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Article: Let 1,000 Frequency Responses Bloom

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We all need to get behind one standard that is used both in production and playback. Only then we have any hope of hearing what the artist approved (and heard). If we continue this wild west of every designer’s idea being right, we will never get there. With a single standard that is close to what many like, we have a headphone that can be used without EQ. And those that don’t agree, can EQ to what they like.


To get to this conclusion, need we assume that we all hear alike?  What if we not only each have different musical tastes, but we actually hear and perceive sounds differently?  If the artist, the recording master and the audience all hear the same way then that "standard" becomes very important.  But what about the 36% that doesn't prefer the Harman curve? Are they "wrong" or do they hear differently?


What I like about the data that underlies the music is that we can agree whether or not what was played live matches what was recorded and then played back (making a huge assumption that we can and do measure what matters). A flat frequency response is only one such measurement. 


There are live venues I like and others I don't. Is one venue more correct or better than another? Maybe, if 100% of audiences agreed with me, but I know they don't.  This is one of the reason's I have been so pleased with the various choices offered by software like HQ Player, rather than the choices of one DAC designer/engineer.  It allows me to make what I hear in my listening room sound as much as I can make it, sound like what I hear with live instruments and voices.  


Doing that is a function not only of the recording, but certainly also of my playback chain, and the audio characteristics of my listening room.  A music studio can really only address the first of these three.  The other two are a function of budget, equipment choices, and room choices and how each of those alters the original AND my particular sensitivities to anomalies (in frequency, in reverb, in wave form, etc.)


Thus, to me I don't want some majority view of what sounds best -- I just want my output file to look as identical as possible to the original...


Your ears may vary ;-) 

Synology NAS>i7-6700/32GB/NVIDIA QUADRO P4000 Win10>Qobuz+Tidal>Roon>HQPlayer>DSD512> Fiber Switch>Ultrarendu (NAA)>Holo Audio May KTE DAC> Bryston SP3 pre>Levinson No. 432 amps>Magnepan (MG20.1x2, CCR and MMC2x6)

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