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mikisb

headphone sound

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i agree when we discuss about 1 or 2 db at a narrow frequency range. But it should be possible to come close to the original when reproduced with a quality frfr system. Of course there are differences, but just in detail. If not, it's not frfr but just marketing blah ;)

If it would not be like this, a certain sound would not keep it's characteristics played by different sources. I wonder how we would be able to listen Jor Bonamassa in TV (with TV-Speakers!!!) and later recognize his sound in the car and still later at home with a good HiFi chain?

 

So, if some people 're feeling the distorted sound to have to much treble and try to reduce by hicut and noone's complaining thad the sound seems too dull, it seems like line6 people use dull monitors to create the boxsims. Hard to believe, that they don't know a real frfr system ;)

So my question remains the same.

 

abolutely - see my measurement above.

 

So if I understand your point correctly (and I well may not, I have not read the entire thread), even if the Helix can't anticipate what you are going to be playing it through, and allowing for different output options (FRFR, PA speaker, guitar amp), "why are there 'unpleasant' frequencies present in an amp and/or cab model regardless of its final destination, particularly at the high and low end where they would be easy to cut in the emulation?". If that is what you are getting at I kind of wonder the same thing. I guess we do get a huge measure of flexibility in return for not building these cuts into the amp/cab emulation as we can always dial them in ourselves. I can also see where getting some of the nuances of a mid-bump or other EQ nuances in the 75hz-5khz  range would be almost impossible to get consistent across the huge variety of speaker/cab/mic destinations available to guitarists. I think it would be great if there was some kind of global EQ options where you would designate whether you are using a full range speaker or a guitar speaker and the emulations would  automatically be master EQ'd accordingly.

 

If you wanted to take it to its logical conclusion you would have a database of amps and speakers that would actually include their top and bottom end frequency range specs as well as any other mid bump or other EQ characteristics unique to that equipment.  You would dial in your PA speaker or amp and cab, e.g. "Mesa Boogie Mark V combo" and the global EQ would adjust all the presets for your amp/cab/FRFR/PA speaker. Just speculating on what would be cool to have on a future modeler of course, not expecting anything like this with the Helix. But down the road it sure would be awesome. Kind of like Logitech Harmony universal remotes which have a database of all other remotes and can automatically dial up the IR codes for any remote you have.

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So a couple additional points. First, I don't think those Celestion charts are terribly clear, I interpret that as rolling off somewhere between 10-15 kHz, but it may very well be lower than that. The main point here is that they produce primarily midrange frequencies. I think we all agree on that.

 

The second point is that there doesn't NEED to be profiles based on what you are listening on. Since we can all agree that real guitar speakers do not produce frequencies above, say, 5-10 kHz, there is no need to ever have those frequencies coming out of the cab models (unless someone wants a strange tone). Assuming the goal is a realistic tone, then rolling off high frequencies would produce a nearly identical tone to a real miked cab. In which case, that is what would also come out of a FRFR using a real miked cab. Which is also, therefore, what would be recorded in a studio and also what one would normally hear through home speakers or headphones. So my point is just use the high cut on the cab block FOR EVERYTHING. There is no reason to ever have those high frequencies as no live or recording engineer would ever have those to work with. You would simply want to use the global EQ to adjust for differences between different FRFRs to get you a more consistent tone from gig to gig (because, as mentioned above, no two PAs are exactly alike).

 

Again, only Line 6 can no the reason WHY they set up the cab blocks like that, but the reality of the situation is that if you want a realistic tone no matter what system you are listening on, engage the high cut.

 

As a side note to the above post, I believe the Line 6 speakers are intended to have a similar sort of modeling capability, but I never looked into it much.

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Every box you plug an amp modeler into will color the tone in some fashion, and to a greater or lesser extent than the next one that you try. You could play the same Helix patch through two different FRFR speakers of the same make and model, with convective serial numbers, and still not end up with identical tones. Close? Probably...but there are no guarantees.

 

There are a multitude of reasons for this...which at this point, could fill a doctoral thesis.

