View Full Version : EQs. Your thoughts.
08-01-2002, 03:13 PM
Okay, let's expand it to Sonic Holography Generators, Sonic Maximizers, Range Expanders, and the like. Do you use any? If not, why? I want opinions, not fights.
I have a SAE parametric and a RS graphic equalizer. I also own a Carver S'H' Gen'. These are currently not being used because I don't have a tape mon. on my newer rcvr. I prefer hooking anything like this through the mon. than between amp/pre. You can always skip it without having to pass-thru/bypass.
EQs - Man oh, man! The last time I had my EQs hooked-up I was really happy with the way I could manipulate the sound to suit my needs. Whether it be room acoustics, speaker problems, shoddy recordings, and/or personal preference. I miss this option. I currently use my rcvrs' built in EQ to add a little 4dB+ to the lows and 2dB+ to the highs in 5.1, but nothing +/- for 2ch.
S'H'Gen' - I bought this off E-bay for $60, but haven't used it since. It makes everything sound different. Not better. Not worse. Just different. In my less than optimal conditions (10-12ft separation vs. 6ft suggested). The soundstage came up the side walls about 6ft, but the imaging fell to ****. Maybe things would be different with closer spkr placement.
BTW: If your speakers' low range is dictated by cabinetry or a passive radiator, be careful with EQs. You can put a load on a speaker (driver) that isn't made for that stong an input at that freq.
08-01-2002, 03:33 PM
It all adds more noise than it is worth. I have a bunch of Audio Control stuff that I play with periodically. Audio control equipment is very good but a straight path cannot be beat.
The best one is the home version of the Epicenter. When low bass is recorded it is often lost. The reminents up in the higher frequencies are still there. The epicenter decodes these higher frequencies, decides what bass note was lost, then replaces it with a synthesized one. Really cool, especially for bad recordings with almost no bass. One of the other Audio Control devices makes a quasi surround out of the sound mix. When fed to speakers along a side wall of the room it adds quite a nice effect. This one is made in a car audio version only.
I would never leave this stuff hooked up but it sure is fun to play with.
08-01-2002, 04:45 PM
I bought the cheapest Audio Source equalizer at Best Buy recently but took it back. When set at zero dB all the way across, the signal was much weaker than the direct signal, & I didn't really find the controls to be very precise. I think that I might like the more expensive ones from Sony & Yahama, but w/a $400 2-ch recvr, I don't feel like spending too much for an equalizer. It's possible that if I only used one pr of spkrs & listened to only one source thru them, I would've kept the Audio Source, but I don't want to constantly mess with a piece of equipment I don't care for. Now I'm messing w/speaker positioning & looking into sound treatments instead. We'll see.
08-01-2002, 05:52 PM
Checkout the Audio Perfectionist opinion about EQ. It's on journal1a.pdf. He out there swinging and not jusy jabbing!
08-01-2002, 10:17 PM
Just to explain a little further where I'm coming from. The Audio Control equipment costs more per component than the $400 receiver that was talked about. "It adds more noise than it's worth" was my quote. Imagine the quality of sound throughput we are talking about with a cheap piece of equipment! Just remember that no matter how good your signal path, if you put a $0.29 transistor like the cheap eq's etc use then the overall quality of the signal path becomes worth nothing. I still stand by the idea of periodically playing with this stuff but don't leave it in line. If you listen to it for very long you will begin to believe it helps because you will become acustomed to the poor sound.
08-01-2002, 11:45 PM
I just bought my Audio Control C 101 series 3.
Well, it sure looks pretty.
Seriously, IMO, EQs can go basically two ways.
A. used properly, they can be a great improvement to a dedicated system. Not only by taming acoustic anomolies, but by reducing amp clipping.
B. Used improperly, they can fry tweeters, overdrive woofers and generally muck up the soundstage.
I really do enjoy my AudioControl.
I have it hooked between my CD changer/amp and the cable box/amp.
I've been able to achieve a fairly flat response.
I'm trimming everthing below 60hz and above 4kHz.
Can't complain so far.
Sounds go to me.
