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EQ = sound quality? - Page 2

post #16 of 102

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post


I guess the problem is, what objective metric do you use for "sound quality"? OK, my CDs were mastered a certain way, for "optimal sound quality" then. But in my case, I perceive it as bad sound quality, which compells me to use the EQ. Is anyone between me, the artist, the mixing engineer and the mastering engineer actually objective about it?
I guess they are when they try to make sure it will sound "right" no matter what gear the material is played back on. But my perception of it (and I'm guessing, anyone else's) remains subjective.

 

This is starting to get into my trade secrets area but I promise you...it's measurable.

 

Engineers know this! The reason you get crappy remasters is because they give into client/producer demands most of the time or, in some cases, use the wrong source.

post #17 of 102

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skamp View Post


I'm not sure what made you facepalm. I shared my perception of EQing, and I was wondering if it was the same for other people. Clearly it's not yours. What's ridiculous about that? My perception in this case is purely subjective: I don't think for a second that EQing actually (objectively) increases sound quality.

 

I'll try to explain, if I can.

 
say, for example, I wanted more bass and I’d use an EQ pre-set for that; what I’d get is more bass, but definitely not better bass. In addition, the EQ seems to enhance everything else in the spectrum, not just the bass, in a way that I really don’t like. that’s the whole point. there's a difference - more doesn’t mean better - quality over quantity. I don’t mind more as long there’s quality to it. 
 
say, for example, I was to try a “better” pair of speaker cables; what I might get is not necessarily more bass, but better bass tone; better definition; better extension; etc…(in subtle ways) that’s something you cannot get by EQing. it's just different.
 
there’s nothing ridiculous about sharing own perceptions, or even EQing. if that’s what you like, by all means, enjoy!
the way I thought the thread way going is... you’re asking, or somewhat suggesting, that EQ can equal to SQ, and I’m pretty sure someone will agree with that, and continue to say that you don’t need cables, DAC, AMP, or any such components for better SQ… all you need is a bit of EQing and increase the volume to get same SQ. I’d find that ridiculous.
 
 
ps: I cannot comment on pro EQ as I've never use it.
 
post #18 of 102
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

say, for example, I was to try a “better” pair of speaker cables; what I might get is not necessarily more bass, but better bass tone; better definition; better extension; etc…(in subtle ways) that’s something you cannot get by EQing. it's just different.

231
post #19 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

say, for example, I wanted more bass and I’d use an EQ pre-set for that; what I’d get is more bass, but definitely not better bass.
You wanted more bass, EQ'd and got more bass and you're complaining that it is not better bass?
Let's turn this around: your headphones have too much bass around 100 Hz which masks some of the details in the lower midrange. You can easily EQ the bass-bump away and as a result get a more balanced sound, probably less distortion and lower midrange details will become easier to hear. If this isn't a perceived improvement in sound quality I don't know what is. Maybe you're confusing signal integrity with what we're talking about here.
Quote:
In addition, the EQ seems to enhance everything else in the spectrum, not just the bass, in a way that I really don’t like.
That's either a case of a bad EQ or misconfiguration. You really should try a "pro" EQ.
Quote:
that’s the whole point. there's a difference - more doesn’t mean better - quality over quantity. I don’t mind more as long there’s quality to it.
See above.
 
Quote:
there’s nothing ridiculous about sharing own perceptions, or even EQing. if that’s what you like, by all means, enjoy!
You still haven't come up with a valid reason that EQing is bad.
Quote:
the way I thought the thread way going is... you’re asking, or somewhat suggesting, that EQ can equal to SQ, and I’m pretty sure someone will agree with that, and continue to say that you don’t need cables, DAC, AMP, or any such components for better SQ… all you need is a bit of EQing and increase the volume to get same SQ. I’d find that ridiculous.
The scenario you just mentioned seems to be in your head only. And it is ridiculous indeed.
Edited by xnor - 4/27/12 at 1:22pm
post #20 of 102

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

 

 

it seems to me the reason you're turning the volume loud is to drown the bus noise, not because it sounds better.

 

if I may say, you're unconsciously doing irreparable damage to your hearing by doing that, and you'll get tinnitus soon or later. it's foolish, please don't do it, not worth it. get better headphones, preferably noise cancelling ones.

 

I know I know, stupid bus is loud as crap, on my a new BUS having my volume is much lower and of course when I'm alone it's pretty low, and yea I need better headphones, a good pair with a nice isolation or good seal would be nice! The biggest issue those are those old busses... they just make SO much noise.

 

In addition I've heard noise canceling is also bad for your hearing, as even though you can't "hear" the signal used to defuse the external noise it's still coming into contact with your inner ear and if the noise around you is loud enough your still doing damage,

 

Also thanks for the EQ tips! very nice information indeed

 

@Xnor

 

That's a good point, I've never thought of eq the bass down to get an improvement in the quality of it, although I don't really need any more bass, the issue I have with my cans is everything else although I'll eq is only a band aid for my cans, a better pair is needed xD


Edited by Mshenay - 4/27/12 at 1:41pm
post #21 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post
 
ps: I cannot comment on pro EQ as I've never use it.

