Equalizers?

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  • 11-16-2006, 03:19 PM
    aztericx
    Equalizers?
    What happened to the external/integrated equalizers? They seem to be off the market. Do they decrease the sound quality?
  • 11-16-2006, 04:00 PM
    emaidel
    Depending on the overall level of quality of the components within a given system, an equalizer can either greatly improve sound quality, or totally ruin it. Most high-end systems (and nutcases, like myself) find the intrusion of any signal processor just that - an intrusion - and something that alters the sound quality in a negative way.

    If your system isn't a high-end system, but still good, then an EQ can make a world of a difference and truly improve the sound of well manufactured, but not necessarily well designed loudspeakers. It will NOT make a cheap speaker produce bass any better, nor extend that speaker's high frequency response, but it will imrpove many a JBL, Bose, EPI, Advent, or other decent, but not high-end product. I was astounded at how much better a Rectilinear III could sound after the use of an EQ, but then, how many reading this actually own a set of Rectilinear III's?

    I mention JBL because many audio enthusiasts, and especially, audiophiles, abhor the sound of a JBL loudspeaker, but there's no denying the outstanding quality of the build of the product. Judicious use of an EQ can also make a JBL "sing."

    Insofar as their availbility, I suspect that since 2-channel stereo at retail, except for ultra high-end stuff, is just about unheard of today (except on eBay, or other such websites) in favor of home theatre, and using an EQ on a home theatre setup is quite a PIA.

    Hope this was useful.
  • 11-16-2006, 04:42 PM
    Mike Anderson
    There are some people who use EQ in high-end systems, typically for room correction.

    The problem is that even if the frequency response from your speakers is perfectly flat, the room will reinforce some frequencies while deadening others. Using a microphone in conjuncton with real-time-analysis software can let you correct for any such frequency anomalies caused by the room.

    I use a Behringer DEQ2496 to do this in my mid-fi rig. It operates completely in the digital domain, so there's a minimal amount of signal degradation if any. It's comparatively inexpensive too (couple hundred bucks). Do a search on this forum for "Behringer" to find a thread about it.

    People with high-end systems and money to burn will get TacT ( http://www.tactlab.com/ ) gear to do this, or else implement some other sophisticated computer-based approach.
  • 11-16-2006, 04:48 PM
    Feanor
    1 Attachment(s)
    Pro models are still readily available
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aztericx
    What happened to the external/integrated equalizers? They seem to be off the market. Do they decrease the sound quality?

    There is quite a variety of equalizers available aimed a the pro and semi-pro market.
    A few makers are Behringer, DBX, and ART.

    Perhaps the most talked-about in audiophile circles is the Behringer DEQ2496 which does its job in the digital domain ....
    There are also analog models too. Properly used they can do a lot more good than harm to your sound. Note that most have only XLR connectors, so most of use will need hybrid cables to connect to our RCA-equipment components.

    ...
    ...
  • 11-16-2006, 08:10 PM
    mustang
    Actually...
    I'm sure that you mean a graphic EQ hooked up to the Tape Monitor of a receiver. In that respect, no, most people are not using equalizers. However, many receivers now come with built-in equalizers. For instance Yamaha's YPAO. It uses a microphone set at the listener's position and then outputs a series of test tones to determine speaker size, distance, and level. It then provides parametric equalization to adjust the sound of each speaker. You can select how the EQ is applied; to make the other speakers sound more like the front, or to improve the bass, treble, etc... You can also bypass the YPAO and use a built-in graphic equalizer and tune the speakers to your liking.
  • 11-16-2006, 09:59 PM
    PeruvianSkies
    One problem that I have with using an EQ, either external or the one inside my receiver is that while it can alter the sound towards a certain preference, it's still altering the source material and usually that sounds artificial. I tend to lean more towards having the sound feel like it does on the source (ie CD, SACD, whatever). If your speakers and components are good enough you shouldn't really need much EQ'ing anyway. I understand that some people use them for room correction, but high-end speakers can adjust to just about any room with ease.
  • 11-17-2006, 07:12 AM
    BRANDONH
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by aztericx
    What happened to the external/integrated equalizers? They seem to be off the market. Do they decrease the sound quality?

