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  1. #1
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Subwoofer equalizer recommendation

    Could anybody here recommend me an equalizer for my powered sub? I do not wish to spend more than $200. I cannot find one with in/out speaker terminals. Thank you.

    JRA

  2. #2
    Forum Regular N. Abstentia's Avatar
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    You've got a nice list of equipment there....why would you want to add a 'ghetto' piece like an EQ....to a subwoofer no less?

  3. #3
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    You've got a nice list of equipment there....why would you want to add a 'ghetto' piece like an EQ....to a subwoofer no less?
    The real question you should be asking is why you DON'T have a parametric EQ for your sub in your system yet.
    The subwoofer can be as expensive, and top quality as money can buy. It won't change the fact that a rooms acoustics will affect the frequency response by as much as +/- 20 dB (NOT an exaggeration). Every room will have modes and nodes that affect the response below 200 Hz or so. You wouldn't own a speaker that had a frequency response +/- 6 dB, why accept far worse than that for a subwoofer?

    By not addressing the in room acoustics with a parametric equalizer, your bass response is the weak link in your system. The most popular Parametric EQ here is the Behringer Feedback Destroyer (BFD), for about $100. At that price, you can't afford NOT to have one. You're either setting the sub volume too high, or too low depending whether you adjust to a peak or dip in the response at the reference frequencie. Or you're somewhere in the middle and your room gives you crappy response.

    The EQ isn't destructive to the audio frequencies when used properly, and even if abused, it's doubtful you'd be able to hear any distortion at frequencies below 80Hz - a lot of high-end subs got away with 10% THD for years.

    Here's a chart of my early trials with equalization. I use to own the PW-2200 before I upgraded to my current 15" sealed unit. My room is a bit odd shaped, and I dont' have many placement option for a 15" sub...I've seen worse response charts than mine, however. The blue is before Parametric Equalization, the pink after:

    Room treatments only help so much. My 2" foam (auralex, sonotec) made almost no difference at all below 200 Hz, where foam really becomes useless. The rigid fiberglass bass traps I made work about 5 times better than the foam below 200 Hz, and even that only knocked a few dB's off the peaks and valleys. It'd have to use a ton of bass traps to kill this mess.

    So I EQ the rest. It is easily the best $100 I've spent on my system.

    (edit: a note on the graph - I've since learned my Galaxay Audio SPL meter underscores the FR below 32 Hz or so...it's down about -5 dB by 18 Hz, so that bottom end is tilted up higher...still, it's a lot more accurate than my Radio Shack meter).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Subwoofer equalizer recommendation-kex_bfd.jpg  

  4. #4
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    You've got a nice list of equipment there....why would you want to add a 'ghetto' piece like an EQ....to a subwoofer no less?
    I cannot believe that you wrote this! Ghetto peice?? LOL It is ghetto thinking that you can do without a sub EQ when using a sub in any room. I have never understood how people could just admire someone equipment, and not pay one bit of attention to the room that it sits in.

    Harumph!

    Hey, Kex type dude, how and where did you get the graph? I would like to do one of those for my rooms
    Last edited by Sir Terrence the Terrible; 06-08-2006 at 07:09 AM.
    Sir Terrence

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  5. #5
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Sir T,

    http://www.hometheatershack.com/bfdguide/#004

    I'm not on my home PC or I'd just send you the file, but you can download it fromt this excellent BFD guide webpage...(you now need to register to a forum, but oh well).

