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My meticulously tweaked EQ settings for Shure SE535, Westone 3, Westone 4

  1. Br777
    hi lunatique, as i've shared with you before, i have used your eq method to balance my LCD-2 rev2's to very close to true neutral.
    i recently purchased some westone es5's (westone's top of the line customs, the best they make) and i was SHOCKED at how rolled off they were..  now granted, I am quite confident that my lcd-2's are close to true neutral.  They are not shrill, they are not rolled off.  everything seems to be in the right place with all my music.   symbols, vocals, drums, bass, guitar, all sound even and at their appropriate volumes.
    that said.   THIS! is what it takes to make the es5's  sound as balanced as the lcd-2's when eq'd to neutral
    yes, that is an 8.5db boost from essentially 1.5k on up.   yikes!
    this just seems outrageous to me.  What do you make of this.   I am absolutely sure i am getting a proper seal.    any ideas if this is normal?
    I have contacted westone about this so i'll be curious to see what they say.
    it is worth noting that WITH this eq curve the es5's sound absolutely fantastic... even better than my lcd-2's if you can believe it.
  2. Lunatique


    My experience with IEM's is that they tend to be quite rolled off in the treble and often rolled off in the sub-bass too, then depending on the model/brand/tips, they could also be a bit shrill in the sibilance region, or too boomy in the bass. 
    All the IEM's I've heard were rolled off in the treble (not airy enough), except maybe the Etymotic ER4 series. 
    Why are you boosting frequencies by cutting all the other frequencies? Keep your neutral starting point at 0 dB. Boot and cut from 0 dB--don't arbitrarily screw with the unity gain. 
    Also, your EQ curve looks a bit too generalized. I doubt the es-5's frequency response is in smooth/simple curves like that? There must be some irregular dips and peaks that you need to address? 
  3. Br777


    as always i brought the unity down so the peaks are at zero... having 8+ (now more like 10) above zero seems certain distortion to me, but maybe not.  just playing it safe
    it was generalized, i hadn't gotten into nitpicking yet.
    This is all done by ear, so its a lot harder than using a chart for reference, but its certainly better now as there were some surprising peaks. 
    its funny how such large abberations can be there and seem good until you get rid of them and then listen to the difference.
    anyway still a work in progress, but this sounds better anyway..  probably still not perfect, but likely as good as its gonna get.
  4. MuckityMuck
    Thanks for taking the time to do this.  I'm not an audiophile, except that I appreciate great sound.  I love my SE535s, but haven't been satisfied with the unequalized or slightly-tweaked sound on my ipod touch. 
    Using the Equalizer app, I've approximated your settings and will make them more exact over time (new to this app, I haven't been able to configure the curve perfectly yet).   I bumped the low end by 6 rather than 3, but that is a matter of personal taste (or ear canal size),  I guess.  The -12 and +12 settings are what made the biggest difference, ending the listening fatigue while keeping the treble clean.
    Again, thanks.  I'm not sure I ever would have figured that out on my own.
  5. tresenddrums
    Great post! Do you mind sharing your exact EQ settings for the Shure SE-535 visual? (i.e. frequency, gain, q....). I want to try to recreate this using the parametric EQ on Amarra. Thanks!
  6. Lunatique
    Here it is, but keep in mind this is only for the triple-flange silicone tips:
    13000 Hz, 12 dB, 0.55 oct
    7000 Hz, -12 dB, 0.25 oct
    40 Hz, 4 dB, 3 oct
    You can use online conversion tools to convert between octave and Q.
    itsvel06 likes this.
  7. tresenddrums
    WOW! Your EQ settings make a dramatic difference with the triple flange sleeves. Thanks for posting the specifics. I appreciate it!
  8. Lunatique
    Here's my latest custom EQ curve for Westone 4/4R (they are identical sounding, except for the matched drivers of the 4R).
    This is only for the TRIPLE-FLANGE tip. I do not use other tips because they aren't as ergonomic or don't seal as well, and also because the triple-flange is the only tip that gets rid of most of the ear canal resonance because they fill up more of your ear canal than other tips.
    This EQ curve is carefully tweaked by first referencing Tyll Hertsens' measurements (I've been waiting for him to measure the Westone 4 for years, and he's finally done it), and then meticulously tweaked by referencing pink noise and then referenced against my LCD-2 with custom EQ curve applied. I then double-check by testing with my select playlist of testing tracks I've been using for many years, swapping between the LCD-2 and Westone 4. I then triple-checked by making sure my custom EQ for the LCD-2 is in fact, still as accurate as it should be (using pink noise and test tracks), and then do another round to matching the two, and then one last round of checking the Westone 4 with pink noise tests and test tracks.
    I found that for this particular case, you can't just EQ the Westone 4 based on the measurement graph, and if you do, it'll be too bright and shrill. What you should do instead, is to use the measurement graph to set your EQ points as according to the graph, and then play pink noise and take each node and restrict the movement to only vertical, and start moving it up and down so you can get familiarized with what too much and too little of that frequency range sounds like, and then set it at the spot that sounds the most even with the rest of the frequency spectrum. You do that for every node until you have a very balanced sound across the frequency range. This method is the best way to ensure you get what sounds accurate TO YOUR OWN EARS, because we all have slightly different hearing, and if you set it to sound balanced to your own hearing, then it can't get more accurate than that. 
    The settings are:
    150 Hz, -3 dB, 2.37 oct
    5,500 Hz, +3 dB, 1.02 oct
    10,000 Hz, -10 dB, 0.6 oct
    20,000 Hz, 10 dB, 1.13 oct
    Please use any of the free online bandwidth to Q translators if your EQ uses Q instead. 
  9. Foldedpencil
    Thanks for posting this.  I entered it as described by the numbers and it was missing detail in the mid range.  I think the 5,500 Hz line should read +3 dB, as illustrated in your graph.  I am trying it out now.
    Any idea what would be different with star tips?
  10. Lunatique
    Good catch. I can't believe I didn't notice that. 
    I don't don't use other tips at all, so I don't bother EQ'ing for them. The triple-flange tips have all the benefits and non of the negatives for me--they're the perfect tips. You don't have to squeeze/roll them or wait for them to expand, and they fill up your ear canal so there's no space for resonance peak to deal with. They also isolate very well because there's three layers of isolation. Cleaning is also easy because they're silicon and not foam, and the white color makes it easy to tell when they're dirty. Their long shape also means that you can take them off the IEM and use them as individual earplugs if you need to, and they'll be easy to pull out of your ears with the protruding stem in the back.
  11. plyr
    Did this on Apple AU based on SE535 of your pictures.
  12. plyr
    Apple AU ParametricEQ cant go above 1.3885 oct :/
  13. plyr
    Another thing, how do you use EasyQ? Its just a bunch of .xml files on the folder...
    Edit: Figured out. Just in case anyone wants to use it with foobar2000: http://rateyourmusic.com/list/joe_calzone/how_to_use_vst_plugins_with_foobar2000/
  14. JohnSantana

    yes please I'd love to know if there is any updated EQ points when using different tips :)

    It's been a while since the last update of this thread.
  15. Lunatique
    Sorry, I don't use other tips at all, so I don't really have a reason to create custom EQ curves for other types of tips. 

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