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Speaker specific eq


YK Thom
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Was reading another thread re perceived brightness with the new Forte III. Years ago (early 80s), I had a pair of EVs from the Interface series. They were my first good pair of speakers. They came with a very small outboard unit you had to use that adjusted the sound for your room. Memory a bit fuzzy on this. Has anyone ever built something along this line for specific Klipsch speakers as an alternative to crossover rebuilds and such? Would it even work? Aside from the units that were part of the EV speakers in those day I have not seen any other speaker manufacturer offering anything like this.

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I don't think you need anything speaker specific.  A parametric EQ will do the job.  Measurement mic and software is needed.  A 32 band graphic EQ is a good second choice.  Most room's are not perfect and having some type of EQ is a nice option for a 2 ch system.  The only thing that I know of close to the device for the EV speakers was a EQ device for some subwoofers.  

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A regular eq can be good, I just recal having one of these that were made for the model specifically. There was a different one for the Interface As as well as the Ds. When you occasionally run into the old Interface on the used market (fairly rare), the production is trying to find one of these units if not included. They are hard to find and the speakers didn’t sound right without them. My memory got jogged when someone had made mention of installing an L Pad into the Forte to tame the tweeter. It seemed a logical idea to me as I have read about folks stuffing their tweeter horn with various substances to take the edge off. When I was using the RB61 IIs as my front mains I would just adjust the tone controls to get it sounding right for my room. For some reason a lot of guys don’t want to adjust tone controls; I have no idea why not.

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In the '50s and early '60s the majority of two way and three way speakers had a way to adjust the Sound Pressure Level of the midrange (if there was a midrange speaker) and the tweeter.  I recall seeing the treble level controls pictured in the speaker ads in the Allied and BA catalogs.  My friend's 3 way EVs had them, my 2 way JBLs had them. .  My JBLs had a continuously variable control from essentially off to bloody screeching.  I set them by ear, noticed that they were great for some recordings (including the ones I set them for) and not for others.  I called JBL and they reluctantly gave me the setting for "Flat," but explained that for most users, with most bad recordings, with over-live rooms [California Modern, c. 1966]  "Flat" would be too bright.  I ended up setting and forgetting them about 3 just noticeable differences (with pink noise) below flat.   JBL's  George Augspurger (Electronics World, 1/1962) wrote that speaker manufacturers have learned that most listeners like the sound of a little bump in the bass as long as the advertising copy assures them that the speaker is "really" flat.  So, I tried turning up the bass control a bit.   The balance was best with a little treble cut, and a little bass boost.

 

Paul Klipsch did not include mid and treble controls on his speakers on the grounds that many people -- including some dealers -- would miss-adjust them.   He preferred designing speakers for good response in the average living room, later for (presumably) flat response in the world's only revolving door, corner containing, anechoic chamber.  He supported adjusting the listening room's acoustics, and was an early supporter of diffusers (Bonners).  He disliked the equalizers of the day, and was against loudness controls when used with efficient speakers.  When some manufacturers came out with "presence" controls he wondered if somebody would make "absence" controls.

 

While I understand the points of view summarized above, nowadays there are other choices.  The newest version of Audyssey (XT32, providing it is with app) will attempt to correct the frequency response of your speakers and room, using up to some 10,000 control points, and provide you with the ability to adjust (slightly) to your taste with the new app.   Even without the app, it gives you a choice between Audyssey FLAT or Audyssey Reference, the latter of which gives you a cinema style roll off ( - 2 dB at 10K, - 6 dB at 20 K). 

 

You may want to look at:

 

"Down with Flat" by J. Gordon Holt in the Stereophile archives.  IMO this applies to bad recordings only.  That amounts to between 10% and 60% of modern recordings, depending on my mood.

 

Chris A's thread in the Forum on re-mastering (or un-mastering/de-mastering?), RE: bad mastering of recordings

 

"Audyssey FAQ Linked Here"

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Thanks for the info, very interesting. I do remember some of the old speakers with controls. The unit in my photo was pretty much what I had with the EVs years ago. I utilize the Audessey through my Marantz and think it does wonders for tailoring the sound for my room.After using it in the room with my Ohms They sound great without tone control modifications. When I was using the RB61 IIs as mains Audessey with a -1 treble and +1 bass adjustment seemed to be perfect. And you are absolutely right about many recordings, prior to adjustment some sounded terrible. Accuracy to recorded material is great so long as said material is listenable. This seems to be less of an issue with the OHm driver. Going to go through the the faq sheet with a fine tooth comb and see if there are any improvements I can make.

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22 hours ago, derrickdj1 said:

I had a vintage pair of McIntosh speakers with bass and treble controls.  It is kinda funny but, my FH and Atmos speakers have the bass and treble controls.

 

... and McIntosh used to make (1970s) an "Envionnmental Equalizer"  that allowed the user to make adjustments to improve room response.  Crown made a parametric equalizer, and urged a slight treble roll off.

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