Adding a Graphic EQ to (Stereo) Receiver with no "Tape 2" Loop...

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Kaskade10729, Apr 6, 2014.

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  1. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    Hello.

    My two-channel setup revolves around an Onkyo TX-8555 stereo receiver and while I know it's normally shunned at by audiophiles, I have been considering possibly getting back into running a graphic EQ in the system (right now I listen to all sources with bass and treble on the 8555 set to the "flat" or midway positions of the knobs). The problem is, my receiver doesn't have the traditionally required "Tape 2/Monitor" loop hookup that an equalizer would normally go through -- all this unit has is one "TAPE" IN/OUT hookup which right now is connected to my TASCAM CD recorder (so I can record all sources flowing through the receiver)...

    I was advised on other boards that what I can do is find an EQ that has its own "TAPE" IN/OUT hookups in the back, and this will suffice for my receiver's lack of a TAPE loop -- so, I was told, my CD recorder's ANALOG IN/OUT would go through the EQ's TAPE IN/OUT while the EQ's MAIN IN/OUT would feed the TAPE IN/OUT of my receiver...still, others advised me this would NOT work so I don't know what to do...

    I have been considering tracking down an Onky0-branded equalizer via eBay or another source (of course, the company doesn't make them anymore) as I happen to like the brand and have found several that do have "TAPE" jacks in the back...but before I buy one, can anyone here confirm for me if hooking an EQ up through my current receiver CAN actually be done so long as the EQ itself has a TAPE in/out? Or does the receiver HAVE to have a TAPE 2 "loop" connection?
     
  2. If you posted on AVS, I was one that said you can't do it, and stand by that advice. EQ's with external loops replace the loop you use for the EQ, but your receiver lacks a loop so there is nothing you can do.

    To that I will add that many receivers have tape in/out, but lack the required "tape monitor" function. Having one does not mean you get the other. You would need both.
     
    CusBlues likes this.
  3. ggergm

    ggergm you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd

    Location:
    Minnesota
    Yes, you can do it exactly as you described. A set of Tape In/Out jacks will be sufficient.

    Think of it as loops daisy chained together. Your EQ will be looped onto your receiver. The CD recorder will be looped onto your EQ.
     
  4. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    See...here we go again...completely contradicting replies, which is what I have experienced in the past...

    I tend to lean towards what BG said regarding needing a "Tape Monitor" for this to work -- but I have also been advised that I CAN use an EQ's "TAPE" connections...
     
  5. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
    I used to run mine CD > EQ > AMP.
    CD's OUTPUTS to the LINE IN of the EQ, then from the LINE OUT of the EQ to the AMP.
    The EQ had a defeat setting so I could switch it out if I wanted ...... worked fine for what I had going back then though.
     
  6. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    But moops, wouldn't what you suggest merely EQ JUST that specific input source (in your case, the CD player)? I realize I can run an EQ between any individual source...but I want to EQ EVERY source connected to the receiver...
     
  7. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    The standard "TAPE IN/OUT" that is on my receiver is most definitely NOT a "loop" -- it's merely a way to connect a recording device to the unit, and this has been confirmed for me.

    Here's what my amp looks like from behind:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ggergm

    ggergm you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd

    Location:
    Minnesota
    You are thinking way, way, way too hard on this. Tape loops are tape loops. They've been the same way for decades. Onkyo is not going to reinvent the wheel just for this receiver.

    (I downloaded your owner's manual to check this out. While there is nothing in there that specifically that states that Tape is a monitor loop, it is strongly implied that both Tape and VCR/DVR are loops. That's good enough for me. They are assuming everyone knows they are loops because receivers have always been built that way.)
    You can, and you can run a test that will both give you the answer to the question behind this thread and show you that you can equalize all of your major sources (VCR/DVR is the only exception as it, too, is a tape loop.).

