Sounds like you need a complete retune rather than a tweak.
35 responses Add your response
If it were me, I’d account for the loss in an EQ before my DAC. If that’s’ not an option you can take, the Schiit Loki may work for you. You’ll have to kind of hack it, you’ll only use one channel. :)
Digital EQ's are a lot more transparent, and can you hear them? I don't know, but I can tell you that making up for your hearing loss is a lot better than not.
If a tad left on the amp works to center, that is a good, easy option. Another thing you might try is an offset speaker arrangement. Side to side, possibly even front to back. Sometimes it works to set speakers “off” of one another to deal with various phase and room issues. Could be as simple as a little more, or a little less toe in. To the extreme of a completely asymmetrical setup. Experiment, your ears will tell you what is best. Since none of us can hear (or not) what you hear we are simply shooting in the air.
The Loki is RCA analog only. If you want something that sits between a CD player and DAC, this will do the trick:
But... perhaps you should consider a miniDSP with built in streaming? This will not only get you the EQ you are looking for, but also add music services:
Erik, thanks for the leads! This would likely suffice to "retune" my output rather than differentially doing this on the speakers. Doing it in the xo would likely result in differential impedance and likely phase curves, between speakers. Now I need to research how to convert my HPL left ear profile to SPL. It's a non linear problem but solvable. Thanks to all who made suggestions. I love my result to date but can only imagine it improving. Its actually a slight reduction as I can still hear differences to tubes, sources, and the likes of toe in and tilt.
Doing it in the xo would likely result in differential impedance and likely phase curves, between speakers.
As a crossover designer, unless you are an experienced crossover designer yourself, this is much harder than you think it is, and what if the results are short lived? :)
An EQ solution lets you adjust by ear and get instant feedback, which you can always improve upon or adapt later.
akgwhizStay away from digital EQ’ing.
Get this great piece, many here love what it can bring, and it’s so versatile, all done in the analog domain, just put it between your dac and amp on the channel you need to adjust the upper mid stronger at 3khz.
And then your not screwing with the sound of your cherished dac by doing a DSP eq instead which have lousy d/a converters in them.
This is the amazing things it can do, if your system needs it, I’ve tried it and it’s great, mine system doesn’t need it, but I still have one, just in case one day it’s needed.
No reason to avoid this if you do it before the DAC.
No you can do it but, you’ve got 3 digital devices daisy chained before it gets into an analog domain,source, dsp/dac, then into back into your own dac!!!! You want to "sterilize" the sound then this is a good way to do it, it’ll be like using a crap transport into a great dac.
First you need a digital output on whatever DSP/dac you use, then your getting whatever nasties two dacs give, one being very cheap, instead of the sound of your favored one.
Just go the much simpler analog way with the Schiit Loki akgwhiz it’s cheap and transparent, your system will keep the same sound except for what you’ve boosted, to aid your hearing at that frequency, with no extra digitalis imprinted into the sound
Thanks George, your point is well taken and what was on my mind. I have a really nice DAC with nice tubes so adding another DAC in the chain seems risky as DSP has to convert it first. Still, any comments on Loki (analog) messing with relative phases and therefore imaging? But yeah, I'm liking this route. Thanks all!
Keep in mind, I am advocating for DSP based EQ before a DAC, not after.
The use of a DSP EQ after a DAC to me is anti-high end as it requires two more conversions, in addition to the math. With the Loki it all remains in the analog domain, subject to whatever devices, op amps and capacitors are used.
In the case of Roon, it seems transparent, you get it "for free" and reasonably easy to use, but the analog Loki may be a better fitting solution.
Erik, just make sure I understand. A DSP between my transport and DAC will convert with it's own DAC, do its eq, then convert back to the undecoded format (ADC). Then my MHDT will see it as before.
Alternatively, the Loki is at the end if the chain and will do it's own internal ADC, process, then DAC on the way to amp.
Seems either way, it's another DAC/ADC or ADC/DAC! I'm guessing theres no free lunch and you get what you pay for!
I'm leaning towards a little Left on the balance knob, even though it's full spectrum. The lows are less easily located so less to disrupt the imaging.
As someone who's built similar speakers, is placing a reflective "extension" on top of the left speaker going to do anything of consequence? I think the xo is 2500hz so that's perfect.