    I use one and I love it you can read about mine here:
    http://forums.audioreview.com/general-audio/added-new-eq-20130.html
  • 11-17-2006, 07:20 AM
    Resident Loser
    First of all...
    ...most folks use them for the wrong reason...they aren't tone controls, they are equalizers...set up incorrectly they become gain devices and tend to make things sound "worse"...the ubiquitous "simley-face" (as markw once termed it), formed by the sliders seem to simply mimic the slope of most tone controls...EQs get a bad rap not because of what they can do, but what in practice most folks do with them.

    Most newer components don't have the facilities (Tape Mon loops, etc.) to put them in the signal path...and it depends on each individual unit's abilities to handle the different output voltages it may be required to contend with...

    I have one, which I have used quite contentedly for years now and swear by them as the final tweak in the speaker/room interface...

    jimHJJ(..I don't think there is a system that can't be improved by the correct and judicious use of one...)
  • 11-17-2006, 07:52 AM
    pkats
    I have an Audiosource EQ Ten hooked up to my system. In the past I have used it for really nasty recordings (mostly old rock) but I don't use it much anymore. To me it seems as I upgrade my system - especially speakers - I like to hear the material as it is recorded and better components just make any recording sound better. There are some features on the EQ Ten that might be useful like pink noise gen, microphone, and real-time spectrum analyzer(ooooh!) but I never really used them. If I have the time maybe I will figure them out and if anyone has any useful comments it would be appreciated.
    I have been to many audio stores in the past few months and while I haven't specifically been looking for eq's I don't remember seeing any - not one. So it seems like they simply are not being used much anymore.
    My 2 cents.
  • 11-20-2006, 03:24 PM
    2325fan
    ive got a 24 band onkyo eq i use an it does sound good also
  • 11-20-2006, 08:59 PM
    JoeE SP9
    The better your gear and speakers the less need you have for an equalizer. Treating your room will give better results than any equalizer unless it's something like a Tact.:cool:
  • 11-20-2006, 09:24 PM
    Mike Anderson
    I'm not an engineer, but it strikes me as a tall order to get a completely flat response in a room purely through treatment. Perhaps if you live an in anechoic chamber, but who does - and who would want to?

    Any normal room I can imagine will naturally exhibit certain resonant frequencies. I don't know how treatment could smooth out resonant frequencies that precisely (e.g. without affecting neighboring frequencies).
  • 11-21-2006, 12:31 AM
    Florian
    If you are willing to save a bit of money i would strongly suggest that the original poster looks into a Tact based system around the old 2.0 core. Frequency correction in the Time domain with absolute phase matching is an extremely powerfull tool combined with the internal dacs. The older 2.0 is a bit hard to use unlike my new 2.2XP but also a couple of grand less expensive. The mentioned Behringer should be looked at as a good unit for a fair price and i would use it for bass eq.

    Cheers

    Flo
  • 11-21-2006, 10:07 AM
    JoeE SP9
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Mike Anderson
    I'm not an engineer, but it strikes me as a tall order to get a completely flat response in a room purely through treatment. Perhaps if you live an in anechoic chamber, but who does - and who would want to?

    Any normal room I can imagine will naturally exhibit certain resonant frequencies. I don't know how treatment could smooth out resonant frequencies that precisely (e.g. without affecting neighboring frequencies).

    A standard 10 or 12 band equalizer will not give you flat response or solve resonance problems in any room. Treating the room first will make any eq easier. I suggested the Tact as the best thing out there for room eq. The Behringer is quite good for eq in the lower frequencies. No matter what else you do room treatment should always come first. An anechoic chamber is not good for any serious listening. The ideal room would have the correct dimensional proportions and a mix of absorptive, diffusive and reflective properties.
    Hey Flo! How's it going? I see you were finally able to tear yourself away from your "babies" and speak to us mere mortals.:ihih:
  • 11-21-2006, 09:56 PM
    Florian
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JoeE SP9
    Hey Flo! How's it going? I see you were finally able to tear yourself away from your "babies" and speak to us mere mortals.:ihih:

    Hello Joe :-)

    I am doing fine and am getting ready to leave to a customer of mine delivering a power amp. Its a long drive but i need to pay the powerbill ;-) The "babis" have thought me that all will have an end and the bickering and discussing i always used to do in here have come to an end. You heard them and know what i mean :) The only complaint i have is that when i move the speakers that they always hit the lamps on the ceeiling because i dont look up there. How are things on your end?
  • 11-24-2006, 09:01 AM
    JoeE SP9
    Hey Flo! I think I'm going to get the Cayman. After all my current car is about 27. I will probably sell it myself. I have a couple of friends who have been sniffing around. I'm sure I can get more from a private sale than as a trade in.:cool:
    The ceiling lamp problem has three solutions.
    1. Raise the ceiling!
    2. Lower the floor!
    3. Stop moving your "babies"!
  • 11-24-2006, 09:19 AM
    Florian
    A German car is always a good choice :)

    Are you going to pick it up in Germany? My friend in California flew to Germany and picked up his M3 CLS from the factory and gave it a whirl on the Autobahn before flying it back to the US. If so, then let me know before so that you can get another Grand experience here.

