goal, as big enjoyment/satisfaction as possible which is what I think personally is hard to put anything but on top spot. In case we're after this same goal but of different opinion on EQing, I'm wondering what's dissatisfying about EQing?


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/27/11 at 7:12am
post #202 of 299

I think you might be missing the point, RPG - people who prefer purity will find it subjecively better sounding. That's why they prefer it. It's unfair to ask them to logically explain why they subjectively find something more enjoyable. Believing it is better is enough to make it better. Of course, if there are people in this thread who have admitted they prefer an EQ'd sound, but actively don't use it because they think it will spoil the purity, then obviously they need to reconsider their priorities. 

 

Edit: I see you've just clarified that in your statement above, so I think we're on the same page here.

 

I tend not to EQ much myself - I like the presentation of my headphones already. But to echo the sentiments of the posters above, I've got nothing against EQing to add a bit of enjoyment to the sound. However, trying to use EQ to make up for deficiencies in your headphones is probably going to be a dead end. Say, for example, I have a pair of headphones that rolls off quite significantly below 80Hz. Maybe I want to make up for that deficiency, so I EQ up my music by however many dB is needed to cancel out the roll-off of my headphones. But the problem is, the driver in my cans is not operating in a linear regime down at those frequencies - we know this because in Tyll's measurements of my hypothetical cans, we see a good 5% THD + noise down below 80 Hz. Because the system isn't linear, boosting the input by x dB to make up for the x dB rolloff at low frequency won't magically cancel out to 0 dB overall, like it would for a linear system. Instead, I might, if I'm lucky, get something close to 0 dB out, but with a whole bunch of distortion and noise added to the top as the diaphragm starts vibrating in a funny non-linear fashion.

 

There's a limit to what can be done.


Edited by Arleus - 6/27/11 at 7:13am
post #203 of 299

But the question is still unanswered-- what does purity sound like?

post #204 of 299

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

But the question is still unanswered-- what does purity sound like?


Don't you know? Like the chorus of a million angels.

 

post #205 of 299

OK rather expected reply, Arleus, here we go. First to answer your last sentence. EQing isn't about perfecting the deficiencies in headphones but improving them (if you could fix all defiencies there would be no use for such a vast selection of headphones especially in the higher end). There's lots of freeware EQ alternatives around so it won't hurt to at least TRY. Improvement is always an improvement right? Especially I don't see why that can be a bad thing no matter how small of an improvement it can be. Only if it happen to sound EXACTLY like you prefer it to sound like then obviously EQing wouldn't make sense.

 

How can you know you will prefer the sound of "purity" unless you give EQing a try? What makes them so sure that "purity" will be subjectively better sounding?

 

Then comes the other issue, what is meant by pure sound in first place? Unaltered? Neutrality? How do we know for sure every1 who thinks neutrality (assuming that's a perfect linear flat response) is the optimal for him/her. We all know people have such an invidual taste/preferences among pretty any subject, why wouldn't the same thing apply here? We're not talking about necessarily any big derivations from a flat response, perhap's it's a matter of 2dB boost somewhere in the mids, maybe highs, both or why not in lows, mids and highs or whatever or perhaps a 1.5dB decrease somewhere in the highs? What is it that makes a perfect flat response more subjectively enjoyable rather than every person have their own invidual preferred response curve and only a few people actually prefers (subjectively) a perfect flat response. I understand the need of flat response in studio mixing, but if we simply talk about music listening experience?

 

Sound is also always altered in some way wheter you're listening through your headphones (how it was recorded, cable quality, DAC etc) or live (the environment affects it in this case etc).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/27/11 at 7:37am
post #206 of 299

"But the question is still unanswered-- what does purity sound like?"

 

Well, in the context of this thread, it sounds like whatever the non-EQd music sounds like. There are people who will prefer the sound simply because it has not been messed with - they are listening with their conceptions of purity, just as most people listen with their eyes when they can see the name on the amp, or with their wallets when they know how expensive the cables are. It's that simple.

 

Of course, for a lot of people, 'purity' is recreating what the instruments sound like live, but personally I don't even go for that. Never liked live music much myself.

post #207 of 299

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arleus View Post

 

Well, in the context of this thread, it sounds like whatever the non-EQd music sounds like. 

 


Do you mean straight out of the microphone? As in before EQ is applied in the mastering process.

Or straight out of the headphones? 

 

In either case, which microphone or which headphones? Microphopnes and headphones have SIGNIFICANT frequency response differences when compared to others. 

 

Trying to find "your sound" is easily achieved with a quality headphone and tastefully applied EQ. The problem is that the rule makers are the money makers... There is not really any money in giving a consumer the tool to change the character of their system SIGNIFICANTLY for free. Tell them the tool to solve so many problems quickly and affordably is the root of all evil. When they want to tweak their sound they have to break the rule or buy a new headphone, cartridge, microphone, etc.


Edited by nikongod - 6/27/11 at 8:02am
post #208 of 299

I mean in the chain that the user owns: CD player > DAC > Amp. I'll reiterate my point once more - knowing that they've not changed the sound on the CD is enough to make it sound better, no matter what happened beforehand. Doesn't matter if the guy in the studio went Picasso on the EQ curve. If someone believes in 'purity', what matters is preserving the sound between the CD and the headphones.

 

And just to clear things up if there was any confusion, I'm not that person. I'm on the side of the EQ users; I am just saying that the power of faith shouldn't be underestimated. The real question is how did they end up believing in purity in the first place? We're one post away from bringing religion into this!

 

Edit: on second thought, you've already answered this, nikongod. Perhaps the manufacturers are the culprits?


Edited by Arleus - 6/27/11 at 8:39am
post #209 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

But the question is still unanswered-- what does purity sound like?


I think when the sound engineer responsible for the recording that I am listening to comes to my house and puts on my headphones and adjusts whatever he needs to adjust (be it tubes, tubes+EQ, or simply no tweaking at all) and hands me the headphones and says "This is what this song is supposed to sound like; this is the sound that I was after." Then for me, that is what purity sounds like. At least for that song.smile.gif


Edited by Clayton SF - 6/27/11 at 8:45am
post #210 of 299
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arleus View Post

 

There are people who will prefer the sound simply because it has not been messed with - they are listening with their conceptions of purity, just as most people listen with their eyes when they can see the name on the amp, or with their wallets when they know how expensive the cables are. It's that simple.

 


So in other words, purity sounds like placebo?

 

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