Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

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Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  panniapurathar on Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:08 am

I was wondering if it would be good to have a thread dedicated to technicalities of listening to IR.   I would like to learn about audiophile equipment that would best suite Ilaiyaraaja's music.  I recently splurged on a  Bowers Wilkins speaker that streams airplay from apple devices.  I have been happy with the output.  I would like to learn about the settings you generally use to play IR.  I understand that one setting would not suffice for the Maestro.  For straightforward classical stuff like swapnam I just pick the preset classical, but what is good for a pop album such as Abbayitho Ammayee?  R&B preset seems OK, but is there something else that would be better suited?  For NEP and Megha I go between classical and acoustic presets - not sure if there is anything better suited.  I use acoustic for Thaarai thappattai as well.

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  ravinat on Thu Dec 31, 2015 7:48 am

I use several pieces of equipment for hearing IR. 

1. I use my faithful Onkyo for most of traditional Raja of the 80s and earlier. The Onkyo has a mode called 'Orchestra' that reproduces the music as though there are musicians playing in front of you. Also, if you calibrate the system properly, this can turn out to be great along with its powerful sub-woofer. It also has a classical mode which I use for playing most WCM music from European orchestras

2. For the later music of 90s, 200x and 201x, I use Sennheiser with its great wireless headphones. You can very clearly hear the harmonies in the music and Sennheiser does a fantastic job without any equalizer presets.

3. My car stereo is a JBL system and does an okay job and falls between Onkyo and Sennheiser

I have at least another 4 types of audio devices that are poor quality reproducers of any music, but ahave their place due to their portability and convenience.

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  Wizzy on Thu Dec 31, 2015 6:58 pm

Panniapurathar , EQ'ing his music is a great disservice to the man and his music. imo the path to audio glory should be fidelity/bit perfect playback wrt computer audio(win platform).
whatever that interferes viz a viz EQ/wireless/bluetooth/ streaming and kmixer should be done away with. 
I don't rate anything Bose produce other than their aesthetic sense in design and their approach to reflect sound are nothing but loads of tosh.
if you like B&W try their stereo speakers which are very capable, they really shine with amps like NAD,Rotel or Norge, throw in a SVS sub you are all set in the path of audio nirvana.
remember you EQ only to paper over the chinks in your audio chain.

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  panniapurathar on Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:03 am

Thank you Ravinat and Wizzy for your response.  It is good to know about Onkyo and JBL.  Wizzy, following your post I have connected the BW speaker to the computer using USB.  Hopefully this will get me unadulterated IR!  Others please chime in if you want with how you listen to IR.  I am sure we can pick tips from each other on what works best to satisfy our thirst for IR's music.  I think it is Kiru (in another thread or may even be another forum) or someone who had earlier suggested fiiO headphone amplifier.  I found that a huge improvement over listening without amps.  app engine has many a time explained how he listens in a parking lot!  I can understand why - my best sound system is in the car as well!!

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  app_engine on Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:11 am

panniapurathar wrote:app engine has many a time explained how he listens in a parking lot!  I can understand why - my best sound system is in the car as well!!

To add to the better sound systems typically found on vehicles, there are two more parameters that differentiate this setting from other typical settings (such as home / otherwise travel / functions etc) :

1. Zero disturbance to listening - typically thanimai is difficult to get (for me) in most other settings than parking lot.
2. Least noise situation - almost comparable to music studios Laughing Today's vehicles are designed to keep as less external sounds to enter the cabin as possible. Compares to some of the best "noise-cancel-headsets" Smile

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  jaiganesh on Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:02 am

In iTunes player (Desktop) There are some settings I use for getting max effect of certain Raajaa songs.
1. hipHop for some recent albums Abbayitho Ammaayee and Shamitabh.
2. Classical for albums like Dhoni and Oggarane(USA)+All BSO albums
3. Bass Boost setting for Early 80s hits
4. Jazz for the 90s albums and mallu raja 2000s albums..

