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1
Thanks for the update @knik
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I didn't assume my claims on the sound difference were the center point here, but while I do appreciate that sentiment, I must say that was a little intimidating to read regarding my initial post.

I have not produced any listening tests and this happened a few weeks back already, so I did not have the objective of conducting anything like that. However, I don't really see much sense in doing that.

You seem to have vastly underestimated how much myth and legend backs up spikes and isolation pads. I've investigated them  in detail and for the most part they are expensive placeboes at any price.

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Any individual person could simply alter the sound files to prove their point.

The technology behind the ability of equalization to address problems like these is so solid and widely accepeted that the point is pre-approved today.

OTOH I can't see how one could gather much relevant evidence without out comparing a system with spikes and pads to one that lacked them or used a different configuration of them.

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What I wrote about was definitely subjective experience and I am not a spike-salesperson, so there's no reason for me to trick anybody into saving a little money and energy when trying to test this setup themselves. However, the placebo-effect may definitely be a viable explanation.

I'm not worried about you tricking me or my friends. I'm worried about you tricking yourself which seems to be already accomplished.

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Anyhow, maybe I haven't described the problem and the outcome detailed enough:

So, I was moving the furniture in this room, including my computer and the speakers. After everything was located at its new destination and I listened to music, I started to notice a stronger bass than I was used to. I have had this setup and the same speakers for a couple of years now, so that is definitely something that you can pick up right away. Nothing else had changed, not the height of the speakers, the distance from the back wall, the angle towards myself, just the location within the same room. (Before: in a corner, now: in the middle of a flat wall.) I wasn't aware that the placement in a room could have such a huge impact on the sound, so I started looking for solutions in different directions.

As the saying goes: Been There, Done That, many times, have the T-shirt, named my first son after it...  ;-)

What you have described is how audio works, and frankly I'm surprised that you're surprized.

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The cheapest and easiest way to control bass is equalization.

That's kind of true,

Wrong. It is absolutely true in almost every case. Again, I'm surprised that you're surprised.

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however I have not used any software equalizer before

It is very clear that you are very unfamiliar with the concepts of equalization and frequency response. Frequency response is a very strong influence, detectable in what may seem like vanishing amounts, and often overbearing before the numbers describing it become impressive.

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and I don't have a hardware equalizer anywhere in my chain

Read my lips: You don't need a hardware equalizer in almost every case because software equalization is already so pervasive. If you are following this forum you must have noticed that there have been multiple posts describing how equalization is simply a standard part of most popular computer operating systems.   There have been specific mentions of Linux, Android and Windows, and that covers billions of computers - most of the computers that exist and are running today.

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(and haven't felt the need for one previously), so it wasn't either going to be cheap or easy for me to find, install and test global software EQs or buy a hardware EQ + cables.

The points of resistance are most mental and typically based on fear. Download a file. Install the software. Run the software. Less than a minute and a handful of keystrokes. You are now the owner and operator of an equalizer.

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Additionally, the annoying bass sound was not present in all frequencies across the board. They were rather multiple specific bass frequencies that would produce that irritating rumbling sound, figuratively swallowing other frequencies that I haven't experienced before like that.

Read my lips: Removing or reducing musical sounds at just the frequencies they have become annoying is what equalizers do.


3
General Audio / Re: Parametric EQ and Crossfeed for Android?
Last post by Arnold B. Krueger -
I gave a try to Neutralizer and I'd like to thank you because it proposes a very interesting approach.

As far as I understood Neutralizer relies on Android EQ.
It seems to work fine with all my streaming applications: very good point!
I just regret it is limited to 12 bands which does not allow 'fine tuning' in the highs, where my (current) IEM frequency response curve is quite 'bumpy' and where my audition suffered more of abuse and time.

Equalizing every bump and null, and/or within a fraction of a dB does not necessarily contribute significantly to listening pleasure.

Our ability to even detect a frequency response discontinuity goes down as it gets narrower. 

Freedom from detection is a far more sensitive to what is required for the perception of natural balance, or listening pleasure.


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I am still looking for a solution for cross feed that can be used with my streaming application by the way...
Any suggestion?

Fix the tracks.  Many audio editors have channel mixing features. Ideally, you'd access the .wav versions, add a little cross feed, and then re-apply any compression that you might have chosen.

