SOUND MYTHBUSTING OVERHAULED [objectiveness only] Intro to the "SOUND SCIENCE...
I'm sure there is more to what you are saying than I am responding to, but I agree that a lot of high-fi discussion around sound qualities of devices merely has to do with slight emphases or de-emphases of frequencies in certain ranges. And yes, equalization can correct those.
The kind of equalization I like is where you can adjust not only the frequency and amount of gain or reduction of that frequency, but where you can control the "width" of the frequency spectrum influenced by gain increase or reduction.
This has to do, and I'm working from dim memory here, with the effects of the filter as well, something electronic synthesists are very intimate with. A narrower band pass filter with a sharper roll off will affect a narrower range of frequencies, but the sharpness and nature of the roll off will affect neighboring frequencies in various ways. A wider band filter with a softer roll off slope will introduce fewer extra frequencies or distortion components at the edges of the slope, but of course will affect a broader spectrum of frequencies.
There are software algorithms for "slicing" frequencies bands quite finely, I'm forgetting the name for them right now. Spectrum analysis uses these windowing algorithms to identify things in sound research.
To the other point, though, what is worth paying more for in a transducer is not its emphasis on this or that part of the frequency spectrum, but its ability to reproduce transients without distortion. Any transducer is itself a filter of sorts, and will have distortion components, referred to as intermodulation distortion or total harmonic distortion (both explained well on Wikipedia, btw), and "ringing" in response to a transient. Once you add in on top of the work needed to reduce transient distortion in the device itself, you then need to look at all the work needed to get the device to reproduce accurately when coupled with its particular environment. Like engine and wing design in aerospace, you are looking for refinements on basic principles of science that will lead to more predictable results in a wide variety of environmental conditions, not just the one static environment within which the design can operate optimally.
Filter theory is quite complex, with a lot of mathematics and research needed to understand how it works. Finite response filters and infinite response filters have different characteristics, strengths, weaknesses, applications. Etc.
Again, I am sure companies like Shure and Sennheiser have scientists who work on research on such things. The evolution of their transducers is not just a question of engineering and materials, and certainly not just marketing, but also close attention to tackling problems in physics and psychoacoustics and filter/transducer design, that lead to tangible and useful results.
I do appreciate your enthusiasm, though! I hope to better understand what you are saying.
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