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Skeptico Saloon: An Objectivist Joint

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by gnarlsagan, Jun 27, 2013.
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  1. Joe Bloggs Contributor
    So guys, what do you recommend I do if I have a method of tuning headphones that makes an objective night and day difference as well as glowingly positive subjective evaluations, but the method (sorta kinda methodical though it may be, though I'll be damned if I can put the words together to fully explain the process) is not science-approved in the sense that it takes its cues from subjective listening rather than instrumental measurements (and I don't see how this can be changed)?

    Who should I take this up with to promote the method? Or am I doomed to fall through the cracks between the subjectivists and the objectivists? :deadhorse:

  2. NLNH
    Some are making $1000 bucks iem with a fancy housing and a DD driver inside which claims to have new tech, while the ''designer'; could be just a random guy who hype, hype and hype.
    n% mark up and rebrand from China stuff, if you say 150 bucks power cords are snake oil, no, we got some big snakes out there[​IMG]
    ^ lets enjoy these, stay foolish and happy [​IMG] 
    One side note, I believe that many gears are underpriced, with the current gdp and the trend how gears are priced now and in the 90s it is not too bad actually : ( it is just the enthusiasm and professionalism fading
  3. RRod
    If this thread is any indication, it's hardly a settled matter on how to judge headphones, so I say start up a thread on your method!
  4. StanD
    I read the head page of your Blog and liked it. Start a thread and expect a beating or two or three.........
  5. Steve Eddy

    Have you read Sean Olive's work on this subject?

  6. uchihaitachi
    Is that the blind testing of people sonic preferences? Wasn't the result that most people prefer most accurate sounding headphones. By accurate I mean real to life?
  7. Steve Eddy

    Yes. But when measuring headphones on a dummy head, you don't get a flat frequency response. So Sean has come up with a "reference curve" for headphone frequency response that results in a "more accurate" perceived sound.

  8. KamijoIsMyHero

    I don't think so. I focused my attention first on the balance of the frequency response, then the detailing of music I was listening to. The biggest example is going from the 6 to Kaiser. Hard to explain since this is an anti-subjective subforum and I won't go further on the difference in sound. Have you even tried multiple driver set-ups?
  9. castleofargh Contributor

    I personally feel that it's the closest to what I like, but I wouldn't call it neutral just yet. and how we put an IEM or a headphone(more for small drivers) on hour head+ maybe some particular resonance in our messed up ears, that will tend to make for at least some matter of deviation in the high medium/trebles. those changes have little chances to be always right with a general target.
    if Joe's solution is what he explains in his tutorial on headfi, then I have very much abused it for the last year.
    with the risk of talking about something entirely different and making a fool of myself (wouldn't be the first time ^_^), here are the limitations/requirements I see with going at it by ear:
    -you need the headphone you plan to EQ to have at least the same kind of frequency extension or even better, less roll off than the one you plan to "copy". not a real problem but it requires a little research beforehand.
    -you need to have a model that can output the sound you like. so you pretty much need to have already found the sound you find best. but if you happen to be in love with the signature of your speakers, all is good.
    - it's really hard to be precise in the very low and very high frequencies. while getting something ok rapidly and repeatedly in the mids, setting a 40hz right is another matter for me as I often end up with up to 4db deviations between 2 tries. and same for anything after 12 or 13khz for me(I can still hear up to 16khz at normal listening level). those are not really important frequency regions as far as music is concerned, but it might stop from getting the last audible differences from the target.
  10. uchihaitachi
    I own and have tried countless multiple driver set-ups. 
    Most 'detailed' IEMS just tend to have upper frequency spikes resulting in more detail being hired. Likewise, the Noble 6 has boosted bass and rolled off treble. The Kaiser less so, so I wouldn't be surprised by your claims.
    I don't want anecdotal claims. I don't trust my ears nor yours well enough to make such critical evaluations on IEM detailing sound quality based on driver counts.
    That's why I am asking for somebody with expertise in the scientific know how of how these drivers work...
  11. KamijoIsMyHero
    Then this forum would be the worst place to ask such questions. All you get its snake oil blah blah blah. If you have enough experience with many different IEM with different counts of drivers then that should be enough evidence whether or not multiple drivers matter. I have yet to encounter an engineer that creates IEM that bothers with this forum. At least the guys in Noble are approachable for some technical questions.

    BTW I didn't hear a roll off in the 6, the frequency response of the 6 and the kaiser were pretty much equal when I tested them.
  12. bigshot
    Inner detail (not just boosted high end) is a function of balanced frequency response most often. A balanced response removes any masking that covers part of the spectrum. The other possible culprit is distortion, but in modern equipment, that is much less of a problem than response imbalances.
  13. maverickronin
    I don't know if anyone could tell you where the sweet spot is.  My guess would be after 3-4 drivers and a 3 way crossover  you run into serious diminishing returns and/or cause more problems than you'd solve but that's just a gut feeling since I'm not aware of a large enough database of IEM measurements to make those kinds of comparisons.
  14. uchihaitachi

    This would be the only thread where objective discussion would occur with regards to my question.

    Please stop referring back to your anecdotal evidence time and time again. It's really unhelpful.

    Nobody has said it's snake oil. There have already been several responses highlighting possible explanations, trade offs and so on.
  15. KamijoIsMyHero
    speak for youself
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