The DIY'rs Cookbook
Feb 12, 2016 at 3:32 PM Post #271 of 1,957

landroni

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Wow, that is really interesting. I have their MK sub as you can see in my signature and can tell you that I have yet to hear another sub that beats it in terms of clean, hard hitting bass with none of the typical fuzz, vibration, or excess noise that come from lessor subs. Whats funny is that I knew that it was their sealed chamber dual speaker push pull tech that provided the enhanced SQ, but I didn't know until you pointed this out that it was also a phase reversal tech that was responsible. My MK is almost three decades old and makes my new BW sub sound like sh_ _ in comparison. No wonder!
 


 
But one of the more interesting aspects that I have been striving for and have gotten much closer to, is being able to bring up the very bottom end to near flat.
This, once its properly blended into the rest of the spectrum yields rather spectacular results, and in ways that can be quite surprising.
This was my primary emphasis and goal, and the PRT helps enable all of this by 'helping' the amp deliver this low frequency with much greater focus and power.

 

 
When I started my journey in audiophile world, a fellow head-fi'er has kept praising the Denon D7000 (and not far behind Fostex TH-900 and Hifiman HE-6) as THE bestest headphones they have ever experienced. One of the reasons was proper low-end performance, insisting that Fostex/Denon did deep, clean and clear bass better than anybody. It seems that bass quality is one of the things done poorly most of the time in full-size headphones, since it's quite hard to reproduce that wide of a range on one driver (as 99.99% of full size headphones do). Indeed: "Since it's hard to reproduce low bass on small drivers without distortion most headphone companies (even flagship ones) seem to just give up." And curiously: "When done properly low bass adds a real sense of scale and depth to music."
 
My takeway from this is that clean, crisp low-end performance is missing in a majority of headphones (of course standard Stoddard disclaimer applies: "This is my opinion, I am biased like everyone else, and I haven’t heard everything", YMMV, etc.). And my takeaway from JJ's three tweaks (Sonarworks, SSBB and PRT) is -- partly -- to digitally compensate for unsatisfactory low-end performance in headphones... Actually I'm suspecting that SSBB is designed to make very low-end frequencies audible, since most headphones would have a pronounced roll-off below 20 Hz. (This also got me thinking into HOW low-end audibility has been tested, with 15-20Hz being often cited, and some studies reporting up to 12 Hz audibility in "ideal lab conditions"... If the tests are in a lab using amplified sounds via transducers, wouldn't widespread poor bass performance potentially bias the measurements?)
 
So pumping dB into the <20Hz frequencies would presumably compensate for the roll-off in that region. From what I see from equal loudness curves, higher dB make very low-end frequencies more audible similarly to how higher dB make very high-end frequencies more audible (up to what I call the coffin corner):


 
So I'm wondering how a 3-way tweaked HD650/HD800 would compare with, say, a D7000 or TH-900 (3-way tweaked or stock)... Would bass performance account for perceived improvement from these tweaks? Put differently, do the tweaks digitally compensate for common lower-end technological deficiencies in transducers? The more dB in SSB is intuitive enough; the PRT seems designed to improve bass, as suggested by the M&K MX-100 comments; and Sonarworks works all around the FR, including low-end performance...
 
PS For fun, here's a list of "best bass headphones", which unsurprisingly feature D7000 and TH-900 in the top of the list:
http://www.head-fi.org/a/the-best-bass-headphones-a-head-fi-wiki
 
Feb 12, 2016 at 5:20 PM Post #272 of 1,957

johnjen

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Feb 12, 2016 at 5:34 PM Post #273 of 1,957

johnjen

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I have been using this plug-in for JRiver for quite awhile, works well, and free also.

http://www.rs-met.com/freebies.html

Lots of other free audio plugins as well on same page.  Worth a look
That looks like a good general purpose EQ and the price certainly is right.

And yeah there are a TON of free plug-ins available.
I've gone thru a bunch of them trying to find one to allow me to 'shape' the curves to match up with actual response curves instead of using fixed shape filters that don't really match up well.

And even then it can take a bunch of attempts to dial it all in.
I'm right now on attempt #8 with the curve I posted.

