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I inverted my graphic eq based on Headroom frequency response graphs. . . does that work or am I...

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 

I used the frequency response graph for the Denon 2000s on headroom as a model for my graphic eq in foobar.  Headroom says that there fr graphs are adjusted for the contours of the human ear and such. . . does that mean that by inverting the fr graph via my graphic equalizer I will end up with better balanced headphones?

 

Because the denons do sound better after I did this.  A lot better.  I used to balk at people for saying that the denons had recessed mids.  Now I agree.  (well they aren't quite recessed but they do take somewhat of a back seat to the treble and, of course, the bass)

post #2 of 39

No I don't think it helps much.  I've tried the same thing and the sound wasn't right (both graphic EQ and Parabolic EQ).  It's not that I'm used to recessed mids, I have a speaker system whose mids are rock-solid, it's just that it throws everything off in terms of timbre.  I also don't think the Denons' mids are recessed as much as their treble is overpowering.

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 

Well I'm perfectly willing to believe that my headphones sound better because they sound "different" and I'm enjoying a different sound, probably will ultimately not enjoy it as much as the original.  Alternatively, I might be further off from "Balanced" than I even know.

 

But does it at least check out theoretically?

 

EDIT:  I've been comparing them more and more. . . I have to say I prefer the eq'd version, lyrics are so much clearer, vocals are meatier.  Much more detail.  But I say this still understanding that it could be very very far from balanced and just happen to sound nice.


Edited by scannon18 - 2/20/12 at 11:13pm
post #4 of 39

I do not understand how EQ'ing a headphone gives it more detail, unless you're saying detail is easier to pick out.  I'm not sure how vocals would be 'meatier' as well.  The Denons are flat to 1khz, and much of the weight behind vocals is under 1khz.  In fact much of the weight to mids are from around 250 to 1khz, which the Denons do very well.  Their treble, however, overpowers their upper mids, which can hurt instrument separation in a lot of music that has a multitude of different brass instruments especially.  But on the other side of the issue, treble spikes are an audiophile headphone staple-- they usually artificially bring out microdetail within songs and make the headphones appear faster than they really are.  Those are all just my musings of course, though.  

 

Just on the off chance, care to post a pic of what your EQ looks like?


Edited by TMRaven - 2/20/12 at 11:23pm
post #5 of 39
Thread Starter 

denon eq.jpg

Click to enlarge

 

I know I know, far too "eq" to be "audiophile."  But my experiment was to directly invert the frequency response graph found on headroom, which is this:

denon fr.jpg

 

Not a perfect experiment, I'll admit, but a noble one.  And it yielded interesting results.  Since you own the denons you should try it and tell me what you think, it's good to get opinions from experienced members.   And its not visible from the picture but the volume gain is set to -6db for the eq, so there was really not much distortion


Edited by scannon18 - 2/20/12 at 11:40pm
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 

EDIT: well, after a bit more listening, i've decided to concede my point because the denons sound a million times better with the eq off than on.


Edited by scannon18 - 2/20/12 at 11:48pm
post #7 of 39

The main problem is that the high frequency (> 2 kHz) response of a headphone is difficult to measure (just compare the graphs of the same headphone at a number of sites, and see how much different they can be), and can even vary somewhat for each person, so by simply copying and inverting the HeadRoom graph, you can easily make the sound worse.

 

post #8 of 39

Yeah that EQ for me tends to make the Denons' already exaggerated Treble problem and just makes it worse.  It sounds tinny and overly more overly bright than it already was.  Vocals are a bit more 'airy,' but altogether the headphone is more metallic.  I'd post my Denon EQs but I havn't found any that satisfy me yet.  None can equal the warmth yet retain treble clarity like my PSB speaker setup.  I've tried EQ'ing the treble down on the D2000s in a lot of different ways but always lost some of the edge in separation from a lot of the mids.  EQ'ing the bass down didn't really help either, it just turned the bass down.  The Denons' problem with their bass is that it isn't so much overpowering as it is slow.  If its bass decayed faster it'd be very good.


