B&K 5128 Target - Community Input Thread

Listener age: 25
Headphones: Hifiman Edition XS
Source: FiiO K7 (USB, non-balanced)
Pad age: A few months
Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 2
3khz Filter: 0dB
Score after 3khz adjustment: 2
Notes: Blindly switching on/off, no EQ consistently sounded more natural. If I close my eyes, switch until I forget, I always (~95% of the time) chose non-EQed as my preference. Best analogy I can come up with: it sometimes sounds like music is being played through a 30cm diameter pipe tonally, and everything sounded like it was coming from in front of me. Playing around with the 3k level did not fix the issue, although if I bought a pair of headphones that sounded like this I would still be happy. The change was noticeable most of the time with vocals (male more often than female) sometimes with instruments. A few songs where I found this particularly noticeable:

  • “Hold Me In Your Arms” - The Trews
  • “Uh Huh” - Jade Bird
  • “Scared” - The Tragically Hip
  • “Barque in the Harbour” - Rum Ragged
  • “Metro” - System of a Down
  • I mostly listen on speakers (Kali IN-8), I generally prefer the treble of speakers pulled down 1-3DB. Ratings compared with no EQ being a 3.
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Would love a Noire EQ, I’ll try out the HE-6 EQ on my SE V2.

A lot of HE6SEv2 users, huh? +1 for this one. About pads: they look and sound the same as Sundara’s pads, so I’m pretty sure they’re the same.

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Keep in mind there’s a difference between the original Sundara pads and the 2020 pads. On the HE6se V1 I evaluated, it was the original pads and not updated. So I’ll need to get a new one in to verify.

These are the pads that come with the new He6se v2’s. I believe they are the new sundara pads but I don’t have anything to compare with.

  • Listener age: 25
  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD 600
  • Source: Lyr+ (in ss mode)
  • Pad age: 1yr
  • Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 3
  • 3khz Filter: -1db
  • Score after 3khz adjustment: 3
  • Notes: There is a definite peakiness in the treble that’s causing some very noticeable sibilance. I did this on my LCD-X too and it was even worse. Maybe it’s just the variation of my head and ears, because I found moving down the last hd600 filter to 7800 instead of 8400 improved things dramatically. Overall, even after these slight changes I still find it to be slightly V shaped. Treble and upper mids seemed a little too present and the low mids seemed a little swallowed by bass. After adding a highshelf from 7000 of -2db and taking down the bass 1.5db it sounded closer to neutral to me. Still something felt off, so I experimented with the midbass more. I lowered the 150 region another db and that seemed to help with the muddiness I was experiencing. Ear gain wise, during this whole process I felt like it was very close at 3khz. Sometimes it felt too strong, and others it felt right, so I lowered it 1db to agree with more tracks. The hard part of the upper mids is this is a contentious area when it comes to mixing and mastering. Speaker Crossovers often exist here so there tend to be a lot of anomalies. Unfortunately, that makes trying to find an EQ that fits absolutely everything impossible.
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Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Noire please

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You got one of these for the LCD-5? :sweat_smile:

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  • Listener age: 29
  • Headphones: Hifiman Sundara 2020 pads
  • Source: SMSL D-6 DAC (AK4493S) + Topping A90 Discrete amp
  • Pad age: 3 months
  • Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 4
  • 3khz Filter: 0dB
  • Score after 3khz adjustment: 4
  • Notes: I tried adjusting the 3kHz filter but found it was better as is at 0dB.
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  • Listener age: 24
  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD 560S
  • Source: Motu M4
  • Pad age: Quite new
  • Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 5
  • 3khz Filter: 0.1dB
  • Score after 3khz adjustment: 5
  • Notes: This sounds very close to what i would consider a neutral, tonally balanced frequency response. The only problems i could hear were a lack of bass, which i adjusted to my personal preference of approximately 0.5dB above Harman 2018, and a bit of boxiness between 1khz and 2khz and a slight lack of air, which are both where the EQed FR deviates from the target. Once I added in my best guess as to what filters were needed to address the deviations from the target shown in the EQed FR measurement, it sounded almost perfect. This EQ profile does better than any autoEQ profile i have made so far for the HD560S based on GRAS data, which seems to indicate that a B&K measurement rig represents my listening experience more consistently across different headphones than a GRAS rig.
  • Listener age: 29
  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD 600
  • Source: Topping DX3 Pro+
  • Pad age: 4 Months Old
  • Score before 3khz adjustment: 4.5
  • 3khz Filter: +1dB
  • Score after 3khz adjustment: 4.75
  • Notes: While both profiles sound good, I have a definite preference for the one with the slight 3khz bump. It comes across as much fuller and less washed-out on most recordings, with specific reference to vocals, strings and brass. I do prefer the added vocal forwardness provided by going as high as +3db, but the tradeoff with tonality isn’t worth it. With the provided EQ profile, the best combination I’ve managed to find is to just apply +1db at 3khz. This brings the vocals a touch further forward without compromising on the overall tonality. My personal EQ profile for my 600s is based on Crin’s IEF Neutral (it’s generally adherent to the curve) but has a slight bump in the 3khz region for the reason mentioned above - seems to indicate that my taste is objectively consistent. This preference is also shared on my other gear.

Would love to try an eq for the lcd-4’s.

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how about one for the HE1000V2

Edit: after further listening to the HD 600, I only need the 3KHz, Q: 1.8 filter to be between -1dB and -1.5dB (previously was -2dB). The original post has been changed. Man this sounds good!