08-02-2002, 02:08 AM
i am using an audio control EQL and Epicenter in my jeep lets just say WOW... i have been a fan of these two peices for about 10 years, what a difference they can do in a car. have looked at there home stuff several times, but just have not commited to it yet for the home theater...my .02 is free.....
08-02-2002, 08:57 AM
Audio Control is a great company! It's worth the price of the equipment just to read their manuals. I have used the epicenter in the blazer. Funny thing about my installation though, when sitting still the epicenter is awesome but as soon as you start moving you loose the added lower range. I guess because there is a lot of normal non-stereo stuff going on in those low frequency ranges when you are moving? Still a cool thing. When you add a sonic maximizer to it you get a really spectacular experience! The home stuff does the same things. I'm just starting to get particular about running the signal through a lot of extra stuff.
08-03-2002, 09:42 AM
I got a couple but this is what comes to mind,
A gun loaded....maybe a 44 magnum..stuck in my mouth after hours of trying to set up the system.Sweating...wanting to pull the trigger.
But without the nessary software,mic's all over the room,variable test tone generator,I can't see setting one up.
I think with good clean power from a good quality receiver or amp/pre setup.....good wire and speakers...thought out speaker placement, you really don't need a EQ......maybe fun to play with but I think you can do more damage to your sound then make it better........just my thought and experience with EQ'S.
08-04-2002, 06:17 AM
Dude take it easy! Instead of a .44 I'll just use my ears. Maybe you should think of a career change. I don't LOVE my job, but damn.
As far as a bunch of mics and a test tone generator, I'm thinking more along the lines of a single mic at my spot with the standard test tones or pink noise. The BSR EQ-3000 comes to mind.
I think with good clean power from a good quality receiver or amp/pre setup.....good
If I could do all this, I wouldn't be using a RS graphic, now would I? Until then I've got to play the hand I'm dealt.
08-04-2002, 08:55 AM
to ease your mind.....that was a joke...intended to stress how hard it it to get a EQ to go.I had nothing but bad luck in the past with them.(I actually Love me job)
You set it up,listen to a song ..and it's great.then another and it sucks,now you reset and everything's fine,then it's not..O someone has changed the levels.......**** here we go again.
Like I said I don't care for them.....you asked for thoughts and here is mine......If you get yours to go???....more power to yeah....Hope you don't have kids....or a wife who likes to clean your rig for yeah......
08-05-2002, 12:05 PM
Mantis: That's cool. I figured you were joking, but I've had experiences. Sometimes I think, "Was it something I said or didn't say?" I'm trying to move on.
I wish I had to worry about somebody cleaning my stereo. At least do some frickin' dishes.
08-05-2002, 07:43 PM
Get a woman....nothing in the world better then one.......well then again..........
08-08-2002, 09:38 AM
It would appear that Matthew Polk agrees with the opinions about equalization put forth by Mr. Hardesty in his Audio Perfectionist Journal. (Refer to Tony's link above).
Before I expand on Matt's view point regarding equalization let me provide you with some background information. Not too long ago I started experimenting with room equalization of my home theater. I purchased an AudioControl Bijou to equalize 6 channels and a Behringer Ultra-Curve Pro to do the last two channels, the mains. As mantis points out, you need to first properly measure the frequency response of the room before using equalizers. So I purchased some acoustic software and started exciting the room using various speakers and measured the frequency response. However, I immediately ran into trouble when I started measuring my main speakers which were Polk Audio SDA-1Cs. The frequency response was very unusual and so I consulted Ken Swauger in Customer Service. He thought that the unconventional design of the SDA type speaker was the source of my problem and referred me to their engineering department. Engineering was helpful, but didn't know how to measure SDAs so they referred my question to Matthew Polk, the designer of the SDAs.
