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HD800 being "picky" with amps myth - Page 6

post #76 of 323

Duplicate post


Edited by esldude - 6/30/14 at 12:33pm
post #77 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

This is how it looks thus far based on an hour of work with the EQ: 

 

So far it seems to sound a slight bit dull. Besides, I don't really understand the 9.5 kHz thing, I needed to push it 10 dB to have it as loud as the surrounding frequencies. Hearing loss?

 

The hd800 is modded.

Are you sweeping then EQing to get even equal loudness to your ear?  This would seem wrong due to your ear not having flat response.    Maybe dangerous for high frequencies too. 

 

Maybe a better approach is to use the Fletcher Munson EQ before listening to the sweep.  Make adjustments for equal loudness with the assumption it fixes headphone response.  Then as a final step reverse EQ for Fletcher Munson.  What is left might be close to personal flat response for you.  I would suggest a droop of -6db from 200hz to 20khz after that. 

 

Haven't given this deep thought.  Self EQ upon listening has many pitfalls.

post #78 of 323

I am EQ'ing to remove peaks and dips, along with reducing the high-end slightly with a 2-3 dB and boosting and boosting the upper mids/lower treble a little as well. Partially based on what I hear, frequency responses and equal loudness. 

The only frequency that is actually boosted a lot is the peak at 9.5 kHz.

 

Generally, it sounds fairly flat to me, though the highs seems slightly boosted past 5kHz relative to 1 kHz.


Edited by davidsh - 6/30/14 at 4:11am
post #79 of 323

Still sounds like a good bit of guess work.  Might work, might not. 


Edited by esldude - 6/30/14 at 12:34pm
post #80 of 323
Hello fellow Hi-fi'ers out there.
Listen I've had some interesting discoveries with opamps Found in AVR receivers. They are more than adequate in powering a headphone like the HD 800's and offer some incredibly clean, precise sound. I use a Harman Kardon AVR 130 receiver/amp and it pairs absolutely beautifully with the HD 800's. best of all you can tinker with the Bass and Treble easily to match your listening preferences. Also, AC power line conditioners, such as the Furman PST 8D will knock out any excess hiss or white noise making the SNR in the OPAMP drop dead gorgeous. My pairing with the AVR receiver/Amp from HK is a very good pairing with My HD 800's and with the power conditioning upgrade I have an absolute pitch black background. No hiss. Not a trace. It sounds like a 90 grand sound system. Truly remarkable. However, I do have a Burson soloist as well because I like to experience the most neutral sound I possibly can with the HD 800's. I then pair that with an ARCAM irDAC and the sound is just perfect, but its a bit too perfect which is why I like the more bass Heavy and warmer treble the Harman Kardon gives me while paired with the ARCAM as well. Anyway. These are my findings. Some OPAMPS are truly wonderful and really can power any kind of CAN properly, especially those ogre hungry TESLA 1's from BD. smily_headphones1.gif
post #81 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 

Are you sweeping then EQing to get even equal loudness to your ear?  This would seem wrong due to your ear not having flat response.    Maybe dangerous for high frequencies too. 

 

Maybe a better approach is to use the Fletcher Munson EQ before listening to the sweep.  Make adjustments for equal loudness with the assumption it fixes headphone response.  Then as a final step reverse EQ for Fletcher Munson.  What is left might be close to personal flat response for you.  I would suggest a droop of -6db from 200hz to 20khz after that. 

 

Haven't given this deep thought.  Self EQ upon listening has many pitfalls.

Interesting post. Not sure, if I understood your point, though. I would definitely use sweeping and do all adjustments based on the perceived loudness across the frequency range. What's wrong with that? My ears not having flat response is something my brain already corrects for or else I would not be able to enjoy live concerts.

 

Indeed I would be very careful when it comes to higher frequencies, say 12 kHz and above. Same goes for very low frequencies.

 

But why do you think there are many pitfalls with self EQ upon listening? Isn't it all about listening? If I can eliminate the peaks and dips that I hear listening to a sweep, they won't annoy me when listening to music. Any irregularities that I don't hear, well, who cares? I just want to optimize my listening experience.

post #82 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by headdict View Post
 

Interesting post. Not sure, if I understood your point, though. I would definitely use sweeping and do all adjustments based on the perceived loudness across the frequency range. What's wrong with that? My ears not having flat response is something my brain already corrects for or else I would not be able to enjoy live concerts.

 

Indeed I would be very careful when it comes to higher frequencies, say 12 kHz and above. Same goes for very low frequencies.

