Do You Equalize?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Ron Scubadiver, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    Now I am a newb and you are an expert with all kinds of experience. You are full of insults and unsubstantiated claims. Just make it up as you go along. Your lack of credibility is extreme and you are not my mate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2017
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  2. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Kapow. Ok. Seriously, that's cool. My approach can be brazen with this stuff because I've made all the mistakes. Carry on.
     
  3. rodney sherman

    rodney sherman Active Member

    Location:
    de soto, kansas
    I use custom EQ settings on JRiver most of the time. I boost 28 Hz at plus 6 dB and I boost 16.5 kHz at 3.5 dB.
     
  4. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known as Strabo

    Location:
    Savage
    Whoa, 6db at 28hz? I hope you have a huge amp that can handle 200% greater power output down there compared to the rest of the frequency response.

    I'm not anti EQ. Some people, rooms, and systems may need it but when needed it is much safer to cut rather than boost.

    For the record, I use a 1 band parametric EQ on my sub to cut some output in one trouble spot. Otherwise, it's analog direct with no eq or tone controls to the mains.
     
  5. matteos

    matteos Active Member

    Digital... Signal.... Path....

    Where do I drop it in? Between my record player and pre-amp?
     
  6. Brian Barker

    Brian Barker Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Georgia
    I used one for ages thinking it was crucial to my stereo set up, but after I disconnected it when moving components around I heard the difference and haven't hooked it back up since. I have a Sony STRD1090 receiver, made during the mid 90's which features digital signal processing, and has a built in equalizer with about 10 soundfields you can select ( Rock, Hall, Jazz, etc.) but during my experimenting, I find that "stadium" is my favorite setting, it's just a slight bump in the bass, almost none at all if looking at the graphic display. When I get some better speakers ( I have some Infinity SM122's I bought from a friend), I may not even think that sounds good anymore.

    Like others have said, every time I made some adjustment something else wasn't right.
     
  7. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    FWIW, the VST plugin I am using is made by Cockos, producers of the Reaper digital audio workstation plugin. It's parametric so it can be adjusted to be very close to a mirror image of the speaker's frequency response, unlike a standard half or third octave equalizer, or some canned soundfield program. I don't know for sure if it will work, but it is worth a try because the plugin is free. I do know my first attempt to even out the dip at 2.2k hz with a third octave eq did not work out. I am not attempting to deal with room problems, just the known measured frequency response of the speakers.

    There is a lot of discussion of room treatment here. My room is large (16'x27') and more reflective than average owing to a tile floor. One problem with room treatments is predicting the outcome is difficult. I need a carpet, but mainly for aesthetic and comfort reasons. Putting strange things on the walls is not an option.

    Remember, this is an experiment, not a conclusion.

    Brazen, brash or snarky comments are not appreciated. All it will get you is a bad reputation with everyone around here.
     
  8. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known as Strabo

    Location:
    Savage
    I agree with you, if someone doesn't measure the room first to learn what needs to be fixed but instead randomly places treatments where they are ascetically pleasing, or place them where they've seen other people place them, or places mid-band or high frequency absorbers without dealing with bass issues, then yes, the results will be unpredictable and underwhelming.

    If you know what to fix, and where in the room to fix it via measurements then place treatments in the correct locations then the outcome will be predictable.
     
  9. matteos

    matteos Active Member

    While measuring is definitely the key to doing it properly. There are obvious places to put treatments. i.e.. First reflection points, bass traps in corners etc.
     
  10. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    I use the equalizer on my digital audio player (DAP) to compensate for my headphones in cases where they significantly alter the sound. As an example, my Koss PortaPros (unlike my Koss SportaPros) emphasize the bass so I use my DAP's equalizer to reduce the bass. But my goal is to restore flatness to my headphones rather than the alter the sound of the recording.
     
  11. Kyhl

    Kyhl formerly known as Strabo

    Location:
    Savage
    My initial point was that the outcome can be predicted contrary to what was stated. I think we are on the same page. While blanketing corners with traps can have a predictable outcome not all corners may need it. After some inexpensive trial and error that failed, when my money and sweat were involved, I finally decided to measure first before opening my wallet.
    Remember, measure twice, cut once.
     
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  12. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Agree with Kyhl. It takes a $50 microphone, some free software, and some time to know what your doing and looking at. Its a no brainer really.
     
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  13. matteos

    matteos Active Member

    Calibrated microphone and REW are necessary tools for the audiophile :)

    For positioning and room treatments. I'm not sold on equalisation (I get DSP despite my joking, altering the signal at low level is beneficial).. But since my music is mostly analog I have no time for a graphic equaliser and such.
     
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  14. KeninDC

    KeninDC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Virginia, USA
    The Clash do.

     
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  15. RZangpo2

    RZangpo2 Forum Know-It-All

    Location:
    New York
    See my thread on the DSPeaker Anti-Mode Dual Core room correction device.
     
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  16. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    So far I am getting positive results. My approach has shifted from trying to get the 2k hz - 10k hz range flat to getting a frequency response close to how a B&W 800 plots. It's not a Diamond series on the cheap, but it does sound more live and without harshness..

