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Reproduction of timbre

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by old tech, Apr 23, 2019.
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  1. bigshot
    Yes, auto EQ is pretty primitive. That is probably a good reason why I had to do fine tuning by ear. My AVR lets you save multiple sets of EQ settings. I'm just explaining how I got to my happy place. I'm not arguing. You are.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  2. bfreedma
    Current implementations of auto EQ (Dirac, Trinnov) are not primitive. The version of YPAO you use is several generations behind and generally does a comparatively poor job of EQing. I just don’t understand your position- ignoring everything other than FR and tuning “by ear” without a measurements is an odd stance to espouse in this sub forum.

    I’ll leave it there, but would be willing to make a decent wager that you have a number of fixable issues (that don’t impact a mixed use room) that you’re unaware of. If you’re happy with the results, that’s great, but I don’t agree with your approach as a best practice or your recommendation that others follow it.
  3. bigshot
    They may be fixable issues that would improve accuracy, but I'm not sure they would necessarily improve the sound. If I ever buy a more precise way of doing auto EQ, I'll use it. For now, the Yamaha auto EQ, tones and EQing by ear is fine. It's gotten me to a place where I'm happy, and it sounds as good to me as any system I've ever heard. I don't feel the need to calculate it out any more decimal places. It's like people who want .01% THD instead of .1%. Yes, it's more accurate, but I'm not convinced it would make all that much difference in practice.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  4. bfreedma
    I guess you’ll never know...

    You’re very conveniently avoiding the points in discussion and deflecting. The magnitude of in room issues being discussed in no way equate to “calculating to more decimal places”.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  5. bigshot
    I'm not deflecting. And I'm not arguing. I'm calm and quite happy. But I'm not going to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on testing equipment just because someone says my ears aren't good enough to balance the EQ for music I listen to with my ears. If it sounds the way I want it to sound in my own living room, with my own equipment and my own music, and my own ears, then I'm happy. I should start all over because of a theory from people who have never even heard my system and room? No offense intended when I say this. I'm just saying it makes no practical sense to me. There's more than one way to skin a cat. I'm doing it the way that fits my circumstances.

    Even if I could find a bunch more things to fix, I only have a five band parametric equalizer to work with. There is only so much you can do with that. Sure, I could go out and buy testing mikes and software and a better auto EQ and professional digital equalizers and it would very likely be a bit better. But I'm optimizing what I have to work with. I don't need it to achieve absolute theoretical perfection, only the best it can be for my own purposes.

    My idea of using science to help make systems sound better is to take into account purpose and practicality and do just as much as makes sense. It isn't to push everything to the absolute limit. If you want to carry it that far, terrific. Go for it. But going that far involves expenses, effort and sacrifices that I'm not eager to submit to. Every T does not have to be crossed and every I does not have to be dotted to get the idea across. I get there 85% of the way... swell. But most people don't even get to 60%, and when I think about what I'd have to do to go the rest of the way, I don't really care about that other 15%.

    Does that make sense? I'm trying to cheerfully explain it and I just seem to be unintentionally grinding your gears.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
    Steve999 likes this.
  6. Steve999
    I’m no expert so I’m not arguing one way or another. Here’s something I found though:


    Where it is stated in part about equalizers and phase shift:

    ‘The "problems" caused by phase shift have been repeated so many times by magazine writers and audio salespeople that it's now commonly accepted, even though there's not a shred of truth to it.’
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2019
  7. bigshot
    I almost always use DSPs that alter the time component. I have no idea what they are doing, but it sounds better that way, so I use them.
  8. bfreedma
    No offense taken. We're just having a discussion

    Again, do what makes you happy, but how is the highlighted text different than the argument made by cable proponents when they check into Sound Science?
  9. bigshot
    Because I can switch between my signal processing and direct, and hear a clear and undeniable improvement with my signal processing. The difference isn’t subtle. I’m not imagining it.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
  10. Steve999
    Here is Floyd Toole’s view on room EQ as of March 2019. Not taking a side, just trying to add some more information and perspective:



    “When I see extremely flat and smooth high resolution full bandwidth room curves it is an indication that some things were done that probably should not have been done.”

    “I have one of those all-singing-dancing-highly-advertised-elaborately-mathematical processors. It took manual intervention to restore the inherent excellence of my neutral loudspeakers after ‘room EQ’.”

    “The profit motive is obvious though. Note that most of the room EQ algorithms come from companies that do not make loudspeakers.”
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2019
  11. bfreedma
    Other excerpts from the link.