Edited by TMRaven - 2/21/12 at 9:14am
post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Yeah that EQ for me tends to make the Denons' already exaggerated Treble problem and just makes it worse.  It sounds tinny and overly more overly bright than it already was.  Vocals are a bit more 'airy,' but altogether the headphone is more metallic.  I'd post my Denon EQs but I havn't found any that satisfy me yet.  None can equal the warmth yet retain treble clarity like my PSB speaker setup.  I've tried EQ'ing the treble down on the D2000s in a lot of different ways but always lost some of the edge in separation from a lot of the mids.  EQ'ing the bass down didn't really help either, it just turned the bass down.  The Denons' problem with their bass is that it isn't so much overpowering as it is slow.  If its bass decayed faster it'd be very good.

Do you have any amps with a low output impedance? A higher damping factor could help decay. But I think I agree now that no eq s best
post #10 of 39

No the little dot is all I use.  I've tried the Denons on my iPod and iMac too, but the bass is even looser and less impactful on them.  The slow decay is just the limitation of its enclosed structure.

post #11 of 39

If a graph tells you 6.5k is down by 8 db from 1k (for example), but you listen to a 6.5 khz wave and a 1 khz wave and they sound about the same volume, then boosting 6.5 by 8 db is going to be a disaster. And hey, you've just EQ'd by ear, so do that across the board... :)

post #12 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

No the little dot is all I use.  I've tried the Denons on my iPod and iMac too, but the bass is even looser and less impactful on them.  The slow decay is just the limitation of its enclosed structure.

It seems to me your source is either too weak or has too high an output impedance. The denons need a good amount of power to sound their best, but they are low resistance so they are susceptible to distortion from high output impedance from sources
Edited by scannon18 - 2/21/12 at 11:59am
post #13 of 39

I think the usual practice is to use the data before Headroom applies the ear/hrtf corrections, to invert and make your eq.

 

If you look at the file name of the regular chart. 

 

e.g. http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID%5B%5D=2881

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID%5B%5D=2881

 

then subtract two from the ID# (so 2879 instead of 2881) - you get the raw chart for that headphone. 

 

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID%5B%5D=2879

graphCompare.php?graphType=0&graphID%5B%5D=2879

 

So based on that, you'll mostly be reducing treble. Not adding it. Personally - I don't know how well this procedure really works in the end. I use this as a starting point, but I still have much better luck using frequency sweeps and pink noise to hunt for peaks and killing them manually in a parametric eq. 

 


Edited by liamstrain - 2/21/12 at 1:41pm
post #14 of 39

I just EQ while listening to music by ear and usually get best result like that but yea I've kept EQing for years so I can very easily tell where to make adjustments based on what I'm hearing. But yea I personally trust my ears but that doesn't mean I'm necessarily adjusting for a perfectly flat response and I couldn't care less if it is or not, I believe it's more important to adjust it according to how it sounds best to you.

 

For less experienced EQ'ers I recommend doing following procedure if going by ear, just take one slider at a time, go both down to the bottom and to the top quickly of the slider and compare which setting sounds worse/better then you know at least if it has to be decreased or increased and then from there try listen more carefully while decreasing/raising the slider  to whereabouts the frequency starts disappearing (doesn't stick out like a sore thumb) with the rest of the range and then back by say maybe 1~2dB or so and repeat for the other sliders and you should already have a rough nicely working setting, after that you can start finetuning it more carefully. Best to use pink noise for this procedure but for more experienced EQers ofc you can use music too as long as you just try compare with frequencies you know are used in it (no point to EQ 50Hz if the song only uses ~100Hz bassnotes for example).


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 2/21/12 at 12:35pm
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by scannon18 View Post


It seems to me your source is either too weak or has too high an output impedance. The denons need a good amount of power to sound their best, but they are low resistance so they are susceptible to distortion from high output impedance from sources


It's neither, actually.  If I remember correctly, the iPod's output impedance is actually lower than most of the common SS amps people like to run (ie E7/E9) and all 3 of the iPod, iMac and Little Dot have more than enough power to feed the Denons.  When you say they need more power to sound their best, that implies I need to turn them up louder to sound their best, which just isn't true at all.

 

On to a different note.  EQing by ear isn't good either.  Our hearing has its own loudness curve, and EQing to the point that everything sounds the same in volume just means you'll have hugely exaggerated low end and really high end.  In theory, compensating for computer measurements is the better approach.  

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