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  kiru on Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:08 am

Actually, in car and home, for IR's music you need to turn up the bass/treble ("U" or "POP" setting), in general. But if you have a good hifi system no equalization is needed (check with Vinod or Gokul).

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  Wizzy on Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:22 am

Kiru, U shaped/V shaped is called as rock setting/west coast curve pervaded by home audio companies which has ear waxed
a generation of human ears Embarassed  freaks you out when a generation of u/v shaped eq'ers have simply skipped all important frequency called the midrange
which entails lower harmonics of all known musical instruments and to which ears are most sensitive to.

panniapurathar, you are on a right track :-) another step for a bit perfect playblack would be to burn your cds to WAV/Flac and then
 do Asio4all+cmp2+SoX resampler -> http://www.cicsmemoryplayer.com/index.php?n=CPlay.Features 
high quality audio player whose fidelity is unmatched.
only PITA is that you need cuesheets to load the tracks(many apps available to create cuesheets in a jiffy) 
you will be surprised at what lengths they have go to reduce dpc latency and to attain the bit perfect playback  lol!

http://www.cicsmemoryplayer.com/index.php?n=CMP.07Optimisations

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  panniapurathar on Sat Feb 27, 2016 8:27 pm

Wizzy wrote:Panniapurathar , EQ'ing his music is a great disservice to the man and his music. imo the path to audio glory should be fidelity/bit perfect playback wrt computer audio(win platform).
whatever that interferes viz a viz EQ/wireless/bluetooth/ streaming and kmixer should be done away with. 
I don't rate anything Bose produce other than their aesthetic sense in design and their approach to reflect sound are nothing but loads of tosh.
if you like B&W try their stereo speakers which are very capable, they really shine with amps like NAD,Rotel or Norge, throw in a SVS sub you are all set in the path of audio nirvana.
remember you EQ only to paper over the chinks in your audio chain.
Wizzy,  you say EQing is a disservice to our IR.  Do you recommend setting all three (bass, mid and treble) to 0 while listening, for eg., in a car stereo system?
EDIT:  OK, based on your last line it looks like you would tweak car settings

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  Wizzy on Sun Feb 28, 2016 10:39 am

Panniapurathar, I don't play with EQ, utmost I would increase sub volume if I need to, look for 'FLAT' response in your eq settings.
true colours of your speakers/headphones will show up.

For critical listening without burning your wallet I would recommend getting something like this http://www.xduoo.com/xduoo/EnProductShow.asp?ID=62 (retails for 8,000INR), it comes with lineout so you could also connect it your stereo setup.
 
pocket dynamo which would shame any bluechip products, portable DSD/FLAC player with the infamous Cirrus Logic DAC.
once upon a time IPod classics use to run on these.

combine it with open back like Sennheiser HD 598(cans just made for Soundstage)
 or Audio Technica ATH MSR-7/M50(if you need more bass) after this you should  have rough idea on what you have been
missing all these days by equ'ing, basically you have to start from scratch  Very Happy

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  raja4ever on Wed Mar 23, 2016 7:45 am

The cheaper alternative is if you have iPod/iPhone/iPad, you could get ONKYO HF PLAYER app which is free to play resolution upto 192khz. For $10, you will get capability to enhance regular 44.1khz audio to DSD. This combined with a good headphone will be heaven to listen Raaja's music.  You could rip the ACD  using either DBPoweramp(Win) or XLD(mac) and make sure that is 16/44.1khz (no MP3 please).

 The reason that car audio sounding better is a combination of cutting down ambient noise, position of speakers with respect to the sitting position and decent music system powered by battery gives you better listening experience (and if the car is parked, then no more road noise).

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  panniapurathar on Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:04 pm

Wizzy wrote:Panniapurathar, I don't play with EQ, utmost I would increase sub volume if I need to, look for 'FLAT' response in your eq settings.
true colours of your speakers/headphones will show up.