 

But why do you think there are many pitfalls with self EQ upon listening? Isn't it all about listening? If I can eliminate the peaks and dips that I hear listening to a sweep, they won't annoy me when listening to music. Any irregularities that I don't hear, well, who cares? I just want to optimize my listening experience.


Well let us just suppose you had a truly flat headphone.  Perfect flat response.   Okay, now go and use sweeps while adjusting for what sounds like equal loudness.  You would end up with something like the red curves at the top of this article on Fletcher Munson.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher%E2%80%93Munson_curves

 

 

 

Your formerly flat headphones have now been adjusted by ear to no where close to flat.  Play an evenly balanced recording, and it will have the error of your EQ applied before your ears apply it again through their own response.  Which will result in playback very far from balanced sounding.  Your brain doesn't correct for your ear's response.  It is simply the response your ears have.  So you have aligned your frequency response of your headphones using what amounts to a crooked stick. 

 

Which is why it seems as if you could apply Fletcher Munson EQ ahead of time to your sweep test signal.  This theoretically would make all the sounds of equal loudness to you if you have gotten flat response.  Further EQ would possibly move you closer to flat response.  The other approach by default assures wrong resulting response.  

 

So if you manage EQ to get flat response, and an evenly balanced recording is played, your ears should hear it very well balanced as well.  All this ignoring that truly flat response often sounds a bit bright and final tilting of the response to taste would be needed. 

 

Of course the curves vary some based upon level of playback.  Your personal curve may vary a bit from standard.  You may have high frequency hearing loss of an unknown amount.  etc. etc. which is where the pitfalls come in.  But simply EQing to perceived flat response is sure to result in a far from flat result. 

post #83 of 323

Thanks for the detailed explanation, esldude! It doesn't appear very intuitive to me, but I'm tired and after a good night's sleep, I will hopefully start to see the light...

post #84 of 323

http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial

http://www.head-fi.org/t/615417/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-advanced-tutorial-in-progress

 

I went bananas when I first saw piccolo's topic a few years back, but actually I learned most of what I use nowadays from it and from some videos demo/webinars about an EQ software (can't remember the name right now).

you can probably just go for the second link by joe bloggs with more recent softwares and some "new" ideas and nice tutos. all at once it might seem complicated, but just try to get to it one step at a time and in the end it's not rocket science. also once you're done with one headphone, you're really done and the result is for your very own ears. so I believe it's well worth the time.

post #85 of 323

Soo I got my HD800 for 3 days. About this amp picky part i think it sounds great out of everything lol. One thing is im now pretty confident is that the aune T1( stock tubes) and the Schiit Asgard 2 sound EXACTLY the same.... yea.... HD 800 makes some song that have too much highs kinda hard to listen. 

 

Last point from my memory HD800 had a bigger sound stage than this lol maybe its because of the asgard 2? idk .

post #86 of 323
It is the DAC. I am sure it is the DAC tongue.gif
post #87 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by esldude View Post
 


Well let us just suppose you had a truly flat headphone.  Perfect flat response.   Okay, now go and use sweeps while adjusting for what sounds like equal loudness.  You would end up with something like the red curves at the top of this article on Fletcher Munson.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher%E2%80%93Munson_curves

 

 

 

Your formerly flat headphones have now been adjusted by ear to no where close to flat.  Play an evenly balanced recording, and it will have the error of your EQ applied before your ears apply it again through their own response.  Which will result in playback very far from balanced sounding.  Your brain doesn't correct for your ear's response.  It is simply the response your ears have.  So you have aligned your frequency response of your headphones using what amounts to a crooked stick. 

 

Which is why it seems as if you could apply Fletcher Munson EQ ahead of time to your sweep test signal.  This theoretically would make all the sounds of equal loudness to you if you have gotten flat response.  Further EQ would possibly move you closer to flat response.  The other approach by default assures wrong resulting response.  

 

So if you manage EQ to get flat response, and an evenly balanced recording is played, your ears should hear it very well balanced as well.  All this ignoring that truly flat response often sounds a bit bright and final tilting of the response to taste would be needed. 

 

Of course the curves vary some based upon level of playback.  Your personal curve may vary a bit from standard.  You may have high frequency hearing loss of an unknown amount.  etc. etc. which is where the pitfalls come in.  But simply EQing to perceived flat response is sure to result in a far from flat result. 

 

OK, let's assume we have a truly flat headphone. Its sound must be awful based on the effect you described. I think a good headphone should be designed with this effect in mind and have some corrections already built into it, so that it sounds more flat to the human ear, but if you measure it its frequency response will look similar to a Fletcher-Munsion curve. But since we assume its frequency response is ruler flat, it may a be good idea to start with some corrections to make its measured response reflect the F-M curve, so it measures less flat, but sounds more flat to the human ear. This is of course my own reasoning - I am well aware that according to your suggestion we should apply the correction to the sweep test signal that is further on used for EQing by ear. By doing so, everything will sound more or less balanced and not much EQ will be needed. But when I listen to music instead of the "corrected" sweep signal, the balance will be gone.