The following is Matt's full unedited response which describes a suggested testing procedure. Matt also provides his views on equalization which I have highlighted in Bold text:
I forwarded your SDA question to Matthew Polk and received the following
I can understand Larry's confusion. Accurate acoustic measurements, in general, are difficult and measuring any of the SDA systems is much more so. The results on his web page don't look right but without knowing his measurement setup exactly I can't say why they turned out that way. The out of phase midrange info. comes from the opposite speaker. However, without any signal going to the SDA drivers they will act like little passive radiators tuned to the wrong frequency which could account for the lump at 80Hz. Why the curve tilts down so steeply is a mystery. Things would sound pretty bad if it actually measured this way. Nevertheless, I've seen stranger things.
Here's the way that we used to measure SDA's.
Connect the speaker you're measuring to the amp as normal.
Put the other speaker outside the room or in a closet so that the sound it produces won't influence your measurement.
Connect the interconnect between the speakers. Extend the interconnect, if necessary, with extra wire and alligator clips or any other means that gives a solid low resistance connection. The quality of the cable and
connections isn't important from a sound quality perspective.
Short the input terminals of the speaker in the closet.
Set up your microphone and make the measurement.
To measure the other speaker, put it back in it's position, reconnect the amp and put the other one in the closet with the inputs shorted and the interconnect connected.
Regarding room EQ; it's best to stick to equalizing frequencies below 200Hz. Frequency response problems below 200 Hz are almost always due to room resonances which can be dealt with very effectively using EQ. Equalize only the narrow peaks or dips. Stay away from broad band adjustments that may change the overall balance of the speaker, probably for the worse. Above 200Hz the peaks and dips are more often caused by reflections off walls, furniture, TV etc. The reflected sounds travel a different path length to your ears (or microphone) than the direct sound and may combine in or out of phase with the direct sound at your ears. In-phase means a peak. Out of phase means a dip. In this range your ears are pretty good at sorting out the difference in arrival times of direct and reflected sounds (as long as the reflections are delayed more than 3 milliseconds or by traveling about 3 feet more to your ears). Microphones, however, can't tell the difference. So, your ears don't hear many of the peaks and dips above 200Hz that your mic records. If you EQ these peaks and dips the result may sound worse.
Above 200Hz it's much more effective to sit down where you usually listen and look around for big flat surfaces that might reflect sound from your speakers to your ears. Imagine a mirror flat against the surface. If you would see either speaker from your listening location reflected in that imaginary mirror you can bet that it's producing a big sonic reflection. Even though your ears can tell it's a reflection and not the direct sound, it still causes problems with the imaging and may cause a hollow or resonant sound in certain ranges. EQ won't fix this. However, these reflections are easy to break up. Any sound absorbing or irregular surface like a stuffed chair, a carpet or, my favorite, a bookcase full of books, will break up the reflection and do a lot to clean up the sound.
Hope this is helpful.
If you are interested in reading about my pain and suffering in my first attempt at room equalization, try this link:
Adventures in Room Equalization Part II (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htforum/showthread.php?=s=&threadid=84639)
08-08-2002, 11:06 AM
Larry, Thanks for the post and you really have a nice settup.
If you don't mind or anybody... What is a tactile transducer? I am new to this HT thing and need some schooling.
08-08-2002, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the compliment.
Simply stated a tactile transducer is the generic term for a device used to shake your seating. Perhaps you may have heard of Bass Shakers?
The trade name of mine are Buttkickers. They are big electric motors that move a magnetic piston which in turn vibrates the seating. They operate in the infrasonic range and in this range they outperform the best subwoofers available. Mine go down to 5Hz.
I hope that helps.
08-08-2002, 11:37 AM
That is really cool! I have been thinking about upgrading my PSW350 but now I'll look into this as an addition. I noticed that you have both and it looks like it would be pretty easy to integrate.
08-08-2002, 11:55 AM
They are extremely cool! But they are not cheap. I believe I paid about $1,400 for two transducers and a 2,000 watt professional amplifier to power them.
I also had to buy a small amplifer to boost the voltage on the LFE channel coming from my preamplifier in order to drive the professional amp to its full operating range (clipping).
By the way, I didn't mean to suggest that tactile transducers were a substitute for good subwoofers, they're just better at handling super-deep bass. However, in an apartment situation they may represent a viable alternative to subwoofers.
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