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TrueFi "calibration" mini-review

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by AthenaZephyrian, Sep 3, 2018.
  1. AthenaZephyrian
    TrueFi is a program that purports to generate a flat sound.

    For the most part, it does--maybe a bit too flat, in fact. It wildly boosts bass on cans with a lot of rolloff (e.g. HE400i), which seems to muddy the sound a bit. Most audiophiles don't like strong bass for this reason, but like variations on flat-ish curves. There is a bass modulation option, but you can't control the parameters of the low-shelf filter, just a slider from -8 to +8 dB. There are options to fit to age (just a treble boost, frankly).

    It works well enough with my ATH-MSR7's, as they are fairly closed and have a nearly-flat FR curve anyway, so the changes aren't too drastic.

    It sounded decent on my HE400i, with a hasty and panicked 5dB bass reduction, but the TrueFi filter really reduced the detail and perception of space/soundstage. Vocals sounded, I must admit, extremely lifelike. However, what I was left with was indeed analytical, but didn't feel nearly as huge as the 400i normally feel. It was like someone put a tennis ball in a diamond vice. Sure, it was a diamond, but a tiny, flawed, boring one.

    I prefer it for indie music, but for 80's darkwave, modern synthpop, any sort of rock, and other detailed, crowded, treble-loaded music, it takes the life out of it.

    I much prefer my own "flat"-ish equalizations...they preserve a lot of soundstage and iron out the most egregious treble-mountains of non-consensual ear-violation. I wish I hadn't paid $80 before realizing there was a free trial.

    This is, I'm sure, excellent for inexpensive headphones, but once you get into upper-mid-fi or hi-fi, you're much, much better off just looking for a can that works for you--with the soundstage, imaging, PRaT, transient response, and FR curve you want, and leaving preset equalizers alone.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
    Zenvota likes this.
  2. Zenvota
    Thanks for the write up, i had considered this at times, but meh. Hey how did you like the m50x?
  3. AthenaZephyrian
    You're welcome :) Glad to hear it helped you come to a conclusion.

    It's been a couple years since I heard them last, but as I recall, they were a sound of fair quality, but closed, obviously, and a little...plastic-y sounding. I think that generally translates to "too much lower/sub-bass and treble spike". The MSR7's sounded much, much cleaner. I'd also check out the Fidelo X2 if you want a clean sounding can with a good kick to the bass, or the Soundmagic HP200's if you want a fairly airy, open sound. With the 200's, it's worth applying eq to the 2khz suckout; at this price range, the distortion from EQ will be pretty negligible compare to the other faults of headphones in this range, unless you really crank the volume.

    If you have another $40 to spend, I recommend you take a look at the HE4xx and, if interested, buy before the massdrop closes. I haven't tried them, but they looks slightly flatter (with a downward tilt) than the 400i (I own 'em), which are another really amazing option in the price range--better than the other three above, that I've heard. The 400i probably sound arier and more open than the 4xx, but have significant subbass rolloff. They both seem like amazing options.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
    Zenvota likes this.
  4. Zenvota
    Heh, thanks, I have he400is and alpha primes, but had never heard and audio technica set and noticed you had the m50x previously. Guess thats a good example of measures decently but lacks impact.

    Not sure if you saw in the 400i thread, but I recently did some modding to my 400i since the yokes broke and am really happy with it.

    20180831_034451.jpg 20180831_034424.jpg

    Had always wanted to try the dekoni lcd velour as i love em on my el8s, but getting em to fit was a chore, had to bend in the band above the cups to get em to sit right, remove the suspension headband, and add a seatbelt cover for a head cushion.

    In the end though comforts incredible, staging increased, sub bass increased alot, and trebles a bit smoother. Wish i could take good measurements :p
    AthenaZephyrian likes this.
  5. AthenaZephyrian
    Ooh nice! How are the EL-8's? I've heard they are a little uh...mid-forward.

    That sure looks like a setup O-O I've noticed clicking in my 400i...the drivers seem to tear a bit, or something, quite reliably. My mother has a pair, which also had the same issue on the other side, so I've switched the cans so that one pair is entirely clicky and the other was entirely fine, planning to send the broken pair in and kill two Hifimen with one stone...but a day later, the left driver in the working pair is starting to display the same issue. Wish they were a bit better about build quality....
    Zenvota likes this.
  6. Zenvota
    The EL8s are awesome. Maybe slightly mid forward. http://www.innerfidelity.com/images/AudezeEL8Open.pdf ignore the suckout and distortion, they fixed it. I give it a slight eq which is prolly closer to the 2016 harmon curve, a small sub bass boost and a small 2khz+ treble reduction. But super detailed and full sounding otherwise, and fast... phew... fast. I did the same thing ear pad and headband wise, so the bigger dekoni lcd velours prolly reduce mids slightly and smooth treble a little.

    Im crossin my fingers on avoiding 400i driver failure lol prolly not Dx
  7. AthenaZephyrian
    Ah, cool! Looks very neutral up through the mid range. I do like my treble sparkle though :frowning2: EQ I guess? Or I could try rigging up a small estat in the center of the driver.... I'm kidding, that'd be a huge amount of work. You said it's quite detailed; I assume it doesn't actually sound like it's missing the treble?

    Nice square waves!

    I'm sending my 400i's--both of them--once the Stax arrive (as long as the SRM-1 I'm getting doesn't sound terrible before it's recapped...if it does, I'll wait until it's recapped)
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
    Zenvota likes this.
  8. Zenvota
    Theres enough treble to be called bright/sibilant on bad recordings. Cymbals are very detailed, the suckout at 5-6khz was fixed in later versions.

    I would like to hear a pair of stax one day.
    AthenaZephyrian likes this.
  9. AthenaZephyrian
    Ooh that's interesting....whatever happened to whoever tested those FR curves? Lol.

    I'm sure you would :p If you live anywhere near a major meet, it should be feasible.
    Zenvota likes this.
  10. Zenvota

    There's a good joke here im sure of it.

    But it does sound really great especially after a small eq and after a pad change endlessly comfortable, can keep em on for a whole day.

    And more on topic they're not on sonarworks. I did try the audeze thing on roon but didnt notice a huge difference, I believe these programs adjust other things then just frequency response, maybe phase or idk -.-
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
    AthenaZephyrian likes this.
  11. AthenaZephyrian
    "What does a DAC say to an amp when he wants to plug in to her?"
    "No idea"
    "Hey girl, nice square waves"

    I feel terrible for saying that...

    Oh, it definitely adjusts FR....maybe it also adjusts something else...but it definitely adjusts FR. Try it with the 400i and make sure you aren't using WASAPI or anything like that elsewhere.
    Zenvota likes this.
  12. Zenvota
    Heh.. ya... like mmm girl nice square waves u aint curvey u edgy af

    I shud try it ive got hd650s to. I remember someone years ago on the ooyh thread saying they used it along with some $600 stereo to 7.1 upmixer, sounded epic.

    I should, I do feel like what I'd want from an hd800 or pair of stax I get from the el8s though, prolly can only say that cuz I haven't heard them...
  13. AthenaZephyrian
    I'm running a stereo-->5.1 upmixer. It sounds epic with TrueFI, but a bit better with my own EQ. I went a little easy on the EQ, so it retains some of the character of the original cans.

    Haha yeah. It took me a little bit to notice how much the $200-$500 headphones--even top of class--can be improved. There's definitely room for it.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  14. Zenvota
    Oo what is it. The upmixers on lav filters and ffdshow arent doin it for me.
  15. AthenaZephyrian
    Here ya go!
    Zenvota likes this.

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