For critical listening without burning your wallet I would recommend getting something like this http://www.xduoo.com/xduoo/EnProductShow.asp?ID=62 (retails for 8,000INR), it comes with lineout so you could also connect it your stereo setup.
 
pocket dynamo which would shame any bluechip products, portable DSD/FLAC player with the infamous Cirrus Logic DAC.
once upon a time IPod classics use to run on these.

combine it with open back like Sennheiser HD 598(cans just made for Soundstage)
 or Audio Technica ATH MSR-7/M50(if you need more bass) after this you should  have rough idea on what you have been
missing all these days by equ'ing, basically you have to start from scratch  Very Happy
Wizzy sir!  Owe you one!  I have set all my devices to flat now.  I think I am now able to listen to the intricacies better without one range of freqs dominating

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  panniapurathar on Sat Apr 09, 2016 6:10 pm

raja4ever wrote:The cheaper alternative is if you have iPod/iPhone/iPad, you could get ONKYO HF PLAYER app which is free to play resolution upto 192khz. For $10, you will get capability to enhance regular 44.1khz audio to DSD. This combined with a good headphone will be heaven to listen Raaja's music.  You could rip the ACD  using either DBPoweramp(Win) or XLD(mac) and make sure that is 16/44.1khz (no MP3 please).

 The reason that car audio sounding better is a combination of cutting down ambient noise, position of speakers with respect to the sitting position and decent music system powered by battery gives you better listening experience (and if the car is parked, then no more road noise).
Thank you for your post!  Will check out your suggestions.  Also, a big Thank you for your pristine recordings!  I wish there was a way I could pay/appreciate for what you, Navin Mozart, DM and others do for IR fans

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  panniapurathar on Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:06 pm

raja4ever wrote:The cheaper alternative is if you have iPod/iPhone/iPad, you could get ONKYO HF PLAYER app which is free to play resolution upto 192khz. For $10, you will get capability to enhance regular 44.1khz audio to DSD. This combined with a good headphone will be heaven to listen Raaja's music.  You could rip the ACD  using either DBPoweramp(Win) or XLD(mac) and make sure that is 16/44.1khz (no MP3 please).

 The reason that car audio sounding better is a combination of cutting down ambient noise, position of speakers with respect to the sitting position and decent music system powered by battery gives you better listening experience (and if the car is parked, then no more road noise).
Raja4ever!!! Thank you for the ONkyo app suggestion!  Definitely, the difference in listening is palpable!  Guys, this thread has been so useful to my listening!

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  raja4ever on Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:06 am

panniapurathar wrote:
raja4ever wrote:The cheaper alternative is if you have iPod/iPhone/iPad, you could get ONKYO HF PLAYER app which is free to play resolution upto 192khz. For $10, you will get capability to enhance regular 44.1khz audio to DSD. This combined with a good headphone will be heaven to listen Raaja's music.  You could rip the ACD  using either DBPoweramp(Win) or XLD(mac) and make sure that is 16/44.1khz (no MP3 please).

 The reason that car audio sounding better is a combination of cutting down ambient noise, position of speakers with respect to the sitting position and decent music system powered by battery gives you better listening experience (and if the car is parked, then no more road noise).
Raja4ever!!! Thank you for the ONkyo app suggestion!  Definitely, the difference in listening is palpable!  Guys, this thread has been so useful to my listening!
YW! Now... if you add a DAC which is capable of handling DSD (for example iFi Nano or equivalent) and connect it to your device which plays Onkyo HQ Player, enable up sampling... now you are in different universe....

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  kiru on Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:15 am

@raja4ever .. man I miss these sort of conversations with you .. I need to call and talk to you for sure ..

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  Wizzy on Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:48 pm

raja4ever wrote:
panniapurathar wrote:
raja4ever wrote:The cheaper alternative is if you have iPod/iPhone/iPad, you could get ONKYO HF PLAYER app which is free to play resolution upto 192khz. For $10, you will get capability to enhance regular 44.1khz audio to DSD. This combined with a good headphone will be heaven to listen Raaja's music.  You could rip the ACD  using either DBPoweramp(Win) or XLD(mac) and make sure that is 16/44.1khz (no MP3 please).

