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#56083 - 07/30/04 03:34 PM Equalizing My M2i's
TonyM Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 137
Hello All,

Hope you are all well. I have had my M2i's for about 2 weeks now and have just noticed that sometimes they seem a bit harsh in my room. When I first got them they were so much better than what I had it took me a while to notice a slight harshness.

So, I decided to hook up my Yamaha EQ-70 graphic equalizer between my analog outputs from my CD player and one of my analog inputs on my HK AVR 630. I was using the digital output. As far as digital vs. analog output, with the EQ disabled I could detect no difference in sound quality.

Next I went to the SoundStage review of the M2i's and printed the NRC data for the M2i's. I noticed some peaks and valleys that could be ironed out easily with the equalizer.

Here is the link to the NRC data.

Here are my settings of the bands that I changed; +1db at 240Hz, -.5db at 1kHz, -.5db at 2kHz, -1.5db at 4kHz, and +.5db at 8kHz. These are the closest bands on the EQ for the hills and valleys in the M2i graph.

Of the above settings it is the -1.5db at 4kHz that I found critical in my listening environment, and as you can see in the NRC data there is a large peak there right around the 4kHz area of the graph. Also as the NRC data shows when you go off axis more, the 4kHz area of the graph stays much higher than the rest of the spectrum. I believe that energy interacting with my panelled walls was causing the slight harshness I was hearing.

With these settings the M2i's now sound even better in my room than before. I did not think they could get better when I first got them. Just proves to show that as you listen longer you hear more, and may or may not like what you are hearing.

Alas, they don't make the EQ 70 anymore, it is a great EQ with high 107db signal to noise ratio. I went looking for another EQ and it seams they have fallen out of favor, except in the Pro Audio world..and those did not have standard phono plug connectors, only the professional ballanced or 1/4" TLR type connectors.

Yamaha has built in parametric equalization in their new receivers, makes me think maybe I should have purchased one of them over the AVR 630 just for the equalization capabilities.

Isn't audio fun?

Later all,

TonyM

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#56084 - 08/01/04 12:42 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
Hambrabi Offline
frequent flier

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 19
Loc: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Floyd Toole wrote several papers on equalization. The most relevant one is his article entitled "Part II - Making a good loudspeaker - image, space and great sound in rooms" on pages 14 to 16. It's available on his employer's website, under "white papers". I'd offer a link, but I don't want to get banned from Axiom's message board for promoting a competitor's work.

In a nutshell, he talks about the equalization required, and the difference between resonance and acoustic interference. He and Ian G. Masters have complained elsewhere about the uselessness of most graphic and parametric equalizers on the market, due to lack of resolution, true parametric equalization, measuring tools, and experience; so I would proceed with caution.

BTW, the article is very good at defending why frequency response curves are the best predictors of speaker "sound", and it's coming from the father of rational loudspeaker science.

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#56085 - 08/01/04 03:48 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
In reply to:

He and Ian G. Masters have complained elsewhere about the uselessness of most graphic and parametric equalizers on the market, due to lack of resolution, true parametric equalization, measuring tools, and experience; so I would proceed with caution.




I agree with this 110%. I once had an opportunity to talk some shop with a very well respected sound engineer in the Vancouver area. We chatted about speakers, amps etc and are conversation moved to EQ's. During our chat on EQ's it shocked me when he made the statement that he would never use an EQ in his home system. In a nutshell his main reason was because every channel you EQ'd, you took something away and artificially adjusted it. He also made the comment that if he ever bit the bullet and put a EQ in his system it would be in the thousands of dollars to get one that truly did parametric.

Not sure what got to me at the end of the conversation but when I got back from BC I sold the EQ I was running at the time and I have never hooked one up since. I have had a few receivers that have had built in EQ's but once again I agreed that it took away from the music versus added to it. My current Denon 3805 has a built in EQ that I won't go near with a ten foot pole!!!!!

Some of you will remember when I started the thread on my M80's about them being to bright etc. It was amazing to me how many PM's I got from people telling me to EQ them. I always thought that was odd. Why compensate for the sound of the speaker? I want as little in the signal path as possible..............and as you all know, instead of adding an EQ, I went with a different set of speakers that I have never once had the urge or desire to EQ.

Did I just make it to obvious that I don't like EQ's?......but at the end of the day, what I like, you might not like!



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#56086 - 08/01/04 03:58 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 2726
Loc: CA, USA
I don't use an equalizer, however, if I were to use one, I'd set it up so that I never used it to boost a frequency, just attenuate them. I figure they do less harm as an attenuator than as an amplifier.
_________________________
Enjoy the Music. Trust your ears. Laugh at Folks Who Claim to Know it All.

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#56087 - 08/01/04 10:22 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
TonyM Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 137
Hello All,

Hope you are all well. EQ's have a seriously bad reputation, there are many terrible ones that have been sold. I would not touch most of them with a 10 foot pole, hehe.

When using an equlizer that is not a true parametric you are indeed limited in what you can do. However if your speaker has a couple of 3db peaks above the average sensitivity, the speaker itself is altering the music by 3db to what was intended. No speaker is perfectly flat in frequency response.

