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The Holy Grail... - Page 2

post #16 of 22

The pro's use what is called "pink noise" and an RTA to Equalize the system.

It's good to also note that it's not only the frequency responce of audio equipment that makes it good equipment, but it's also how much distortion a piece of equipment makes. Distortion is basically anything added to the "true" signal to make it "not true". This is known as clipping (sine wave becomes a square wave in an amplifier), and harmonic distortion (other frequencies are played than the single frequency that is meant to be played. For example 5khz and 20khz at the same time while only 20khz is supposed to be playing).


Don't get too frustrated over all of this though. There simply isn't a perfect speaker.

post #17 of 22
Pink noise is what those automatic consumer EQs use. Sound engineers use sine wave sweeps. It's more accurate than pink noise.
post #18 of 22

I used a combination of sweeps and pink noise - the pink noise is good for overall SPL leveling and the sweeps are good for FR plots.  I used TrueRTA (and also some other SW that I can't remember) and several different test tone sources (DVD, PC & what was built into my receiver).



It was very fun!  I actually drove my wife completely out of the house with the test tones at fairly high SPL...  tongue.gif

post #19 of 22

Square wave in. Square wave out. 


There are several packages for audio measurement popular with speaker DIYers - HOLM impulse is a big one. You'd need an unusual measurement rig, though. 

Edited by Spasticteapot - 8/1/12 at 3:21pm
post #20 of 22

Agreed with everything said about EQ making a big difference. I actually don't use a single sweep, but an application that lets me move a slider between frequencies how fast or slow I want. It's in the headphone EQ thread linked earlier. Another interesting thing to note is that I made my curve in the E-MU 0404 mixer which has a very customizable EQ... but it's not graphical at all. Annoying, but forces me to listen better, I think. It does offer an interesting option though - I can route foobar's ASIO output to two separate ASIO channels and give each one it's own EQ effects. I have corrected my own ear problems this way (my right ear has a MASSIVE spike at 7200 hz that doesn't exist in the left one... no idea why)


From my experience, it's a difficult process to get completely right. It will take time to learn what sounds "right." I recently switched from DT-880 to 990 (I believed the semi-closed aspect of it was causing harmonics in 500 hz range) and had to re-do my EQ from scratch. Took much less time as I have gotten better at it, but even then I reached a point where the sine sweep sounded fine but music sounded awful. It turned out to be a general tonal balance issue (lows/mids/highs). A rule of thumb I use for myself is that higher frequencies tend to sound louder than they are. They have more energy, you could say. So a sweep from low to high will sound as if its gradually getting a little louder, but if you pick a point (like say, 1khz) and switch back and forth from another point, they should sound the same volume for the most part. But the sweep can potentially sound misleading. Again, just from my experiences... smily_headphones1.gif

post #21 of 22
Originally Posted by ch96066 View Post

This is my first post. I would like to say hi to everyone here who make head-fi a very useful fountain of knowledge.


I am newbie in sound appreciation. I am trying to ascertain/understand what is the purpose of our endeavour. I realise that to its core it has to do something with music appreciation and elevating through sound.


If this is the goal, is then the strategy to try and bring/capture in our ears what the artist created in the closest possible fidelity of the produced sound?


Or are we to try and create with our own 'medling' (equalising, amplifying etc.) a soundscape that 'works' for us?


I would lean towards the first path personally. Then my question would then be: how does one achieve that? So far I have realised that the format of the music file is key (listening to wav vs a 320 mp3 in the same system and volume was eye opening).


After that, if everything that we put in the way of the sound alters it somehow, is there a way to track this change and then in our cans to bring it back to its intended 'form'?


I understand that this is a very generic subject. These are just some thoughts questions after reading a few very interesting threads and trying to understand critical listening a bit more.


Thank you for your thoughts/insights.


Like others have, the first path is what I recommend as well. Leave the coloring to your headphones and try to get as neutral as possible of a amp and dac.


I'm not a big fan of EQing, but I am okay with EQing to make a flatter sound if absolutely needed. I have not had the need to do so with any audiophile grade headphone. I'm more of a purist in that sense and prefer to have as little components touching the sound as possible.



There probably actually is a 'holy grail' of audio, but likely not going to be achieved within most people's budgets of less than $1k.

post #22 of 22
Originally Posted by Xaborus View Post

Listening to the Exact same music the audio engineer mixed isn't possible (you would simply have to go to his recording studio). It's not just about CD vs MP3, DacX vs DacY, Amp Z vs Amp A, The environment in which you play music has a large impact on what you hear. Not to mention everyone's hearing abilities are different.


But if you want to get close, you want a pair of studio monitors, and a good dac. It's that simple.


Honestly, headphones are rarely used by the audio engineer for mixing. They prefer speakers. Not to mention that the frequency responce of most headphones after 10kHz is non-existant.

well put...i agree

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