  6. #6
    M.P.S.E /AES/SMPTE member Sir Terrence the Terrible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kexodusc
    http://www.hometheatershack.com/bfdguide/#004

    I'm not on my home PC or I'd just send you the file, but you can download it fromt this excellent BFD guide webpage...(you now need to register to a forum, but oh well).
    Thank you much National Minister of Pertanent Information.
    Sir Terrence

    Titan Reference 3D 1080p projector
    200" SI Black Diamond II screen
    Oppo BDP-103D
    Datastat RS20I audio/video processor 12.4 audio setup
    9 Onkyo M-5099 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-510 power amp
    9 Onkyo M-508 power amp
    6 custom CAL amps for subs
    3 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid monitors
    18 custom 3 way horn DSP hybrid surround/ceiling speakers
    2 custom 15" sealed FFEC servo subs
    4 custom 15" H-PAS FFEC servo subs
    THX Style Baffle wall

  7. #7
    nightflier
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    Kexo,

    Thanks for the link. I had it saved somewhere before (probably the last time someone posted on this topic), but lost it. This time I printed it out, a whoping 28 pages, but worth it.

  8. #8
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    You've got a nice list of equipment there....why would you want to add a 'ghetto' piece like an EQ....to a subwoofer no less?
    My sub/room creates this huge leap around 55-65, almost a gain of 12dbs compared to other avg frequnecy frequency. It is pretty annoying. EQ may alter sound quality but it's just lower frequency. If I had over $1200 to upfgrade my gear, I dont wish to spend it on a musical sub.

  9. #9
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Hey kexodusc, what is the lowest frequency that I can set to adjust FROM, not to.

  10. #10
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    With parametric EQ's you can dial into any frequency - I know 20Hz is possible on the BFD, I'm sure you could widen the band to go lower or maybe even dial in lower.

    The BFD is usually recommended for cutting frequencies (like most parametric EQ's for bass), but boosting "can" be done if you're very careful. If your seated in a spot where the room is naturally causing cancellations, all the boosting will do is eat up amp power.

  11. #11
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Could anybody here recommend me an equalizer for my powered sub? I do not wish to spend more than $200. I cannot find one with in/out speaker terminals. Thank you.
    Hmmm. Sub doesn't have line inputs? That will probably be a tall order in that most EQs are not intended to be connected directly with speakers.

    I use an inexpensive third octave Behringer unit with the subs in my HT system that would fit your budget, but only has line level input/outputs.

    rw
    Last edited by E-Stat; 06-09-2006 at 06:39 AM.

  12. #12
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    To correct common room anomalies

    Quote Originally Posted by N. Abstentia
    You've got a nice list of equipment there....why would you want to add a 'ghetto' piece like an EQ....to a subwoofer no less?
    I use a third octave EQ on the subs in my HT system due to a nasty suckout at 100 hz and to provide a subtle lift at the bottom. The room really is too small to use the gaggle of bass traps found in the larger space where my audio system lives.

    I wouldn't use EQ, however, full range on the 'stats in that system.

    rw

  13. #13
    Forum Regular Woochifer's Avatar
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    How do you have your system connected right now? I'm a bit confused because I don't recall the PW-2200 having any speaker level inputs, and the RSX-972 is an AV receiver with its own bass management and line level sub outs. Don't know why you'd want an EQ with speaker level inputs/outputs. For one thing, I don't know of any that fit that description.

    If you can attach a subwoofer to a line level output, then the Behringer Feedback Destroyer is a great bargain -- easy to find for less than $120, lots of people use this model with their systems, and has 12 parametric filters per channel (more than you'll ever use). Keep in mind though that the BFD does introduce audible colorations into the signal path. These colorations are insignificant in the low frequencies, which coupled with the low price is why the BFD is a popular choice among home theater owners. But, they do affect the highs and mids, so if you need to attach this to a setup that uses the subwoofer's line level high pass filter (the PW-2200 cuts off at 80 Hz), then the BFD might not work well.


    Quote Originally Posted by N. Absentia
    You've got a nice list of equipment there....why would you want to add a 'ghetto' piece like an EQ....to a subwoofer no less?
    Like the others, I'm a bit surprised by this quote, considering your level of knowledge and how well you've done with your own system! All I can say is if you think your system sounds good right now, you'll be in for a huge shock at how much better it sounds after you equalize the subwoofer. With the BFD available on Musician's Friend for $100, this is an insane bargain for the sound quality improvement that it makes.

