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My attempt at removing the Sennheiser veil through equalization - Page 5

post #61 of 186
Thread Starter 

I haven't checked this for a few days due to a road trip to Michigan...

 

To me, there are times when I like a darker, easier listening sound, like when I am not particularly listening to music to get anything out of it, but as simply background noise. Then, there are times when I would like to have the ability to dissect the music - pick it all apart and see it for what it is (read Neo at the end of the first Matrix)...

 

Anyway, this is about sonic manipulation of Sennheiser to grant favorable effects to the end user. I have no skill in EQ, but that's kind of why I started this post. What I did was get the headphone response for the HD 558 from Headphone.com, and simply tried to inversely mirror the response on the EQ in order to try to equalize the sound. Now, the tools I used to try to accomplish this is nowhere near idea, I was left guesstimating with huge margins of error - but I thought I would throw it at you fine folks in the headfi community and see what we could collaborate with :) 

 

So far the feedback has been an intensely interesting read. I don't think there is enough to say about the effect the brain plays in the perception of audio quality. For example, if I use the "treble" preset on the EQ the music sounds sharp overly intense - but after an hour of listening that way it becomes "normal" - and going back to the flat setting makes it sound like there is a pillow over my ears - the bass is bloated and all over the place, the detail is lost, etc. 

post #62 of 186

How can you add something that isn't there in the first place?

 

look at any good HiFi AMP - no eq, for a reason

it can only add distortion

 

the answer is to get the correct headphones.

 

I have many years of hi-end HIFI retail experience, believe me, if quality of sound is your goal.

post #63 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

How can you add something that isn't there in the first place?

 

How can you increase the volume?

post #64 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post

How can you increase the volume?

 

boom baby!

post #65 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

At least in the case of the HD650, the veil is proven by frequency response measurements. Of course, some people like the dark and laid back sound (and may be offended by the "veil" claims), but not others.

Then I would say that its just plain stupid to buy the HD650s in the first place. 

And the topic is quite misgiving. I mean, "Removing Sennheiser Veil"?

It sounds like the phones are defective, but you can solve it by EQ. 

"How to EQ the sennheisers to a brighter sound" would be a more correct topic. 

Im not offended by the "veil"claims cause the "veil"-word by itself is kind of dumb and misused. 

post #66 of 186
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Velocity View Post

Then I would say that its just plain stupid to buy the HD650s in the first place. 

And the topic is quite misgiving. I mean, "Removing Sennheiser Veil"?

It sounds like the phones are defective, but you can solve it by EQ. 

"How to EQ the sennheisers to a brighter sound" would be a more correct topic. 

Im not offended by the "veil"claims cause the "veil"-word by itself is kind of dumb and misused. 

Maybe some of us just want it all...

 

And if enjoying expensive headphones is a justifiable hobby, then shouldn't stretching those said headphones to their limits, and taking advantage of their enhanced capabilities be a part of that hobby? I mean, some people buy sports cars and leave them stock, but tuning to achieve maximum performance has a considerable following too.

post #67 of 186

Any headphone or speaker that's very flat will sound "veiled" because all of the sound is crowded into the same levels. Just like erratic treble spikes give us a sense of clarity.

 

The entire point of the HD600 & HD650 is textbook flatness so I personally think it's kind of redundant to try to "cure" them of the same thing that gave them their pricetag, but whatever suits your fancy.

post #68 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

How can you add something that isn't there in the first place?

 

look at any good HiFi AMP - no eq, for a reason

it can only add distortion

 

the answer is to get the correct headphones.

 

I have many years of hi-end HIFI retail experience, believe me, if quality of sound is your goal.


+1

post #69 of 186
I've been pretty happy with my HD650s since I've had them but I got to playing with the EQ in Jriver the other day and with a slight bump in the freqs starting at 2khz and up, it really opens the sound up.
post #70 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by machoboy View Post

Any headphone or speaker that's very flat will sound "veiled" because all of the sound is crowded into the same levels. Just like erratic treble spikes give us a sense of clarity.

The entire point of the HD600 & HD650 is textbook flatness so I personally think it's kind of redundant to try to "cure" them of the same thing that gave them their pricetag, but whatever suits your fancy.

Musicians are usually careful to make sure that crowding of frequencies doesn't occur. Most music isn't making use of pink noise (poor dynamic range aside). Placing too much emphasis on any particular band of frequencies drowns out perception of the rest of the spectrum.

Besides, the emphasized midbass makes music cloudier, and the notch in the upper mid range kills, hence the perception of veil. The 600/650 aren't super neutral after all.
post #71 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by morijinal View Post

Maybe some of us just want it all...

 

And if enjoying expensive headphones is a justifiable hobby, then shouldn't stretching those said headphones to their limits, and taking advantage of their enhanced capabilities be a part of that hobby? I mean, some people buy sports cars and leave them stock, but tuning to achieve maximum performance has a considerable following too.