 

Actually, you have, every piece of pop/rock/soul music is heavily EQ'ed before making it to the shelves, you may find classical or jazz that wasn't EQ'ed, but even with those genre, EQ'ing is quite common.

 

post #22 of 102

Id say EQ can not change sound quality. An EQ only affects frequency response -- it can not affect anything else in the signal. You can make a track sound better with EQ though, which is done in mixing, mastering and many times the end consumer does it as well.

A cable can not affect the definition, tone, extension or the impact (etc etc) of the bass; either it delivers the signal as it is, or it doesnt (its broken/not working properly and needs to be replaced). To affect those things you need to use effects/filters (not good for quality, unless you want to create a different sound (which you dont want unless you are creating music))) or re-record. You can use EQ to make the bass seem different, but its only a mind trick (youre not doing anything but increasing or decreasing amplitude).


There are several very good (free) VST EQs available.

Ill expand LFFs EQ help-list a bit (for people at "I use presets" level and those you want more technical knowledge):


In graphic (software ones, hardwares can have knobs) equalizers, every bar is called a band. Each band has a frequency or a frequency range. This is the 3 first bands of the Winamp EQ.



-     -     -      - 3+
-     -     -      - 2+
-     -     -      - 1+
-___-___-___- 0-/+ dB
-     -     -      - 1-
-     -     -      - 2-
-     -     -      - 3-
  70  180 320(hz) 


Frequency range is calculated (X+Y)/2, so frequency range for the 180hz band is 125hz to 250hz. (180+70)=125 and (180+320)/2=250.

Adjusting the 180hz band will affect all sounds within its frequency range. Many instruments might have parts of their sounds here; You might want to adjust the bass instrument but end up affecting the drums and the guitars as well. This is the way EQs work, and while a more detailed EQ might somewhat remedy the problem, you need to go back to mixing to affect individual instruments (unless you made the track yourself or work in a big, famous studio, its unlikly you have access to the mix though).

We use Decibel to measure sound loudness. Decibel is Logarithmic unit. To quote wiki "A change in power ratio by a factor of two is approximately a 3 dB change". That means +3 dB will make your sound twice as loud. Keep that in mind when you EQ.


To know what instruments are in what bands/frequencies, LFF recommended a carnegie chart. This can be a good idea, but experience will be far more helpful to pinpoint sounds. Metal vocals will not in the same frequencies as rap vocals. To get a better grasp of "where" the sounds are, play with your EQ. Set bands to max or min and observe how the sound changes.  While not especially pleasureable, it will make you learn.


Aggressive EQing can introduce clipping in your music. You can avoid this by , as LFF said, "It is better to subtract, rather than add". Play with your EQ to learn what settings that introduce distortion, clipping and other artifacts.


If you see a switch/button/whatever and dont know what it does; click/switch/manipulate it. Its the best way to learn and unless you are working with live sound you cant break anything.


EQing is very simple but to get the wanted results might be very hard (unless you are EQing for fun/to learn, you should have a specific goal with your EQing. Like "compensate K701s lack of bass" or "make the cymbals not give me headache").

The day you find your EQ lacking, get a compressor.






 


Edited by acef2 - 4/28/12 at 12:23am
post #23 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by acef2 View Post

Id say EQ can not change sound quality. An EQ only affects frequency response -- it can not affect anything else in the signal.
But it does. Also, it not only affects frequency response but also phase response. Most headphones are single driver, minimum phase systems and therefore you can correct (aka equalize) both frequency and phase response with a min. phase EQ.
Quote:
You can make a track sound better with EQ though, which is done in mixing, mastering and many times the end consumer does it as well.
Frequency response is the most important part of sound quality. Think about it this way: you have a headphone that has very low distortion but a 10 dB bass peak. Perceived sound quality will be ruined by the peak. EQ the peak away and you'll get a much more higher quality sounding headphone.
Quote:
You can use EQ to make the bass seem different, but its only a mind trick (youre not doing anything but increasing or decreasing amplitude).
That's not a mind trick. Same as headphone with boosted or rolled-off bass are not mind tricks either. And you're not only changing amplitude, but also phase and therefore group delay just like the headphone driver does itself.

