Author Topic: EQ and External DAC/Amp  (Read 142 times)

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Offline Holden

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EQ and External DAC/Amp
« on: April 12, 2021, 06:13:07 PM »
Most of my listening is done via my iMac using a variety of sources. If I play CDs or FLAC files I use VLC player which is quite versatile. The decoding of my music is handled by my Burson Playmate 2 Dac/Amp meaning that it bypasses Apple's internal sound card and goes straight to this device. When using VLC I can play with the frequency range to suit myself  because it has a ten band graphic equaliser. With the Audeze LCD-1s I've recently purchased I've found that a one step boost at the 60Khz and 170Khz points really adds to the sub bass that these cans can reproduce.

Now the issue for me comes when I listen to streaming music. I'm currently trialing Deezer's HQ streaming service and it sounds quite good. However, like Spotify, there is no form of equalisation available. All the Burson has is a simple volume control so equalisation isn't possible at this stage. My question is:

Is there a software EQ program that will work with the DAC? My way of thinking is if I add EQ via the VLC surely there must be a way to get it up and running. I know we have a couple of experts regarding sound from devices on this forum and I'd be interested to hear what you think.
Cheers

Holden

Offline DavidW

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Re: EQ and External DAC/Amp
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2021, 05:26:10 AM »
On Windows there is an exceptional program called eqAPO/PeaceEQ that allows you to adjust q-factors, gains, cuts, and even different types of curves.  It is the go to for the oratory community on reddit (they are obsessed with equalizing all headphones to the Harman target). 

But on Mac, there are two options that are not as good but not bad either.

1. eqMac
2. Foobar (which is a universal player that happens to have a 10 band eq)


Offline Daverz

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Offline Holden

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Re: EQ and External DAC/Amp
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2021, 03:05:25 PM »
Hello David and Daverz

I was expecting a reply from both of you so thank you for your input. I'll try out eqMac and also read from the link that was posted.
Cheers

Holden

Offline Spotted Horses

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Re: EQ and External DAC/Amp
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2021, 03:15:15 PM »
On Windows there is an exceptional program called eqAPO/PeaceEQ that allows you to adjust q-factors, gains, cuts, and even different types of curves.  It is the go to for the oratory community on reddit (they are obsessed with equalizing all headphones to the Harman target). 

But on Mac, there are two options that are not as good but not bad either.

1. eqMac
2. Foobar (which is a universal player that happens to have a 10 band eq)

Now I feel foolish, I have used foobar on PC but after switching to Mac I assumed I needed to find a new media player and started using XLR. Never noticed that foobar had a Mac version.

Offline Daverz

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Re: EQ and External DAC/Amp
« Reply #5 on: April 13, 2021, 03:52:36 PM »
Hello David and Daverz

I was expecting a reply from both of you so thank you for your input. I'll try out eqMac and also read from the link that was posted.

But as you may know by now my solution to everything involving digital playback is "get a Raspberry Pi".  8)

However, I didn't mention it because I'm not how Deezer works with the various RPi based streaming software.  But here's a thread on the slimdevices forum:

https://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?112604-Deezer-HiFi-3rd-party/page3

Offline Holden

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Re: EQ and External DAC/Amp
« Reply #6 on: April 13, 2021, 11:01:13 PM »
I checked out eqMac (thanks David) but there were too many negative reviews for me to consider downloading it. The Audioscience site (thanks Daverz) had a lot of options for Mac and it took me a while to check the main ones out. I eventually settled on SoundSource

https://rogueamoeba.com/soundsource/

It's a paid for app but the sound I heard in the trial version using Deezer was very impressive so I've pulled the plug and spent the dollars. It has far more features than I would ever use but it does two things that I really like.

First, it totally bypasses Mac sound card and a lot of other things as well. (Think using WASAPI or ASIO for PC) My attached Burson Playmate2 does most of this but while it's close it's not bit perfect. SoundSource solves this issue which is why I was impressed on first hearing.

I have the ability to have separate settings for all of my music output. I can have one for Deezer and something different for my VLC player.

I wonder if I can eq for my different headphones using this app?
Cheers

Holden

Offline DavidW

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Re: EQ and External DAC/Amp
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2021, 04:36:43 AM »
That sounds great Holden!

First, it totally bypasses Mac sound card and a lot of other things as well. (Think using WASAPI or ASIO for PC)

I find that Mac and iOS devices don't do nearly as much weird or problematic processing that Windows and Android does but that is good to hear.

I turned away from using my Mac as a source simply because I didn't like hearing the fan while I'm listening to music.