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Question on headroom & pre gain settings when using EQ

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#1
Hi there--longtime headphone nerd but only just getting into EQ. I picked up a Qudelix 5k to have a dedicated PEQ option across devices, and it's excellent. I'm now setting up a bunch of EQ profiles for my desktop monitors and various headphones, and I'm trying to figure out how to set the pre gain levels appropriately.

I don't have much of an ear for EQ on my own yet, so I'm relying on Oratory's EQ profiles for my headphones and some recommendations for my speakers that a user posted on here. Let's use my 6xx EQ profile as an example. I've set PEQ levels according to Oratory's profile, and he says to set pre gain at -10. Now, when you use EQ on the Qudelix 5k, it automatically applies a -6db headroom setting (with an option to choose -12db). In practice, even with just the -6db "headroom", my EQ profile is a bit quieter than with EQ switched off; if I add the recommended -10db pre gain, it's much, much quieter, and I then have to switch my JDS Atom into high gain mode to get to a decent listening level.

If the goal is just to be -10db overall per Oratory's profile, should I just add -4db at the pre gain stage (-4+ -6 = -10)? Or am I thinking about this incorrectly?
 
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ishouldbeking
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Thread Starter #3
Thanks!

Out of curiosity, what's the rationale for lowering gain overall when EQing? I can imagine how using EQ for an aggressive volume boost might lead to weirdness, but why not aim for unity gain or volume matching with the un-EQ'd source?
 

bobbooo

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Thanks!

Out of curiosity, what's the rationale for lowering gain overall when EQing? I can imagine how using EQ for an aggressive volume boost might lead to weirdness, but why not aim for unity gain or volume matching with the un-EQ'd source?
To prevent potential digital clipping caused by any positive-gain parts of the total EQ curve. If you want to do a level-matched A/B comparison with no EQ on the Qudelix 5K, just create a flat 'EQ' profile with the preamp set to the same value as the actual EQ profile you're using and you can switch between them at the tap of a finger in the app.
 
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ishouldbeking
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Thread Starter #5
To prevent potential digital clipping caused by any positive-gain parts of the total EQ curve. If you want to do a level-matched A/B comparison with no EQ on the Qudelix 5K, just create a flat 'EQ' profile with the preamp set to the same value as the actual EQ profile you're using and you can switch between them at the tap of a finger in the app.
Ah, that makes sense. Great idea re: the flat profile for level-matched comparisons.
 

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