Author Topic: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.  (Read 544 times)

Offline Doge

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Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« on: July 20, 2018, 05:24:55 PM »
I've tried a number of different DSP treatments out there to flatten out my headphones; Audeze Reveal, True-Fi, Sonarworks Reference 3, and even using just a single band parametric EQ to target only the largest offence to a flat frequency response.

Now I got to the last option because correction always sounded "weird" and I couldn't put my finger on it, I wanted to get flat as possible with as little interference to the signal as I could and generally I found that approach to get the best and most natural sounding result.

I recently gave Sonarworks Reference 4 a spin and noticed, like the Audeze software that, you could apply less of the signal processing, took it down to about 70% as per usual, seemingly getting rid of much of the weirdness without changing the FR shape too much.

Listening for a while I still wasn't happy, giving up on the thought of DSP all together and taking solace that two of my headphones are relatively flat,
then I noticed a little "Zero Latency" toggle (which I believe is a new feature in v4), pushed it saw an option for "Linear Phase" and there it was! Actual. Reference. Sound.

Turns out our ears are far less tolerant of uneven phase responses as they are to uneven frequency responses, and correcting actually has the potential to makes things worse.

I don't know how many solutions out there that correct for phase changes in EQ but if you're not ready to fork out the $green$ for professional stuff that can? It's probably best to watch your EQ usage. Be responsible, or perhaps even abstain if it's effecting your work and/or personal relationships.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 05:31:40 PM by Doge »

Online Michon

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2018, 05:32:42 PM »
Listening for a while I still wasn't happy, giving up on the thought of DSP all together being happy that two of my headphones are relatively flat,
then I noticed a little "Zero Latency" toggle (which I believe is a new feature in v4), pushed it saw an option for "Linear Phase" and there it was! Actual. Reference. Sound.

I used it in Linear Phase mode too. I should have added that to my past recommendations of the correction. If it is a new feature that they have introduced perhaps that is why I now like it whereas in the past I thought it was better without it.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2018, 05:38:01 PM by Michon »
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Offline 8thMan

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2018, 05:44:37 PM »
Had the same experience with Sonarworks.
 
The linear phase setting sounded wonderful with my Hd600's.

Should be the default setting me thinks.

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Online capetownwatches

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2018, 05:47:54 PM »
SW Ref 4 offers three filters: zero latency (introduces phase shift), optimum (medium latency, inaudible phase shift) and linear (hi latency, no phase shift).
I generally don't go above 50% wet.

I use EQ only for those recordings I feel really need it, i.e. as little as possible.

Personally I prefer zero latency most times because to my ears it's the cleanest and most detailed for dense, low DR Metal.
And that's what I EQ most times.

Linear to my ears seems to roll off the highs a tad, with resultant slight loss of depth and detail.

Optimum is actually the best compromise for easy listening, again YMMV.

Best of all though is a great production that allows your headphones to shine without any EQ at all.


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Offline canman1971

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2018, 07:11:30 AM »
Never used any off the above - cannot comment.

Online capetownwatches

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2018, 08:33:37 AM »
Never used any off the above - cannot comment.

You just did though... ;D

Seriously, try the SW trial and see if it does anything for you.
I too was very resistant to any and all forms of EQ, but it can be useful on occasion.
And your HD800 responds very well to gentle EQ where appropriate.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2018, 08:36:57 AM by capetownwatches »


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Offline Drifter

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Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2018, 08:47:40 AM »
I really enjoy these Audeze presets within Roon for my LCD2's. It was created by Audeze themselves:

screen grab

Offline LouisF

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2018, 02:58:04 PM »
... to flatten out my headphones;
The best way to "flatten out" almost anything, is those big rollers the road construction guys use.
Oh, you mean sonnically (is there such a word?). ;)
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Offline Doge

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Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #8 on: July 23, 2018, 03:56:24 PM »
I really enjoy these Audeze presets within Roon for my LCD2's. It was created by Audeze themselves:

I've tested this before; I believe the filters are the same as the Reveal plug-in. Unlike Sonarworks, it tries to emulate speakers.

I got tired of the resulting sound. YMMV.

Online capetownwatches

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2018, 05:17:11 PM »
I very seldom use Reveal, but good of Audeze to make it freely available nonetheless.

I find 100% wet to flatten the mids too much on my LCD2F, whilst less than that is almost inaudible.
I reckon unless you find a sweet spot that works for you on all material, it's pointless really.

But hey, did I mention it's free..?  :cool:


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Offline Doge

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Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2018, 10:46:12 PM »
Interesting images:


Offline Dubya Jay Dee

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2018, 11:23:06 PM »
The music production guys struggle with picking the correct settings on their DAW's (digital audio workstations) sometimes and depending on the situation and the desired effect they can choose to use one or another.

Have a read & listen here for a good example that anybody can hear easily:

http://www.audiomasterclass.com/newsletter/the-difference-between-minimum-phase-and-linear-phase-eq-on-transient-signals-such-as-snare-drum

Online capetownwatches

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2018, 09:26:57 AM »
Interesting images:



What is the source of these measurements, and which headphones were used?
Looks suspiciously like LCD2?

It shows Reveal to be quite benign until around 5kHz - 10kHz


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Online capetownwatches

Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2018, 09:34:05 AM »
The music production guys struggle with picking the correct settings on their DAW's (digital audio workstations) sometimes and depending on the situation and the desired effect they can choose to use one or another.

Have a read & listen here for a good example that anybody can hear easily:

http://www.audiomasterclass.com/newsletter/the-difference-between-minimum-phase-and-linear-phase-eq-on-transient-signals-such-as-snare-drum

Nice link - very interesting.
I prefer zero latency.


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Offline Doge

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Re: Why EQ mostly kinda sucks.
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2018, 12:53:32 PM »
What is the source of these measurements, and which headphones were used?

Yup LCD-2. I took these myself, looping various virtual inputs through one another, 100% wet.

I've been using Sonarworks with your suggestion of about 50% for my actual listening; makes it about as flat as a stock HD600 and the phase shift's not overly weird, gives a roomy sound.