IME there are not a large number of tracks that don't have any crossfeed at all or are objectionable because they have way too much separation.  For example, there are all those old Beetles tracks that are essentially two channel mono, with all of the instruments and voices slammed to one channel extreme to the exclusion of the other.  Those represent a short term phase, and for a variety of reasons including mono compatibility and compatibility with cheap LP players, that phase mostly went away pretty quickly.

Some recordings with extreme channel assignment and mixing or un-mixing are still made, but it seems like they were intentional, and part of the artistic experience of listening to them.
4
3rd Party Plugins - (fb2k) / Re: R128Norm
Last post by kode54 -
I don't even see how that would work. Maybe it would be more constructive to ask the author of VB-Audio Voicemeeter Banana to add such a thing to their software.
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Tracks are not being played in the proper order, so in that sense sorting is the issue. I put forth a possibility and the reason for it.
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No way.  Installing a software EQ is both cheap and super easy.  There may also be one built into your software already.  You should definitely try this first.  If you don't have any in your software, check this out:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

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Requirements:
- Windows Vista or later (currently only Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 have been tested)

Ubuntu-user running through JACK here, more luck next time. ;)

EQs are not a windows-only thing.  You can use them on linux too.

But that's not even the question, I don't want a software EQ! :D

Why?  They're a great option here, and worth checking out. 
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I think I'm missing something, but how do I actually use this? I installed it and can't find anything related to spotify in foobar (not in settings, not anywhere)
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Some people say all amps sound the same, so this goes to show that they don't.

I'm not THAT surprised that there was a difference in phono preamps.    There is a LOT of gain in a phono (or microphone) preamp and high gain means noise can be an issue.    And, with phono preamps, you've got the RIAA curve to deal with, and the input capacitance can vary and cause (slightly) different frequency response with different phono cartridges.

You nailed that, Doug.

While the tests were level-matched, they weren't noise level matched or frequency response matched. There is often audible noise in the background with phono inputs. There don't seem to be any checks that the gear was actually operating in spec.

Gear can sound different if it is broken, with electrolytic capacitors that are walking out the door being a leading cause.

RIAA errors are fairly common, partially because there are two different RIAA curves. One for the IEC RIAA and the other for the non-IEC EIAA.  They differ mostly below 50 Hz.

Furthermore, frequency response errors in RIAA preamps have been known to exist for decades because analysis and design of the response of the equalization circuit is non-trivial. Those Canadian math whizzes Vanderkooy and Lipshitz tried to correct that misunderstanding with a relevant and well-thought out AES paper, but analog electronic designers are well known for well, their Individuality.

Finally, there are well-known interactions between phono cartridges and phono preamp input stage impedances, and again, everybody seems to want to go their own way. Some RIAA preamps provide adjustments in this area, but not all do exactly what they are claimed to do.

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Of course "all amps sound the same" isn't always true, but I'd say it applies more to power amps and "preamps" used as "control-centers" with line-level inputs with little gain or often with attenuation.

"All amps sound the same" was primarily relevant for power amps as you say Doug, and always contingent on correct operation and matching frequency response.  Brand new gear can be defective, and legacy gear often surprises us when it still meets spec.

Tubed power amps have components like output transformers that cause both bass and/or treble losses.

Source impedance can be an issue for both tubed and SS amps including both legacy analog designs and modern switchmode designs.

Many modern SS power amps have LRC networks at their outputs to enhance stability, but they can lead to frequency response errors below 20 KHz, depending on loudspeaker loads to a great deal, but due to even just resistive loads in some cases.

9
No way.  Installing a software EQ is both cheap and super easy.  There may also be one built into your software already.  You should definitely try this first.  If you don't have any in your software, check this out:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

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Requirements:
- Windows Vista or later (currently only Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10 have been tested)

Ubuntu-user running through JACK here, more luck next time. ;)

But that's not even the question, I don't want a software EQ! :D
10
The cheapest and easiest way to control bass is equalization.

That's kind of true, however I have not used any software equalizer before and I don't have a hardware equalizer anywhere in my chain (and haven't felt the need for one previously), so it wasn't either going to be cheap or easy for me to find, install and test global software EQs or buy a hardware EQ + cables.

No way.  Installing a software EQ is both cheap and super easy.  There may also be one built into your software already.  You should definitely try this first.  If you don't have any in your software, check this out:

https://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/