I still have further LCD-X 2021 listening to do, BTW. I may have scored the EQ profile a little low…TBD this week.

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This is great! Thanks for working on this, I really like what I’m hearing with this new target. Here’s my feedback:

  • Listener age: 29
  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD 600
  • Source: RME ADI-2 DAC
  • Pad age: not much wear, 4 (or so) months old
  • Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 4
  • 3khz Filter: -2 dB
  • Score after 3khz adjustment: 4.5
  • Notes: Overall, just like the stock HD600 sound, it is very balanced and natural sounding. The bass bump works very well with this EQ, and the minor adjustments from 5-8 kHz seem to smooth out the sound even more. Without the 3kHz filter, things are just a bit too shouty for me. It works ok for classical and instrumental music (and warm recorded music), but anything compressed and vocals as the main focus sounds a bit off in timbre. -2 dB 3kHz filter fixed that for me, and now it sounds nearly perfect for tonality. As a side note, I am used to a warmer tonality with a reduction from 2-4 kHz compared to Harman (and this target). My preferences are more along the lines of the Focal Clear MG and Sennheiser HD660S. To my ears, I also hear a bit of an elevation at 2.5 kHz when doing sine sweeps (not really when listening to music), headphones that have a small dip in that area vs. the Harman target do not sound elevated to my ears (Focal Clear MG, HD660S, Sundara, etc.). However, this target seems to give a noticeable amount more clarity throughout the midrange up to the lower treble than my other headphones in stock form. The mids come through beautifully, but also more forward than I prefer. Going back to those warmer headphones with the recession from 2-4 kHz, they sound darker and pushed further back, not as in your face compared to the HD600 EQ’d to this target.

I would love to see an EQ for the Clear MG (and / or HD660S), if you have those planned. I can update these impressions later with those other headphones.


Listener age: 65
Headphones: HiFiMan Sundara
Source: Topping L30II Atom Dac+
Pad age: 2 yrs
Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 5
3khz Filter: -1dB
Score after 3khz adjustment: 4
This new EQ improves sound across the board-3kz adjustments of varying degrees decreased that effect.There is greater separation between vocals and backup vocals,instruments and a better soundstage in general.I have been using oratory and various others over the years,but your version really nails it.I feel no need to tinker with it which is very unusual for me.Thank you so much for this.

I deleted my HD600 post from earlier. I tried the Sundara today and also revisited the HD600, so I’ll post both here instead.

  • Listener age: 29
  • Source: Grace SDAC + RebelAmp

  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD600
  • Pad age: Basically new
  • Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 4
  • 3khz Filter: -1dB
  • Score after 3khz adjustment: 4.5
  • Notes: I find the presence and treble regions slightly lacking in energy with the preset. Drum hits aren’t as snappy as I’d like (this is probably because of the 4-5kHz reduction) and the treble has a bit of a “lisp” (likely the 8kHz reduction). Even though I feel like my HD600 has a small peak around 8kHz, to me this preset overcompensates for it. As for 3kHz I initially settled on 0dB but changed it to -1dB when I revisited the experiment. I like it with 0dB as well, but I think -1dB is more like what I’d call neutral. Worth mentioning though that I think my preference for ear gain is possibly a bit higher compared to other people I know. With all that said, I think the overall balance with the preset is decent, apart from the treble nitpicks I have.

  • Headphones: Hifiman Sundara (2020+ pads)
  • Pad age: Used but still decent (also I don’t think Sundara pads change as much with age anyway)
  • Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 4.5
  • 3khz Filter: -1dB
  • Score after 3khz adjustment: 5
  • Notes: I liked this one a little more than the HD600 preset because the treble was closer to what I like. The overall balance is fairly comparable though, so I’d say the presets are doing their job. I settled on -1dB for the ear gain filter since I found 0dB to be just a little shouty. After the adjustment the overall balance seemed very good so I’ll give this 5/5.

Why it don’t sound the same when their FR is the same after EQ-fu?

how about the famous susvara and utopia og plus 2022?

  • Listener age: 47
  • Headphones: Sennheiser HD 560s
  • Source: SoundblasterX G6 DAC & JDS Labs Atom Amp
  • Pad age: 1-2yrs, I don’t think the pads age much on this model.
  • Score before 3khz adjustment (1 is low, 5 is high): 5
  • 3khz Filter: no change required
  • Score after 3khz adjustment: no change required
  • Notes: Definitely required more bass, added a +1.5dB Low Shelf (Q0.707) at 70Hz to avoid tampering with the low end of mail voices. Played with adding in linear tilts, but didn’t want to change the treble, so decided on that Low Shelf I mentioned. Sounds very natural through the mids & treble with this EQ vs previous slightly customised Oratory EQ’s I was using. The track Supermassive Black Hole by Muse is the track that finally highlighted for me that this EQ is more natural in the treble than the Oratory based EQ’s. It was only flipping between the two EQ’s that I noticed this difference in “naturalness” as if just listening to the Oratory EQ then the brain quickly normalises it, but flipping to the Resolve EQ on this track I noticed it was more natural in the treble. Traditionally I am a Harman Curve fan of my various headphones and I normally end up dialing in around 1dB more bass so I was surprised I didn’t need to dial massive amounts of more bass into this EQ, but I think that’s because some areas of the treble are reduced somewhat below a Harman EQ.

EDIT: it will be interesting to see if these preferences stay with me, as I can sometimes change my mind re EQ’s after a few days, and sometimes flip backwards and forwards between them, but I normally end up stable on one after a period of time.