Sound quality degraded when activating headroom function

I’ve read that the headroom function isn’t supposed to affect the sound quality in any way.
My experience is sadly the opposite.
I use a parametric EQ in Roon to take down a room node at 63Hz about -9dB and to lift 37Hz & 115Hz about 3dB.
Roon indicates clipping quite often if I don’t activate the headroom function (gain -3dB).

Activating the headroom function makes the magic disappear when I play music.
The music seems compressed and it does not sound the same at all.
I compensate with the volume control, but the sound is not comparable in terms of quality when I use the headroom function.

Can anyone explain why I experience this quality loss?

(I have a high end Burmester/T+A-setup playing excellent except from this clipping problem)

I use Parametric EQ all the time to help compensate for my hearing loss. I use several high shelf filters to lift the DB in the frequency range I have hearing Loss (typical guy in my 60,s who went to lots of rock concerts!)

I have the headroom adjusted to about -5 all the time to compensate for the clipping that would otherwise be heard because of my EQ profile, and I can’t say I notice any sound degradation.

Having said that, the sound I get out of my system now because of this capability is so superior to without I probably would happily live with any degradation

That should not be the case, so likely something’s going wrong on your end.
I’m at a loss as to what’s causing that, unfortunately.

To state the obvious:
Setting filters with positive gain causes music recorded at full scale in that boosted frequency range to hard clip, of course.

To remedy that, and the need for headroom adjustment, you could either design filters with negative gain, or just pull down your filter curve (EDIT) with (EDIT) the mouse in the graph, until the maximum does not exceed 0dB - et voilà!
A picture says it better than clumsy words, so see the following:

Hopefully, eliminating the need for headroom adjustment cures your perceived sound degradation problem!

Good luck and stay safe…

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Thanks for the suggestion. This produce the same result as turning headroom on.
It sounds dull and flat. I don’t understand why

Compared to what, exactly?
Are levels matched when you compare one to the other?

Give us a screenshot of your EQ, please.

Compared to not activating headroom.
Levels are matched by adjusting volume

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I’m not questioning why the clipping occurs.
This is well covered here:

And signal path screenshots also, please.

So, as soon as you pull down that EQ curve about 5dB and raise your preamp(?) volume 5dB, things sound as loud, but dull and lifeless?

How do you measure your room modes (edit) to identify problem frequencies(edit) and verify that your correction works as intended?

Exactly …

That’s another topic. I use my ears and REW. I have no problems deciding what I like when correcting :slight_smile:

Seems, sometimes you use sample rate conversion, other times not.

I also just learnt, that your T+A SD 3100 HV offers internal upsampling with the choice of different algorithms.

You do keep all these parameters in check when comparing, right?

No further ideas, really… I’m sorry!

Yes, I’m playing the same song, not altering anything else than headroom on/off and compensating headroom gain with the volume control on my preamp. Thanks for trying too help!

That’s a pretty wierd eq setting you have there. Two peaks of 12dB with a notch in between of no less then -21dB! is pretty sure to introduce some pretty large phaseshift. Either there is something very seriously wrong with your loudspekers and there room position or you are pretty way of in your method of trying to fix things.

No, you have to look at the white summation curve … about -11dB at 63Hz and +4-5dB at 37Hz/125Hz …

That only counts for the amplitude behaviour doesn’t work that way for the phase behaviour. It’s a little more complex than that.