The HD800 EQ-ing Thread

Discussion in 'Modifications and Tweaks' started by TwoEars, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Hi Guys,

    I'm trying to implement reddit user Oratory1990's EQ setting on the HD800S to match the 2018 Harman Curve. Can someone verify that I'm doing it right?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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  3. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Thanks for sharing this.

    It is. But as an extra precaution, I also add a 'Volume' filter and reduce the gain accordingly.

    Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 3.59.25 PM.jpg
     
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  4. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Hi Guys,

    I've hated the HD800 and HD800S for the last 2 years. I briefly owned the 800S but sold it due to it's brightness and lack of bass.

    When I saw acoustic engineer Oratory1990's EQ setting for the HD800S to match the 2018 Harman Target response I thought I'd give the HD800S one last try especially as I got a killer deal on a lightly used pair ($1010)

    I have to say that what I'm hearing is pretty damn good. I've owned the Utopia and an SR007 Mk2 (driven by Carbon) in the last 12 months and my eqed HD800S out of the RME-ADI2 DAC seems to be playing in the same league.

    I've only had this combo for a few days but I'm very pleasantly surprised.

    I think everyone should try an EQed 800S before spending $3K+. You may save yourself a bunch of money.

    I'm still in the honeymoon period but for the first time this headphone is not fatiguing. The sparkly treble is maintained, the detail is incredible and the soundstage is unique. Bass is at a reasonably satisfying level.

    Is this better than the Utopia and SR007? I sold both a few months ago but I'd love the opportunity at a shootout.

    Anyone in South East England with summit fi headphones interested?
     
  5. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I was going to make a longer post about this finding, but it would likely come off as self-righteous and tedious!

    I find I get more out of my HD800 system with EQ than any other paths available. Its just so much more transparent than these other high end rigs. Lot of money spent chasing dragons unfortunately.
     
  6. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    I would have no problem recommending the HD800 to bassheads so long as they don't mind using EQ. eventually these basscannons and warmphones just grow old, and you're left with inferior hardware that you have to go back on the market to exchange for a new toy. Vicious cycle for tone sticklers.

    And yes I accept that the HD800 is not the last word in bass extension, slam, resolution. But there's so much more that it offers that other headphones just fail at.
     
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  7. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    State of Flagships 2018 – Rthomas Edition

    1. LCD4 – 4K? 700 grams! Fuck you Audeze.

    2. Susvara, HEKSE whatever – 6k and 3.5k for flagships that remain flagships for about 6 months and then drop 50% in price?

    FUCK YOU FANG!

    3. Utopia – 4K (idiots/rich people price) 2.5K(secret dealer price for non idiots)

    $250 for earpads, $1000 for cable, no repairs or support at all for second owners.

    Fuck you Focal.


    4. HD800S with Eq.

    $1000 used market value

    Approx $80 for new pads, $40 for headband padding, $300 for replacing both drivers.

    Repairs freely available to all.

    Thanks Sennheiser.
     
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  8. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    +10 db low shelf under 100hz sounds absolutely crazy for me. Both in term of bass rendering and added distorsion.

    I think I should try different EQ settings and measure the results. Need time to do this though.

    I personaly use much smaller modifications. Nothing more than +-4 db here or there in different areas fixing well know HD800 issues : low bass, 4khz dip, 5-6khz bump ( with the SDR mod fitted , I hear more of a treble bump around 5khz instead of 6khz) and around 10khz peak . Something like that. I worked on my EQ settings mostly by ears, listening again and again to sweeps. I remember I measured the result and measured FR was definitely more even with no distorsion added.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018 at 7:43 AM
  9. Zed Bopp

    Zed Bopp Friend

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    Yeah, I've found about +5db bass boost brings out a nice thump with HD800. For starters, trying to shape the boost to mirror the bass roll-off seen on measurements works ok. This means mostly boosting subs, so fans of real bass cannons need to do more.
     
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  10. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    If someone actually thinks that need a 10dB bass boost then I say go for it. It can always be removed with the flip of a switch or click of a button once they grow up. Much harder to get rid of warmphone playnar with middling resolution ability once the hype train rolls out of town! Ouch!
     
  11. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Guarantee that an HD800 EQd to Harman "science" curve will still sound better than anything Harman actually produces. Big scam!
     
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  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Did Dr. Olive make a new curve in 2018?

    The latest JBL big boys, the M2 and 4367, don't seem to follow the Harmon curve. The sound engineers would probably kill him if they did. Come to think of it, I think many of us want to kill Dr. Olive (figuratively, not literally) for promoting bad sound based on noobs' or experts' (they took a two-hour ears training class) preferences. The sad thing is the idiots who fell for his "research". That dude is such a quack - he's hardly pushing the science of sound.

    Strangely enough, the K2 Synthesis variants kind of did sound Harmon-curvish, at least from how they were set up at the Hi-Fi shows I went to. Probably because they were meant for the Japan audiophile weirdos who bought most of them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018 at 9:02 AM
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  13. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador - Friend

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    I spent a while yesterday also getting oratory's eq settings set for the HD800S on my SDR modded HD800, and man what a difference did they make. I also ended up finding the 10db bass shelf amusing, but that is very easy to adjust, and i ended up somwehere in the 6-7db range for now.

    More importantly it is what the rest of the eq settings did to the rest of the frequency range that fixed these headphones for me. not only does it tone down the treble, it more importantly fixes that 2-4k dip in the FR that always bugged me with them, and makes the headphones sound sort of hollow to me, voices and guitars just dont sound correct like that.

