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Thread: Any active EQ users out there?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Any active EQ users out there?

    Just out of curiosity.
    Let`s face it, there are no "perfect" speakers, acoustic environments or combinations thereof.
    I`ve yet to encounter a speaker exhibiting a perfect frequency response and if one actually did exist, all that perfection would be negated the moment it`s placed in any acoustic environment.

    Personally, I have no problems whatsoever in applying a judicious measure of equalization, preferably in parametric form, as standard ISO centered frequencies found on grahics rarely coincide with frequencies of interest. The same would apply to simple tone controls, they can work well to counter non linear human hearing responses.

    I find it amusing that among the audiophile crowd, such logic and practices are frowned upon and avoided like the Black Plague arguing that the signal integrity is compromised thereby diminishing the quality of audio.
    Equally amusing, they would`nt hesitate to drop thousands of dollars on cryogenically treated power cables and wall plates etc. to tune their system when a good old bass or treble tweak would more than likely yield a satisfactory result, but I digress

    I`ve been running flat for quite some time. Was it perfect, no but I did`nt feel the need for any compensation, but that may very well change when I get the 4425s up and running.

    So what are your thoughts on this, do you consider this practice to be logical or blasphemous?

  2. #2
    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    I have a Soundcraftsmen third-octave EQ in every system. I don't use them when listening at what I like to tell my wife is "live music" levels but I do bring them in through the loop switching in the pre-amp for low-level listening. I throw a smiley face curve on there to approximate the Fletcher-Munson contour since—last time I looked—my ears were human and susceptible to our evolved selective frequency enhancement at low volume.

    Otherwise I run the system in the "direct" mode which bypasses the EQ and bass and treble controls. But then I have balanced the response of the system in the room using tone generators, SPL meters, and the active EQ in my bi-amp setup as well as the L-pads in the 4-way system.

    Then all that means is I'm hearing, as close as possible, exactly what the engineer produced. I might not agree with his mix and I'd not hesitate to make adjustments . . . if it irritated me enough to get up off the couch!
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

  3. #3
    Unabashed Speakerholic cosmos's Avatar
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    Audiophile?

    Personally, I will never understand the firm refusal of audiophiles to augment their system, at least at times, with an equalizer. Virtually every recorded piece has been equalized at some time or another, by one method or another. If a person can improve their system, in their room with the use of an equalizer, why not use one? Because someone says you shouldn't?

    If it helps, use it.. if not leave it alone.. I bet it will help in most instances. The refusal to "fix" the sound/room/system is like walking into a museum and removing your eyeglasses so you can see the art naturally as the artist intended it..

    In addition to the above, I really don't care how the engineer wanted me to hear something.. I bought the music and I will listen to it however I please, and decide whether or not I like it that way... without apologizing to anyone, thank you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 1audiohack's Avatar
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    Any active EQ users out there?

    Yup.
    If we knew what the hell we were doing, we wouldn't call it research would we.

  5. #5
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    Yes. When I was running 3 channel (2+derived through a Mac C-26) I used an Altec 729. It made an incredible difference. I ran custom built JBL's and Altec's. It smoothed eveything out
    and made listening to mostly classical music almost ( not quite ) like being at a live performance. Particularly violins and double basses. The speakers were Altec 411's 405's and Jbl 077's
    with the center channel being JBL Le 10A's ,405's and 077's

    I think that the golden eared types don't like EQ is because it makes the sound a lot more
    accurate, and if there is one thing the golden crowd can't stand it is accuracy. Just like they don't like blind listening tests.

  6. #6
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    Oh yes

    Besides the well-documented BSS 366T Omnidrive Compact Plus units (who names these things????) in our (mine and grumpy's) active four-way PT250s and the Greg Timbers built DX-1s for my XPL200As, I've got a Technics SA-GX910 with PEQ driving my XPL160s, a Soundcraftsmen AS-2000 controlling my L250s, and of course, those darned SDEC 4000 units (4000P and 4000X) controlling the entire Synthesis® system.

    I'm about to slap some EQ on the K2. Heresy!!
    Out.

  7. #7
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    I don't know why, but for some reason I always take these rants against the anonymous "audiophile" as a slander akin to racism.
    I'll get off that soap box now and get back to the conversation.


    I have used the following active and passive equalizers in my home systems at various points in my "audiophile" career. I'll list them alphabetically as I don't want to rate them. I have used others as well, but not in my own systems.

