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Skullcandy Mix Master Mike versus Audeze LCD-3 - Page 2

post #16 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

So my answer to you would be a definite 'yes', except for the 'easy' part.  It took me months of research to nail down my methodology.

 

You can only do that with 'phones that are relatively well extended in FR already and are clean everywhere else but FR.  EQ can rarely fix large frequency response errors at either end of the spectrum because the driver can rarely take such abuse.  EQ won't make it decay any faster or cleaner either.  Many IEMs actually meet those requirements fairly well so EQing them can usually be very effective but most full size 'phones don't.

 


 

 

kiteki has mastered skill: Cherrypicking

 

Look!  I can use multicolored text too!  Seriously kiteki...

 

You need to stop just looking at the graphs which have similar shapes.  Why don't you look at the graphs which are different between them?

 

You need to understand what those graphs mean instead of just matching up shapes that look vaguely similar.  Do you see how those square waves settle differently?  That's pretty important. 

 

Why are you ignoring the massive difference in FR above 10khz?  While there's not a ton of information above 10khz nearly 30dB is a ton of extra SPL.

 

Why do you ignore me when I tell you that an individual graph or plot doesn't tell you everything about how they sound?  You need to look at all the available data before making a conclusion and if there's not enough data available you might not be able to make one.

 

Why do you assume the IF and Headroom are the end all and be all of useful headroom measurements?  Didn't I tell you about CSDs before?  Have a look at how they're useful.

post #17 of 143
My response in Bold
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

This information isn't present in the measurements, this is not a "what if" situation like Inks said, it's reality, this is the primary point I'm addressing.  The numbers are often represented in a sense of totality, which I find cynical or self-interested.

You are the one that presented the "what if" scenario, I pointed it out how there was no point. FR response isn't everything, but it's a huge factor, it's the most relevant data you'll want. 

 

Unless there is a code in the numbers which always reveals if it's an isodynamic planar, or a moving coil, then the data is lacking, since humans can identify those two differences very quickly via listening.

No they can't, where are the grounds for this? That study must be properly controlled one. Either way you have to understand that it's the ends that matter in this scenario, each factor like having different clamping pressures, driver angle, etc. results in the headphone's FR. Which specific FR regions and how they're changed is irrelevant if one is just trying to look into the resulting performance.

 

 

As for the very different bass presence in the RE272 versus JH13 I can't find it in the FR.

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/HiFiMANRE272.pdf

 

JH13 frequency response.jpg

 

 

Comparing graphs of different sources one of which may or may not use raw data and one that uses a specific compensation method which is a Free-Field/Diffuse-Field Hybrid is a very poor way to do comparisons, no wonder there's skepticism of graphs from your end, read more into the matter. Tyll may graph the JH13 in the future, then you'll see how it's going to be much bassier on the JH, he'll even tell you himself that it will graph that way. 


Edited by Inks - 6/18/12 at 1:07am
post #18 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Head Injury View Post

I hope no one's ever claimed that THD and frequency response tell everything there is to know about a headphone. They would be very wrong.

 

I also hope you're not trying to use this argument to suggest that measurements don't tell everything about amps or DACs. That would be a red herring.

Can't have it both ways. One is assuming we can measure everything we can hear and the other is assuming that we can't. I could easily blind dem that two electronic devices whose nonlinearities and distortions are considered to be in the inaudible range can sound quite different.

 

The general problem here is that people have a hard time dealing with gray areas, where it isn't an either or. Which measurements are important was originally derived by listening testing. The levels at which this happens and which measurements are critical are to this day still not absolutes yet lay people will still treat them as such and argue to the death. Measurement are a great tool and are usefull for discovery of percieved issues or target function design. It also will reveal a significant anomoly but can also bias a listener. It's a complicated issue that wants to be over simplified by those seeking a better understanding. If something sounds good or accurate/detailed, it likely is (depending on the listener {gray?}). If it measures well, it may not be. I've heard lots of what I consider crappy CD players and dacs that measured extremely well.

 

That said there are some basic rules regarding impedance matching etc that aren't really up for debate but even impedance matching influence will vary by devices depending on damping factor characteristics etc. 

 

I think it odd that some will argue goodness in electronics by spec prowess and then dismiss the same in acoustical measuement. I remember the OP being on the other side of this discussion regarding some electronics.


Edited by goodvibes - 6/18/12 at 8:23am
post #19 of 143

Talking about Skullcandy, the new Hesh 2.0 doesn't measure bad at all... http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/SkullcandyHesh2.pdf

 

Check those 300Hz and 30Hz square waves (among the nicest looking I've seen actually haha)! THD quite ok, nothing spectacular but very good for the price segment. Impulse response reveals a very good punchiness/speed (Skullcandy refers it as "Attacking bass" :P). Frequency response graph's "average & compensated" looks somewhat unbalanced while the raw graph then again looks very impressive for the price. Still the highs are a bit rolled-off though but midrange looks quite nice. Just booting highs a little bit and it may be a good budget option based purely on measurements that is. However measurements don't tell the full picture but yea comparing hesh 2.0 to their hesh 1 it's a huge leap forwards...