Regarding graphic EQs:
Quote:
Adjusting the 180hz band will affect all sounds within its frequency range.
I've seen many graphic EQs with filters that not only work withing a single band but leak into the adjacent bands as well. Not what you'd expect by looking at the EQs user interface, but some EQs just work this way (without telling the user).
Quote:
Aggressive EQing can introduce clipping in your music. You can avoid this by , as LFF said, "It is better to subtract, rather than add". Play with your EQ to learn what settings that introduce distortion, clipping and other artifacts.
I prefer to boost and cut where necessary and use a preamp* to avoid clipping. This way you can EQ with less filters, and higher sound quality. wink.gif
*) kinda the wrong term since you can apply the gain after processing the signal with the EQ, provided you're using floating point (like foobar2000 does internally for example).
Quote:
The day you find your EQ lacking, get a compressor.
I definitely wouldn't recommend a compressor in a playback chain unless you know exactly what you're doing, and also not as a "better EQ".
Edited by xnor - 4/28/12 at 4:39am
post #24 of 102

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post


You wanted more bass, EQ'd and got more bass and you're complaining that it is not better bass?
Let's turn this around: your headphones have too much bass around 100 Hz which masks some of the details in the lower midrange. You can easily EQ the bass-bump away and as a result get a more balanced sound, probably less distortion and lower midrange details will become easier to hear. If this isn't a perceived improvement in sound quality I don't know what is. Maybe you're confusing signal integrity with what we're talking about here.
 

 

so I could get a pair of 'Beats' headphones, EQ the hell out of it, and transform it into a fantastic sounding headphone? I really doubt it, even using pro EQing.

 

nahh, EQ is not my idea of improving SQ, at all.

post #25 of 102

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

Frequency response is the most important part of sound quality. Think about it this way: you have a headphone that has very low distortion but a 10 dB bass peak. Perceived sound quality will be ruined by the peak. EQ the peak away and you'll get a much more higher quality sounding headphone.
 

 

 

That's extremely subjective.

post #26 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

That's extremely subjective.

A flatter frequency response is extremely subjective? How so?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lenni View Post

so I could get a pair of 'Beats' headphones, EQ the hell out of it, and transform it into a fantastic sounding headphone? I really doubt it, even using pro EQing.
As I've said before, frequency response is important, but certainly not the only thing that matters.
Your example is deliberately exaggerated so I don't see a point in commenting on it. And your doubt is no reason that EQing is bad.
Edited by xnor - 4/28/12 at 9:16am
post #27 of 102

Saying that a flatter frequency response is a higher quality.  It might be higher fidelity when playing back traditional acoustical instruments and orchestral compositions among other things, but there's definitely room for coloration to cater to each individual's liking.  Case in point, Beyerdynamic, Grado, HD800, Denons.

 

Also, headphones with neutral bass are indeed not heard as neutral.  Headphones deliver an exceptionally different type of bass than the natural and omnipresent type of bass you get from speakers.

post #28 of 102
Quote:
Originally Posted by TMRaven View Post

Saying that a flatter frequency response is a higher quality.  It might be higher fidelity when playing back traditional acoustical instruments and orchestral compositions among other things, but there's definitely room for coloration to cater to each individual's liking.  Case in point, Beyerdynamic, Grado, HD800, Denons.

Flatter doesn't mean a flat line from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. There could still be a bass boost, but without the peak around 100 Hz (which some would describe as one-note bass). This was just a random example, but fwiw I prefer flat bass, i.e. using a shelving instead of a bell (aka peak) filter to boost bass.

Also, I don't see a problem with including a subjective component in the definition of sound quality since we're talking headphones here.
Edited by xnor - 4/28/12 at 10:49am
post #29 of 102

Xnor, it's obvious you know what you're talking about....beerchug.gif

 

For the naysayers, doubters, misdirected masses, and those who don't believe EQ helps sound quality, I'd highly recommend that before you continue posting nonsense, you pick up a book on sound and read it! When I say book, I don't mean crap written by Robert Harley either....pick a book written by an engineer or physicist.

 

To make it easy for you guys, look at this thread.

 

 


Edited by LFF - 4/28/12 at 12:00pm
post #30 of 102

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LFF View Post

Xnor, it's obvious you know what you're talking about....beerchug.gif

 

For the naysayers, doubters, misdirected masses, and those who don't believe EQ helps sound quality, I'd highly recommend that before you continue posting nonsense, you pick up a book on sound and read it! When I say book, I don't mean crap written by Robert Harley either....pick a book written by an engineer or physicist.

 

To make it easy for you guys, look at this thread.

 

 

 

 

as I said it before I’ve never tried pro EQing -- I can read all the books that were ever made on it, and get I better understanding for sure (and I thank you for the info), but until I actually try it for myself and listen to the results -- I cannot comment on it.
 
the EQ I tried is the one you find on PD players and media player alike (pre-sets to be precise), which is what the OP is referring to, if I’m not mistaken - I don’t see the OP referring to pro EQ.
 
that kind of EQ is AWFUL to me. it messed up the sound more than anything, whether it’s adding/subtracting or whatever. that in not the SQ I look for... far from it. If you tell me that I can improve sound quality with that kind of EQ I’m sorry but we’re in different planets. that’s to SQ to me as the ‘Beats’ are to good SQ HP's. so when I read the OP sound perception (“…It's open, clean, punchy, precise.”), tbh I found it a bit ridiculous.
 
but to each their own, maybe is a matter of preferences, it’s certainly not mine.
 

Edited by Lenni - 4/28/12 at 4:20pm
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