 The reason that car audio sounding better is a combination of cutting down ambient noise, position of speakers with respect to the sitting position and decent music system powered by battery gives you better listening experience (and if the car is parked, then no more road noise).
Raja4ever!!! Thank you for the ONkyo app suggestion!  Definitely, the difference in listening is palpable!  Guys, this thread has been so useful to my listening!
YW! Now... if you add a DAC which is capable of handling DSD (for example iFi Nano or equivalent) and connect it to your device which plays Onkyo HQ Player, enable up sampling... now you are in different universe....

even cheaper alternative would be Raspberry pi setup with an I2S DAC. This would be a headless system and the opportunities are very many.

recently subscribed to TIDAL hifi streaming, unbelievable how good they sound.
pleasantly surprised with Raaja content on offer, after listening to these makes you wonder how much compression takes places
even in ACDs today  Mad



Icing is you can even download and listen to them offline in its full 1411 kbit/s glory.

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  Wizzy on Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:58 am

music app from Sennheiser 


http://en-in.sennheiser.com/captune-headphone-sound-app

unlike Sony Walkman's coloured sound signature like what they have done with custom eq/A-B soundcheck and you can create multiple profiles to go with it and Tidal support  thumbsup

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  ravinat on Sun Jun 12, 2016 9:44 pm

Wizzy wrote:music app from Sennheiser 


http://en-in.sennheiser.com/captune-headphone-sound-app

unlike Sony Walkman's coloured sound signature like what they have done with custom eq/A-B soundcheck and you can create multiple profiles to go with it and Tidal support  thumbsup
Wizzy

  I installed this app on my Samsung S4 and went thru the 8 step process of equalizing the sound with a Nakamichi noise cancelling headphones connected to it. I am not able to hear any perceptible difference between the regular audio player and this one. Am I missing something?

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  Wizzy on Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:20 pm

^app is till in nascent stage, currently they support handful of Momentum headphones,
you can mimic the presets by selecting 'Momentum in earphones' say if you are using  in-ear phone.

The profiles on the top most(My Profiles->+->Select Icon) gives you 
listening environment(if your headphone is bass-shy you can use running/fitness icon )

The real time spectrum analyzer is basically trying to find the sweet-spot between
your headphone response curve(from presets) and various eqs across the entire frequency range.

-you start with a song which you know like back of your hand Smile
-hear it with flat eq(w/o FX)
-now play the song again and then select custom eq  and then toggle between A/B, if you don't
like what you are hearing select 'None'
-imo best eq should almost run parallel to flat curve without significant deviation.

 you can find your headphone response curve by googling or 
you can create one using 
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=43981563#post43981563

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  ravinat on Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:45 pm

Wizzy wrote:^app is till in nascent stage, currently they support handful of Momentum headphones,
you can mimic the presets by selecting 'Momentum in earphones' say if you are using  in-ear phone.

The profiles on the top most(My Profiles->+->Select Icon) gives you 
listening environment(if your headphone is bass-shy you can use running/fitness icon )

The real time spectrum analyzer is basically trying to find the sweet-spot between
your headphone response curve(from presets) and various eqs across the entire frequency range.

-you start with a song which you know like back of your hand Smile
-hear it with flat eq(w/o FX)
-now play the song again and then select custom eq  and then toggle between A/B, if you don't
like what you are hearing select 'None'
-imo best eq should almost run parallel to flat curve without significant deviation.

 you can find your headphone response curve by googling or 
you can create one using 
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?p=43981563#post43981563

Thanks Wizzy. Between the time I posted my last one and this morning, I messed around with the App and did exactly what you described - between FX and Equalizer settings, the audio seems to get better. On my way back, I will try it one more time.

I like your suggestion of parallel to flat curve. I will definitely try that. In traditional equalizers, we do not run flat but try to keep the bass up to 75% and treble up by 60% and play with the other spots. . I will also visit the link you have mentioned.

Thanks again Wizzy.

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Re: Equalizer settings, speaker recommendations etc for listening to Ilaiyaraaja

Post  ravinat on Mon Jun 13, 2016 7:46 pm

BTW, my Nakamichi is over the ear NC headphone.

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