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My EQ curves for LCD-2, HD650, M50, and 007mk2

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by lunatique, Apr 27, 2011.
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  1. Lunatique


    I think you might want to educate yourself about matters regarding audio before making comments like that. Try starting here: 
    And I'll post what I just wrote to another member, who PM'd me asking me for my advice. He wanted to know how he should EQ based on the musical styles he listens to. This was my answer:
    ...it doesn't matter what style of music you listen to. That is one of the most common misconceptions about audio--that different genres of music should match to certain sonic signatures. There's only one standard of good sound, and that is full-ranged accuracy/neutrality/fidelity. Whether it's heavy metal, jazz, electronic, hip-hop, classical--it doesn't matter. It's exactly like how it doesn't matter what genre of movie you're watching on your TV or computer monitor--there's only one standard for accurate/neutral image reproduction. A sci-fi movie should play on the same accurate TV/monitor as a comedy or a horror movie. 
    To elaborate, it's basically like this: Different movie genres favor different styles of cinematography. For example, many war movies or gritty reality films favor muted grading in the color palettes, as well as added grain to the image. Horror movies will have many scenes of low-key (meaning high-contrast, low overall value) scenes. Comedies will tend to be well-lit and saturated--same with children/family shows and romantic comedies. But they all need to play on the same accurate/neutral TV/monitor. You shouldn't be setting different settings to match different genres of movies--that would be silly. 
    If it's a movie with crappy cinematography and washed out contrast/colors, such as really low budget indie flicks or home videos, then the fault lies in the recorded media itself, and has nothing to do with the TV/monitor. You can try to compensate for the crappy recorded media by adjusting your TV/monitor to address its problems, but I think it's a waste of time. If you are doing that for every badly produced video, then you might as well be making a living as a video production guy, because you'll be doing that until the cows come home and might as well get paid for it. You should just leave your TV/monitor in it's best state (adjusted to be accurate/neutral), and let the badly produced media play back as they do, and simply note how/why they are inferior to the normal/excellently produced ones. 
    Now, if you take that analogy about TV/monitor and video and simply apply it to audio, you'll see it's the same concept. 

    Why is your EQ curve lowered by 5.5 dB in the global gain? There shouldn't be any reason to alter your unity gain like that, unless you are simply using it as a volume controller (which would be a weird choice anyway).
  2. Br777
    i know. youve pointed this out to me before :wink:  .. its a habit .. i see peaks going above zero so i turn the unity gain down so that nothing goes past zero to avoid clipping even though it may not be necessary...   you're welcome to refresh my memory on how to judge this kind of thing though. :wink:
    obviously i stilll have a lot to learn...
  3. Br777
    this little bit of info from your other thread is something I did'nt realize, and is making a big difference for me -
    I would suggest that when you do A/B between the EQ'd and bypassed version, you listen for about 30 seconds and get used to the sonic signature before you switch--don't just go back and forth quickly--that's not how you do A/B comparisons.
    I was going back and forth quickly and it was driving me crazy b/c things would sound overly bright or overly this and so on, but it was only b/c of the contrast from flipping back and forth quickly.    the "slow" method is much more effective and less hard on the ears too.
  4. Lunatique


    There's no reason to mess with unity gain because the kind of EQ'ing we do to headphones are fairly minor and they should not be causing any clipping at all. None of my headphones clip when I EQ them. The drivers of headphones should be able to handle the kind of EQ curves we're using, since we're not doing ridiculous boosts or anything. If it's something else in your signal chain that's clipping, then you need to find out what exactly is causing the clipping. With unity gain set properly, there should be only one volume control at the very end of your signal chain, and that is the volume knob of your headphone output device (amp, monitor controller, receiver audio interface...etc). Everything else should be set to default max position (media player set to 100% volume, audio plugins without any global gain changes, operating system's volume set to 100%). In your case, the only audio plugins you are using are the EQ and Isone, right? That's my signal chain too (hosted by J River Media Center), and I have no clipping at all.
  5. Lunatique

    Not only that, you should also not base your judgment on just one session, or multiple sessions in one day. We have physiological changes happening to us every day. For example, too much caffeine can alter our hearing, so can allergies, colds, not having enough sleep, and many other factors. What might sound a bit too bright to you that day might sound totally fine another day. You need to be patient and test settings over at least two or three different days in order to completely sure.
    You also need to have a selection of test tracks that you know like the back of your hand, and have used to test a multitude of audio gear over the months and years--tracks that test specifically for different things like brightness, air, shrillness, bass clarity, mids clarity, voice, guitar, drums, orchestral passages, sub-bass presence, and so on. Then, you need to also have other audio gear (headphones, speakers) in your setup that you can use to compare with--ones that you know the sonic signatures well. Using these benchmark tracks and comparison gear will help you keep objective. 
  6. Br777


    also great advice, though the stuff in the second paragraph is a bit out of reach for some of us :wink:
    I'm demoing Jriver which has given me granular control over easy-q and have thusly ultra refined my LCD-2 curve.  Its nearly a mirror image compensation at this point.  Maybe this is overkill, but with little time to compare, so far it seems to sound better than ever.
  7. B-Dawk20
    I always hear the HD650's highs are reeeeeeeeaally recessed. Any tips on helping that out?
  8. Br777
    you could probably find one of Tyll's response graphs for that headphone, and start by following Lunatique's process outlined in this thread.
    Even though Tyll's wont be the exact graph for your individual headphones, it will probably be very close, and almost certainly be adequate for helping you bring the headphones much closer to neutral.
    unfortunately I dont have a link for you for Tyll's "warehouse" of response graphs.. anyone?
    ah, here it is - http://www.innerfidelity.com/headphone-data-sheet-downloads
  9. Lunatique


