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Do some audiophiles really prefer flat frequency response?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Extremesam, Jun 11, 2018.

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  1. Extremesam

    Extremesam New Member

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    I've read that some audio purists frown on tone controls and equalization. I've tried to listen to music with a flat response and to me it just sounds awful. Transistor radio-like. It's been proven scientifically that some frequencies are easier heard than others to the human ear. So then why would anyone choose a level graph over something that really sounds good? Especially if you have good equipment that can really make it come to life. I'd love to hear from the purists and anyone with your thoughts on this. .... Sam
     
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  2. botrytis

    botrytis Trying not to be a Small Speaker Hoarder Subscriber

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    I don't have any tone controls and will never use them. Tone controls can only adjust for small problems and cause other issues.

    Ever think it is your equipment or room set up that is the problem?
     
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  3. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well you were listening to the same frequencies live and you found them appealing. Nothing wrong with tailoring sound to please your ear. In a perfect world what you recorded should sound the same when its played back.
     
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  4. WillVT

    WillVT Super Member

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    Theoretically, all that equalization should be done in the recording and mastering room. Therefore, some would say if your system is good enough, no further changes should be made, and you are hearing close to what the engineers/artist wanted you to hear.
     
  5. sKiZo

    sKiZo Hates received: 8642 Subscriber

    You assUme you're hearing flat response if you don't use tone controls or equalization. Not necessarily true, as the room and environment can change the frequency response significantly.

    Add to that ... flat response actually sucks, as the normal human ear attenuates or boosts different parts of the frequency spectrum. Application of EQ in the form of a "house curve" compensates for this for a more natural sound.

    PS ... bad EQ sucks, and bad EQ is any tweaks that aren't based on actual physical testing of the system. No excuses either - what once took a room full of pros with some fancy gear can now be done with a laptop, calibrated mike, and free software ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  6. Dave1384

    Dave1384 Stuck in the 70's

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    No. No.
    There are 6 restored Pioneers here. Every one of them demand help from an eq , sometimes even a parametric. Plus all my speakers have different sound properties. Flat signals sound nasally.

    I agree 100 percent with Sam.
     
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  7. goodolpg

    goodolpg Just an old fart trying to help. Subscriber

    But my hearing isn't the same as theirs and neither is my room or gear.
     
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  8. grillebilly

    grillebilly Empty Head Subscriber

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    I messed with equalizers and tone controls for years. It makes the music sound different but not really better IMO. Now it is straight up, how the engineers wanted it to be. Unless your playback is faulty.
     
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  9. 62caddy

    62caddy Trust but verify Subscriber

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    The better the system, the less correction is generally needed.

    A really good system should not sound anything like a transistor radio - even when all tone controls are set to flat.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  10. petehall347

    petehall347 the brandy coffee man Subscriber

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    i adjust to what sounds right to me .
     
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  11. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm not a purist but do have thoughts on this. It appears the objective is to eliminate the sharp hills and valleys. For me this is a resemblance of flat response.
    I'm not using any tone control. Just lucky I think. Or maybe it doesn't help.
     

     

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  12. Extremesam

    Extremesam New Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Very helpful. To elaborate, I have found that even while using quality headphones or earbuds that I cannot listen to flat response curves. Does anyone prefer a flat response while using these? More please.'... Sam
     
  13. imral3

    imral3 Super Member

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    Too much typing... pass.
     
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  14. imral3

    imral3 Super Member

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    What is your source for material?
     
  15. Extremesam

    Extremesam New Member

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    I'm close to it. Just a few db's of bottom end a little at the top will do it.
     
  16. Extremesam

    Extremesam New Member

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    Indeed!
     

     

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  17. Extremesam

    Extremesam New Member

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    Well said
     
  18. Extremesam

    Extremesam New Member

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    If we had bionic ears flat response would sound right.
     
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  19. Extremesam

    Extremesam New Member

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    Digital files from a DAC
     
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  20. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

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    Good recordings sound relatively good on any system and in any room, flat or equalized.
    Transistor radios excluded;)
     
    62caddy and Roadrash like this.
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