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View Full Version : Looking to understand equalizers (parametric or otherwise)



chilledspode
03-05-2008, 08:51 AM
Over the years I have played with conventional low cost japanese eq's and have a dbx 3bx in a box - I found that having less stuff in my audio circuit produced cleaner sound and I am now down to just my player, and amp, soem decent cables and the Jubals. It has never sounded better.

I see there are better eq's to be had when you look at the pro folks like Ashley but they are running xlr connections vs rca. If I was looking to find a used EQ for balancing room characteristics or speaker response in a home system what would someone recommend I look for?

The 3bx was fun for fiddling with the sound but it really cut/muddied the fine details and musicality, so I took it out. If a good eq is going to do the same I'll probably forget getting one but if the 3bx because of its age is not representative of a good eq's transparency, I hope some one will tell me...:D

Cheers

Mark

BMWCCA
03-05-2008, 10:43 AM
I've been happy with Soundcraftsmen stuff for decades. I don't know that much about pro stuff but I do know the Soundcraftsmen really doesn't interfere with the sound. Their old parametrics can bring some serious cash (for old stuff) on Ebay but their octave-EQs are incredibly cheap as add-on-EQ-only. Their pre-amp/EQs are nice, too, and not terribly expensive and they have a killer phono section on the top models if you need that.

I paid $36 recently for a like-new DC2215 on Ebay:
http://i6.ebayimg.com/02/i/000/cb/35/e763_3.JPG

That may not be of the quality level you're looking for, but they're out there and cheap enough to try and see if you like them.

chilledspode
03-05-2008, 12:03 PM
Thanks for that

I'll go a see what ebay has to offer...

Cheers

Mark

grumpy
03-05-2008, 01:40 PM
-if- you go the old-Soundcraftsmen route, I'd suggest you look to the older (and sometimes
more expensive) inductor-based units (as opposed to the "gyrator" based, or
op-amp "synthesized inductor" based tuned circuits)... they tended to sound
"cleaner"... whatever that means. Avoid sticky/scratchy linear pots (controls)
if possible, and make sure the "differential comparator" lamps all function.

I don't recall specific part numbers anymore, or I'd cite them for you (and I don't
really feel like researching them right now).

On a different note:
Perreaux made a nice tone control set (bass/treble) TC-2 that matched their
units at the time SM-2 preamp, etc...

http://www.wired4sound.net.au/sources/perreaux_TC2/perreaux_TC2.htm

I had one. Mostly used it as a headphone amp and left the controls off, so I
eventually got rid of it. Didn't seem to interfere with the sound though.

-grumpy (and lazy) :)

duaneage
03-05-2008, 04:16 PM
I've been happy with Soundcraftsmen stuff for decades. I don't know that much about pro stuff but I do know the Soundcraftsmen really doesn't interfere with the sound. Their old parametrics can bring some serious cash (for old stuff) on Ebay but their octave-EQs are incredibly cheap as add-on-EQ-only. Their pre-amp/EQs are nice, too, and not terribly expensive and they have a killer phono section on the top models if you need that.

I paid $36 recently for a like-new DC2215 on Ebay:
http://i6.ebayimg.com/02/i/000/cb/35/e763_3.JPG

That may not be of the quality level you're looking for, but they're out there and cheap enough to try and see if you like them.

That curve was known as The Disco Smile back in the day.

BMWCCA
03-05-2008, 04:36 PM
Yeah. Honest, that's the Ebay auction photo. I'm into much more subtle curves and proper use of the zero-gain sliders!

So Grumpy, how do you tell the difference between "good" and "bad" Soundcraftsmen EQs and components? I was only aware of them from the PE2217 up to their demise. I never even saw a parametric until a recent auction on Ebay where one hit the jackpot. Octave versus third-octave is about the only difference I know, that and range of each slider; greater range on the more expensive models.

This one went for over $200 on the Bay recently:
http://i9.ebayimg.com/05/i/000/d2/74/4cf8_12.JPG

grumpy
03-05-2008, 08:55 PM
how do you tell the difference between "good" and "bad" Soundcraftsmen EQs and components?I wouldn't go so far as calling newer units "bad", just indicating my
preference and experience. Someone else might like the newer units
better. Fine with me.

2212 had tunable coils in it (IIRC) to set the center freq. (internal
adjustment). I don't recall other specific part numbers of the last EQ's or
combo preamp/EQ models that still used tuned inductors (coils).
I'd have to see inside or have a schematic... sorry.:o:

Using LC "tank" circuits is more expensive to mfg and calibrate, so I recall
they ultimately gave way in the Soundcraftsmen lineup to op-amp
synthesized/active circuits, phasing out the passive inductor based units
... I would think largely to remain competitive in a market that became
crowded with junk. Also going to more/narrower bands makes using discrete tuned
coils less practical.

I liked that company and was sorry to see them go (including to MTX).