    BTW, my before and after curve with the BFD is shown below. Equalizing the sub eliminated the boomy peaks that my room was creating, and my in-room bass response is now within 2 db all the way down to 25 Hz.


    Wooch's Home Theater 2.0 (Pics)
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    Subwoofer Setup and Parametric EQ Results *Dead Link*

  14. #14
    Forum Regular audio amateur's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    Like the others, I'm a bit surprised by this quote, considering your level of knowledge and how well you've done with your own system! All I can say is if you think your system sounds good right now, you'll be in for a huge shock at how much better it sounds after you equalize the subwoofer. With the BFD available on Musician's Friend for $100, this is an insane bargain for the sound quality improvement that it makes.
    hehe he seems to have disapeared all of a sudden. I was quite shocked to be honest.

  15. #15
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woochifer
    How do you have your system connected right now? I'm a bit confused because I don't recall the PW-2200 having any speaker level inputs, and the RSX-972 is an AV receiver with its own bass management and line level sub outs. Don't know why you'd want an EQ with speaker level inputs/outputs. For one thing, I don't know of any that fit that description.

    If you can attach a subwoofer to a line level output, then the Behringer Feedback Destroyer is a great bargain -- easy to find for less than $120, lots of people use this model with their systems, and has 12 parametric filters per channel (more than you'll ever use). Keep in mind though that the BFD does introduce audible colorations into the signal path. These colorations are insignificant in the low frequencies, which coupled with the low price is why the BFD is a popular choice among home theater owners. But, they do affect the highs and mids, so if you need to attach this to a setup that uses the subwoofer's line level high pass filter (the PW-2200 cuts off at 80 Hz), then the BFD might not work well.


    Nice curve you got their.
    My Rotel is in a box tucked away
    Unfortunately, using sub-out and line-out is not an option. I'm using my tube integrated which does not have output stages. My Rotel is in a box tucked away, maybe I should sell it after having a technician clean the unit.
    I have my speakers connected from sub's speaker high pass output. I believe my PW2200 is the first one they made, since it doesnt have a version number.

    That's too bad, I was getting excited about controlling my lower frequency.

    Thanks for all the help though.

  16. #16
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    So I ran a sweep test with my setup. Obviously my 6.5" woofers are not capable of playing below 50hz. I thought by using speaker in/out on back of my sub would eliminate sending lower frequency(80hz and below) to my main speakers. Come to think of it, I dont know crap about subwoofer.

  17. #17
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    EQing a sub was the biggest topic last year, but I can't recall anyone talking about it anymore. What gives?

    It's just lower frequency so the tonal quality isnt that significant. I still don't see why everyone uses it. Since I purchase a preamp( still no amp) the idea of SubEQ has been popping inside of my head again.


    Any afterthoughts on this?

    Thanks

    JRA

  18. #18
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    It's just lower frequency so the tonal quality isnt that significant. I still don't see why everyone uses it. Since I purchase a preamp( still no amp) the idea of SubEQ has been popping inside of my head again.
    I would disagree that tonal quality isn't significant. Maybe you've either never heard a good sub, or never heard a bad sub and are taking good sound for granted?

    EQ'ing, IMO can produce far more benefit to sound quality than even an upgrade in pre-amp or amplifier. And it certainly doesn't cost nearly as much. It's nice to see more subs are coming with it integrated (though not very well). Someday, every sub should have it built in. It's a necessary function for a sub.

    Everybody's room plays a role in preventing the sub from playing like it would in an anechoic chamber, the results are large peaks and booms that force you to do 1 of 2 things when setting the levels and integrating with your mains:
    1) set the sub to the loudest frequency bands, in which case a great deal of bass could be 20-30 dB lower in volume, or
    2) set the bass to a lower level, in which case you have a large peak across another band that is incredibly distracting, as it drowns out and overpowers the rest of the music. This why a lot of people find their subs boomy, poor for music, and can locate them directionally. They're not set up right!