 

This is a VERY crucial point to understand.  As infered by this quote from cruisinon2, it's NOT just frequency "range" it's frequency response.   Every speaker is different, but more recognizable every speaker model is different.  Two speakers of identical range of different brands sound different because of the way they "respond" to different "frequencies".   Because Helix is a modeler of sorts, and has to be able to reproduce ALL of the combinations, it is designed for maximum coverage.  The rule of thumb argued by recording engineers for decades...  you can always attenuate a frequency, but you can't put back what wasn't there in the first place.

 

Besides frequency range, and the dynamics (response) of the tones we want to hear, are also how the speaker handles all the tones that are getting sent its way that we don't want to hear, or we want to hear to some degree.  Again, it's seems pretty obvious that Line6 thought about this long and hard as they have high and low cuts on just about everything involved in shaping the output signal.

 

Remember that Helix has the ability to play backing tracks as well, or be used for a multitude of other instruments besides guitar.  

 

Where I think Line6 has missed the mark a little, or their sheer genius is revealed, I haven't decided which, is in not providing filtering on the presets and not delving into more of how to setup the Helix for optimum use.  The reason I say it might be a genius plan as well, is that the result is these forums!!!!    Folks sharing idea's on how to get the best out of the unit in all situations... and they don't have to pay us.  :)  

 

I have had my Helix since December.  I have essentially given up on creating specific patches for a little while and opted for just attempting to create patches on a whim, for whatever I feel like playing at the moment.  I realize not everyone can do this, but after getting all of Glenn D's patches and all of Scott's patches I realize I am at the beginning of the learning curve and the potential of this unit.   As I just create patches I am learning the subtleties so when the time comes later this summer when I'll be going into the studio and hopefully playing live, I'll be able to dial up what I need fairly easily.

 

If I have one wish, it's that the stock presets were not so much focused on songs but actually presets of the amp models.  Like being able to choose a JC-120 that sounds like a JC120 with the chrous and reverb preferences just like the amp has.  Or a Fender Twin or a Marshall or any of the other amps.  It would be a great starting point.

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And those 12" guitar speaker plots are on-axis. As you move out of the centre 'beam', the higher frequencies roll off even faster. For most guitarists standing next to their amp on stage, there is virtually nothing left past about 6kHz. Definitely nothing that can be heard amidst the rest of the band.

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This vid I think is a great primer (along with some others) for using EQ on the Helix.  It touches on a lot of what we've been discussing.

 

 

 

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I just spent a truck load of time checking headphones on my helix, ab'ing with different audio interfaces and different setups. All because I have the same problem as the OP.

 

I reckon some headphones simply sound awful with it. My Audio Technica M50s are really bad and sound just liek OP described, yet my cheaper M30s sound quite nice.

 

upshot is I'm off to buy some new headpones.

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I use AKG K240 mkII headphones and they sound almost identical to my FRFR rig.

I can actually tweak around and build presets on the headphones and it comes out sounding

well through my rig. 

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I use AKG K240 mkII headphones and they sound almost identical to my FRFR rig.

I can actually tweak around and build presets on the headphones and it comes out sounding

well through my rig.

Lotsa good cans out there, but I love AKG...been using the K240S for years. Almost impossible to do better for the money.

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a verry old Beyer DT990, a AKG from about 2002 (don't know exactly what model - sounds ok on HiFi but cruel with guitar) wich are both half closed. Plus some different open  "walkman"-Headphones/inears, where a older Sony still is the best. Have to look this evening for the exact types.

 

The DT990s are available in 32 Ω, 250 Ω, and 600 Ω variants. If you have the 32 Ω pair (designed for listening to iPods or other consumer-level devices), any decent level from Helix's headphone output could easily cause them to distort.

 

I use Sennheiser HD600s (300 Ω). They sound fantastic.

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I use Sennheiser HD600s (300 Ω). They sound fantastic.

 

Do you get enough volume with the 300Ω? I have the Sennheister HD280 Pro 80Ω Version and have the volume more half way up already.

By the way what was the thought behind having the Headphone output at only 12 Ω?

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Do you get enough volume with the 300Ω? I have the Sennheister HD280 Pro 80Ω Version and have the volume more half way up already.

By the way what was the thought behind having the Headphone output at only 12 Ω?

