Discussion in 'Headphones' started by sorrodje, Oct 11, 2015.
updated the first post with different threads about mods.
G*d damn it. Between the BPAmod and Bill-P's mod in the works, I'm almost certainly going to end up buying these for a 4th time >.<
Haha i almost sold mine but then i tried that Sonarworks plugin and it made me fall in love with them again. They'll have to pry them from my cold dead hands...
Just using the flat setting with no mods with a smooth solid state amp. Just heavenly i could listen all day and forget the world and not worry about fatigue.
I just tried the Sonarworks plugin with the HD800 profile. On OSX I use Audio Hijack Pro to run the plugin. There's trial of both software. I actually took my mods off and am just running Sonarworks to test it out and may prefer this as I can click a switch to disable it or tweak it. It's amazing to switch it on and off and hear just how fatiguing that treble is..but also how much it contributes to the sense of cleaniless / detail and air to the sound.
Either any mod I have personally tried or the Sonarworks plugin reduce air. Still the compromises are worth it as a whole.
Try the plugin knob 'dry/wet' to half way. Imo it's too much in its default setting. Unfortunaltelly to my ears through my system it takes away some liquidity.
I'm definitely a fan of running it at around 50-70% wet. I find the Sonarworks default curve to be a bit dark sounding. (For reference, a recent manufacture pair of HD650's are essentially neutral on their curve, ignoring bass roll-off.)
That said, it's great software. Make sure to use it on linear phase to eliminate potential phase issues. For hi-fi contexts, the added latency shouldn't be an issue.
I suspect that ideal performance for the 800s will come from some combination of mods and EQ. Some issues are more easily fixed in the digital domain than the physical.
I notice they bring the output levels down a few db to give the bass curve more headroom to prevent clipping. This can make it tough to compare off/on state since with it on the levels as a whole drop. You can bring the output levels back up, and use 50% of the EQ (dry/wet) and better compare the corrected curve.
If you use the dry/wet, negative gain doesn't change. If you use the bypass/power button, same thing. So you can toggle between on and off or just wiggle dry/wet around to see the changes. So you can compare, although admittedly you'll obviously have more 6k with off and more 50hz with on. It's impossible to level match different EQ curves, of course...
Ah, I missed the big power button within the plugin. Much better to compare the EQ curve, and good tip about pushing the filter phase to linear. Very nice overall. I wonder if it'd be better leave stock and use this EQ or no EQ but with mods. I think using Sonarworks might be better since it's less of a blunt instrument..
Played with Sonarworks some more and I settled on the HD800 correction curve but applied at 70% (via dry/wet dial) to maintain the HD800 clarity / air in the treble area. I also added 1db of bass (although with only applying 70% of the curve, the bass boost with the added 1db is still less than what the stock HD800 profile wants at 100%). I ended up with this after going back and forth with the HE1000, which is my preferred sound signature.
The results: WOW. I think I might like the HD800 as much as the HE1000 now. The HE1000 is smoother and a bit more euphonic, but the HD800 a bit punchier. They both maintain their strengths while being closer in a more pleasing FR. I'd be really interesting to compare this side by side to someones complete modded HD800. I had the Anax 2.0 mod with just wool felt on the ring and trapezoid (no rug liner) and went back to stock to try Sonarworks - and this is much better.
Well, looks like I can't get SonarWorks to register my regular email addresses, so no chance to try the trial.
I did try to use some other EQ to see how it would work, and... let's just say... while it did flatten the FR in measurement, distortion was a different issue, and the tonality was off IMO. I don't think I would have liked it. A much better EQ implementation is necessary. Maybe SonarWorks is it, but without the emails, my hands are tied.
Try finding a linear phase EQ. I use fabfilter pro-q 2 ($$), but perhaps someone can recommend a free option. Phase issues introduced by EQ's can be seriously problematic. Maybe try a trial of pro-q?
Try emailing them. They seem to be pretty responsive.
Well, it's not high priority on my list. I may revisit this later at some point... but some of you know I'm primarily rolling with my HD800 using acoustic mods that do precisely what EQ is trying to do anyway.
I'm only trying to get this so that I can independently verify the results of their calibration, but... other than that, there's really nothing else.
I'm a bit of a no-EQ zealot myself, too, as I've measured some pretty bad things as an effect of EQ, and I have yet to find anything that works reasonably well.
I'd take a little extra distortion in the bass of the HD800 if it meant I could actually eq its low bass to acceptable levels. HD800 without a low bass eq is not very fun.
Try something from this list: http://bedroomproducersblog.com/201...udio-best-free-linear-phase-eq-vstau-plugins/
You'll need software to run VST's. So Audio Hijack works on mac or jriver + wdm driver works on PC. (Of course, there's no need for the driver if you just want to feed in audio files to a player like jRiver.)
Considering that all modern music is heavily EQ'ed at the track, bus, and master level, EQ concerns are generally vastly overstated. People have bad memories from the days of analog EQ and early, primitive, poorly-coded digital EQs. I find the 800s do really well with 3-4 dB shelving EQ, 18db/Oct, 80-100 hz as a starting point. Because of the masking effects of bass, you'll also be less bothered by that 6k treble peak.
Every single EQ or dsp I have personally tried takes away some resolution and slam from HD800. Sonarworks is just one of the better options.
My experience thus far is that modded HD800 without any dsp is the way to go if the chain is capable enough. More and more so with every upgrade I have made in my system. With something like Yggdrasil + EC 2A3 any dsp is imo bad idea.
This discussion of Sonaworks is interesting. I will have to try it.
EQ seems to be unpopular with headphones but is accepted with speakers to accommodate room variations. I am not sure that the distinction makes sense. The hard treble edge with the HD800 is an acoustic issue within the cup, essentially a tiny room.
In my case, I have the further issue that I use a slightly bright albeit excellent amp, the GS-X mk2. That is a double hit in the 6K range.
One argument against EQ is that it so often sucks, i.e. deteriorates SQ, particularly software-based solutions. There are exceptions though. iZotope Ozone is expensive but it is used in studios for mastering recording and it really is clean.
The advantage of using EQ over an HD800 mod is that the sound stage is not altered. Everything stays open. And you can reverse or alter it at will.
Here is my notch setting that has made me very happy. It enters and exits smoothly, maxing at -2.5db. It is amazing how removing a treble peak can make everything else bloom with relative warmth. And the combo of the GS-X mk2 and HD800 is very fast.
(This is the fruit of months of experimentation. Of course, it could change further.)
Floyd Toole on EQing speaker room response '' ..if you do a room measurement and see that red curve up there( speaker room response in this case) and you reach for your trusty equalizer and smooth it out, what you have done is you have screwed up the only good thing that speaker had, which was its on axis response.''
Dunno what these room correction DSP do exactly. Based on my experience plain soft EQing speakers doesn't yield good results.
Room modifications make a positive impact on speaker sound. Headphone mods, proper amplification and source can make a positive impact on HPs. Can't say that about EQs personally. If you don't want to mod then EQ i suppose.
I use izotope 5 Eq and 6 as well I like your settings.
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