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**Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** - Page 778

post #11656 of 18615
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 #11657 of 18615

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 #11658 of 18615
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 #11659 of 18615

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
post #11660 of 18615
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigon_ridge View Post

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.
Thanks for your great reply! I have looked at the thread on here that goes through the process of how to properly EQ your headphones and left it quite soon when it got in depth. It's not that I wouldn't understand this stuff, I'm pretty technically minded and interested, it just seemed (as you said) like a long journey to embark on. Hook me up if you ever do produce that guide and in the mean time, I promise to do some more learning about how I could level the FR of my cans out! Cheers!
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

No, he's referring to EQ the discrepancies out of your headphones, not out your music! EQ'ing for every album and song, more that would be something to drive you crazy! I'm sure I've seen that facility on software, to custom EQ each track! Madness!
post #11661 of 18615
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

 

It is not really that difficult to EQ, if you use foobar for example just download the 31 band EQ and find a picture of the FR graph for the headphones.... You can use that to see which areas need to be EQ.... With the HE400 it is mainly the treble above about 7khz which is too bright for me... Also EQ it downwards from the flat EQ so that you are only decreasing the volume of whatever frequencies instead of boosting them, which will probably give you distortion, as far as I know lowering frequencies will not cause any distortion at all. You can do it more advanced than this but that is a good starting point... To my ears the HE400 sound mediocre with no EQ but MUCH better when EQ.

 

I would be interested in how to do a system wide EQ using a program? I am not sure what to use... Currently I use foobar 31 band EQ for music and the Xonar STX EQ for games.


Edited by nicholars - 7/26/13 at 2:27pm
post #11662 of 18615
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post



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.

Absolutely, and more importantly, EQ is being applied sound by sound, track by track to the relevant component of the music, not just over the whole song/piece, so that judicial and selective use of EQ is not related in any way to what we are toying with at home as consumers.
post #11663 of 18615
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Gawd, you don't need to splurge big money! Where does that misconception come from?

 

An HE60 with the HEV70 amp was sold at a great, great price a couple of days ago btw. 

 

 

You should try it some time...

 

Okay, I'll bite. What was the great price?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshinhimura View Post


the he-5le is lighter than he-500. should be about he-400 weight

Yes, they are about the same weight. But the he-5le has a darker lush signature than the he-4 or he400. Maybe wje will chime in as he's owned them all. The weight on the he-4 is wonderful. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by modulor View Post

This is partially why I'd be interested in the HE-4 one day, but on it's own the HE-500 has been satisfying for everything I listen to.  I feel like the HE-4/HE-5LE would be a bit too bright and revealing though, but that sounds like it would complement the HE-500s signature well.  I'd probably pick the HE-4 over similarly priced/tuned dynamics, but I've still got alot left to hear.

 

You know where you can audition the he-4. wink.gif I'll be interested to see what the jergpads sound like with them. 

post #11664 of 18615
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

That's totally up to you. I wouldn't do that, unless it's for a song that I really love but was poorly recorded enough. Haven't heard such a song, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

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.

No need for slander here. Stupid or not, you're not forced to believe it, so there's no need for such negative remarks.

 

"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." I think you are confused about something here. You have to understand that a headphone's FR already affects all harmonics of a sound, and changing the intensity of each frequency region is supposed to affect all harmonics that vibrate at those frequencies. In other words, if a headphone's FR has unwanted peaks, spikes, valleys, and dips, those anomalies are already affecting the harmonics and timbre of all sounds and instruments in a negative way; and correcting those FR anomalies with EQ is only going to bring the timbre closer back to its original/pristine state. The only time I've heard a negative change in timbre is when I didn't EQ correctly (mostly in the beginning).

 

The argument that a consumer who doesn't have special gear or training should not equalize is invalid. You don't need "profession equipment," whatever that's supposed to be (since you didn't specify). Free software isn't necessarily bad, either. Any parametric equalizer will do the job nicely. Training is something anyone can acquire on their own. This isn't as much of a rocket science as you are making it out to be.

 

"Just because you never hear any disadvantages from EQing doesn't mean others will not." Agreed. However, if you are hearing unwanted artifacts, it could be due to a lack somewhere in your understanding or technique - in fact, I do argue that this is most likely the case.

 

"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." No one is stopping you from taking such an approach. It's only my opinion, however, that this approach deny you the possibility of bringing each pair of headphones even closer to your ideal sound (beside changing other gear in your audio chain), as those unintended artifacts I wrote about will always exist in the "best" and most expensive headphones; and to reject EQ, imo, is to deny yourself a vast improvement in audio enjoyment.

post #11665 of 18615
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenshinhimura View Post


the he-5le is lighter than he-500. should be about he-400 weight

Off topic (sorry): Ohhh I love your avatar pic!! Kenshin's my absolute favorite anime fictional* character! ^^x Cheers!


Edited by tigon_ridge - 7/26/13 at 3:12pm
post #11666 of 18615

I am not sure how the argument that the people producing the songs EQ it to sound a certain way is relevant because every pair of headphones has a different frequency response so the closer you can adjust it to being flat FR the more likely it is to be correct.... The big treble spike on the HE400 is not neutral or flat at all by any stretch of the imagination. It has also been said by more experienced people multiple times that if you use a good EQ and do it properly it does not degrade the sound quality. There is no such thing as "as the artist intended" because every pair of headphones has a different frequency response.... A pair of Grado and a pair of HD650 for example...

post #11667 of 18615

Listen. Botton line: If you EQ and you like the effects that's great. You can report that here and I have no problems.

 

The thing that bugged me was nicholars saying it was "fact" that EQ cannot negatively effect sound. Very few things in this hobby are absolute facts and effects of EQing are not one of them.

 

If you want to post positive impression after you've EQed that's great, just don't think you have the absolute truth and that people who don't want to EQ are "wrong" not to do so.

post #11668 of 18615

I see. I wasn't around to read all the pages (not enough time ^^') so I didn't get the context of what you said. Thanks for clarifying, and I do agree - if you don't know what you're doing, things can definitely get funny with EQ.

post #11669 of 18615
Quote:
Originally Posted by M-13 View Post

Listen. Botton line: If you EQ and you like the effects that's great. You can report that here and I have no problems.

 

The thing that bugged me was nicholars saying it was "fact" that EQ cannot negatively effect sound. Very few things in this hobby are absolute facts and effects of EQing are not one of them.

 

If you want to post positive impression after you've EQed that's great, just don't think you have the absolute truth and that people who don't want to EQ are "wrong" not to do so.

 

I have no problem with anyone doing what they want, you can hang from a tree eating bananas like a monkey and listen to headphones if you want... I was just saying that EQ does not actually cause any noticeable distortion etc. and personally I think people who call themselves "purists" and refuse to use an EQ should just give it a go and see.... Unless you can afford a pair of high end headphones which sound perfect out of the box then you might be surprised how much better your headphones sound when you EQ them.

post #11670 of 18615

I must admit, I enjoy dumping fuel on the fire and watching you guys burn each other...

 

The key to all this stuff is to not give a **** what anyone thinks of your stuff and how you listen to it. It doesn't matter.

 

I'm guilty of being an instigator, I will take some blame for some of the stuff going on here, I'll stop....

 

Remember everyone is smart and everyone is special! Some more special than others, if you know what i mean! haha!

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