EQ? Anyone using one?

Old thread but perhaps I can get it moving again. I use EQ all the time. My recent EQ project was with the Audeze LCDi3 IEM. I performed EQ with the RME ADI-2 DAC fs.

I originally used the Cipher cable with a iPhone SE. I used Audeze’s own EQ to get the sound acceptable. The technicalities of this IEM are S class but I still couldn’t get exciting enough tonal performance. I found myself reaching for this IEM less and less till it was just gathering dust and was thinking of selling it.

Bought the ADI-2 and went to town. It took a few hours but by god, now I can’t take the IEMs off (I have a lot of fairly expensive IEMs, headphones, and speakers).

With ADI-2 you can also EQ MQA titles in Tidal.

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Do you use Roon? I usually use the Cipher and iPad or iPhone with my LCDi3’s, I’ve been wanting to dial them in on my Bifrost2/Lyr3 stack. Not sure the “recommended” LCDi4 setting is the best starting place. Audeze has not released an update for the i3.

I’d appreciate your thoughts on parametric settings.

Finally, these LCDi3s are the best IEMs I have. I really like them. How do they compare to your other high end ones?

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I use Audirvana with Tidal which does not have all the features of Roon but does seem to improve sound quality (more clear). Audirvana clearly describes source and destination bit depth and frequency.

I looked at Crinnicle’s graph for the LCDi3:

And raised the 4k-5k region 4-6 db Q 1. I also lowered the 1k region 4db Q 0.5. For personal taste I love elevated sub-bass and up the region 50Hz 6db at 0.5 Q. Not something I would recommend. I do play with EQ a lot however.

The LCDi3 is open/Airy (never like these imprecise terms but its all we have) with great imaging and detail. All the technical check boxes. They sound more like “headphones” than my headphones due to expectations. I love how light they rest on the opening of my ear canal. I can forget that they are there.

I love the warmth and overall base of my Focal Radiance headphones. Like sitting in front of a fire with a good brandy.

My UM MEST IEMs are incredibly detailed with an imaging like no other device. They constantly surprise would be a good description. They are S class technical IEMs also but are not open/airy like the LCDi3.

Most telling is that I like the LCDi3 more that my Hifiman Anandas. They are better than the Anandas in almost every category. I do sometimes just prefer headphones however.

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Thank you @CrankyRat. I know what you mean. I have a hard time liking IEMs, and the Audeze do sit lightly because of the clip. Forgetting that they’re there is a big deal with an IEM.

I like speakers most of all, but yes, I prefer headphones most of the time over an IEM. The Hive Nectar eStats are my current favorite of what I own, and as far as listening time - well the Grado RS-1e probably comes in 2nd. I like it’s light weight, great soundstage, lack of sealing out room noise, and ability to just jam with an iPhone and Dragonfly Cobalt.

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The Loki is very limited - in terms of bands and technology/ I adore Schiit but this isn’t one of their winners… I started my audio adventure in '73 when I tried to build a stereo better than my fathers Quad. In '77-'78 I tried a Soundcraftsman (very good for the time), but it was easy to set it so you could cause phase issues, Never touched again until just over a year ago. Parametric EQ - Toneboosters EQ from TIDAL. Any ridiculous settings you try, doesn’t cause the EQ to misbehave.

Every headphone I have has mods, and they all use parametric EQ, and they are all well better than before - EQ on its own equals or exceeds the mods. 48 years mostly sworn off from EQ, maintaining the purist snob attitude. Put it this way, every headphone in the world needs EQ - the physics alone demands it. An amazing can like a HFM Susvara can manage w/ a Susvara, and if you have $10k+ very transparent electronics OK.

But with middling stuff such as the HE-6se, HE-500, HEX v2, HD-600 - all modded with a Rag 1 and a Gumby 1 - nope - need the EQ.

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I’m with your Dad. Quad is one of my favorites. And I do remember Sound Craftsman et al.

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I was 16 when I started, Dyna A25, Lg Walnut Advents, Braun 810, Cizek is what I could manage thru age 21. Then Maggie MG-2 (x2), DQ-10 (the most modded pair ever), ProAc EBS, Apogee Duetta, ML SL-3, ML CLS IIz, Verity Parsifal III.