Well, first of all, you wont stretch any headphone to their limit with using software EQ. Maybe for your likeings yes, but not for superior sound quality. 

And for the second, people buy cheap sports car to tune them.  So way not buy a CAL instead of a HD650 ?

You wouldnt tune a lamborghini would you ?

And for the third, tweak a headhpone with software EQ is equal to cut the springs to make the car even more low and sportier, right, you would just ruin the ride without adding anything. 

 

But okay, sorry for being a bit of a jerk, you should know that Im not against your decision to tweak the sound of the HD650, ofcourse its fine to do that.

That was actually not what I was arguing about. If you read my posts you see that im talking about the infamous veil-claim that is misused in this thread.

There sure is what I would call veil if the Sennheisers is not properly amped. They sound congested and muddy. 

But In this thread people think the veil is about sennheisers sounding "dark and laidback", but that is just about the phones own SQ. 

post #72 of 186

I actually don't like the 600/650 very much (I like some brightness), so I'm not saying it's blasphemy to equalize it. 

It's just that it's like living in a city full of burger joints, finding the one sushi place, and telling them to go buy some ground beef and make you a burger.

It just seems to me one could save time (and perhaps money) by just choosing one of the hundreds of pre-EQ'd headphones out there (burgers).

 

The 600s/650s are designed to sound this way from the get go. Flat. Which depending on who you ask is a good or bad thing. Even the gradual upward slant toward the bass end is a near perfect compensation for the lack of physical bass we feel wearing headphones vs listening to flat monitors. The 600s are pretty much, at least in a textbook way, as flat as headphones get.

 

If by musicians you mean compression-happy engineers then they don't really have any control over this. Trying to emulate a super-flat external studio monitor inside of a headphone will always sound 'veiled'. I get the exact same "Sennheiser veil" when spent 20 minutes carefully EQ'ing a pair of "fun" headphones. This effect is far less noticeable with external monitors in a room with a little bit of life to it and open space for the sound.


Edited by machoboy - 11/20/12 at 10:58am
post #73 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

How can you add something that isn't there in the first place?

 

look at any good HiFi AMP - no eq, for a reason

it can only add distortion

 

the answer is to get the correct headphones.

 

I have many years of hi-end HIFI retail experience, believe me, if quality of sound is your goal.

 

You can decrease everything else relative to it, and turn up the volume. If you boost frequencies, you can get distortion (well, clipping more likely).

Why would an amp have built in EQ when you can do it software for free? It has nothing to do with it adding distortion. And actually many of the "HiFi" amps endorsed here color the sound, such that there is "synergy" with whatever headphones people are using.

 

Thus far, I haven't heard a single substantive argument against using EQ.

post #74 of 186

Maybe it is my setup, but I don't find anything flat about the HD650's.  Mine are actually pretty bright, but it could also be that I need to burn them in for a longer amount of time.  I've maybe put about 40-50 hours on them so far.

 

I think the original poster will find a better result by using an external DAC vs a PC soundcard.  I have a Xonar Phoebus, and when I switched it to an external Xonar E1, things got a lot more detailed and clear.  I can pick out instruments in much more detail, and the sound is less flat and muddled in the mids specifically.  High's are much brighter, and the lows are more powerful and moving.

 

In my opinion, an external DAC will always beat out a sound card, because you eliminate a lot of the noise and signal loss associated with the software and hardware of a sound card.  Dolby (although nice) takes some things away when it processes the sound.

post #75 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by KT66 View Post

How can you add something that isn't there in the first place?

 

 

Can you please explain what you mean by this because it just doesn't make any sense whatsoever.

 

You can change the dB of specific frequency ranges in the same way you can turn the volume up and change the output dB of the ENTIRE frequency range. The only difference here is that you are doing it to specific frequencies. You are adding dB to something that is already there. 

 

Also distortion can arise if you use EQ or volume (essentially frequency dB manipulation) and push your headphones beyond their -limitations-. So it is not true when you say EQ can ONLY add (undesirable) distortion. 

 

Finally, I have a high end Yamaha DSP amp that doesn't have an EQ because it does the EQ itself depending on the preset you choose (Hall, Jazz Club etc). Guess what? in the amp you have a CPU, Memory and SOFTWARE that processes the signal in the same way as if you were doing it with a media player EQ on your computer. You would probably get better sound if you listen directly from the source since you are not passing it through additional 'noisy' hardware.

 

If you use the frequency response chart for your headphones and pay careful attention to the frequency AND dB you can essentially flatten the response using EQ. You can even EQ to get 'Monitor'/'Reference' context outputs. 


Edited by Z3disD3ad - 11/20/12 at 4:25pm
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