    Here's the test:
    1. Temporarily disconnect the CD recorder. In its place, run an RCA cable from Tape Out to Tape In. This will form a loop. (What you have very literally done here is made a circuit that goes out of your receiver and back in. In the future on this loop will be your equalizer. You'll go out of your receiver, into the EQ, and then back into your receiver. For now, we are just using a wire to go out and back in.)
    2. Play any of your major sources. CD, Tuner or Phono would all be great. It doesn't matter. Just get some sound playing.
    3. Engage the Tape button. If the sound continues, it is now passing through the loop. In the future, it would be passing through your EQ. If you lose your sound, then I'm wrong, BGLeduc is right and you don't have a monitor loop.
    Just because it doesn't say Monitor on the front panel doesn't mean you don't have a tape monitor loop. I'd bet a steak dinner you do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
  9. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    While I will try what you suggest when I can, what do you make of what "BGLeduc" said earlier in the thread that this most definitely CANNOT be done?
     
  10. ggergm

    ggergm you can't rollerskate in a buffalo herd

    Location:
    Minnesota
    One of us is right and one of us is wrong.

    I have thirty years of experience in the industry working retail audio sales. I have worked with hundreds of stereo receivers. My experience with older Japanese receivers, including Onkyo, has been they have tape monitor loops. There have been a few older ones, all European, and some modern ones which treat tape as a regular input, not as a monitor loop. This is what BGLeduc says is happening. The reason this is done on some modern receivers involves the difficulty of signal switching in a surround sound era. A manufacturer can switch in and out two analog channels easily. That's what you have going. Switching in and out five analog channels is much tougher, which is what you'd have to do if you put a tape monitor loop on surround sound receiver. This is the same reason you don't see bass, treble and balance controls on home theater receivers. It's not because manufacturers don't like them or think you wouldn't like them. It's because they are tough to do in a multi-channel world.

    Kaskade10729, frankly, this is not an argument between BGLudec and me. It also should not be an intellectual exercise by you. I appreciate you are confused. You have received conflicting advice asking your question on a number of different forums. Fine. Find out the truth for yourself. This is such an easy question to test experientially. This is why I say you are overthinking this. Let your own experience give you the answer. Don't rely on the opinions of others. Rely on yourself.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
  11. moops

    moops Forum Resident

    Location:
    Geebung, Australia
    Sorry, I guess I misunderstood your first post, good luck with it anyway :wave:
     
  12. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    It will work with an EQ that has a built-in tape loop feature. It will degrade the sound quality of the recordings however. It will also likely reduce the quality of the main system output unless you have some severe speaker and or room limitations. Even then, it will add some noise and phase issues to an otherwise flat system. It is better to look at replacing the weakest link component with a superior sounding component than to add accessories like an EQ. In other words, cure the problem directly rather than to cover it with bandaids and make-up.
    -Bill
     
    Synthfreek likes this.
  13. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    Thanks Bill,

    I understand what you're saying about EQ and what it attempts to "hide" or "fix" -- and I don't have any "problem" with my room or system per se; I just happen to like the sound of additional EQ in the chain...

    I have been running this two-channel system for some time now with no EQ and all tone controls (bass and treble) completely flat (neutral). But I'd like a quick confirmation on something you're saying above -- I CAN then run an EQ with its own TAPE loop by connecting my recording device through it (a TASCAM CD recorder in this case) and then connecting the EQ's MAIN in/out to the receiver's TAPE in/out? Do I have the connections right?
     
  14. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    Thanks; appreciate it.
     
  15. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    I ran an equalizer through the tape in/tape out of my receiver for years, and, to me, it greatly improved the sound of my Advent speakers.
    With all due respect to our learned members, if you like the sound that your equalizer produces with your equipment, use it before you start replacing components. It's what you like. Period. And as noted above, you can with your Onkyo.
     
  16. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    Bill,

    Thank you very much for your reply and input; and being a canine lover myself, I love your avatar! Is that your Collie?

    As for my Onkyo, the problem is this -- it seems the concensus everywhere else has been that "just because" my receiver has a TAPE IN/OUT function (no "TAPE 2/MONITOR) it cannot be used with an equalizer because the sound must be monitored through a true "loop" which I have been told the standard TAPE in/out on my 8555 is NOT. Are you suggesting I can hook an EQ up through the receiver itself, using just the TAPE in/out, or do I have to go through an EQ's own TAPE in/out, as we have been discussing?

    Further -- if I did connect an EQ directly to my receiver's TAPE in/out, how would I "tell" the receiver to "process" the sound the EQ is doing? In other words, with units that had TAPE 2 monitor hookups, there was always a button on the front of the receiver or amp that was able to be pressed that would put the EQ'ed sound into the chain -- being that my receiver doesn't have this, how would the EQ'ed sound come through?
     