    Cheers

    Flo
  • 11-25-2006, 12:24 PM
    JoeE SP9
    Are you trying to tell me a Cayman is a German car!?:ihih: Picking it up in Germany sounds like a good idea. I'll look into it. The Autobahn test drive sounds really good.
  • 11-25-2006, 03:44 PM
    Wireworm5
    I bought a used Alto EQU231LED 31-band graphic equalizer. For $150 I thought what the hey, I'll give it a try.
    I'm using it to accent the bass freq. to try and make recordings sound more Live like. I'm being very careful with the buttons I push as I can easily wreck a speakers with this thing. It introduced a hum at first but then I found the ground switch.
  • 11-26-2006, 11:43 PM
    AudioBack
    I have a 10 band AudioConrol EQ stored in my closet indefinately. It was about 200 bucks I believe, and nothing else could have been a bigger waste of money. I don't believe in them because they often don't fix anything. Especially a 10 band. EQs cannot fix sucky room acoustics that often cause horrible frequency cancelations and refractions. Plus they lengthen the signal path which most likely will further warp the sound depending on quality of the EQ and interconnects used. Especially if cheap cables are used, they add nice little hums to your system. Best course of action is to place the speakers in another way, use smaller speakers, or just use a better room if available. I will sell you mine cheap if you still desire one, but I don't recommend you buy it.
  • 11-27-2006, 08:35 AM
    Mike Anderson
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AudioBack
    I don't believe in them because they often don't fix anything. Especially a 10 band. EQs cannot fix sucky room acoustics that often cause horrible frequency cancelations and refractions. Plus they lengthen the signal path which most likely will further warp the sound depending on quality of the EQ and interconnects used. Especially if cheap cables are used, they add nice little hums to your system. Best course of action is to place the speakers in another way, use smaller speakers, or just use a better room if available. I will sell you mine cheap if you still desire one, but I don't recommend you buy it.

    A decent quality EQ with more bands (e.g. the Behringer or TacT products) most certainly can fix certain acoustic problems caused by the room.

    I use my Behringer strictly in the digital domain. Optical toslink signal in, and optical toslink signal back out into a DAC. No hum, and no detectable signal degradation.
  • 11-27-2006, 10:39 AM
    Florian
    Even if this sounds arrogant, but i wanted to say that a Tact is an entirely different animal then the Behringer in every single regard. The Behringer is wonderfull, esp. for the price it carries but its a far cry from a real correction and sonics. Driverack is also a good option and the next step between the Behringer and a real correction system.

    -Flo
  • 11-29-2006, 12:21 PM
    AudioBack
    Wether it be digital or anolog, preamplification or preconversion, I still see an underlying flaw in EQ. They remove pieces of signal which in turn removes direct sound. It doesn't remove refractions off of walls or phase shifts. The frequencies that people most want to cut are elevated by the refractions off the walls. You can cut the signal to ultimately cut the output of the speakers which cuts down on the refractions. All is well right? Not the way I see it. Instead of placing the speakers differently or padding the walls with curtains or whatever which would help remove the refractions, you still have the refractions, but less of them and now also less sound out of the speakers which reduces clarity. So, you're listening to both instead of just the sound coming out of the speakers. A 10 band EQ will hack sound apart very quickly. A 30 band will not nearly as much. You can pinpoint the frequency you wish to cut alot better with a 30 without messing with other frequencies that are ok. It's better than the 10, but still messing with the sound.
    I believe EQs have their place, but its in pro audio where fidelity is almost secondary. Or if you have bipolar speakers which is half direct, half refraction anyway. Perhaps for people who have crappy speakers that want to make them sound more natural smooth like good speakers. This is my opinion, I realize not everone looks at it this way, but to me it only makes sense to change something else besides something as pivitol as the preamped signal. Why buy a high dollar CD or DVD player or reciever that has a criticaly aclaimed DAC if you're gonna screw with it anyway? Save yourself some money