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mark fader

Are equalizers still relevant ?

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Just curious as to what people think. My set is :

pioneer sx1050 with Frazier model 7 speakers. I use two Yamaha 31 band eq ( one for each channel ). I run pink noise Thur the system and balanced the system with the eq’s. At this point the system is flat. Then I tweak to preference using the bass and treble controls as needed. Maybe even tweak the eq a bit for taste. But I don’t see anybody else doing this. 

 

Btw - the rane eq’s are for sub and I use them basically as crossovers. 

 

Just wanting to explore this topic topic and see what people think. 

05B43CA9-8B6D-4AFB-AC2D-82903A3771A0.jpeg

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Yes almost all active bi amped or tri amped systems have eqs set in their active crossovers. You are doing it the old fashioned analog way, nothing wrong with that.

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While I don't have an analog EQ any longer I'm curious when you say "pink noise" what you actually are doing. Do you use a SPL to make each band individually the same and that is what you mean by "flat".

 

As for the subs is it crossover only as a Low Pass and no EQ?

 

I'm using an Xilica on a 2-way active set up and trying to learn all I can. I'm having fun, but sometimes I feel like I'm measuring more than I'm listening.

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Equalizers are still relevant in my dojo. Digital and analog.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

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I use analog EQs as you do on tape monitor loop of preamps............as well as digital processors for active systems.

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Flat as in a flat line on an RTA? I've tuned home and car systems like that in the past. They sounded awful to me. Not musical in any respect. Now, a gradual, smooth curve sounds quite nice though.  

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As far as” pink noise “- I have a rta that produces pink noise. I run the pink noise into an input on the receiver. Then I “balance the room” or   “ flatten the spectrum “ with the eq’s as I watch the rta. This gives me a reference. From there I will adjust by ear / taste to get what sounds good to me. 

 

Nothing against dsp but I just like good ole fashion knobs and faders. 

 

But I see these guys on the internet who claim to be audio files but only have a turntable into an amp and then to speakers. No control whatsoever over tone. They are relying completely on the sound of their equipment and room to reproduce the music. Then they are the ones who claim they have the right sound. But take their same setup to another room and it will sound different because they are at mercy of the equipment and room. However , a few eq’s and some rta and most of the difference / issues can be helped. 

 

At at least that is the way I see it. So that is my reasoning for the two 31 band eq’s. 

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As far as the sub stuff , those eq’s are just used as low pass filters. The amp has sub crossover but I wanted a bit more control so I added the eq’s. 

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8 hours ago, avguytx said:

Flat as in a flat line on an RTA? I've tuned home and car systems like that in the past. They sounded awful to me. Not musical in any respect. Now, a gradual, smooth curve sounds quite nice though.  

I was just reading about the x curve for cinema. I just checked and just listening to music is almost exact being mostly flat from 35hz to 2000hz and then starting a steady curve at 2000 hz heading downward out to 20000hz. Im just using a 4 band loki. Is that about how some of you guys adjust your systems? I always just tuned it to sound good to me which I guess is all that maters. Mine was a fuzz higher than this graph on the bottom but not alot. I guess I like a little added bass!

 

image.png.7b6378733023c0448e24d33de7cbe9ef.png

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I have an EQ with gain control on a pair of La Scalas right now and it makes a big difference over feeding them from just my amp. Whole lot cheaper than DSP too when you don't have to have the very best output. My personal system will be run with Xilicas from now on but I am going to start selling used EQ's with some of the speakers I fix up because they make things sound much better.

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I use a DBX 14/10 14-Band Computer Equalizer/Analyzer/RTA as it has lots of capabilities.  I also have the companion unit the DBX 5BX-DS 5-Band Computer Controlled Range Controller that has incredible amounts of adjustment ability.  They are visually stunning as well.  They are somewhat rare pieces.

 

The 14/10 allows you to measure and store memories for ten different seating positions you can also have it average them for you.  Very versatile.  It measures SPL levels in real time or line voltage if you prefer.  No mechanical switches to deteriorate.

 

https://www.stereophile.com/content/dbx-1410-graphic-equalizer

 

dbx 5BX-DS 5 band range controller.jpg

dbx 1410 computerized eq.jpg

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@mark fader :

 

The problem with most manual equalizer set-ups is that just one microphone position is used.   Move that microphone a few inches (sometimes just the width of your head), and the sound can change dramatically, requiring a different response curve.   In my first telephone conversation with Roy Delgado (c. 1980) he said, "Mr. K doesn't like equalizers."  In fact this is one of the few things Paul Klipsch and Edgar Villchur (inventor of the AR acoustic suspension speakers) agreed on!  They both disliked equalizers, as conventionally used. 