 

I've been even interested in giving Hesh 2.0 a try to see if it may beat for example the popular Sony XB500 among budget bassheads. Hiring sound engineer Tetsuo Oshiri definitely made Skullcandy step into the right direction.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/18/12 at 7:50am
post #20 of 143
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

 

I think it odd that some will argue goodness in electronics by spec prowess and then dismiss the same in acoustical measuement. I remember the OP being on the other side of this discussion regarding some electronics.

 

Nope, I never compared specs in that discussion, I compared electronic components, which is exactly what I'm doing here.  Also, I'm not dismissing any specs here, I'm only saying they should be confined to exactly what they indicate, and not more.

post #21 of 143
Thread Starter 

Originally Posted by Inks View Post

 

Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Unless there is a code in the numbers which always reveals if it's an isodynamic planar, or a moving coil, then the data is lacking, since humans can identify those two differences very quickly via listening.

 

 

No they can't, where are the grounds for this? That study must be properly controlled one. Either way you have to understand that it's the ends that matter in this scenario, each factor like having different clamping pressures, driver angle, etc. results in the headphone's FR. Which specific FR regions and how they're changed is irrelevant if one is just trying to look into the resulting performance.

 

If an open-air STAX, open-air dynamic and open-air isodynamic planar all had the exact same FR and SWR, they'd still sound completely different, identifiable by humans, that's just common sense, why are you asking for a properly controlled study on this?

post #22 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverickronin View Post

kiteki has mastered skill: Cherrypicking

 

Look!  I can use multicolored text too!  Seriously kiteki...

 

You need to stop just looking at the graphs which have similar shapes.  Why don't you look at the graphs which are different between them?

 

1. You need to understand what those graphs mean instead of just matching up shapes that look vaguely similar.  Do you see how those square waves settle differently?  That's pretty important. 

 

2. Why are you ignoring the massive difference in FR above 10khz?  While there's not a ton of information above 10khz nearly 30dB is a ton of extra SPL.

 

Why do you ignore me when I tell you that an individual graph or plot doesn't tell you everything about how they sound?  You need to look at all the available data before making a conclusion and if there's not enough data available you might not be able to make one.

 

3. Why do you assume the IF and Headroom are the end all and be all of useful headroom measurements?  4. Didn't I tell you about CSDs before?  Have a look at how they're useful.

 

Lots of why's there...

 

1.  So you're saying I don't understand the graphs?

 

2.  Since goldenears calls above 10kHz and under 100Hz the "no guarantee zone", likewise Tyll says it isn't reliable, the raw data of headphones there is a bit all over the place.  That's not relevant though, I just got lucky with the MMM and LCD-3, the point I'm conveying is they look too similar to justify the differences.  I did look at all the data on the LCD-3 and MMM, like I said, can I 'golden FR' the MMM?  Is it just an LCD-3 with a tiny bit extra distortion and noise?  It's not a rhetorical question, it's open ended, i.e. can someone make an equalizer preset or convolver which turns the MMM into the LCD-3?  Looking at the responses, it seems like some in this thread do think so, so far!

 

3.  I don't.

 

4.  Yes CSD is useful in finding decay it seems (however it can't decipher if it's positive or negative sounding decay).  Afaik it's useful for room acousticians, when the goal is zero decay.

post #23 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

If an open-air STAX, open-air dynamic and open-air isodynamic planar all had the exact same FR and SWR, they'd still sound completely different, identifiable by humans, that's just common sense, why are you asking for a properly controlled study on this?

 

Just because you believe that's true doesn't make it so.

post #24 of 143
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

 

Just because you believe that's true doesn't make it so.

 

Sure, but just because someone believes FR is important, or highly indicative, doesn't make that so either.

 

You need evidence on both sides of the coin, not just the side you disagree with.

post #25 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodvibes View Post

Can't have it both ways. One is assuming we can measure everything we can hear and the other is assuming that we can't. I could easily blind dem that two electronic devices whose nonlinearities and distortions are considered to be in the inaudible range can sound quite different.

 

The general problem here is that people have a hard time dealing with gray areas, where it isn't an either or. Which measurements are important was originally derived by listening testing. The levels at which this happens and which measurements are critical are to this day still not absolutes yet lay people will still treat them as such and argue to the death. Measurement are a great tool and are usefull for discovery of percieved issues or target function design. It also will reveal a significant anomoly but can also bias a listener. It's a complicated issue that wants to be over simplified by those seeking a better understanding. If something sounds good or accurate/detailed, it likely is (depending on the listener {gray?}). If it measures well, it may not be. I've heard lots of what I consider crappy CD players and dacs that measured extremely well.

