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My attempt at removing the Sennheiser veil through equalization

post #1 of 186
Thread Starter 

Hey everybody!

 

If you follow my posts, you know that I am the recent owner of the excellent Sennheiser 558 headphones. As I mentioned earlier, the sound is very polite, and a little bit overly warm and smooth. - which is only good if you are in the mood for it!

 

If you are like me, you want to hear some detail in your music. You want to peek behind the groups of instruments and hear what's going on behind it. You want to hear each strike of the high hat.

 

What I've got is an EQ setting I'm playing with - and it makes the 558's sound colder, better for critical listening, I wanted to try to "de-color" the sound. Let me know what you think, and if you have any EQ tweaks for the 558, I would love to hear them!

 

700


Edited by morijinal - 11/16/12 at 7:28am
post #2 of 186

Removing the filter foam also helps, but to my knowledge the only way to remove most of the veil is to go balanced which in most cases is not worth the cost.  Many of us had the HD-650 and loved it for a while until we realized that the veil really changes the sound and experience of listening to many genres of music.  I went to the the DT990 next, but if you upgrade from that you realize how colored the DT990 is.  I think the HE-500 for a dark headphone is an awesome upgrade to the HD-650.  Something more mids centered would be Denon AH-D2000 or AKG K550.  If you prefer the sound signature of the HD-650 then the AKG Q701 is a great upgrade.  The sound signature is very close to that of the HD-650, but the veil is completely gone.

post #3 of 186

Hey morijinalbiggrin.gif
well hows tuning of the headphones going? 
also what software are you using? cause if possible i would like to have a hand at it, see what result i come up withwink.gif

post #4 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by streetdragon View Post

Hey morijinalbiggrin.gif
well hows tuning of the headphones going? 
also what software are you using? cause if possible i would like to have a hand at it, see what result i come up withwink.gif

 



Currently I am just using the Asus software that came with my Asus Xonar sound card. It allows me to apply system-wide sound settings because I don't use music players to listen to music. I'm not sure if it's something that can be downloaded, but it may be worth a shot to check it out. Are you aware of anything that will allow me to equalize system wide that we could both use to compare notes?

post #5 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by morijinal View Post

 



Currently I am just using the Asus software that came with my Asus Xonar sound card. It allows me to apply system-wide sound settings because I don't use music players to listen to music. I'm not sure if it's something that can be downloaded, but it may be worth a shot to check it out. Are you aware of anything that will allow me to equalize system wide that we could both use to compare notes?

ooh system wide... well no unfortunatelyredface.gif i have tried to get a system wide eq last time but failed.
i shall try again tomorow, so for now this is my 250 band curve updated as of today (again)


700
p
reamp is -12db btw. and the curve is kind of almost the same as yours, though different here and there. as far as my experience tells me is that a part of the midrange like 500-1000 is quite volumatic, like cloud in a chaimber. reduce it and it will be clearer, and too little of it and it will be bodyless and hollow,

post #6 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by NA Blur View Post

to my knowledge the only way to remove most of the veil is to go balanced

 

Can't see why this couldn't be done via EQ.

post #7 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

 

Can't see why this couldn't be done via EQ.

exactly, i did it alreadybiggrin.gif

post #8 of 186

To me this approach seems like hiding the veil rather than removing it.  The problem is still there, but the EQ process has attenuated the veil as well as other parts of the frequency response in addition to any other unforeseen sound quality issues.

 

Good luck nonetheless!

post #9 of 186
Thread Starter 

It's kind of fun messing with the EQ using custom settings because almost all of the presets that come with mine are way too powerful - and none of them do exactly what I want. It is useful though, to be able to click through them and find what does what. I have been able to get some very engaging sound using Dolby Digital Headphone paired with 7.1 emulation with a flat EQ.

post #10 of 186
Thread Starter 

I looked up Asus' website, and they have a link for the driver, but I don't see one for the EQ. The program is called "Xonar DGX Audio Center. I'm not sure if that helps, but please don't instal anything unless you know what you are doing, and how to reverse it if need be. wink_face.gif

 

http://support.asus.com/Download.aspx?SLanguage=en&m=Xonar%20DGX&p=21&s=3


Edited by morijinal - 11/16/12 at 11:32am
post #11 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

 

Can't see why this couldn't be done via EQ.