His Quads were better then about 1/2 of these, but my room acoustics and vastly better surrounding equipment sealed the deal for most of the rest.

Verity/Pass X-150(2)/Pass P/Pass Ono/Clearaudio straight tracker/Koetsu Rosewood Sig
ML CLS with almost same
Duetta/Krell KSA-100, ARC SP-15/Parnassus
EBS/Threshold Stasis 3/ARC SP-3/Oracle Delphi 3/FR-66/Carnegie&FR 3

I’ve listened to mostly lively music, dynamics the Quad ESL-57 could not handle. Perhaps stacked Quads (ribbon tweets and woofers) might do it.

Oops too much old guy yap. It was fun.

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EQ?..Nah not for me, I listen to music and I’m not a frustrated music engineer, sets that I don’t jive with are gone :dash:…if fiddling with knobs is your thing then fair play but you’re just doing what the set’s tuners should’ve done in the first place :man_shrugging:

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EQ is just another tool in the shelf. It’s always optional.

I’m a big EQ proponent myself but I have been a “stock” listener ever since I bought the EQ VST plugins I always wanted in the last Black Friday deal – while thinking I “needed” them. But that’s another discussion. :grin:

To keep it short, my current EQ – whenever I engage it – has only two knobs and it’s always adding more bass or more treble. Not to mention it’s on a song (or album) basis.

But since I’m on a “training ears” endurance, I should probably stay away from those kind of steroids in the time being. :hear_no_evil:

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I used to not bother with EQ at all but now I find it very helpful to tune a particular track, genre of music, artist, recording, etc. to my liking based on the headphone I’m using or if I’m driving speakers. My MO used to be to keep everything flat at all times and not touch the EQ for “purity” sake but I don’t think that’s been helpful to what I wanted to hear and enjoy.

As it is often the case with any signal processing, I believe using EQ judiciously while listening carefully as you make the tweaks is the way to go. Everyone hears things differently and I have my own particular “tuning”, “voicing” or “tonality” that I’m going for while understanding that there are some inherent things that cannot be changed radically on a particular headphone or other gear. Well, I guess one could but then, doing so would most likely defeat the purpose of using that particular headphone or gear and/or produce rather undesirable results.

I found that I do need to apply some EQ treatments to both the SR1a and the LCD-4 but we are talking very narrow range of bands with 1~3 dB boost or attenuation. I’m fine using the Audirvana+ with the AUGraphicEQ 31-band Graphic EQ and I also have a free simple SONEQ parametric EQ if I want to zone in on a few specific frequency bands that the graphic EQ doesn’t cover. But that’s rare. I don’t want the EQ’ing process to ruin the listening pleasure experience with endless twiddling and going back and forth to decide what sounds the best. That can drive one crazy.

I think EQ is a good thing for one to familiarize with and, based on the headphones and/or amps you are using, use sparingly to boost the bass a bit for a little more slam, smoothen out the high-mids in the vocals, add a sprinkling of high treble for some more sparkle in the overall sound or a little more detail, add some body in the low-mids for warmth, etc. That’s all I use it for and I’ve come to see the EQ as a valuable tool to enhance the listening experience. I certainly would not recommend using the EQ to “fix” what one would consider to be a problem in the signal chain or the gear.

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I’m using PC Equalizer, but it looks like it’s not getting recent updates. This is the EQ for my SHP 9500 - it sounds rich and god-like.

Since you’re adding a few db of gain at certain frequencies, you should lower the Preamp gain accordingly. Otherwise your signal may clip. It’s a pretty easy concept. Take the highest amount of gain (looks like about +5db at 22hz) and lower the Preamp gain by the same amount (-5db). Turn the volume up on your amp to compensate. It’s all relative.

This EQ curve looks similar to where I was about a year ago. Then I discovered SoundID and then I discovered oratory1990. :sunglasses:

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Thanks! I wasn’t aware about the preamp piece, that’s great info!

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