 

That said there are some basic rules regarding impedance matching etc that aren't really up for debate but even impedance matching influence will vary by devices depending on damping factor characteristics etc. 

 

I think it odd that some will argue goodness in electronics by spec prowess and then dismiss the same in acoustical measuement. I remember the OP being on the other side of this discussion regarding some electronics.

We can measure everything we hear. It's just much, much more complicated with headphones because the sound waves are interacting in a 3D environment with all sorts of variables, many of which are particular to an individual or a certain situation (placement on the head, tightness, age of the pads). Simple frequency response and THD graphs aren't enough to get an accurate picture of the sound, but they're a good starting point. You can do other stuff, like waterfall plots, even measure pressure at different points in the cup, to get a more accurate idea of what the headphone is doing to the sound. These are quite a bit harder to read, though. That's the hard part, reading them correctly. It's human error and limitation, more so than mechanical. We just need to figure out how best to measure things, and how to interpret the results.

 

These sorts of things are not variables in amps and DACs. Electricity is a very well understood concept, and its interaction with different circuit designs is predictable and repeatable. Frequency response and THD go much further in determining sound, and everything else like phase, IMD, output impedance are all easy to measure and much easier to interpret.

post #26 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Nope, I never compared specs in that discussion, I compared electronic components, which is exactly what I'm doing here.  Also, I'm not dismissing any specs here, I'm only saying they should be confined to exactly what they indicate, and not more.

well it was about that component being more important than it's use but Lets stay here and I'm glad you're back. Love the enthusiasm. I'm more in agreement with you than not here. It's not that specs don't matter or inversely that the same FR gets the same performance but that specs in general are often over relied upon as a means of goodness. They matter but as a result or tool, not as much as an evaluator. Music is so much more complex. I was going to say it could be used to exclude certain sigs you may not prefer but I'm even hesitant to say that. The Spidercable realvoice would be an example of sig that's not my taste but I enjoyed more than perhaps similarly priced things with a FR I would usually prefer.


Edited by goodvibes - 6/18/12 at 11:07am
post #27 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Sure, but just because someone believes FR is important, or highly indicative, doesn't make that so either.

 

You need evidence on both sides of the coin, not just the side you disagree with.

I don't believe FR is important because I think it is, but because it is.

 

For example: "In the case of headphones, the distortion is very small so that they can be modelled with a linear system and their acoustic characteristics can be said to be given by their transfer function." from the paper Transfer Function and Subjective Quality of Headphones: Part 2.


Edited by xnor - 6/18/12 at 11:25am
post #28 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiteki View Post

 

Sure, but just because someone believes FR is important, or highly indicative, doesn't make that so either.

 

You need evidence on both sides of the coin, not just the side you disagree with.

 

The thing is, have you tried it yourself?  I have the methodology and means to match FR between headphones as heard by my ear without using instruments, and the results were good enough for me to dump $200 phones in favor of $10 ones (because they sound the same, and the $10 are more durable and more comfortable).  Now granted I haven't heard any $2000 phones for an extended session but you know what they say about diminishing returns... would you be interested in trying it yourself?

 

In some ways the way I measure FR is more accurate than any measurements you can find out there because I can directly hear how the phones are interacting with my ears.

 

I don't know about dynamic vs electrostatic, but I couldn't hear what people make about dynamic vs BA bass after equalizing the bass response, for example.


Edited by Joe Bloggs - 6/18/12 at 11:39am
post #29 of 143

While I wouldn't go quite THAT far EQ'ing has always worked very well for me too reaching very similar results when optimal EQ curve is achieved tweaked by ear only which is invidual for every headphone at which they roughly sound similar = my personal ideal FR response. However there's so much more to it than frequency response, other things can't be fixed by EQing, soundstage, imaging, resonances (ok they can be tamed down but not "fixed" perfectly without ruining the tonal balance), speed etc.

 

Different headphones will benefit differently from EQing depending on which their weaknesses are, if the unbalanced frequency response is the main culprit to why it sounds bad (say the upper-bass too heavily pronounced making the midrange overly smooth and muffled) but otherwise having a good soundstage and imaging etc EQing will really benefit A LOT. If I had a great hardware EQ I'd more look into headphones with the soundstage, lack of resonances etc that I find important and tweak the rest by the EQ but only if I had a good enough EQ, say a $250+ 31-band or parametric EQ. 

 

I have a hard time finding some highend headphone sounding like I'd want to out of the box as over the years the ideal FR curve starts to become only clearer and clearer, I'd say my ideal curve looks roughly like this (limegreen line): 

 

idealFR2.png

 

:P


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 6/18/12 at 11:50am
post #30 of 143

I don't know why anyone thinks hardware EQ is superior to software.  A hardware EQ is an extra component in the audio chain that would degrade sound.  These days most hardware EQs are just a digital EQ with an ADC in front and a DAC behind--exactly what you'd get with software EQ, except with two potentially degrading conversions added.

 

Software EQ is transparent as long as you don't clip.

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