timster wrote:it was markedly more musical (wider soundstage, more engaging mids, less muddy bass)
This is what I suspect is at the core of our disagreements: We listen for different things.
Yes, a digital equalizer can make the soundstage appear wider, but this has nothing, zero, zilch to do with musicality. I would even say that each time one thinks "Wow, what a wide soundstage!", it's a sign that the system is performing musically worse
The same applies to 'less muddy bass'. Again, this is not my objective. While a digital equalizer can make bass appear less muddy, I have so far not heard one that improves its musical qualities. Muddy bass can be more musical than a clean and sharp one - the qualities are different.
This is probably the most common trap that I fall into when developing products or tuning systems: Being seduced by the reproduction sounding more clear. Less muddy. The immediate reaction is that it's better, but is it really? I say there is no
correlation between the sound being more clear/less muddy and the reproduction being more musical.