    I cant vouch for every little change he makes, but the overall effect is striking. If youd like to post the PEQ settings you used @sorrodje Id be interested in trying them as well.

    The only downside here I see is that it only works in Foobar for me, some sort of digital in/out minidsp box may be in my future
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018 at 9:46 AM
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  14. sorrodje

    sorrodje Carla Bruni's other lover - Friend

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    On my RME ADI2 pro 5 band PEQ and for my SDR modded HD800. The goal was to "enhance" the sound but NOT to transform my HD800 into something else.

    Band 1 + 4db 50 hz Low shelf Q 0.5
    Band 2 : untouched
    Band 3 : +5db 4khz Q2
    Band 4 : -5db 5.5 khz Q2.2
    Band 5 : -5db 10 khz Q4.7

    Actually Band 3, 4, 5 recovers a bit themselves so modification around 4 and 5,5 are more around +/- 3,5 db . it makes my EQ profile looks like the shitty pic above.

    P_20181114_190155.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018 at 10:26 AM
  15. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador - Friend

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    for anyone wanting to do this in Foobar, the only PEQs available are VST plugins. Luckily however there is there excellent convolver plugin(foo_convolve) for foobar which is what I used to accomplish this.

    I put the PEQ settings into REW and then exported the impulse as a WAV(at 32bit float and 176KHz sampling) and then cut it down from 3 seconds to 0.2 seconds in audacity.

    I attached the .req file for you to use if you want to sample the impulse yourself at a different rate, and also included several different impulses for different bass shelf amounts

    Edit: this may or may not work well for a stock HD800, the Oratory settings were for a HD800S which i figured from looking at FR charts, the SDR modded HD800 is close enough. I also added sorrodje's EQ

    EDIT 2: For those curious i chose 176KHz sampling because ive been upsampling everything to that for the Gungnir DS since @purr1n suggested it, it does open it up quite a bit. if you were going to use 44.1 natively most of the time it would be worth re exporting to that, my files were mostly just to give it a shot quickly :D

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Edit 3: Whoopsies, so it doesnt resample the impulse like I thought, i coulda sworn the dev had said that on the discussion thread for it. When using 176 vs 192 the difference isnt massive, but it is there, and if i run 44 straight into my impulses, it sounds horrid, dont do this haha I just put the .req files for both of them up now to save you time, you should export the impulse at your preferred sampling rate, stick with 32 bit floats though, since the convolution occurs at that bit depth anyways
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018 at 1:22 PM
  16. Baten

    Baten Acquaintance

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    I currently route all system audio (windows) via a virtual cable to my main device in Reaper DAW software, putting all my VST's on that routing. 200samples WASAPI at "~2.9/28ms" latency (not sure what exactly both numbers mean but there's no delay on lip sync).

    It's pretty easy to do, and then you're set on everything whether it's watching youtube/netflix, using dedicated music player or playing games. :)

    [​IMG]
    Image explaining the routing somewhat. I also made profile for 44Khz and one for 48Khz. Lots of things to tweak! With 2/3 VST plug-ins 192/200samples works fine so far but with more plug-ins or intensive ones like Waves my little laptop starts to choke so make sure to watch your sample/buffer size.

    Wasapi:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018 at 11:41 AM
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  17. TwoEars

    TwoEars Friend

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    I can only echo @Rthomas sentiment above, I think a well set-up HD800 can be up there with some of the absolutely best systems on the market and for significantly less cash. Especially if you're a soundstage fan, and want comfort, the HD800 will beat out a lot of other TOTL headphones on that alone.

    My recommendation would be SD-mod, SBAF-mod and a pure copper cable. These mods are pretty cheap and if you're somewhat handy you can solder your own cable too. Second hand HD800 in excellent condition + mods should be well under $1000 and I'm fully serious when I say that this headphone, depending on taste, can go toe-to-toe with the LCD-4 and Utopia.

    Then you either apply a bit of EQ to get it where you want it or match with very dark components (dark dac with lots of bass, then tube amp or warm class-A). EQ is also a great stepping stone if you don't have the cash for the perfect HD800 chain right away.

    I should also remind those who may not be aware of it that HD800 + SD-mod tested better than the HD800S (less low frequency distortion). Furthermore the HD800 is the best gaming headphone I've personally ever heard d/t combination of comfort, resolution and soundstage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018 at 12:59 PM
  18. SoupRKnowva

    SoupRKnowva Official SBAF South Korean Ambassador - Friend

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    Ive been on quite a journey getting my EQ setup to work how I want it to. Complete with looking into using hardware DSP for the PEQ, though that is compromised in its own way, mostly by using asynchronous sample rate conversion since the DSPs from miniDSP only run at one sample rate internally.

    It turned out the convolver plugin, while awesome and free, doesnt support multiple sample rates in any way. You could of course make multiple impulses for different sample rates and switch them yourself, but that is a pain. So I gave up and switched to using VST plugins to do the EQ. This also allowed me to use a virtual cable to get EQd sound for the rest of widows as well.

    I started off with the fabfilter Pro Q2 PEQ, which sounded good, but costs 100 bucks with the student discount. And also the virtual cable solution for windows audio introduced a bunch of delay. Then I actually read more of Oratory's post and found Equalizer APO for windows audio, which doesnt require any virtual cables and doesnt introduce meaningful delay. I also discovered Electri-Q PEQ VST plugin, which seems to be just as good as Pro Q2, and is free now, though it also used to cost 100 bucks.

    TL;DR: using Electri-Q PEQ VST plugin with a VST wrapper in Foobar, so there isn't any need for ASRC and Equalizer APO for windows audio everything just works and sounds excellent
     
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