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Tyll and Stevie's discourse - Page 2

post #16 of 34
You could probably get hearing aids that bump up the high mids and mid bass so you could have unnatural sound all the time!
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

You could probably get hearing aids that bump up the high mids and mid bass so you could have unnatural sound all the time!

 

Grado plugs? wink.gif

post #18 of 34

One of the things that troubled me most out of Steve's comments was his following claim (worded like a question):

 

"My question to them [enthusiasts who measure headphones] is do they really think that when they make these observations about a headphone's sound, that they are smarter - they are catching the engineer in some major screw up that they did, an oversight in their design?"

 

It would be naive to think that Steve is unaware of the lack of useful specs in headphones. Frequency range on the side of the box is not very useful. Making independent measurements attempts to fill this gap. There is in fact terminology that one can assign to frequency ranges which may be useful, along with measurements, in getting an idea of how a particular product performs:

 

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

 

You want manufacturer distortion specs? Sure: < 0.1% (or 0.05% or whatever)... At what frequency ranges? Is THD dominated by even or odd harmonics? What about product variation?

 

It is not about catching "the engineer" (or more like marketing) in some "major screw up." Is about filling the blanks in the information provided to the consumer.

 

We could turn this around: What does Steve really think when he makes a review about a headphone. Is he, through his subjective evaluation, going to "catch the engineer in some major screw up that they did, an oversight in their design?"

 

I have no problem with Steve's approach at evaluating headphones using his experience. I have a problem with him putting down other approaches and efforts.


Edited by ultrabike - 10/30/12 at 7:39pm
post #19 of 34

I really enjoyed this video, IMO probably the greatest recorded audiophile discussion of all time that I have seen. So many good points brought up to the table that I've already figured a lot about myself too.

 

Especially I can relate to this "Headphone B doesn't sound as good as headphone A"-discussion. Many times I felt that instantly when trying a new headphone it sounds "worse" to me as I'm so used to headphone A's sound. Upon further listening with headphone B it grows on you and you start to like it more. I personally believe this "getting used to period" has much more weight to it than burn-in.

 

I do believe burn improvements exists to some extent but nowhere as much as our brain adapting to the new sound (goes well along with the fact Tyll pointed out how amazing our hearing is able to "readjust" after a hearing loss).

 

Now on a slightly related topic which was also discussed a lot I must mention as a person mastering a lot of hardstyle tracks these days for upcoming producers. I don't either believe "flat" sound to really be THAT important and often overexaggerated its importance even for studio use. I keep mastering with my M-Audio Q40 that has a good 8dB or so bass boost but otherwise quite evenly balanced measuring in the mids & highs.

 

Does this mean my masterings will be too bass-shy due to 8dB bass bump on my headphones? Definitely not. The thing is that I've at this point I've probably listened to like a thousand different hardstyle tracks and more so hours so I got a good sense of how it sounds like on these particular headphones. I can nicely judge if a track maybe has slightly weaker than average bass or slightly above the average for example. Now I personally work along the "golden middlepath"-principle that "the middlepath is always the ideal" not necessary what would sound very ideal on my own equipment (or according to my own taste), the brightest recording that exist is probably too bright, the darkest recording too dark, somewhere in the middle, the average is probably what works best for as many people as possible. 

 

This is also why if I would for example switch to say an LCD2 or HD800, I wouldn't immediatly be able to master as nicely as with my shy $120 Q40 headphones because I would lack that perception of what does the average hardstyle sound like on those headphones so I can't accurately tell the different elements such if the bass levels are fine or the leads are loud & clear or too smooth sounding etc and would have to get used to the new headphone's sound for a while and listen to many different hardstyle tracks on those headphones to be able to properly master tracks again. I personally believe this principle leads to much better end results than simply trying to get everything as nicely sounding as possible on the best "sounding" & measuring headphones.

 

On the topic of subjectivity vs objective, my beliefs are fairly neutral, both complements each other and I wouldn't purely base my purchasings solely on either subjective measurements or objective measurements but objective measurements are only useful when you know HOW to use them (as it's quite a science behind it all as Tyll has explained very well) and that is when you learn your personal preferences in sound, can start comparing against THAT and not the "objectively measuring ideal sound".