    Audyssey EQ (automatic digital stereo EQ and phase control with manual trims)
    Audyssey Bass EQ (automatic digital stereo EQ and phase control with manual trims for subwoofers)
    DEQX PDC 2.6P (digital stereo active parametric EQ)
    Rane ME 15B (15 band stereo active graphic EQ)
    Rane ME 30B (30 band active graphic EQ)
    Velodyne SMS-1 (automatic/manual digital stereo parametric EQ for subwoofers)
    White 4220 (9 band passive graphic EQ)
    White 4400 (28 band active graphic EQ)
    White 4700 (28 band stereo active graphic EQ with digital memory)

    Having used all of the above quite extensively, I don't currently have any in my system. In some systems in some rooms they are a necessary evil, if you have very well designed speakers and are fortunate to have a decent room and loudspeaker/listening position placement then you can avoid them. I realize "evil" isn't a neutral term, but the fact is, they are evil. They are evil just as adding a tweeter to a full range loudspeaker is evil. Of course most of us require an added tweeter, sometimes even additional drivers making the system a three or even four way... as has been stated countless times it is all about the compromises.


    Widget

  8. #8
    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    Mike, using an eq or a tone control from a pre-amp adds another circuit in the line. If you run high end eqs or pre-amps, those extra circuits will not altr the sound quality. If you run average eqs and average pre-amp, the quality of the sound will be affected. I dont mean that correcting the sound is bad or good. Only that it depends on your equipment. Usually, the simple the path between the source and the output, the better. I personally have a stack of digital eqs and analog parametric ones and don't use them. On the subject, we can include the effect of a passive crossover on sound. Which is why I much prefer using and active crossover and multiple power amps.

  9. #9
    Senior Member grumpy's Avatar
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    On one system I use an old analog PEQ from Meyer Sound... on the low end,
    a room is a room, no matter the treatments...EQ can help. On the high end, I use
    it (judiciously, and with measurement aid) as a crutch for an imperfect
    system, primarily because I'm too lazy to fool with a passive implementation
    (so far), and it works to my satisfaction.

    I do not use them (PEQ, especially) as tone controls (e.g., for individual recordings);
    had I a -quality- GEQ, I might be so tempted

    On a second system (4430's), I've chosen to use the L-pads (and measurements)
    to form well-matched L-R curves and left active EQ out of the system (one less
    thing to remember to turn on/off, and the bass area improvements were
    there... but not worth the hassle to me for this system).

  10. #10
    Senior Member DavidF's Avatar
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    I use the LE-14H in a bass module for variations of JBL-like systems. In all cases I need to use 1/3 octave equalization (analog) to mitigate room response issues at around 80 and 40 Hz. No tweaking above 100 Hz or so is used.

    Occasionally I put some DIY Klipsch Fortes into use but I do not experience the same room response issues. They are there but not as pronounced with this woofer/enclosure system.

    I would prefer not to add additional equipment in the chain but I do not feel penalized otherwise for using the equalizer.
    David F
    San Jose

  11. #11
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    I used to eq for the room acoustics first using a 10 band ADC, then later 31 Yamaha Pro eqs, monitoring both using RTA.

    When Yamaha put their Autoeq in the new RX-Z9 that I purchased (for component video switching and upscaling), I took those out of the system and just let the Yamaha do its thing in the digital domain.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Widget View Post
    I don't currently have any in my system.
    Elitist snob!

  13. #13
    Administrator Mr. Widget's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffW View Post
    Elitist snob!


    Naw... just lucky enough to have a pair of excellent speakers and a pretty decent room.


    Widget

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mike F's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddalin View Post
    I used to eq for the room acoustics first using a 10 band ADC, then later 31 Yamaha Pro eqs, monitoring both using RTA.

    When Yamaha put their Autoeq in the new RX-Z9 that I purchased (for component video switching and upscaling), I took those out of the system and just let the Yamaha do its thing in the digital domain.
    And how did that work out for you? I presume it provided you with an end result curve. I`m pretty sure the processor can come up with fairly accurate delay time compensation however, I would not trust the auto function to equalize anything as they are essentially time blind with respect to direct and reflected arrivals.
    Thats why God invented SIM and SMAART

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike F View Post
    And how did that work out for you? I presume it provided you with an end result curve. I`m pretty sure the processor can come up with fairly accurate delay time compensation however, I would not trust the auto function to equalize anything as they are essentially time blind with respect to direct and reflected arrivals.
    Thats why God invented SIM and SMAART
    The Yamaha YPAO actually works fairly well and when you switch it out, the differences are obvious. I don't think the end curve is any worse than I could ever do manually using RTA, and is probably much better. The real benefit is that I don't pick up the noise (hiss) from the external units. To me that is far more noticable.

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