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Great thread! DO you guys have any links to more technical information on how crossfeed works??
meier audio explains its implementation on its site - http://www.meier-audio.homepage.t-online.de/crossfeed.htm
I agree that I'm surprised to see that headphones DACs or Amps manufacturers don't offer more devices with Crossfeed/Surround functions. Hearing through headphones is unatural and I think that people accustomed at this listening enjoy music and rythm into music more than presentation, how it is played. I think hearing through headphones suits more to singers, small groups, one instrument. When you go to classical with large phalanxes you get pulp, losing sides and even more heights.
But some manufacturers understand the problem. Let's mention Meier, headroom, Decware, Phonitor, Ifi (iDSD Micro), Chord (Hugo), McIntosh (MHA100), ... Software makers (TB Isone, JRiver,...).
I think that digital signal processing is going to become much more common in the future. It's an interesting field.
I have many recordings of even small groups such as string quartets and violin sonatas where the very wide channel separation makes having cross-feed absolutely necessary.
What crossfeed setup do You use ?
I had an acoustical engineer who likes to build these things make a custom 6-level balanced cross-feeder for me. Lucky me! (Though it wasn't free...)
Ok, I see.
What do you mean by 6 levels ? Does it refer to different amount of signal mixing between left and right channels ?
Yes, from a minimal amount of cross-feed to a fairly large amount of cross-feed. This is very imortant to have, IMO, because the channel separation issue varies a lot from recording to recording.
QFT. I was listening to some violin sonatas earlier where the violinist tends to lean in a good bit to the pianist on the R channel; without crossfeed you suddenly get this sense of emptiness on the left that gets annoying.
I really like the idea of using some kind of crossfeed implementation to get a more "speaker-like" presentation, but I haven't found one that I love yet.
I've tried 112dB's Redline Monitor VST and that's more or less for production and pro audio use. It's a really small, subtle effect and I don't think it's any more or less enjoyable -- just different.
I've also tried Out Of Your Head by Darrin Fong, and as long as you can prevent your music from clipping internally it's a blast, but it doesn't seem to sound realistic to me at all. Super enjoyable for a little while with your eyes closed. I just can't really handle how the "room sound" is so in your face. Maybe I should listen on more neutral headphones and review my opinion.
There's also an amp called the SPL Phonitor (and the more recent SPL Phonitor 2) that someone told me has an insanely well done full-analog crossfeed, but I haven't been able to hear it.
I use bs2b, since it's easy to turn on and off as a LADSPA plugin in Linux. I find that it's not really a question of perfection; no simple crossfeed will ever be perfect, as it doesn't take into account the effects of our own ears. Rather, it's a matter of pluses vs. minuses, and for me crossfeed yields enough pluses to be worth. Perhaps with the new standards for HRIR/BRIR we'll get solutions that are more physically accurate, but until then I'll take the reduced fatigue and forward presentation of a bit of crossfeed over the alternative. I would like to hear one of the Phonitor products, but software solutions are just a wee bit cheaper.
I agree about the reduced fatigue. It's the foremost reason I use crossfeed. Sometimes it enhances the holographic presentation of the recording. It does depend on the recording, and can even be unnoticeable. I'm not too bothered about the inaccuracies that crossfeed may introduce. It is minimal, and the 'coloured' presentations of my headphones offset accuracy by a larger degree.
TBH I use it mostly for the fatigue thing. to me it's very obvious. but the change in headstage is pretty much annihilated after 20mn. my brain putting back the stuff where it thinks they belong and as I mostly listen to the same albums again and again, that clever brain has more than enough memory of the tracks to do the job.
you know how some instrument that are 180° on the left will go maybe 150° with the crosstalk? well after 20mn, it's pretty much back to 180 for me ^_^ all that's left is the difference I perceive in bass but even that is attenuated.
I guess it's a little like being on a train looking at the scenery and when the train stops you see the ground getting distorted. silly brain would adapt to anything.
I haven't had a problem with anything except for the very early Beatles that aren't really stereo. I use DSPs to improve the sound through phase adjustment to suit the room with my speakers. In headphones, I haven't tried to play with stuff like that is there an Apple app that is cheap that I could play with?