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 10/31/12 at 12:05am
post #20 of 34

I've recently been calibrating the response of my system, and I've discovered that certain music (classical, jazz, music recorded before 1970) is almost always mixed to sound best with a carefully calibrated flat response. Modern pop music and rock, in addition to being hot mastered, is being EQed to sound best on cheap speakers. The response is not designed to sound good on a full range, flat response system. It has boosts and cuts all over the range that are designed to compensate for the deficiencies of earbuds, cheap headphones and those tiny little 5:1 satellite speaker systems.

 

The quality of engineering in popular music today is crappy. I think that's because of the boom in home studios and amateur sound engineers.


Edited by bigshot - 10/31/12 at 12:13pm
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

I've recently been calibrating the response of my system, and I've discovered that certain music (classical, jazz, music recorded before 1970) is almost always mixed to sound best with a carefully calibrated flat response. Modern pop music and rock, in addition to being hot mastered, is being EQed to sound best on cheap speakers. The response is not designed to sound good on a full range, flat response system. It has boosts and cuts all over the range that are designed to compensate for the deficiencies of earbuds, cheap headphones and those tiny little 5:1 satellite speaker systems.

 

The quality of engineering in popular music today is crappy. I think that's because of the boom in home studios and amateur sound engineers.

 

To me, it seems next to impossible to compensate a recording for every deficient headphone/speaker, as each one will be deficient or colored in different ways. Maybe I'm wrong, but it would make more sense to me if music was targeted for neutral gear, and gear was neutral so as to minimize this issues, making neutral a standard target for audio reproduction. Otherwise, all bets are off.

post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

Maybe I'm wrong, but it would make more sense to me if music was targeted for neutral gear, and gear was neutral so as to minimize this issues, making neutral a standard target for audio reproduction.

 

I think that was the way it was up to the late sixties, and classical music producers still assume a neutral playback system.

post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigshot View Post

 

I think that was the way it was up to the late sixties, and classical music producers still assume a neutral playback system.


Progress: One step forward, two steps back biggrin.gif

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultrabike View Post

"My question to them [enthusiasts who measure headphones] is do they really think that when they make these observations about a headphone's sound, that they are smarter - they are catching the engineer in some major screw up that they did, an oversight in their design?"

 

It's this type of argument that unequivocally does not work with headphones. It's like saying, what's with all these people adding throw pillows to couches, do they think they're smarter than the people who designed their furniture?

post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by anetode View Post

 

It's this type of argument that unequivocally does not work with headphones. It's like saying, what's with all these people adding throw pillows to couches, do they think they're smarter than the people who designed their furniture?


Going a step further, a good engineer would welcome a critique of his design. He would want measurements though, because thats how he designed his headphone in the first place.

post #26 of 34

Just watched this one. What a great debate, did not appreciate Steve Guttenburg's confrontational attitude. Found Tyll to be much more humble than he really had to be. 

 

And I have to agree with Tyll in that no headphone should cost more than $500. Personally I am on Tyll's side when it comes to  measurements. It puts pressure on the headphone manufactures to produce quality stuff and gives the end user some facts to go by when choosing a headphone. More information can only be good for the end user. Great Job Tyll keep up the good work. 

post #27 of 34
Very nice! Thanks!
post #28 of 34

Yes, it really was worth the time to listen/watch the entire "debate".

 

Measurements do have their place...I lean towards Tyll's view.

post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by zigy626 View Post

Just watched this one. What a great debate, did not appreciate Steve Guttenburg's confrontational attitude. Found Tyll to be much more humble than he really had to be. 

 

And I have to agree with Tyll in that no headphone should cost more than $500. Personally I am on Tyll's side when it comes to  measurements. It puts pressure on the headphone manufactures to produce quality stuff and gives the end user some facts to go by when choosing a headphone. More information can only be good for the end user. Great Job Tyll keep up the good work. 

 

 

Guttenburg also says this.....

 

 

 

Quote:
So while lossless audio compression (FLAC or Apple Lossless for example) can be "expanded" to produce an exact digital duplicate of the original audio stream, that's not necessarily the same thing as sounding exactly like an uncompressed WAV file or a CD. To my ears lossless files add a glare or edge to the music and flatten the soundstage. Please don't misunderstand, I think FLAC or Apple Lossless sound perfectly fine, just not on par with a CD, when played on a high-end audio system."
post #30 of 34

With regards to lossless audio compression, maybe the ones are onesier and the zeroes are zeroier with an uncompressed WAV file or a CD?  Makes sense to me, I'm running with it. gs1000.gif

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