Utilizing the EQ to take 1db off of a speaker peak flattens it enough to pull it in-line with the rest of the frequencies. This does not alter the sound of the music as it was intended, it adjusts the speaker to not emphasize that frequency.

The M2i has a peak around the 4kHz range, it is artificially boosting that frequency compared to the rest of its range, so a slight cut at that frequency of 1db to 1.5db pulls it down so the speaker response is more flat. This is much better than using your Tone control in your reciever which will alter all of your treble frequencies, not just the 4kHz peak. Same thing with adding the resistor many have tried to tame this slight peak, you lose most of your soundstage.

Most people I have seen with EQ's don't know how to use them and make an absolute mess with the sliders. I have barely moved them to adjust a slight peak here and there, therefore getting as flat a response as possible, most of the sliders are at 0db. Going from equalized to bypass, there is a very subtle change in the sound of the speaker.

The M2i is very easy to flatten out, I absolutely agree that cutting frequency is much easier than boosting, matter of fact that boost at 240 that I tried did not work out, so that slider went back to 0db.

I hope I have not offended anyone with this post.

Later,

TonyM

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#56088 - 08/01/04 10:33 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
TonyM Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 137
Hello NeverHappy,

Hope you are well. Yes, you have made it very clear that you would never use an EQ. However, does that EQ in your 3805 have a 4kHz adjustment? If it does, lug out those M22's I know you have and try a -1db or -1.5db reduction at that frequency only, leave the rest alone. I am pretty positive you will hear an improvement.

Later,

TonyM

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#56089 - 08/01/04 10:36 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
TonyM Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 137
Hello 2x6spds,

Hope you are well. Yes, I totally agree with you about attenuating vs. boosting.

Later,

TonyM

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#56090 - 08/01/04 10:38 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
TonyM Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 137
Hello Hambrabi,

Hope you are well. Thank you for the information, I will attempt to locate it, and take a look.

Later,

TonyM

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#56091 - 08/01/04 10:51 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
CosmicVoyager Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 789
Loc: Asheville, NC
NeverHappy,

Good information! I agree with you 100%. I'm an audio purist myself. If I HAD to use an EQ I would choose Rane, they produce quality products. For HT (not audio) I think it's fine to use an EQ, I don't in my system but have contact with people that do and noticed improvement in their systems. I think good acoustics would tame most systems, however they are butt ugly .

Just my $.02

_________________________
M80's VP150 QS8's Earthquake SuperNova MKV-15
Integra DTR-7.4 Outlaw 755 Outlaw M200's Outlaw ICBM

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#56092 - 08/01/04 11:26 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
CosmicVoyager Offline
aficionado

Registered: 02/01/04
Posts: 789
Loc: Asheville, NC
Here's what I would usehttp://www.trueaudio.com/.
It's great software, it will definitly give you a better idea of whats going on in your own environment. You will also need a good microphone. here


You will also need a preamp that supplies 48 volt phantom power to power the microphone. Musicians Friend also carries several of these, made by M-Audio and others. The M-Audio preamps feature USB connections that can go right into your computer:

This software will help anyone reveal any problems. I use this software all the time. The good thing is that it's under $100.00. Don't use a laptop microphone, the noise from the laptop will interfere with the capture.

Tom
_________________________
M80's VP150 QS8's Earthquake SuperNova MKV-15
Integra DTR-7.4 Outlaw 755 Outlaw M200's Outlaw ICBM

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#56093 - 08/01/04 11:56 AM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
NeverHappy Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/12/03
Posts: 1424
Loc: Western Canada
In reply to:

lug out those M22's I know you have and try a -1db or -1.5db reduction




I can't! I sold them to make room for the back 50's that I'm going to order as soon as I get my TV problem sorted out!

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#56094 - 08/01/04 12:05 PM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
TonyM Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 137
Hello tleigh,

Hope you are well. Yes, those Rane THX EQs are very nice, I have looked at them.

As far as the software, I borrowed a spectrum analyzer from a friend to look at the frequency response, the M2i's are very flat except at 3.7kHz there was a peak that was much higher than the rest, the best I could do with my EQ was adjust the 4kHz center band frequency. That adjustment adjusted that peak downward and now they are almost perfectly flat in my room. Quite amazing design on the M2i to be so flat with only a minor peak, except that peak is at a frequency that the human ear is very sensitive to.

Thank you for all the replies, and suggestions.

Later,

TonyM

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#56095 - 08/01/04 12:07 PM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
TonyM Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 137
Hello NeverHappy,

Hope you are well. You move fast! Sorry to hear about your blown TV, that sucks. When you get those M50s in the rear, give us a shout on how they sound with everything matching up. Should sound fantastic.

Later,

TonyM

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#56096 - 08/01/04 11:28 PM Re: Equalizing My M2i's
INANE Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 1668
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
On my old HT setup, which BTW is nothing special, I used an EQ because my old speakers were absolutely horrid. On my new setup I have no need for it.

I'd just like to say EQ's can be useful in certain situations. In my case it made for a nice bandaid.
_________________________
-Ben
HT v2.0 !
HT v1.0

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