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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 777

post #11641 of 20628

I see a lot of talk here in this thread about EQing the 400's. I'm using mine in my office and here I use a computer (only FLAC and Wav files) and J.River as the source out to my DAC. Anyone here using the EQ built into the J.River Media Center?

 

I've been looking for the adjustments users are making but I haven't found them here yet. If someone could point me in the direction of what EQ settings are being used I'd be very interested in trying it out. 

 

I'm very pleased with the HE-400's but I'm curious to hear what others are gettig them to sound like with their EQ adjustments.

 

Thanks!


Edited by KLJTech - 7/26/13 at 9:55am
post #11642 of 20628

Here is mine.

post #11643 of 20628
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholars View Post

 

Well what I am saying is fact so I do not need to use IMHO.

 

I don't think it is irrelevant tbh, because people who refuse to use EQ probably think that there has not been any applied before the music was released or something.

Really? That really came out of your brain, through your fingers, into the keyboard and on onto this board?

post #11644 of 20628

Look,  nothing any of you EQ guys says is going to change my mind.  I am a purist and that is it.  You will keep EQ'ing and be happy, I will NEVER use EQ and be happy and the planet will still spin.  I won't argue about his anymore.  It's a waste of everyone's time.  I asked one question about where is the EQ on the really good HiFi gear? and all I get is excuses and ridiculous reasons why it's the right thing to do.  Fine.  I guess there are "headphone enthusiasts" and then there are "audiophiles" tongue.gif

post #11645 of 20628
If I
Quote:
Originally Posted by KLJTech View Post

I see a lot of talk here in this thread about EQing the 400's. I'm using mine in my office and here I use a computer (only FLAC and Wav files) and J.River as the source out to my DAC. Anyone here using the EQ built into the J.River Media Center?

I've been looking for the adjustments users are making but I haven't found them here yet. If someone could point me in the direction of what EQ settings are being used I'd be very interested in trying it out. 


I'm very pleased with the HE-400's but I'm curious to hear what others are gettig them to sound like with their EQ adjustments.


Thanks!

If I use EQ I use Jriver, and I only do bass boost. Flat otherwise and normally no EQ

That said, I find the Jriver EQ to be nice sounding
post #11646 of 20628
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsaxon69 View Post

Look,  nothing any of you EQ guys says is going to change my mind.  I am a purist and that is it.  You will keep EQ'ing and be happy, I will NEVER use EQ and be happy and the planet will still spin.  I won't argue about his anymore.  It's a waste of everyone's time.  I asked one question about where is the EQ on the really good HiFi gear? and all I get is excuses and ridiculous reasons why it's the right thing to do.  Fine.  I guess there are "headphone enthusiasts" and then there are "audiophiles" tongue.gif

 

You won't see EQ on hifi gear because it's just that-- hifi gear.  It's marketed towards people with your mindset.  Look at pro gear.

 

Also, using a digital software EQ instead of a hardware one on your amp or preamp is a better idea in the first place.  The only reason I see not to do that is if you're already too purist and completely skip the computer alltogether, going straight form a vinyl to amp to skip the d/a process.


Edited by TMRaven - 7/26/13 at 12:05pm
post #11647 of 20628
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsaxon69 View Post

Look,  nothing any of you EQ guys says is going to change my mind.  I am a purist and that is it.  You will keep EQ'ing and be happy, I will NEVER use EQ and be happy and the planet will still spin.  I won't argue about his anymore.  It's a waste of everyone's time.  I asked one question about where is the EQ on the really good HiFi gear? and all I get is excuses and ridiculous reasons why it's the right thing to do.  Fine.  I guess there are "headphone enthusiasts" and then there are "audiophiles" tongue.gif

Such defensiveness. It's not an argument, unless you want to make it so. I see it as an interesting discussion.