 

There are solutions.  One is the ever popular head clamp.  If you can't move your head, the problem disappears.   A better one is the use of multiple mic positions.  If you are going to listen alone, cluster the mic positions closely around where your head will be, then take an average, and use that info to set your EQ.  If you are going to play music or a movie for a number of people, all at once, spread the mics out, and average those results.  But that, too, can be a pain.

 

Most of the various room EQ systems offer a way to go.  The better Audyssey systems (XT and XT32) use 8 mic positions, then put them through a "Fuzzy Logic" (a good thing) processor which produces a better overall view than an average, then makes corrections at hundreds of points, rather than the few (8 to 35 or 40, depending) that an equalizer provides.  The highest end (and most expensive) of several Dirac configurations may be even better.

 

It takes patience to use these devices.  I don't know anyone who has been satisfied with a hurriedly set up calibration.  Part of the reason is that there remains a subjective element to it.  It has to sound good to the individual user , and with a cross section of music disks and movies, and that can only be known after extensive listening.    The individual may prefer, say, Audyssey Reference  with some disks, and Audyssey Flat with others.  Some people love Dynamic EQ, and others hate it.  Almost everyone hates Dynamic Volume, unless someone in the house is trying to sleep, or there are hypersensitive neighbors.   After running Audyssey, most people provide a little post-calibration bass boost.   There are several reasons for this.  All but one of these reasons are in here:  GUIDE TO SUBWOOFER CALIBRATION AND BASS PREFERENCES or in here:   "Audyssey FAQ Linked Here".  The final reason most people will need some bass boost is the set of disgusting recording practices adopted by the music (but not movie!) industry.  For these see Chris A's many excellent posts on de-mastering, including "The Missing Octave." 

 

I like Audyssey Flat with excellent recordings, but change to Audyssey Reference for some not so good ones.  My Klipschorns and Belle Klipsch center have never sounded so good -- much much better than with my graphic equalizers (yes, plural) that now reside in the garage.

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On 9/17/2019 at 4:48 AM, mr clean said:

I was just reading about the x curve for cinema. I just checked and just listening to music is almost exact being mostly flat from 35hz to 2000hz and then starting a steady curve at 2000 hz heading downward out to 20000hz. Im just using a 4 band loki. Is that about how some of you guys adjust your systems? I always just tuned it to sound good to me which I guess is all that maters. Mine was a fuzz higher than this graph on the bottom but not alot. I guess I like a little added bass!

 

image.png.7b6378733023c0448e24d33de7cbe9ef.png

 

@mr clean ,

 

Most people like added bass for the reasons given in my response to Mark Fader (just above), and in the two reference links I gave him.

 

The X curve has both too much bass and treble roll-off for most Home Theater and music room applications.  Audyssey's Audyssey Reference provides a gentler roll-off of the treble (and no bass roll-off) more appropriate for our smaller home rooms, but for some heavily treated rooms, it still has too much treble roll off.

 

My personal preference for good recordings is Audyssey FLAT.  For bad recordings, e.g., ones with some distortion in the treble, I switch over to Audyssey REFERENCE.

 

For those who desire a room curve, attend some (unamplified, "acoustical") live concerts to "re-calibrate your ears," as PWK said, then create it subjectively.  As a starting point, here is an example, I believe from JBL, but I wouldn't roll the treble off as much, particularly at 16KHz:

  image.png.071bc3a4f10bd922c8703438aff64952.png

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@garyrc thank you once again for another comprehensive post.

 

...you left out the kitchen sink, LOL!

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Here is the kitchen sink that was left out :

 

I did several mic placements and let the software get me a curve. But software can only do so much. My ears are the final “ word “ and my eq’s will never be put in the garage. 

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9 minutes ago, mark fader said:

Here is the kitchen sink that was left out :

 

I did several mic placements and let the software get me a curve. But software can only do so much. My ears are the final “ word “ and my eq’s will never be put in the garage. 

Thats all I care about. How does it sound to my crusty old ears! If it puts a smile on your face and sounds pleasing to your ear thats really all you can hope for. Peace! 

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Some just love their toys and turn it into a science by making decisions based on graphs and algorithms and theory and base there conclusions on what other people say in books and such. And there is some truth to doing it that way. But I am finding more and more who don’t even know what they like or what they want because they are listening to others more than themselves . for some reason they feel wrong if they disagree or go a different direction even if they like it. So to all those who want to reference Klipsch and villchur as absolute and choose to base your conclusions on that point of view , that’s ok. As for me , I’ll set mine up as I like it based on my taste because in this situation my opinion is the only one that matters. 

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