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  1. #1

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    Default Equalizers ... are they garbage?!?

    I like them, and I think if you have non-audiophile equipment they can make quite a difference if adjusted properly. I have an old Onkyo that I like a lot. Unfortunately, they no longer include tape loops on modern recievers. Why do audiophiles hate them so much?

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    Somethings gotta give

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    Hello timk65 and good evening to you. Purists don't want any additional gear in the loop. Audiophiles generally consider them a Band-aid for other things in a system/room that needs improvement. I don't like them because they screw with the phasing, imaging and sound stage and some of them can add noise. This coming from someone who has used over 10 EQ's throughout my audio journey, using basic single 10 band all of the way up to dual 21 band EQ's. These are my observations.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by treitz3 View Post
    These are my observations.
    I would listen to the man, he knows what he's talking about.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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    Why worry about it? If you like them, that's all that matters.
    If you can't hear a difference, don't waste your money.

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    You need test equipment to properly set up a EQ. You can't do it by ear. This is one reason I can see anyone not really liking EQ's because they are not easy to setup properly.
    There are many benefits from owning EQ's as they can really help a system fit into a room much better then wide open. If you have peaks and dips you can smooth them out with a EQ.
    Using a EQ with a receiver really doesn't make any sense, most are designed to live between the preamp and amp.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

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    If you like it, who cares. But, the reason you like it is because it's masking what's wrong within your system.

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    The classic 1970s/1980s analog parametric equalizers (think: "ADC Sound Shaper") - as far as I am concerned - do more harm than good... the main demerit being loss of "transparency" (or "introduction of a veil", if you prefer) when they are added to a good reproduction chain.

    That said, it is perfectly possible, with modern hardware (and software), to equalize even high-performance audio systems to a listening space in a 'value-added' way. I've heard it done.

    That said, EQ at that level lies an order of magnitude (or more) beyond what my hifi budget'll support - so I go minimalist. Single-ended vacuum tube amplification, passive "preamp" (autoformer volume control) and simple, time-proven passive loudspeakers (Altec Duplex studio monitors) and crossovers (Doug Sax MasteringLabs). No tone control, no loudness, no EQ (other than RIAA for phono and NAB/IEC for tape).
    Last edited by mhardy6647; 11-09-2013 at 09:14 AM.
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    If you like it, who cares. But, the reason you like it is because it's masking what's wrong within your system.
    OK, sure, I agree. But when "what's wrong with your system" is lack of money, what can you do? When all I could afford was a cheap reciever (25-35w or so) and bookshelf speakers, it was the best $100 I ever spent. Now, not so much.
    Last edited by timk65; 11-09-2013 at 09:54 AM.

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    Enjoy the music.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

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    I think the basic analog graphic EQ that us older guys all used back in the day are really limited. IMO, a parametric bests it if one knows how to use it.... And that brings us to the modern age of software and room correction. The modern AVR has the ability to do the basic things like check/set Polarity, Level, Distance. However, these units can deal with Freq. Response, Phase Control, and Standing Waves, etc. IMO, only the advanced user can better tune a system. Still, if one is really serious then a dedicated room and a system placed properly and the room and system components tuned and swapped is the "BEST" way to begin. However, not all can go this far with their system.

    I think at the novice to moderate to enthusiast level using the built in DSP of the modern AVR is the way to go. At the advanced level of a full blown dedicated audio room , outboard DSP can be effectively used to get a desired result. Some have used pro audio tools like the Beringer Ultra Curve DEQ2496. Many, in the DIY audio and speaker world are using the inexpensive MiniDSP and software like REW (Room EQ Wizard). At the even more advanced active speaker crossover/eq level there are great speaker designers like LinkWitz that use DSP to tune their designs.

    The thing we have to remember is that the problem is not always the ROOM. Many times the issue is with the off-axis frequency response of the speakers. Component swapping and room treating can be thought of as more of the "Art" of audio. However, using modern DSP is more of the "Science." Sometimes it can take the proper tuning of both to get to the desired result.

    So yes, enjoy the music and K.I.S.S. ..."He who has to tune the least, tunes best!"
    Last edited by WLDock; 11-09-2013 at 10:14 AM.
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    ADC Soundshaper III IC Paraequalizer. Tames my room to just how I like it. I'm not a purist, I just know what my ears like and they like what this piece does for my room and system. That's all that matters.
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  13. #13

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    Eq's biggest problem is the guy running it. Doing it by ear doesn't work well.
    I've tried it with headphones and the advanced EQ in foobar, failed. Then I found a good graph of the
    headphones freq. curve. Success! So what you think will fix it and what's really wrong seldom match.
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

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    I will admit there is times I do miss tone controls or some type of equalization in my system especially for poorly master music. A quick adjust and it makes a bad or mediocre recording /mastering sound much better. For that reason I was actually debating if I should or shouldn't add one back in or get a preamp that has them again like my McIntosh pre before I sold it off.

