Originally Posted by IH8RDNX
Has any body compared SQ with and without the EQ? I know there is a change in level, but after compensating for that, is SQ degraded with EQ active?
IMO, this will be very difficult, if not impossible, to determine subjectively, mostly due to that large difference in level. Differences as low a 0.5dB in level are known to skew results, almost always in favor of the louder sample, e.g. "There is definitely more micro-detail with the EQ On, or Off...(whichever one is louder). There might even be a significant difference in S/N ratios and Crosstalk, but these specs are so good in modern electronics, even in inexpensive equipment, that they might still be easily beyond our audible threshold, and would have to be measured by high-quality test equipment. And some of us might prefer a bit of harmonic distortion anyway, LOL. So there's that.
You would have to measure the output voltage from the HO using a 1kHz Sine Wave or similar with a DMM to get the output levels exactly matched between the EQ On and EQ Off settings. Then use the Head-Fi/ Dr. Chesky's Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and/or other well-recorded track(s) that you are very familiar with. Use a piece of graph paper or a blank wall at a consistent distance in front of you to mark imaging & staging/placement and bounderies in different colors for each setting. And make specific written notes of subtle details for the bass, mid-bass, midrange, treble, specific instrumets, and any vocals. Try the "Apache" track from Joe Weed's "The Vultures" album, or "A-B-C" by Hot Chip from the "Coming On Strong" album, LOL.
Ideally, you would have two of the same DAP's, Level Matched and playing the same track synchronized, with one DAP having the EQ On and the other EQ Off. Connect the same set of HP to an A/B switch and have someone randomly switch between the two DAPs without you knowing which one is which. Even then, good luck. The mind is a tricky bugger!Edited by bbfoto - 5/24/14 at 9:33pm