    Personally, I don't find HD650's high's as recessed as many say.
    Generally, I don't trust most people's opinions on what is bright and what is recessed, because many tend to have a preference towards overly bright sonic signature, due to many years of biased conditioning from consumer electronics. Even though HD650's aren't perfect, they are still one of the best all-around headphones in its price range in terms of pleasant overall sonic signature.
    Can you EQ it to sound even better? Sure, but I think you'll find that you'd end up doing less EQ'ing with the HD650 than you would many other headphones out there, including the more expensive ones or the more respected ones. Out of the box and without any EQ'ing allowed, I'd trust the HD650 over any other headphones I own, except in the sub-bass region (for that, I'd use the LCD-2).
  10. korzena
    Is Electri-Q_(posihfopit_edition).dll (Foobar2000 component) a good equalizer?
  11. Lunatique
    It's fine. It's actually rare to see bad EQ plugins nowadays, since DSP programming and technology in general has advanced so much.
  12. Lunatique
    UPDATE January 05, 2014
    Here's the updated and more accurate/detailed ATH-M50 curve:
    20 KHz, 10 dB, 0.35 oct
    8700 Hz, -12 dB, 0.30 oct
    5700 Hz, 12 dB, 0.42 oct
    4036 Hz, -3 dB, 0.25 oct
    3400 Hz, 4 dB, 0.33 oct
    2000 Hz, -2.4 dB, 0.42 oct
    300 Hz, 4 dB, 0.47 oct
    130 Hz, -3.2 dB, 0.35 oct
    95 Hz, 4.8 dB, 0.25 oct
    40 Hz, -5.0 dB, 1.82 oct
    This curve is based on the latest measurements from InnerFidelity.
    If that sounds a bit bright for some of you, use this one instead (it's a bit more relaxed in the presence region):
    Everything is the same except these two bands:
    8700 Hz, -8 dB, 0.30 oct
    5700, 8 dB, 0.42 oct
  13. syn_fx
    Many thanks for taking the time to do this, and share it with the community. I was curious to try your curve for the M50s, but since I use foobar and Spotify, I wanted to find an eq solution that worked system wide (Spotify doesn't support vst's, and the third party eq's that I saw were pretty poor). 
    So after some searching, I stumbled upon Equalizer APO (http://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/), which applies a virtually unlimited equalizer system-wide. The only issue is that you have a text file to work with, though there are graphical tools that will output the config. I quickly reproduced your curve for that program:
    Filter  1: ON  PK       Fc    20000.0 Hz  Gain   10.0 dB  BW Oct 0.35
    Filter  2: ON  PK       Fc    8700.0 Hz  Gain   -12.0 dB  BW Oct 0.30
    Filter  3: ON  PK       Fc    5700.0 Hz  Gain   12.0 dB  BW Oct 0.42
    Filter  4: ON  PK       Fc    4036.0 Hz  Gain   -3.0 dB  BW Oct 0.25
    Filter  5: ON  PK       Fc    3400.0 Hz  Gain   4.0 dB  BW Oct 0.33
    Filter  6: ON  PK       Fc    2000.0 Hz  Gain   -2.4 dB  BW Oct 0.42
    Filter  7: ON  PK       Fc    300.0 Hz  Gain   4.0 dB  BW Oct 0.47
    Filter  8: ON  PK       Fc    130.0 Hz  Gain   -3.2 dB  BW Oct 0.35
    Filter  9: ON  PK       Fc    95.0 Hz  Gain   4.8 dB  BW Oct 0.25
    Filter 10: ON  PK       Fc    40.0 Hz  Gain   -5.0 dB BW Oct 1.82
    All of which you put into something like m50.txt, and then in config.txt under C:\Program Files\EqualizerAPO\config just add the line "include m50.txt". It seems like it's the same curve as EasyQ makes, though I'm not 100% sure. If you have the time, could you take a look? It might be a more elegant solution than just using EasyQ. Should one apply a negative preamp gain to avoid clipping from the boosts?
  14. Kaffeemann
    ^ That setting seems a bit excessive. I always apply a negative preamp gain with the same value as the biggest boost. In your case it would be - 12 dB.
    Does anybody have some good settings to give the HD 650 a bit more presence in the mids?
  15. Lunatique
    You probably don't want to do that. The mids of HD650 doesn't need any boosting at all, and you'll just destroy its renowned balanced sonic signature and make it too bright. If you must do it, then just create a single parametric band with a gentle slope and maybe +2~3 dB and sweep it throughout the mids and find the spot that sounds the most appealing to you. Make sure you listen to a wide range of different types of recordings/styles of music while you do this, so you're not just EQ'ing for only one particular song and then all other songs sound worse with the EQ.
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