 

Before you completely close your mind off to the idea of using EQ, let me offer my input. The reason why high end equipments don't have EQ function, imo, is primarily due to the fact that parametric equalizers at the digital level with a computer software is inexpensive (free, in some cases) and superior to any graphical equalizer that may come with an external DAC, which will invariable bump up the cost of the DAC unit considerably. With a parametric EQ program, much more fine tuning is available. The software I use even comes with a perfectly functional manual sine sweeper, which is a wonderful tool for fine tuning your EQ settings. As such, there is no reason for any high-end equipment to include a graphic EQ, imo.

 

I'm presuming that you've been using a graphic EQ, without the aid of a sine sweeper, and thus, have been having a hard time getting your equalizations just right. It also helps tremendously to have some knowledge of human spectrum of loudness sensitivity with respect to frequencies. This tells your ears how to correlate perceived loudness with actually physical intensity of each specific frequency you hear. The diagram at the bottom of this article is great for that: http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/jw/hearing.html Finally, it helps to brush up on some knowledge of compensation curves. There are a few, and none of them are universally agreed upon, but they're mostly pretty similar to each other.

 

I'm glad you're enjoying your headphones without EQ. Once you have your EQing skill down to a science, I can assure you that you'll be rewarded with sound from your headphones that is much more tonally natural than ever before. I have never ever come across a headphone that I can can't* make sound considerably better with some EQing. Every time I turn off my EQ settings for my HE-400 or RE-400, I start to miss what I was hearing before. Peaks, spikes, valleys, and dips are very apparent to me; and when they're gone, sublime naturalness is all that remains.

 

However, certain properties of headphones cannot be improved with EQ, of course. Things like dynamics, speed, soundstage (except to a degree)*, imaging, reverberation, resolution, etc... This is why, my philosophy and approach towards choosing the ideal headphone is to pick that I can afford with as much of those desired traits as possible. Then, I will tailor its frequency response precisely to my taste.

 

Addendum: I would like to also assert that most (at least 95%) of the peaks and dips in a headphone's FR are not intentionally placed there by their manufacturers. Those flaws are biproducts of the headphones' design and materials implemented. In a sense, they're unavoidable. Same holds true for "ringing," AKA excessive reverberations at certain frequencies. Ringing can't be alleviated with EQ, but FR flaws certainly can be remedied utterly. If manufacturers could have it their way, almost every headphone's FR graphs would look very, very smooth.


Edited by tigon_ridge - 7/26/13 at 12:38pm
post #11648 of 20628
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigon_ridge View Post

This is why, my philosophy and approach towards choosing the ideal headphone is to pick that I can afford with as much of those desired traits as possible. Then, I will tailor its frequency response precisely to my taste.

 

That's some solid advice.

post #11649 of 20628

The reason for that is because tone controls actually do effect the sound quality (a bit) by putting more physical components into the audio chain, an EQ is software so it does not have the same effect.

 

If I purchased some headphones that were actually perfect to my ears then I would not EQ, but I have yet to find any that match this requirement.


Edited by nicholars - 7/26/13 at 1:09pm
post #11650 of 20628

^ +1

post #11651 of 20628
I've always been averse to EQ for apparently purist reasons, but I must admit that even with a good 20 years interest in hifi and sound reproduction, some of the arguments being put forward here are making me reconsider this and give it a try. After all, I EQ a fair bit when producing my own music and tailoring recordings I make, just like every other record that has been through its relevant processes. I just don't like the idea of getting bogged down with the technicalities of it all at the expense of enjoying the music. Also, EQ'ing would only be relevant to when I'm listening through my PC and not my portable rigs/separates hifi setup, so this may introduce more inconsistencies across my listening experiences than I may want. Great discussion though, people.
post #11652 of 20628
Quote:
Originally Posted by amigomatt View Post

I've always been averse to EQ for apparently purist reasons, but I must admit that even with a good 20 years interest in hifi and sound reproduction, some of the arguments being put forward here are making me reconsider this and give it a try. After all, I EQ a fair bit when producing my own music and tailoring recordings I make, just like every other record that has been through its relevant processes. I just don't like the idea of getting bogged down with the technicalities of it all at the expense of enjoying the music. Also, EQ'ing would only be relevant to when I'm listening through my PC and not my portable rigs/separates hifi setup, so this may introduce more inconsistencies across my listening experiences than I may want. Great discussion though, people.