JJ
 
Feb 12, 2016 at 6:52 PM Post #274 of 1,957

johnjen

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snip
My takeway from this is that clean, crisp low-end performance is missing in a majority of headphones (of course standard Stoddard disclaimer applies: "This is my opinion, I am biased like everyone else, and I haven’t heard everything", YMMV, etc.). And my takeaway from JJ's three tweaks (Sonarworks, SSBB and PRT) is -- partly -- to digitally compensate for unsatisfactory low-end performance in headphones... Actually I'm suspecting that SSBB is designed to make very low-end frequencies audible, since most headphones would have a pronounced roll-off below 20 Hz. (This also got me thinking into HOW low-end audibility has been tested, with 15-20Hz being often cited, and some studies reporting up to 12 Hz audibility in "ideal lab conditions"... If the tests are in a lab using amplified sounds via transducers, wouldn't widespread poor bass performance potentially bias the measurements?)

So pumping dB into the <20Hz frequencies would presumably compensate for the roll-off in that region. From what I see from equal loudness curves, higher dB make very low-end frequencies more audible similarly to how higher dB make very high-end frequencies more audible (up to what I call the coffin corner):


So I'm wondering how a 3-way tweaked HD650/HD800 would compare with, say, a D7000 or TH-900 (3-way tweaked or stock)... Would bass performance account for perceived improvement from these tweaks? Put differently, do the tweaks digitally compensate for common lower-end technological deficiencies in transducers? The more dB in SSB is intuitive enough; the PRT seems designed to improve bass, as suggested by the M&K MX-100 comments; and Sonarworks works all around the FR, including low-end performance...

PS For fun, here's a list of "best bass headphones", which unsurprisingly feature D7000 and TH-900 in the top of the list:
http://www.head-fi.org/a/the-best-bass-headphones-a-head-fi-wiki

There is bass and then there is music which has its 'foundation' and starts in the SubSonic region of the audible spectrum.

I figure most have never heard what articulate, precise, detailed and tonally accurate bass can provide, simply because it's so difficult to generate and blend into the rest of the spectrum.
And to me it doesn't matter what the means to achieving these goals entails, speakers, HP's, vinyl, digital.
I'm pursuing this in the digital domain because it's Much less costly, complex, and accords a 'different' range tweaks that can get me closer and faster than my previous attempts.

And getting speakers or HP's to thump or whump is relatively easy.
And I have to say I never expected to be able to achieve the results I'm getting out of HP's.
And I'll be the first to say I don't claim to have achieved fully tweaked "articulate, precise, detailed and tonally accurate bass" but I'm much closer than I've ever been.

For me when the bass is heard as a musical note, with it's harmonics and the acoustic space properly aligned and focused to and with each 'voice', then I know I'm close.

The thing is, when the bass does get properly coupled, it adds a degree of 'realness' to just about every 'voice', and that once heard seems to be immediately noticed, enjoyed and appreciated.

This is my aim with all of this, and it matters not how I (or anyone else) 'get(s) here' (what equipment, or setup is involved) as long as this degree of musical involvement becomes apparent and is quickly followed by IMPERATIVE and all the other subsequent aspects (like SuperGlue and I HEARD etc.) that result as a consequence of 'getting there'.

The technical stuff is fun to play with but as I see it, it's just the means to an end.

IOW if Dennons or AKG's or HD650's can achieve this degree of direct personal involvement with and IN the music, that works for me as well.
I'm using the gear I have in a very simple system, so as to not complicate even further, an already complex situation.
That doesn't mean I haven't fussed, tweaked and explored all of the parameters that are part of this simple system (power, cables, vibration management etc.) as well.
I have, and will continue to do so.

But it's all a way of achieving a direct musical experience, one that I know exists, because I have heard it before and these 'tools' are very useful in helping to getting back to it.

Think of all of this as tools to use to help tweak anyone's system.
Some tools work well, some don't apply, others simply can't be used etc., but using the equipment you already have and tweaking the setup to improve the acoustical presentation, by using these tools, in any way, it is possible to achieve Mighty Impressive Results.

JJ
 
Feb 12, 2016 at 10:10 PM Post #275 of 1,957

MrSlim

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It looks to be a windows only product.
I run on a Mac Pro…

I can't get there from here… :atsmile:

JJ

Oops, I should have remembered, since you'very mentioned that in many of your posts in this thread. I'm blaming vacation brain and not enough margaritas (just discovered this fabulous from scratch recipe... to bad limes back home are so expensive....)
 