    Bass is important, especially subwoofer bass which accounts for around 2 octaves when best implemented. That's no area to go short on. A good sub, well integrated of quality equal to your main speakers will deliver better, more musical bass than woofers can for a variety of reasons. Most people never take it that far.

    I always use speakers as a comparison. You wouldn't own a speaker with a frequency response of +/- 18 dB. Why do you allow that for your subwoofer?

  19. #19
    Do What? jrhymeammo's Avatar
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    Good Post Kex, and Oops..

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo

    I still don't see why everyone uses it.

    JRA
    I meant to type "I still dont see why everyone's NOT using it"

    Sorry about that... completely different than the way it was intended(I do it all the time).

    I dont think it's possible for anyone to own a sub that will produce flat (3+/- dBs from 20-100hz) frequency response, not matter what the spec states.

    I wanted to revive this thread for my purpose and others without an equalizer for subs. Is there an alternitive to Behringer FBD since last year for around $200?

    Thanks

  20. #20
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I wanted to revive this thread for my purpose and others without an equalizer for subs. Is there an alternitive to Behringer FBD since last year for around $200?

    Thanks
    I'm not aware of all the eq solutions that exist out there, but the BFD is still arguably the most cost effective unit. Most other PEQ's I've seen run at $300-$600 and by all accounts units on the low end of that scale aren't as flexible as the BFD, some are said to introduce some noise in the signal. The BFD, if used properly, keeps that to a minimum, and there's lots of free tools available (including a downloadable auto room eq wizard.)

    Parts Express sells the latest BFD for $99. You can buy a used one cheaper, but at that price it's hard to beat.

  21. #21
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    It's just lower frequency so the tonal quality isnt that significant.
    I will also have to disagree. Getting the first couple of octaves right can help make a system disappear. In my main music system, I achieved that with careful placement of the speakers and a forest of bass traps.

    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    I still don't see why everyone uses it. Since I purchase a preamp( still no amp) the idea of SubEQ has been popping inside of my head again.
    Well, I purchased a Behringer EQ for the powered subs in the HT, but no longer use it. Why? It's in a different room now where the issues are above the range of the sub. I tried it full range, but don't like the sonic compromise. So it sits on the shelf.

    rw

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrhymeammo
    Good Post Kex, and Oops..



    I meant to type "I still dont see why everyone's NOT using it"

    Sorry about that... completely different than the way it was intended(I do it all the time).

    I dont think it's possible for anyone to own a sub that will produce flat (3+/- dBs from 20-100hz) frequency response, not matter what the spec states.

    I wanted to revive this thread for my purpose and others without an equalizer for subs. Is there an alternitive to Behringer FBD since last year for around $200?

    Thanks
    And I'm glad you did jr. Kex has offered me a lot of advice for my redundant and stupid questions about my subwoofer situation. Had I dug a bit more I would've found this thread and saved everybody from answering the same questions over and over again.

    I just wish these vBB's had better search engines.

  23. #23
    Loving This kexodusc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich-n-Texas
    And I'm glad you did jr. Kex has offered me a lot of advice for my redundant and stupid questions about my subwoofer situation. Had I dug a bit more I would've found this thread and saved everybody from answering the same questions over and over again.

    I just wish these vBB's had better search engines.
    I shouldn't take much credit, if you look back 3 years ago or so I was of the opinion subs should only be used for home theater and never for music, that crossovers should be as low as you could set them (mine was 40 Hz) and didn't really know too much about room acoustics and their impact on bass beyond the fact there'd be "peaks and dips" in the response. I learned a lot from people like Woochifer, Sir Terrence, Dr. Greene etc on this stuff.
    Just glad I could share what I've learned, some of those folks are no longer with us here.

  24. #24
    test the blind blindly emorphien's Avatar
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    Equalizing my sub might just become an end of summer project now.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by E-Stat
    ...So it sits on the shelf.

    rw
    For sale???

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