Hey, Matt. If you're truly a purist, I think that's all the more reason to use EQ. Recall my statement that peaks and dips are unintended artifacts of manufacturers' designs. I think exceptions are rare. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the very engineers of the headphones they designed would listen to them with EQ turned on. Also, if you're the kind of purist who insist upon following a specific compensation curve as closely as possible, EQing will also help you profoundly in this regard. I agree about the change going from desktop to portable. I will always prefer the sound from my Asgard 2 connected to a computer, but when on-the-go, I'm really not a finicky as I'm not critically listening (I do a lot of cycling and walking in traffic with IEMs in my ears).

 

"I just don't like the idea of getting bogged down with the technicalities of it all at the expense of enjoying the music." Oh boy, I was definitely in the same boat when I first started out. One day, when I have the time and impetus, I will write up a guide. At least one already exists, but I want to contribute my perspective with regard to compensation curves and loudness sensitivity of human hearing. It's unfortunately true that in the beginning it will seem like a flood of technicalities that you have to contend with. For me, it was definitely one of those things where it's like an odyssey; full of adventure but trials and dangers - hopes and heartaches. However, this was mostly due to a lack of guides. Once you've gotten the entire skillset and decided on an EQ setting for each pair of headphones, though, you can just sit back and let yourself get lost in the music, never against needing to think about the technicalities of your system. Since 4 days ago, I haven't even touched my current setting for the HE-400. It's done, and once the music is on, I don't even think about it.

post #11653 of 20628

So one last question, So if I follow some of you guy's logic, I guess you re EQ for every album then? or is it every song?  confused_face(1).gif

post #11654 of 20628
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmsaxon69 View Post

So one last question, So if I follow some of you guy's logic, I guess you re EQ for every album then? or is it every song?  confused_face(1).gif

 

What I do is simply shave off a few db in a couple of treble regions, mostly to remove sibilants. And leave it at that, forget about it. No need to change EQ for each album.

post #11655 of 20628

Saying EQ does not effect the sound negatively is a "fact" sounds pretty stupid to me. I'm sure that's your opinion and not "fact" nicholars.

 

Didn't we already go through this a few pages back? The reason EQ can negatively effect the sound is that it messes with harmonics in other frequencies that you did not EQ, which messes with timbre and who knows what else from the harmonics being supressed or increased in all directions of the frequency response as they reverberate through out it.

 

What about the LCD-2 then or other dark headphones? What about EQ being applied during music production?

 

My answer: When EQ is applied during production the production engineer can monitor to see if EQing has effected the timbre in a negative way. Either he's got sophisticated equipment or he has good enough ears/training to tell if his EQing has negatively impacted the sound. If it passes his test then it goes into production. Same thing when creating the LCD-2 or any other dark headphone. They can boost other parts of the frequency response to correct any timbre issues that are caused by the blatant coloration. These guys are NOT using free software found on the Internet or just doing it randomly

 

Now this is different from some amateur EQing at home using free software. Professionals use expensive professional equipement and they have the right training/experience to gauge the effects of their meddling/EQing, but most people who own the HE-400 don't have any of this.

 

TMRaven/Nicholars. Just because you never hear any disadvantages from EQing doesn't mean others will not. Perhaps you did use the right programs and the right amount of EQ to really minimize the possible effects, but then again perhaps you didn't. We don't know that and whatever you say otherwise is just your opinion. Many of us would rather not find out either way and just listen to the phones the way they were tuned to begin with or buy something else if we find it offensive.


Edited by M-13 - 7/26/13 at 2:21pm
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