Thanks all Agonners for the input. This is a prime example of folks just trying to help and sharing insights. I'm traveling right now and may report back with news if its constructive.
A DSP between my transport and DAC will convert with it’s own DAC, do its eq, then convert back to the undecoded format (ADC). Then my MHDT will see it as before.
Sorry but for this specific case, your example is incorrect. The signal remains in the digital domain and is converted to analog only at the last stage, the DAC.
Transport --> S/PDIF --> Math is applied --> S/PDIF --> DAC
DSP, or Digital Signal Processing, performs math on the digits, so the S/PDIF data stream is practically it’s native language.
An example of what I’m suggesting in this specific case would be this:
It has digital inputs and outputs only and not a single analog part inside. :) In my case though, since all my signals come from Roon and I lack a spinner:
Roon (CPU does the DSP to the digits) --> Wifi --> Streamer --> USB --> DAC
Again, no conversion to analog happens until the last stage, where my Mytek Brooklyn takes the output of the streamer and feeds it to my integrated amp. Lastly, third option, is to use a miniDSP with built in streaming, AND digital inputs:
So, in the third case, your transport AND your streaming goes through the same device, adding EQ to everything equally. In all three of these cases your existing DAC is the only place where digits are converted to analog signals.
Doesn't matter what anyone says the dacs in almost every DSP/room/speaker/xover box is usually rubbish compared to your own hiend dac if you have one, and it's sound will never be what it was if it's in there as well.
There's too many processes going on that pollute and sterilize the digital stream, far better off just with the Schiit Loki done in the analog. And retain the sound of your hiend dac the way it was.
Does the same corruption (sterilization) as what your recommending, even in front of your favorite dac.
Whatever you do, don’t try a fix which might solve your problem because of the hidden bogey men who will come out of the stereo and rip your ears off.
Come on. It's a lot better to attempt a reasonably good solution than to remain frozen in place for some fear of loss of purity.
No sorry @akgwhiz , your looking at the old Loki dac (a deleted Schiit product).
The new $149 Schiit Loki today is not a dac, but an analog domain EQ, it’s this I’m recommending for you.
Hearing lose is not only the reduction of highs....its also reduction in sensitivity to changes in amplitude at all frequencies. Yes, hearing aids make it easier to hear, but they don't repair the loss. Actually, removing the aids and listening gives a more realistic sound....the difference between cartoon animation and a print from a Leica lens. If you are a musician, audiophile, the loss is a great one that continues to worsen.
Sorry all, I was travelling and doing this thread during it. George, yes I clicked wrong one. If I do anything in way of more electronics in stream, I'd prefer the analog method at the end. Since it's only affecting mid/highs I'm starting with a pair of brighter tubes for my preamp stage. Add a tad "L" and see if its better. Honestly, it's barely a problem but yeah, its detectable. Not degenerative but from too much hunting, shooting over the years without protection, even outdoors. String, i agree. While they may balance the perception in each ear they are about the definition of Lo-Fi (as used here) and usually focus on the voice portion of spectrum only. Thanks all for help. Great points. And wear protection in all loud hobbies/pursuits!
Here is an idea out of left field:
This is a headphone amp with built-in DSP. It's a little pricey for a thought experiment, but thought I would share.
I would experiment with just turning the balance a little to the left. Or maybe sit in the center, close your eyes and have someone else turn the balance till it sounds right? You get imaging information from the mids/highs. The lower the frequency the harder it is to pinpoint the source direction (think subwoofer). Once the imaging is correct I doubt you will notice one speaker is slightly louder than the other.
I would experiment with just turning the balance a little to the left.
Problem is he has a "notched out hearing attenuation" in the left ear only at 3khz.
That’s why the Loki will be good "hooked up to the left channel only" then you can bump up the volume just at 3khz, while the other channel stays flat.
4th graph down https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/schiit-loki-eq-measurements.5153/
I used one of these DEQ2496 EQ's between CD and DAC (AES or TOSLINK SPDIF in/out - all digital) and think that , especially with 12AU7 tubes in the path further down the line, that the EQ would be considered rather transparent. (Some experience in a modern studio environment would be helpful for setup though). This sounded better to me that the software ones I tried (which was years ago), even those within a DAW. I have 2 MiniDSP-HD's and assume those would be easier to use, but I never used the digital to digital version.
You may be able to get one with a trial period.