    “So, if one has a known neutral loudspeaker what does "room EQ" bring to the party? Above about 500 Hz, very little that is reliable - mostly general spectral trends; not detailed irregularities, for reasons mentioned in my last post. At low frequencies equalization is almost certainly beneficial and easily measured.”

    No disagreement. That’s one of the reasons I keep discussing lower frequencies, particularly those and related phase issues around the crossover point for subs.

    “One definitely needs mathematics and DSP skills, but one also needs the acoustical and psychoacoustic knowledge to provide the necessary guidance and discipline.”

    How many people really fit the constraints in the quote above? And have the measurement tools and skill to use them?

    As Toole mentions in the article, if someone has those skills AND software like REW combined with a good mic, they may well be able to exceed the performance of automated room EQ systems. That would be a very small percentage of actual AVR owners. I wish he had mentioned which room EQ system he was using for his comparison - i suspect it wasn’t Trinnov or Dirac.
    Steve999 likes this.
  12. bigshot
    I 'm no Einstein and I don't have a ton of testing equipment, but I can make a significant improvement EQing by ear from a baseline set by the auto EQ in my sub and AVR. I don't know why people are afraid to touch their settings. My mom was like that though. She had a yellow pad by the VCR with step by step instructions on how to set the timer. Without that yellow pad, she was totally lost.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  13. gregorio
    And again as predicted, even more contradiction!

    1. You've stated several times that you take baseline FR curves and then compare them with your EQ'ing (and you've advised everyone else to do the same) but now it turns out you only have a 5 band PEQ and won't respond when asked how you obtain and save those baseline FR curves if all you've got is a 5 band PEQ.

    2. Who is talking about "pushing everything to the absolute limit"? I'm certainly not, in fact I specifically stated that's not possible. I'm talking about getting the best you can within the practicality of a living room, of optimising your system. Again, this is exactly the sort of misrepresentation typically employed by audiophiles that you argue against!

    3. And now we come to it! You simply don't want to spend the ~$100 it would cost and can't be bothered with the effort, which is your choice of course but most certainly isn't "the best way" as you keep asserting!

    4. You haven't been talking about getting the "idea across", you been (falsely) talking about the best way everyone should optimise their system, in which case you should at least know if there are any "T's" needing crossing or "I's" dotting!
    4a. You just made that up, you have no idea what percentage "of the way" your getting because you're not measuring it!
    4b. Ditto.
    4c. What other 15%? You have no idea whether it's 15% or 60%!
    4d. Maybe to the sort of audiophiles you normally argue against! :)

    5. Neither am I and I also don't have a ton of testing equipment (a couple hundred grams of measure mic and some free software).

    6. I'm sure you can make an improvement, at least as far as your preferences are concerned but you weren't talking about an improvement, you were talking about the best way for everyone to optimise their system! To "optimise" and to "improve" are two very different things!


    EDIT: Sorry if this is coming off as overly harsh bigshot. I'm just shocked/amazed you're doing what you spend so much of your time arguing against.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
  14. Steve999
    Could someone please suggest the free software and $100 mic, I guess it is, I would need to calibrate as discussed above? I’d prefer it would work on a Mac since my laptop is an old MacBook Pro 15” retina screen, if that would be an appropriate computer. We’ve got some Windows laptops lying around too.
  15. bigshot
    I can't believe how difficult it is to communicate clearly. I've only got the energy for 1. I'll answer the rest some other time if you're interested.

    I ran the auto EQ built into my Sunfire sub and my AVR. That is my baseline calibration. I save that as a default. Then as I listen to different recordings, I look for aspects that can be improved. I finesse levels in the individual channels, EQ balances and the shape of the parametric Q as well. (My AVR has five five band parametric equalizers.) I make those changes in very very small corrections- 1dB here another dB there- and live with them a while to make sure it isn't just an imbalance in a single recording.-- just tiny baby steps. I listen from different listening positions and with different kinds of recordings. Every once in a while, I save my tweak and pop back to the saved default calibration to check to see that my changes are actually improvements and not just random drifting. If it is drift, I chuck my corrections and pop back to calibrated and start again. It helps to keep notes on what changes you made so you can go back and repeat some steps, but not others. After two or three weeks I arrived at a curve and level settings for each channel that I was happy with and it sounded better to me than the baseline calibration. Haven't needed to go any further than that since I last got new speakers. It sounds exactly the way I want it. That is my ultimate goal. I don't care about technical accuracy as much as it sounding good to my ears in my room with my music.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2019
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