 

So why not just ignore the F-M curve and have my ears take care of it? With a good headphone it won't be to too bad anyway and I can put more emphasis on the nasty peaks and dips. This is also in accordance with what is described in the "How to equalize your headphones: A Tutorial" thread on this site, based on what I have read there. I haven't read it from top to bottom, though.

 

The more I think about it, the less important the F-M curve appears to me (except for the SPL-dependency part, maybe). If my ear's sensitivity varies across the frequency range, it's just fine. I'm used to it. I can enjoy a live concert even though no EQ is employed to compensate for the irregularities of my hearing. There may be other things that annoy me, such as weird concert hall acoustics. Or with headphones there may be annoying effects that have to do with the shape of my ears and ear canals or the phones themselves.

 

Have you actually EQ'ed anything following the approach you outlined above? I would be very interested in the results!

post #88 of 323
Not sure you got it the right way..
post #89 of 323
Quote:
Originally Posted by headdict View Post
 

 

OK, let's assume we have a truly flat headphone. Its sound must be awful based on the effect you described. I think a good headphone should be designed with this effect in mind and have some corrections already built into it, so that it sounds more flat to the human ear, but if you measure it its frequency response will look similar to a Fletcher-Munsion curve. But since we assume its frequency response is ruler flat, it may a be good idea to start with some corrections to make its measured response reflect the F-M curve, so it measures less flat, but sounds more flat to the human ear. This is of course my own reasoning - I am well aware that according to your suggestion we should apply the correction to the sweep test signal that is further on used for EQing by ear. By doing so, everything will sound more or less balanced and not much EQ will be needed. But when I listen to music instead of the "corrected" sweep signal, the balance will be gone.

 

So why not just ignore the F-M curve and have my ears take care of it? With a good headphone it won't be to too bad anyway and I can put more emphasis on the nasty peaks and dips. This is also in accordance with what is described in the "How to equalize your headphones: A Tutorial" thread on this site, based on what I have read there. I haven't read it from top to bottom, though.

 

The more I think about it, the less important the F-M curve appears to me (except for the SPL-dependency part, maybe). If my ear's sensitivity varies across the frequency range, it's just fine. I'm used to it. I can enjoy a live concert even though no EQ is employed to compensate for the irregularities of my hearing. There may be other things that annoy me, such as weird concert hall acoustics. Or with headphones there may be annoying effects that have to do with the shape of my ears and ear canals or the phones themselves.

 

Have you actually EQ'ed anything following the approach you outlined above? I would be very interested in the results!

No I haven't.  That is the part where I said hadn't given it deep thought.  I also just looked at the two tutorials linked above for EQing phones.  You will notice there are a couple people questioning that approach on the same basis I am due to F-M curves.  Having read the first few pages of those it does appear that approach would improve natural resonant peaks we have around 6-8khz using phones. 

 

As davidsh replied, I think you have it backwards on F-M curves.  If you go to a live concert, that reference is flat.  Your ears have an uneven response as depicted by the F-M curves, but that live music has no compensating EQ.  Your ears respond like your ears.  If you had a perfect transducer that reproduced that live music, it would sound most real if reproduced flat.  If you EQ recordings of that live music for F-M response you have doubled up on the inaccuracies of your ear.  So flat is best.  If you start with a flat transducer and EQ based upon equal loudness to your ears again you would have doubled upon the inaccuracies of the F-M curves of your hearing. 

 

Now there are some problems with phones in the 6-8 khz region.  The procedure of sweeps should greatly improve those.  I suppose the suggestion to use octaves of pink noise until they sound equally loud would not be off all that much.  It might well put you closer to the flat response to be perceived.  But I haven't seen a procedure that fully corrects for the effects of F-M hearing curves.  Nothing is absolute, and even ignoring those following the tutorials may well get you better than if you don't do it.  I plan on trying them and see what I think. 


Edited by esldude - 7/2/14 at 10:39am
post #90 of 323

This is an interesting topic and there is a lot to be learned. Based on my first experiments I am already convinced that EQ-ing is much more rewarding (and cheaper!) than hunting for the most synergistic amp-phones combination. Correcting the lower treble region and maybe the overall sound signature (i.e. balancing warmth vs. clarity) should accomplish a lot. Once that's done, I will read up more on it, do more experiments and see if it's worth the extra effort.

 

Please keep us posted on your results!

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