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#268540 - 08/07/09 12:22 PM Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music?
ToddE Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 23
I have heard true audiophiles don't even use their tone controls. Well, I do. I find, unfortunately, that alot of music is recorded badly. I found my old JVC 10 band graphic equalizer in my attic yesterday and decided to hook it up. I certainly can tell the difference when I go between equalized and non-equalized music. I don't go overboard with the controls. Usually some treble boost here or bass limiting there. Sometimes even the midrange can be muddy. I know I have read where people can just go crazy with these things. Does anyone have an opinion?

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#268586 - 08/07/09 09:42 PM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: ToddE]
JohnK Offline
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Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10639
Todd, only those "true audiophiles" who also happen to be clueless about the way recordings vary would take such a position about tone controls. Most of my modern classical CDs don't require any adjustment, but I also have some recorded as far back as the 1930s and a little work with the treble or bass controls can make a significant improvement in listening enjoyment. The same applies to the expanded capabilities with equalizers. It makes no sense to endure flaws in the recording process which can be partially corrected with the technology that we've paid good money for.
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#268626 - 08/08/09 12:17 PM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: ToddE]
fredk Offline
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Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
Todd. In general, EQ is no longer considered a good way to treat a room's deficincies and is usually recommended as a last resort. Room treatment seems to be the recommended method of 'fixing' a room.

Lots of people do use stuff like the Audessey auto EQ that is built in to many receivers. Results seem to be mixed.

In general, it is difficult to eq above the point where room modes affect sound (up to 300Hz).

Quite a number of people, me included, use EQ to level out bass frequencies: basically offstting the effects of room modes.

Using EQ or tone controls it, as Johnk mentioned, another area where some people still use EQ.


Edited by fredk (08/08/09 12:17 PM)
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#268676 - 08/08/09 10:13 PM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: fredk]
JohnK Offline
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Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10639
Fred, note that the question was not related to room correction, but rather deficiencies in some individual recordings.
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#268728 - 08/09/09 11:45 AM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: JohnK]
ToddE Offline
hobbyist

Registered: 12/13/05
Posts: 23
Thanks for the responses guys. JohnK, you are correct, this is more for poorly recorded music than anything to do with my listening environment. I've done alot of searches on this issue and I guess it really is ultimately up to me what I like and dislike. JohnK thanks again for your response. You've answered a couple questions for me before and I appreciate it!!

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#268734 - 08/09/09 01:48 PM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: ToddE]
casey01 Offline
aficionado

Registered: 07/03/08
Posts: 852
Loc: Toronto
In the past, I have owned a couple of equalizers which I played around with for pretty much a strictly two-channel application. Unless you had one of the "ultra-expensive" Audio Control units, placing one of these in the "chain" and using the sliders for adjustments, usually added a considerable amount of "noise" in to the equation which, by today's standards, would be unacceptable.

Since much more sophisticated and flexible systems are built in to most of today's AVR's and Pre-Pros and unless it is one of the current bass EQ systems such as the Velodyne(SMS-1) or SVS(Audessey), obviously the need for any external equalizers has disappeared and nobody seems to be making them anymore.

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#268884 - 08/11/09 09:47 AM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: casey01]
Murph Offline
axiomite

Registered: 10/05/06
Posts: 6955
Loc: PEI, Canada
To quote Sloan, "If it feels good, Do it!" You may simply like a certain 'sound' and if it makes you happy, what else is there? Tweaking and striving for perfection makes other people happy, but again, happiness is the key.

I most often play my music in random mode so I'm way to lazy to make adjustments to smooth out whatever issues there might be in a recording when the next song will be from a different recording. When a good recording comes on, it's bliss to hear it exactly as it was intended.

I also experimented with the auto-eq feature in my receiver but always ended up turning it off as it never produced what I would call a 'natural' sound in my room. Others have had better luck.
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#269887 - 08/20/09 01:24 AM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: casey01]
drvenkmann Offline
newbie

Registered: 08/20/09
Posts: 1
I am a retired doctor (audiologist) who has ashamedly spent more on audio equipment than the average person spends on a few cars and one thing I can tell anyone who wants the best possible sound from his system is that physics rule - not opinion or current subjective dogma about purisms. In my systems the most important equipment I have besides good speakers is a self-equalizing Real Time Analyser. Using a manual equalizer with nothing to guide you but your golden ears is usually a recipe for lop-sided and heavy handed sound. Only so much can be acccomplished by moving speakers around and applying foam, drapes and egg-cartons. Your rooms role in the final sound that strikes your brain is huge - far larger than any other component excepting your hopefully healthy ears. What your room adds or detracts from the sound you eventually hear cannot be underestimated - it does far more than any audio mojo or voodoo like mega-buck interconnects, speaker cables and power 'conditioners'.

In short, my SERTA equipment brings a tonal balance, frequency response equalizing and soundstage imaging to a level that has to be heard to beleive and with instant A/B switching to before and after modes your jaw will drop at what you are missing when you don't use it. Whether with my M80v2, my QUAD ESL 988s or my Totems, it is the second most important component I have for extracting the best possible sound from my system and recordings.

Remember that a speaker may be prairie flat across the audio spectrum in anechoic testing but in the average living room or home theater the pink noise slide over 12 octaves often looks more like the Swiss Alps - especially in the mid bass, lowest octave and the upper bands past 14Khz. A good self equalizing RTA is now difficult to find but software versions are available that can assist those trying to use manual EQ to alleviate shortfalls or overabundancies of one band or another.

Good luck and good listening,
Dr. Venkmann (Ret)
Canada

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#269892 - 08/20/09 02:45 AM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: drvenkmann]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10639
Dr., welcome, and hope to have your thoughts on topics of interest in the future.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#287169 - 01/16/10 06:21 PM Re: Do any of you guys use a equalizer in your music? [Re: JohnK]
Wuchak Offline
buff

Registered: 12/18/09
Posts: 42
Yes. I just picked up a Sansui SE-9 to go with my Anthem Integrated 1 amp. The amp has no tone controls and at low listening volumes the bass needs a boost. Just like those loudness switches on receivers. They serve a purpose. Human hearing doesn't pick up the low frequencies at low volume like it does the mids and highs. The better designed boosts like those in the Yamaha receivers are variable so as you turn up the volume the amount of bass boost declines until you are running flat when the amp hits about 1/3 volume. Running flat at low volumes makes the music sound unnatural due to the missing bass.

The EQ I bought has a pink noise generator and will tune itself to a flat response in the room. Unfortunately I don't have the mic with it so I haven't been able to try it yet. I did find a mic that should work, I just need to get it ordered.

One of the best speakers going, the $15k B&O Beolab 5's have a built in mic that extends and eq's the bass to the room.

It's a shame that EQ's have fallen out of fashion since they are an excellent way to make something good sound great. Some stuff also benefits greatly from some EQ. Heavy metal flat out sounds better with a slight mid scoop. Talk radio sounds better with a slight mid boost. Dance sounds better with some bass boost. Etc.

A good EQ will only do to the sound what you want. If I run the Sansui with the EQ defeated and switch it in and out of the loop (completely bypassing it) there is no change in the sound so until the EQ is activated the unit adds zero change to the signal. Maybe there was some unwanted coloration added by cheaper units that lead to the demise of them being acceptable in a system.

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