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Using Equalisers

Castle Knight 2 Speakers

sonosphere

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Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
775
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63
Location
Pune
Hi everybody,
In one of the threads regarding equalisers on this forum, I found many responses claiming that considering advances in 2.1/5.1 systems, there is no real need for equalisers now.

I have not been expsosed to lot of high-end audio, however I have following points that say equalisers* should be used to improve SQ even now (* I mean "good" equalisers, that don't add noise/distortion in sound-chain)

1. Entry level amps/AVR's may not have neutral output across audio spectrum. Hence EQ units should be introduced to enhance/subdue the suppressed/exaggerated frequencies of amp output. (Example: My Onkyo 5105 sounds better with Audessy EQ enabled. "Direct Audio out" sounds wimpy on most songs, except very few songs that sound better thru "Direct" mode.)

2. Entry level speakers may not have neutral output across audio spectrum, hence....."same description as above"....of Speaker output. (Example: I have used the Manual EQ option of Onkyo 5105 to enhance the vocals that sound suppressed on Whafe 9.2's (Hindi songs need vocals to be at forefront, whereas 9.2's laid-back sound blends vocals within the remaining spectrum) ... not to say that I don't like Laid-back sound of 9.2. I like it the way some people like gentle beauty of a soft-focus photograph.

3. Every room (+ furniture within) has a way of suppressing/exaggerating certain frequencies, hence...."same description as above"....room. (Example: No matter where I place the subwoofer in the room, my favorite sitting position was not getting optimum bass... the optimum bass was falling 5 feet away from the favorite location. So I manually enhanced the EQ setting of subwoofer in the AVR. This issue is not there in Audessy EQ mode of AVR... only in Manual "flat" eq mode)

While point-1 and 2 relate mostly to entry-level items... even some Hi-end items don't deliver neutral performance, as read in some web-reviews.

I invite all audio-gurus/newbies to express their views on this topic. (This is a specific topic hence not posted under "General Chit-chat")

If the above 3 points are valid, why there has been silent demise of Equalisers from audio scene? Have people become satisfied with the "generally good sound"? that even entry level items provide, OR, EQ units were just a passing "marketing fad" of 80's, OR .... you guys tell me what else :)!!
 

sonosphere

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
775
Points
63
Location
Pune
Are you assuming an equaliser can correct the above problems? ....Frankly, they mostly sound terrible, adding too much glitter and boom. Maybe OK for games and a movie or two, but definitely not for music. It's like going to a Chinese restaurant and drowning the food in sauces. Everything tastes the same then....

However, if you like using it yourself, go ahead.

Hi Cranky.. Just throwing a theoretical scenario here... in case a good EQ unit "half" improves the deficient/exaggerated frequency at the cost of "minor" noise in sound-chain then wouldn't adding the EQ worth the effort? I mean in such situation, I would "Logically" consider half-improvement is better than no-improvement. So this is logical preference for EQ, not a question of personal liking.

Of course my logical argument goes out of window if your experience says such "theoretical scenario" doesn't exist.

tell me what you think:)
 

jaudere

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Joined
Apr 24, 2009
Messages
1,274
Points
83
Location
Panjim,Goa
Hi Cranky.. Just throwing a theoretical scenario here... in case a good EQ unit "half" improves the deficient/exaggerated frequency at the cost of "minor" noise in sound-chain then wouldn't adding the EQ worth the effort? I mean in such situation, I would "Logically" consider half-improvement is better than no-improvement. So this is logical preference for EQ, not a question of personal liking.

Of course my logical argument goes out of window if your experience says such "theoretical scenario" doesn't exist.

tell me what you think:)

The more tweaking options i get, the more unsatisfied i become. at present i am enjoying music with "straight" mode. if i get a 15 band EQ, i will start fiddling with it in every song, then i will try to get remote controlled EQ and so on. Simpler things make me happy
 
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sonosphere

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
775
Points
63
Location
Pune
Let's say, theoretically ;), we have a 10dB bump at 53.45Hz in your room. ......
.......If you know exactly where your room problems are, then a digital equaliser/crossover can be an easy, cheap and effective fix. Unfortunately the biggest challenge in any sound system is locating the problem. The solution is usually not too difficult to arrive at.

Hi Cranky,
Thanks for the insight on the room related eq issue. Hunting for problem seems like lot of work. I will wait for the day when Beolab kind of functionality trickles down to entry-level systems... personally can't spend time on R&D like that.

Hi Audio Gurus,
for sake of entry level guys looking to improve sound at minimal cost, request your patience to go thru the case I have for equalisers below:

When I listen to music I look for ....
1. Balanced presentation of sound across the freq-spectrum the way the composer intended,
2. secondly I prefer to hear all/most the details that composer intended.

While most entry level systems (starting from 15K HTIB's) doing 60Hz to 14Khz is no longer a difficult task, these systems have intentional/un-intentional peak or valley across the freq-spectrum.

So you have either suppressed/exaggerated vocals, heavy/wimpy bass, shrill/tinny treble. Can a 10 band equaliser costing say 10k (Behringer or equivalent) help flatten the freq-spectrum to extent of 50% improvement? Since such equalisers are not available for audition in Pune, please let me have benefit of your experience.

The extra 10k is all that guys on entry level ladder can spend for 50% approx improvement. Of course the option is there to go for better components instead of doing superficial patchwork... but that option also involves megabucks (Oppo + Arcam + B&W / Usher-dancers and like) which not everyone's budget justifies.

Thanks in advance,
 
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