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    See....this is what bad Scotch will do to you. ^^^^lol

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by timk65 View Post
    I like them, and I think if you have non-audiophile equipment they can make quite a difference if adjusted properly. I have an old Onkyo that I like a lot. Unfortunately, they no longer include tape loops on modern recievers. Why do audiophiles hate them so much?
    Hate is a strong word. My biggest peeve with EQ is the phase shift, addition of "grain" to the sound, and loss of transparency. I do use equalizers in my party system, where those issues are not as important.
    Main system: Denon DP-59L | Audio-Technica AT33EV | Marantz Reference Series SA-11S2 | Classé CP-50, modified | Classé CA-300, modified | Classé DR-10, modified | Classé RC-1 | PSB Stratus Gold i's | DIY Balanced AC Power Conditioner with surge/spike suppression | Acoustic Zen and NeoTech cables | Oyaide and Furutech AC power connectors and receptacles | Hi-Fi Tuning Supreme fuses | Dedicated 20A IG AC line

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    Quote Originally Posted by timk65 View Post
    Why do audiophiles hate them so much?
    Besides everything already stated remember everything you add in the chain adds to or subtracts from the original sound (mostly subtracts). Think of it this way how good would your morning cup of joe taste if you used 20 filters instead of one.?

    But then again if you like it what dose it matter after all your the only one that counts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    See....this is what bad Scotch will do to you. ^^^^lol
    now that's funny!

  19. #19

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    DSP or a parametric EQ before Digital to Analog conversion takes place is the best way to correct room issues without degrading sound quality.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    DSP or a parametric EQ before Digital to Analog conversion takes place is the best way to correct room issues without degrading sound quality.
    FWIW, I would agree (bizarre as it might seem, from ol' minimalist me).
    all the best,
    mrh

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    See....this is what bad Scotch will do to you. ^^^^lol
    Oh lord, I don't want to even think what would happen if you crossed an audiophile with a scotch snob. It might be too much snottiness for the universe to handle. But you could wrap your $5,000 bottle of scotch with $4000 speaker cable, for what it's worth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timk65 View Post
    Oh lord, I don't want to even think what would happen if you crossed an audiophile with a scotch snob. It might be too much snottiness for the universe to handle. But you could wrap your $5,000 bottle of scotch with $4000 speaker cable, for what it's worth.
    I wouldn't mind either.....can ya spare some change ?

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    They're frighteningly common - then there's wine... and now beer... and cigars...

    Personally, I am all about tea snobbery www.uptontea.com is a personal fave... FTGFOP1 First Flush Darjeeling, anyone? ;-)
    all the best,
    mrh

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    I am on the wine end of the spectrum myself. Between audio, wine and tubes, no wonder why I am going broke! LOL.

    But really, for poorly recorded or mastered music, I see nothing wrong with trying to help make it more listenable. Then when you do critical listening or a better mastered cd or LP, there is always the bypass to hit!

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    The "need" for an equalizer points to weakness somewhere else. Think about it. It's like calibrating a HDTV, either you want "fidelity" to established standards, or you don't. If you don't, there's no argument in the world that is going to change your mind.

    The idea is, to get music from the source to the speakers in the most transparent way possible. This puts you in the recording studio (or at least as close as possible). Adding "boxes of electronics" between the source and speakers can do nothing BUT harm.

    If I could afford a super high-end CDPlayer, I'd ditch my DAC and run the CDP directly into my Placette passive---for the reasons mentioned above---1 more "box of electronics" out of the way.
    Last edited by steveinaz; 11-12-2013 at 11:18 AM.

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    Yeah, and cabinets that add their own coloration is being pure, right?
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Default True

    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    DSP or a parametric EQ before Digital to Analog conversion takes place is the best way to correct room issues without degrading sound quality.
    Eq's compensate for room anomalies ....nothing more!

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    Yeah, but if you have a null...what would you rather do.......Buy an EQ to boost the frequencies and exhaust your amplifier of all available power for just that one or more lower frequency(s) or move the speakers to where the null is no more or at the very least, minimized? One is a band aid for an issue, the other is a solution without adding another component within the loop. Not to mention two more pairs of IC's that can further degrade the signal.

    Tom
    In search of accurate reproduction of music. Real sound is my reference and while perfection may not be attainable? If I chase it, I might just catch excellence.

    The best way to enjoy digital music reproduction is to never listen to good analogue reproduction.

  29. #29

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    The best way to deal with nulls is to add multiple subs. For peaks, it's easy to cut with EQ in the method I described above. I would not use an inline unit except for maybe: http://www.manley.com/peqb.php
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    Yeah, and cabinets that add their own coloration is being pure, right?
    Is the "coloration" bringing the end result closer to fidelity with the original recording?

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