Feb 12, 2016 at 11:38 PM Post #276 of 1,957

johnjen

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Perhaps it will prove useful for someone else, having access to 'resources' is always a good thing!

So for me once I get a curve that works, the next level to take this to, is to try the 'high priced' parametric EQ's (Equilibrium etc.) just to see if they are sonically 'Better', (as some have suggested), or not.

But man is it (Eqilibrium) Much more complex with pro level features and functions I'll NEVER want, need, or use.

Even the Tonebooster plug-in I'm using has a bunch of features, like compression, I don't need.
But at least it was fairly easy to learn how to use and flexible enough to actually create a curve that matches an existing curve instead of an 'approximation' or worse, not a very good match at all.

This whole EQ thing is really new and we who are playing around with it are the explorers.

JJ
 
Feb 15, 2016 at 3:23 PM Post #277 of 1,957

Solrighal

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Greetings folks!
 
I'm new to this thread so please cut me some slack. I was happily using Sonarworks in my system and then @johnjen cut into the HD 650 thread to tell everyone about the 'No Limits' profile. I took the bait and so here I am. I'm currently listening to the best sound via headphones I've ever experienced. Thanks guys.
 
Feb 15, 2016 at 8:56 PM Post #278 of 1,957

connieflyer

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Hope Spain is everything you are looking for and enjoy it.  Sonarworks is pretty good, I have been experimenting with it following it to this thread with @johnjen also.  I don't use the 650's anymore, gave them up about month and a half ago, using the 700's now and they are so much richer.  I use the Senn 800 curves on Sonarworks and use the mods that @johnjen stated, and then experimented from their.  Good luck with the future, Don and welcome
 
Feb 15, 2016 at 11:09 PM Post #279 of 1,957

BIG POPPA

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I use the hd700's and do agree they are a little richer. I have them dialed in. And I adjust Sonarworks a few times until the rig focus'. Turn the bass down and scaled it back at the flick of the power switch, then about 45-60 min upen it up a bit. Then between 2-3 hours I finally got the rig warmed up and focused. Then I really push Sonarworks. My hand knows what to do and I really don't think about it. Just normal stuff every night. I was asked how do I handle listening fatigue? I answered what is that? I said the rig is sooo dialed in, that never comes up. Also usually have new music to listen to. So always have the bases covered.
 
Feb 16, 2016 at 1:56 AM Post #280 of 1,957

johnjen

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Greetings folks!

I'm new to this thread so please cut me some slack. I was happily using Sonarworks in my system and then @johnjen
cut into the HD 650 thread to tell everyone about the 'No Limits' profile. I took the bait and so here I am. I'm currently listening to the best sound via headphones I've ever experienced. Thanks guys.
Greetings and welcome!
And as I mentioned in post #1, I aim to have this thread achieve Smack Down Free Zone status.

Sonarworks got me started on EQ, again. I had given up on it and was just using a variation of SSBB.
Well I was also using the PRT and when I got the no limits compensation curve and adjusted the SSBB to blend, well things just went 'click'.

Right now I'm experimenting using 5 different plug-in 'corrections', all aimed at tweaking different portions of the re-creation of the acoustic presentation.

But Sonarworks was the match that lit the fire, so to speak.

Sharing our results to achieve 'Better' is my hope such that even those with 'non-supported' headphones can gain the advantages of 'Better'.
Sonarworks is the first EQ that brought me 'Better' and in no uncertain terms.

But when all three of the tweaks are activated and dialed in the results can be, well, captivating.

JJ
 
Feb 16, 2016 at 2:02 AM Post #281 of 1,957

johnjen

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Hope Spain is everything you are looking for and enjoy it.  Sonarworks is pretty good, I have been experimenting with it following it to this thread with @johnjen also.  I don't use the 650's anymore, gave them up about month and a half ago, using the 700's now and they are so much richer.  I use the Senn 800 curves on Sonarworks and use the mods that @johnjen stated, and then experimented from their.  Good luck with the future, Don and welcome
One thing I haven't emphasized is the use of the wet/dry control inside Sonarworks.