 

EQ is a band aid. Going balanced is a fundamental improvement.

 

Please don't shoot me, I am not saying that band aids don't work

post #12 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooster View Post

 

EQ is a band aid. Going balanced is a fundamental improvement.

 

Please don't shoot me, I am not saying that band aids don't work

Not all, your feedback is welcome bigsmile_face.gif

 

When you say "going balanced", are you referring to a set of neutral headphones, or a flat EQ?

post #13 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hooster View Post

EQ is a band aid. Going balanced is a fundamental improvement.

 

EQ is not a band aid, it is the right tool if you want to change the frequency response (other than the obvious but costly solution of upgrading the headphones). But to actually improve the sound, you need a good EQ, and some skill, experience, and patience to find the best settings. Having an accurate frequency response measurement - something that is not easy for headphones - of whatever you want to equalize is useful, too. Many people just try some simple graphic EQ, randomly adjust the sliders for a few minutes probably making the sound worse, and then give up and conclude that EQ sucks.

I do not see how a headphone amplifier with balanced output (if that is what the other posters above meant by "going balanced") would fix the "veil" compared to a good single ended one, other than by placebo effects.


Edited by stv014 - 11/16/12 at 12:17pm
post #14 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

EQ is not a band aid, it is the right tool if you want to change the frequency response (other than the obvious but costly solution of upgrading the headphones). But to actually improve the sound, you need a good EQ, and some skill, experience, and patience to find the best settings. Having an accurate frequency response measurement - something that is not easy for headphones - of whatever you want to equalize is useful, too. Many people just try some simple graphic EQ, randomly adjust the sliders for a few minutes probably making the sound worse, and then give up and conclude that EQ sucks.

I do not see how a headphone amplifier with balanced output (if that is what the other posters above meant by "going balanced") would fix the "veil" compared to a good single ended one, other than by placebo effects.

 

I hear you in regards to having a high quality EQ to work with. I used to have a Realtek default setup on my Windows 7 desktop, which sounded alright, and I would fiddle with the EQ for fun. I then upgraded to a dedicated sound card, and thus the EQ also improved. Greatly. The difference between the two is night and day, I feel like the Realtek EQ was very unflattering. Any adjustment would lessen sound quality it would seem. Now, with the integrated card, EQ adjustments truly seem to change the sound while preserving quality, instead of degrade it. I don't experience negative side effects like I did before. That's the best I can describe it - it's kind of hard to describe sound. :)

 

As to EQ being a band-aid, I think that is a valid point to some extent. You can't push a headphone beyond its capabilities, but I still think that it can be modified within its capabilities to suit the individual.


Edited by morijinal - 11/16/12 at 12:38pm
post #15 of 186

Looking forward to how this sorts out.  Would be a good thing to know about in general.

 

Just in abstract, though, EQ might not do everything you want.  Sometimes a sound can seem 'weak' or 'distant' if the phase is not right.  So I'm not sure if EQ would deal with that... Of course the 'veil' may have nothing to do with phase differences at all.  Just throwing out an idea.

 

It's true that balanced operation helps for HD 650.  

 

Also, it seems, that cable itself can make a difference.  I wasn't prepared for that, but when I had cable made for balanced operation, I also got an extra termination for single ended connection.  And the headphone is more enjoyable and less veiled with the after market cable, even in singled ended operation.  

 

I don't know why this would be.  Especially as Sennheiser engineers -- at the top of their game -- say that they design the product with the provided cable as delivered. Why wouldn't they redesign the cable... especially if it would improve a common complaint about the HD 650?  For this reason I never investigated recabling, until as mentioned, I had the cable made for balanced use.

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