My AKG's are 55 ohms, and they won't start to clip until I drive the volume up to the point where it's uncomfortable to listen anyway, so I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. The same cans are a little anemic for listening to music from a phone or tablet, however. But for playing/recording/mixing through a Focusrite interface, I'm rarely turning the volume past 11 or 12 o'clock, and there's still plenty of headroom left before it starts to clip. Don't know why anyone would need ultra high-impedence headphones, unless you're using a dedicated, high output headphone amp.

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My AKG's are 55 ohms, and they won't start to clip until I drive the volume up to the point where it's uncomfortable to listen anyway, so I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. The same cans are a little anemic for listening to music from a phone or tablet, however. But for playing/recording/mixing through a Focusrite interface, I'm rarely turning the volume past 11 or 12 o'clock, and there's still plenty of headroom left before it starts to clip. Don't know why anyone would need ultra high-impedence headphones, unless you're using a dedicated, high output headphone amp.

Thanks for the answer cruision2 but mine was a simple question not a complaint or anything.

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Thanks for the answer cruision2 but mine was a simple question not a complaint or anything.

I never said you were complaining. I was agreeing with you. It's a valid question. 300 ohms seems like overkill to me. The higher impedence cans are often touted as "necessary" for this kind of gear. I was merely pointing out that it's not necessarily the case. What you've got is ideal, as far as I'm concerned.

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Certain combinations of components tend to sound better, or worse depending on the combination. It doesn't matter if we're talking about guitars and amps, amps and speakers... whatever. Some things just tend to get along better with certain things.

 

Also, our ears WANT to hear certain frequencies boosted and attenuated.

 

FRFR tend to sound "wanting" for lack of a better term, but that is the best landscape for providing an objective starting point for EQ purposes.

 

The only way to tell if your "tried and true" headphones are serving you well is to really know what their Frequency Response Curve actually is (not what's put down on paper by the manufacturer) and if there is any "weighting" involved. "Weighting" is where a restricted portion of the device's FRC is highlighted as being the true output of the device, when in fact, it could be just a small portion of the overall output.

 

Like someone stated earlier, your headphones may be just fine, just not for this application.

 

I guess a good test would be to A/B the output of your speakers against the headphones to see what the differences in EQ actually are. It sounds like your FRFR system might be more objective, from an audio perspective, than your headphones.

 

Also, regardless of headphone quality, the low end will tend to be lacking. It's a simple physical restriction due to the size of the drivers.

 

One other point mentioned earlier, program material, whether music, sound effects, etc., will sound better, up to a point, at higher sound pressure levels.

 

What has worked for me is a used set of Sennheiser's HD600. For some reason, the newer version doesn't sound as good, to me, with the Helix. And yes, the low end is a little lacking... it's a driver thing. But I know to expect that and can EQ accordingly.

 

Best of luck.

 

Tom

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I never said you were complaining. I was agreeing with you. It's a valid question. 300 ohms seems like overkill to me. The higher impedence cans are often touted as "necessary" for this kind of gear. I was merely pointing out that it's not necessarily the case. What you've got is ideal, as far as I'm concerned.

OK - thanks!

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I'm happier with my cheap open back cans 32 ohm Sennheiser HD 239   than with my closed back AKG K-271 MKII  55 Ohm.

The Sennheiser HD 239 sound warmer, more open, more real (in the room), more similar to my studio monitor JBL 305.

The benefit of the open design is that it significantly alters the listening experience. Instead of the “in your head†experience that closed-back headphones provide (because they isolate you from the ambient noise), open-back headphones provide a “in the world around me†listening experience.

And the most important thing, the hd 239  is a lot more comfortable. I can't stand with the akg k271, at the end I only use it to play edrums or recording vocals, because here the isolation is very important. The only concern about 239, the cable is too short so I need an extension.

 

So my recommendation is open and comfortable headphones that can be used with other stuff also --> Not very high Ω (less than 80 Ohm), Grado sri80 (32 Ohm) or similar.  I'm not sure if hd600  (300Ω!!!! , you need a dedicated headphone amp if you want to use it with other device) is the perfect choice for everyone, in any case Digital Igloo always recommend it (enough reason to take it into account), by the way, they are open.

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