  17. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Location:
    Eastern Shore
    Yep- that's Grady the Sheltie. He's all mine and we're greatly enjoying the new baseball season (and, finally, the absence of snow).
    I think you can run the equalizer throught the tape in/out connections, defeating the eq with a bypass switch on that unit. If you get one with a tape/in and out, you can still run a tape deck, just through the equalizer. That's what I did for years. Am I missing something here?
     
  18. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Yes. You connect the EQ to the amps in and out and the recorder to the EQ through its loop. You'll use the tape monitor button on your amp to engage the EQ and the tape monitor button on the EQ to hear the recorder. By setting the EQ to flat, you can hear what noise it introduces by just taking it in and out of circuit with the tape monitor switch on your amp. That is just the noise test. Phase shift occurs when you move the sliders but that gets muddied by the response changes as well so it is harder to hear. It definitely effects the sound though. Using a better set of speakers and/or a better amp will provide better sound without the band-aid.
    -bill
     
  19. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    My receiver does not have a "TAPE MONITOR" button...that's what I have been trying to tell everyone...
     
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  20. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    Excellent! He is a beautiful Sheltie; we had a Sheltie mix some years ago...

    It's not that you're "missing something," it's that I'm not sure if my TAPE in/out functions as a true tape LOOP to run an equalizer through...
     
  21. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    Really? That's tragic. I can't fathom what sort of idiot designed that then. You are not going to be able to use an external processer for all sources then. What speakers do you have? Why do you want to use an EQ, I mean other than to just screw-up the sound ;)?
    -Bill
     
  22. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Location:
    PA
    Do this:

    Run an IC cable from the tape out to the tape in. Then set the receiver to play a source - such as FM. While listening to FM in the normal manner, depress the "tape" button.

    If sound disappears, then you will not be able to use the EQ through the tape inputs/outputs.

    If the sound continues to be heard, it is a true "loop" and you can absolutely connect the EQ in the manner described above.

    Connect your EQ to the tape in/outs of the receiver & the recorder to the tape in/outs of the EQ.

    HTH
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
    Bill likes this.
  23. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    I'm using Infinity Primus 363s...I just wanted to add the EQ for personal reasons...

    So because my receiver/amp doesn't have a Tape Monitor button or function, this is why people have been advising me elsewhere (hence why I started this thread and what I mentioned in the very first post) that I MAY be able to pull this off using the EQUALIZER'S TAPE IN/OUT section...in other words, my recording device would go to the EQ's TAPE in/out while the EQ's MAIN IN/OUT would run to my receiver's TAPE IN/OUT...

    I hope this is clearer...
     
  24. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    THIS is what I'm being advised to do...that is, use the EQ's TAPE IN/OUTs to connect my recording device and the MAIN IN/OUTs to connect to the receiver's TAPE...
     
  25. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    It won't work. That is what I was advising you earlier, but I thought you had a monitor function. The tape in on your amp doesn't allow monitoring the tape out, so no loop I'm afraid. If you select tape, then it connects the tape in but there is nothing going to the tape out as the source and destination are the same. At least that is what it appears that they have done, just adding the tape in as another input selection and having a non monitorable tape out that is connected to whatever input is selected. In simpler form, no monitor, no loop. No pre out and amp in, no loop. You have pre out only. No loop, no external processing, ie EQ.

    You have never stated why you want the EQ. If you only want it on recordings or you only want it on one source, you can still use an EQ. You cannot however apply one globally to all inputs.
    -Bill
     
  26. Kaskade10729

    Kaskade10729 New Member Thread Starter

    I have stated several times that I don't want it for any "specific" reason; I just prefer "EQ'ed" sound -- there really are no problems, per se, with my room/system...

    As for EQ'ing one source, I know I can do that -- but I want to EQ all the sources (i.e. tuner, CD).

    What I'm asking, as was the essence and point of my original post here, is this:

    What if I got an EQ WITH ITS OWN TAPE IN/OUT section, and ran my recording device's analog in/outs through it, then connected the EQ's MAIN in/out's to the Onkyo's TAPE in/out's?
     
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