Originally Posted by Girls Generation
I actually know nothing about it. I also meant tilted downwards with some spikes to create or balance the signature. Doh. I'm just regurgitating this information from a thread, I think it was the ES5 thread.
I still stand firm on graphs being ultimately useless in decision making besides giving us a small idea of how the can will sound relative to another. Data and measurements aren't, and doesn't represent, everything.
I agree that ultimately, preferences in sound is up to an individual's taste.
While data and measurement aren't everything, they do tell us something.
It is not wise to determine whether one will like the type of sound solely based on graphs but it is also not wise to disregard and downplay their importance either.
I believe in the merits of measurement. However, that does not mean that I will only use headphones with 'good' FR graph (good in whichever way one wishes to define it). I myself use a headphone with really weird FR - the ATH W3000ANV - simply because I like the way it sounds (those who are interested can look up the FR for the W3000ANV). I didn't look at its FR measurement and conclude that it is not anything worth listening. I also couldn't really make sense out of the chaos and determine that I will like it. My choice was made by the fact that I like its sound.
However, I do rely on the graphs to tell me more accurately why am I hearing it the way it is. For example, I may believe that there is a boost in the 2khz region but the graph shows it is 3khz (this is a hypothetical example that you won't find on the actual graph just for the sake of illustration). Shall I then say that the graph doesn't make sense and disregard it? Measurements and results, like any other scientific experiment, is reproducible anytime, any day. However, the way I hear things won't be able to be reproduced so accurately day in day out. I did audio mixing many times for musicians (both the experienced and the amateurs). Just a short real life example of a typical scenario that happened so often:
One singer told me that he needed his vocals to be more upfront. I went to the soundboard and pretended that I did something (when actually I didn't). I came out and said that it is done. They replied me that the sound is much better now.
What is the explanation? Words from other sound engineers tell me sometimes its all psycho acoustic. We are more fallible than what we strongly believe we are actually. Pro or amateur, they commit this same mistake. Even I will. That is not to say that our subjective hearing cease to matter, but it is to acknowledge its shortcoming.
Many people take sides (like in many other affairs of the world). In this case, they stand by either the 'subjective-listening-matters' camp or the 'objective-listening-matters camp'. I think that instead of choosing which camp to align ourselves with (seeing them as mutually exclusive), we should make use of the importance of both the subjective and objective tools available to us. In this way, we get a more holistic picture.
The I-hear-therefore-I-think-and-thus-I-believe-and-must-be-the-truth style of comment that is so prevalent on head-fi is actually troubling me. Hearing and liking what we hear is important. But there are other important things for us to learn and rely on as well. We all hear things differently and our preference aren't the same most of the time. Measurement helps to establish a base for universality. The rest is up to the individual.