    I am disappointed that some above dismissed my idea out of hand. You don't know until you try it. Just because you attempted some other equalization strategy which did not work it doesn't justify dismissing every equalization strategy out of hand, much less being mean about it. In my own experience I found bass equalization with stand mount speakers did not work well, but that isn't what I am doing here.

    Never be afraid to experiment. If you are worried about "cheap" fixes, read "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". This classic might change your life.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Forum Resident

    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I usually build my own amplification and mod the components I don't build myself. I don't mean that as a boast. Some sound good to me and some not so much. I want to hear what I built... Not the EQ.
     
  18. My answer would be NO for the tone controls on my IA, but YES for the ones on my speakers. They also have a defeat switch for the rear-firing tweeter. When I set up my system in a new space, due to a move, I listened for hours and hours with a whole range of music and arrived at a setting I felt was perfect for the room and my ears. I have not adjusted them since and don't intend on adjusting them in future.
     
  19. Ron Scubadiver

    Ron Scubadiver Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Houston TX
    FWIW I am getting good results with +2db @ 2100hz, -1db @ 3500hz and +3db@ 6000hz. I am not trying to make the response flat. Rather, the response is intended to be close to an 800 series B&W.
     
  20. DaleClark

    DaleClark Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bexley, Ohio
    I'm surprised by all the anti -Eq threads on all the various Audio forums. I agree that speaker placement and room optimization is the most portent. Measurements are great as well. But, what about our ears? Everyone hears things differently. Many on the various forums will buy equipment, cables etc for warmth, punch, etc. I like a little boost in low end, so I use an eq. When listening at low volumes, I have a setting that simulates a loudness switch. Every recording is different, so getting up and down to move speakers to suit my taste is not a good practice. However, with my remote, I can change to my taste for MY ears. Isn't that what a mastering engineer does? Even in an optimal studio, the engineer has a certain "taste" they massage the sound to. Every recording is different. Some bass shy, some too trebly, some dull, etc. an eq wil not make a bad recording or listening area good. However, like salt and pepper, add a little flavor one prefers.
     
  21. Bathory

    Bathory Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago
    have not used a separate EQ in many years. I have two of them, but i don't use them.
    onkyo EQ-540
    Numark something or other.....
    old technics 20 band eq.

    been boxed up for ........wow, has it been twenty years...... where did all these grey hairs come from..... thanks for reminding me I'm old.

    no EQ for a long time. don't need it.
     
  22. Waxfreak

    Waxfreak Forum Resident

    You should sell them.
     
  23. Bathory

    Bathory Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Chicago











    not selling the onkyo, maybe use one day. others not worth selling.
    I will let my family deal with my lifelong collections of three rooms full of sh** when I'm taking my dirt nap. til then, i will enjoy being a pack rat
     
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  24. tmtomh

    tmtomh Forum Resident

    I agree this is the ideal to which we should aspire. And I agree 100% with those who caution against EQ'ing based only on speaker specs/magazine measurements, or simply by ear. I also personally never use tone controls, and I do agree that if you're using multi-band EQ to adjust the sound on an album-to-album basis, then there's either something wrong with your system setup (which is a problem), or else the fiddling itself is part of your enjoyment (which is not a problem at all - have fun and more power to you in that case!).

    But not all of us have listening rooms that respond fully to treatments, and not all of us live with partners who will tolerate some of the potential physical treatments.

    I have a small, asymmetrical room. I'm fortunate in that it's got multiple natural resonance inhibiting characteristics (carpet, upholstered furniture and large pillows, staggered built-in bookshelves on the rear wall, and a ceiling height that's a few inches lower than the standard 8 feet). And I love my speakers for the price - they image well, and generally are quite neutral and revealing.

    But even with all that, there are some nonlinearities. I've measured with an SPL meter at the listening position, and there's a notable dip in both channels around 125Hz, a notable peak in one channel around 250Hz (I've swapped the L and R speakers to ensure it's the room causing it), a peak in both channels around 5kHz, and a modest rolloff above 12kHz (no doubt a negative side-effect of the otherwise positive frequency-absorbing characteristics of the room). I have a very low-noise Yamaha 10-band EQ my father gave me, and I've got it adjusted to tame these problems. I haven't tried to eliminate them and get 100% flat SPL response, because I agree that's a fool's errand. But when I switch the EQ in and out of the circuit, it's obvious to me that the increased linearity makes the whole thing come alive and sound more balanced, cohesive and just pleasant.

    Finally, you can get very good sounding amps with high-current capabilities inexpensively on the used market. Yes, you shouldn't use EQ to try to make a bookshelf speaker flat down to 25Hz. But in a normal-sized room, at reasonable volumes, you're not going to overly stress a decent amp with a typical combination of boosts and cuts at some of the bass frequencies.
     
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  25. WestGrooving

    WestGrooving Well-Known Member

    Location:
    California, U.S.A
    Yes, I use an Audio Control Octave Equalizer for the calibration mode. Put the included sensor where you listen,
    push the 'analyze' button and run through the 10 frequencies making sure each one sits at 0 dB (adjust frequency slider accordingly). Comparing with/without... EQing sounds much more balanced to me. That's why I use it.
     

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