A Petition to Schiit for Making a 10+ Bands Loki

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by TomNC, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    I am posting this message to see how much it may resonate with SBAF members who are also eager to have an EQ interface that is as easy to use as the Mini Loki but more powerful. If many members want it, Schiit might bring it to the market sooner.

    I have had the Mini in my headphone audio chain for over 6 months now. It works very well with some of my headphones. For instance, I like the results of using it with the 1266 CC, which is known to have peaks at 1K and 7-8K Hz. For tracks other than the classic music, the peaks can be a little too bright and fatiguing. Using the Mino to dial down the 7-8K Hz peak can help reduce that effect to my liking. Though the Mini does not have a 1K Hz button, using the 2KHz adjustment works well to a good extent.

    Another headphone working well with the Mini is Stax Nova Signature. When I listen to these headphones, I increase 400 Hz to give more body to the sound and 8K Hz to hear more details. With the Mini to fix the FR, these headphones have become my favorite among 5+ Stax headphones I have listened to. For $149, the Mini is a great effective tool to make the 1266CC and the Nova quite a bit more enjoyable.

    The Mini, however, has limitations with my other headphones. For example, it cannot attenuate the 100 Hz mid-bass pump of the HD650 because the frequency is far between the 20Hz and 400 Hz bands that the Mini has for adjustment. To my ears, it does not work very well with the HD800 either. Even with the SDR mod and Bill-P’s work, plus a Draug 2 aftermarket cable, my HD800 still sounds spikey with many tracks. But the Mini does not have a 6KHz button for me to precisely dial down the 6KHz peak. The treble plateau (6-8KHz) is too much to deal with the 8KHz button alone. Although one may argue that with a slight adjustment of the 8KHz button, the Mini will have a wide band effect covering 6KHz. But the 800 needs more than a slight cut in that range and it effective band gets narrower when you dial down the 8KHz. One can imagine that we will need an EQ to precisely fix the FR deficits of many other headphones. BTW, with headphones, I have not found any use of the 20Hz button of the Mini.

    For a 10+ bands EQ, I would like to see that it allows separate adjustment for 100, 400, 1K, 2K, 3K, 4K, 6K, 8K, 12K, and 16K Hz. I’m willing to pay up to $1K for such a tool from Schiit.
     
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  2. m17xr2b

    m17xr2b Friend

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    Well, no one really made a 4 band small EQ so they found a good niche in headphone users and capitalised.

    But 10+ graphic EQs are plentiful due to the pro industry and you'll find quite a few vintage ones. Hard to see schiit go after an already established concept. I have one and I think it's great for what it is but I fail to see many going for a 10 band one when whomever needed one could have already done so. It's not like you want something that doesn't already exist, why does it have to be schiit made?
     
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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  3. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    10 band is usually a bunch of opamps. Schiit Loki is discrete.

    Yeah I know. Opamps are perfectly fine, but this is one big difference.
     
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  4. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    For me the issue is about the balance between quality (e.g., transparency, lack of coloration, low noise), easy to use (professional EQs almost always have separate controls for each channel; large size), and price (high quality EQs such as the Manley Massive-Passive or GML 8200 cost over $3K). Based on my limited research, I haven't found any existing EQ that is like Mini Loki with more bands.
     
  5. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    Software. But then... I'm an impurist.

    (I use Calf)
     
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  6. HotRatSalad

    HotRatSalad Friend

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    Whoah friends dont let friends EQ
     
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  7. allegro

    allegro Friend

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    Jason Stoddard already mentioned on HF here that a Loki with more bands is possible, but not this year, probably 2020:
    Ten bands would be great, I would settle for eight. Even the Cello Palette ($6000 in 1992) only had six bands centered at 20Hz, 120Hz, 500Hz, 2kHz, 5kHz, and 20kHz.

    [​IMG]
     
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    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  8. westermac

    westermac Friend

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    I'd highly prefer a 4-band (or even 3-band) parametric EQ to 8-band graphic EQ. Graphic can't address the spikes/nulls that plague headphones nearly as well, but then the added complexity of a parametric design (and challenge of keeping it transparent) might price that out of the question. I think it's with good reason that the big boy parametric EQs are big bucks (pro at least, not sure about hifi).
     
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  9. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    Yes. Variable 4-band should be adequate for headphone use. It would be nice if Loki can be made in 2020.
     