But also know as you adjust any of these adjustments that can and will call for adjustments elsewhere (SSBB, tilt, bass boost etc.) that is if you want to find the sweet spot again.

The Wet/Dry control can be very helpful when using a compensation curve on a different HP than its was generated for.

JJ
 
Feb 16, 2016 at 1:39 PM Post #282 of 1,957

Solrighal

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I have a question. I'm using JRMC and as well as the Sonarworks VST I'm using the buit-in parametric EQ. Where should I place the EQ in the stack? Does it make any difference if it's above or below Sonarworks? I'm thinking it should be above.
 
Feb 16, 2016 at 3:35 PM Post #283 of 1,957

Torq

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It should not, in theory, make any difference.
 
Both plug-ins/processes are going to make adjustments to the frequency response curve - they'll simpy be additive/subtractive where they coincide, and won't interact where they don't; the net effect should be the same amount of boost or cut for any given frequency.
 
Now, "should not" and "does not" make a difference are two different things.  It'd be easy enough to capture the raw audio data at the end of the chain and verify the same sequence of values for both orderings of the plug-in though.
 
For what it's worth, I have Sonarworks at the end of my chain purely because I don't use it for every pair of headphones I have - and I'd rather not route the audio data through that just to have it do nothing with it (i.e. it's turned off in the plug-in itself).
 
Feb 16, 2016 at 5:28 PM Post #284 of 1,957

Solrighal

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I expect you're right. I can't hear a difference either way. What I was thinking though was that Sonarworks treats the whole audio spectrum so it made sense to do that first & then add the PEQ bass boost afterwards.
 
Feb 16, 2016 at 6:01 PM Post #285 of 1,957

johnjen

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I have a question. I'm using JRMC and as well as the Sonarworks VST I'm using the buit-in parametric EQ. Where should I place the EQ in the stack? Does it make any difference if it's above or below Sonarworks? I'm thinking it should be above.
I was lamenting the fact that it would be nice to have sequential control of the processes inside the dsp 'stack'.
And indeed there is, as you mentioned Jriver allows the stack sequence to be changed with but a few exceptions.
(D'OH) on my part. :atsmile:

And so this is my thinking on the stack 'order'…

I leave the Analyzer last (of all of the plugin-in's that are √'d ie enabled)
This way I can view in the FFT display, what all of the preceding changes are doing.
Being able to monitor the extreme bottom end can be fascinating at times.

Next up from the bottom is the polarity reversal.
I use a built in Jriver DSP Parametric EQ (one of 2 available) plug-in to flip the phase on the Right channel.
I place this close to last so that all the initial signal processing sees 'normal' phase relationships and this tweak can't mess with them in any way.
It's probably unnecessary but then again it can't hurt either.

Then comes Sonarworks, I place this as the last EQ change because of the 'VU Meters' which will tell me if the modified signal has been pushed into saturation (!00% - clipping) or not, to the input into Sonarworks.
It will also tell me if the EQ changes that it makes, reach saturation on the output.
If you use a different method of monitoring the signal level it should reside in this location, ie. after all of the EQ processing has been done.

Next up are any additional EQ plug-ins of which I am now using 3 separate processes.
These are somewhat arbitrary as to order and depending upon if they have any other features built in (FFT displays, etc.) which might change their position within the stack.
Although sometimes a certain order of these can trigger a sonic reaction akin to the entire sound signature going sideways.

Next up the list is being able to reduce the signal level BEFORE any of the EQ adjustments are made.
I use a built in Jriver DSP Parametric EQ (one of 2 available) plug-in to reduce the level by 2- 6dB just so none of the next processes in the stack will overload.

Then comes the rest of the 'other' modifications being enabled.
The top 3 plug-ins are fixed into those positions (and can't be moved), namely
Output Format
Volume Leveling
Adaptive Volume

I only use Output Format and Volume Leveling.

And now, heading down towards the middle of the stack, I also use the Tempo & Pitch plug-in as well.
Which then feeds into the additional EQ plug-ins as mentioned above, as the digital stream moves on down the stack.
I move all the other plug-ins that are not enabled (√'d) after (below) the last plug-in I use, which is Analyzer.
This step also probably shouldn't really matter in terms of SQ, but it also 'tidies up' the stack this way.


JJ
 

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