  10. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    I have found the Loki to be a fun option. I’ve had to get used to turning up some knobs and turning down others. It works with most headphones I own, but it takes a bit of experimenting to get the sound the way I like it. Nothing wrong with EQ IMHO. Headphone manufacturers EQ their headphones, but in a different way. Sometimes no EQ is the way to go. Depends on the music and your sound preferences. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. But don’t treat EQ as some horrible thing to be avoided at all cost. And please stop disparaging people who enjoy their sound with some EQ. Nobody is going to die if they use it, nor are they deaf. Let people enjoy what they like. It’s just a hobby.
     
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  11. restrav3

    restrav3 Likes Audio-GD

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    is it free? Could it be used it with Digione player?
     
  12. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

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    I’d prefer them to make a 2 or 3 channel tunable crossover a la Pass B5.
     
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  13. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    Just download a plugin or buy a pair of speakers.
     
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  14. Ringingears

    Ringingears Honorary BFF

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    Buy a pair of speakers if your living space or situation allows for them for sure. Otherwise it’s headphones or nothing.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2019
  15. Psalmanazar

    Psalmanazar Most improved member; A+

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    Even a 150-220 USD pair of JBL 305 on a desk beat 99% of headphones. They don't have treble spikes of death or fat muddy upper bass and low mids despite their total lack of clarity. When on stands to decouple bass from the desk, they won't be annoying if you're not playing them at midnight. People are wimps, watch TV, renovate, and vacuum appartements.
     
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  16. TomNC

    TomNC Friend

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    I have 3 pairs of speakers in my living room and yet I have to use headphones mainly for late night music listening .
     
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  17. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    It is free, but I use it wired into JACK, on a Linux system, using the KXStudio tools. I don't know what else it works with, or if it is available for Windows/Mac. Link is in my post --- you'll find lots of other toys to play with on their site.

    I expect that you could find an equivalent for other systems. EQ, of course there is: free EQ, dunno: probably.

    Can't say that I have done comparative listening tests with alternatives. It is a few years now since I changed software because of sound quality, and the state of my hearing is unlikely to require me to do so ever again.

    But... If you are playing your music from a PC, unless you are really sold on the idea of physical knobs, which is understandable, then it makes sense (to me) to apply EQ in software. It may even be available in your media player?
     
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  18. restrav3

    restrav3 Likes Audio-GD

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    I don't want more knobs.
    I actually just started experimenting with mini dsp so I just started learning about all of this and let's just say that the room measurement aspect of it (before I even get to actually applying the dsp corrections) has been a bit of a challenge, a steep lasting curve to say the least, but I am also only interested in applying room correction in the digital domain before the pre. I got a loki from a member here a while back and it's OK for my headphone setup (I basically just attenuate some treble, I don't think that I have ever added bass) but I am not interested in using it for my stereo.

    Right now I have have allo digione =>mini dsp => pre => power => speakers

    But I'm thinking that if the rpi has enough juice (processing power) to run dsp then I can get rid of the minidsp and go back to using my DACs. I miss my DACs lol.
     
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  19. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador - Friend

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    It is kind of a pain to setup, but I have been using ladspa_dsp for systemwide PEQ on linux for the last 2 months or so, seems to work great

    https://github.com/bmc0/dsp/wiki/System-Wide-DSP-Guide
     
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  20. schiit

    schiit SchiitHead

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    Yeah, sorry to say, a bigger Loki is not a huge priority. I'm sure we'll eventually have one, but it'll probably be so profoundly compromised from various points of view that it may not be a big success.

    By "profoundly compromised," I mean:

    1. Definitely not 10 bands. Probably 6.
    2. Probably not parametric. If parametric, 3 bands max.
    3. Probably not "really" balanced. You tell me how to fit 8 nickel-core chokes into our current architecture, together with stuff like relay ladders and remote control and keep it under $2K. Yes, it might be one of the best EQs ever done, but it would still be a 6-band, LC-architecture device, and then everyone will want 10 bands, parametric, etc.

    It's more likely you'll see a moderately priced step up with more bands or parametric capability from us rather than an all-out assault on the EQ market at this point in time.

    Sorry to throw cold water on this one, but we have to be realistic. There's a ton of stuff coming...and some stuff already late....
     
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