Equalizer for the ULF - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 03:09 AM - Thread Starter
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My subwoofer wall will be built next weekend and I'm still looking for a suitable equalizer for the < 20 Hz region. At the moment I'm aware of the following possibilities:

- Marchand WM8 -> rather expensive
- MiniDSP -> reported to not work well in the ULF and may have clipping problems
- self-made circuit board with Linkwitz transform -> only one fixed preset
- Bossobass' SEQSS -> availability?

Are there any other linkwitz transforming equalizers? Or any digital equalizers which can be configured for under 20 Hz?
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post #2 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 10:31 AM
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If you want to use an HTPC as the source or route the bass through an HTPC you can use JRiver Media Center. It has a 64-bit DSP with a Linkwitz Transform and no limit on PEQ.





Edit: I see you are in Germany. One of JRiver's programmers, Hendrick Leppkes, lives in Hamburg.

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post #3 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 10:54 AM
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I want to know what JRiver uses for it's 5.1 -> 7.1 post processing. I'd be all over that if it had proper 5.1->7.1/9.1/11.1 support.

While not often thought of but the Behringer DCX can apply some EQ and shelf filter effect below 20hz but the filter would not be allowed to be set under 20hz. Depends on what you're trying to do. For most it can get by boosting the lowend but if you want more control <20hz then the MiniDSP is probably the most affordable yet flexible device on the market.
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post #4 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Scott Simonian View Post

I want to know what JRiver uses for it's 5.1 -> 7.1 post processing. I'd be all over that if it had proper 5.1->7.1/9.1/11.1 support.
If you had proper speakers you don't need 9.1 or 11.1 support. tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

JRiver has its own proprietary upmixing/downmixing algorithm called JRSS for 2.0 > 5.1/7.1 or 5.1 > 7.1. So far it does not upmix further than 7.1 because no receiver accepts more than 8 channels via HDMI and not too many people even have audio devices with more than 8 channels. You can do your own mixing/copying of channels, but that's not really the same. You can upmix to 7.1, but still use 16 output channels for active crossovers, multiple subwoofers, etc.

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post #5 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by desertdome View Post

If you had proper speakers you don't need 9.1 or 11.1 support. tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

JRiver has its own proprietary upmixing/downmixing algorithm called JRSS for 2.0 > 5.1/7.1 or 5.1 > 7.1. So far it does not upmix further than 7.1 because no receiver accepts more than 8 channels via HDMI and not too many people even have audio devices with more than 8 channels. You can do your own mixing/copying of channels, but that's not really the same. You can upmix to 7.1, but still use 16 output channels for active crossovers, multiple subwoofers, etc.

Erm, well... I have a 'proper' 9.1 setup. It includes front height surrounds. No, the content isn't purely discrete but with both Dolby Prologic 2z and Audyssey DSX I have at least a couple of 'proper' ways to get beyond simple 5/7.1 audio. Lol, I've been doing post processing on my surround since 2000 when I was doing EX "6.1" before the mainstream picked up on it. Anyway... I don't want to go on about the virtues (cuz it's so awesome tongue.gif) of modern post processing techniques. I like the stuff and if they would just implement PL2x/z, DSX, Neo:X I would be ALL OVER that JRiver software. It's always one thing or another that keeps me buying the traditional AVR. wink.gif
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post #6 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Although I use a HTPC as player I don't want to use it as an audio processor. I prefer a robust hardware design. Remember that an amplifier with thousends of watt is connected behind that equalizer and a "plop" or errornous sound can cause serious damage to the drivers.

MiniDSP's sample frequency is too high to be very precise in the low end. There is a thread at their board which discusses the problem. Btw. even old designs like the K+H Pro C28 have only 11 kHz in the bass section to get a high frequency resolution.

Isn't there any professional hardware which can change the ULF?
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post #7 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by FoLLgoTT View Post

Remember that an amplifier with thousends of watt is connected behind that equalizer and a "plop" or errornous sound can cause serious damage to the drivers.
Hardware is just based on embedded software. I have about 8000 watts directly connected to my HTPC. cool.gif All of my speakers/subs can handle maximum power anyway so I'm not that worried about something causing damage to the drivers. However, all my sound is routed through JRiver and I have Volume Protection turned on:

"Volume Protection is a feature to prevent unexpectedly loud output. It is useful in cases where you connect Media Center to a high-gain amplifier where unexpected output at full volume could damage equipment or your ears."


I can't think of any professional hardware that does anything below 20Hz. If you use IIR filters you have to have a high enough data block length to do any EQ below 20 Hz with precision. Hardware options don't have the computational power of an HTPC. If you use FIR filters, then you have delay issues as you mentioned in another thread. The lower the frequency the greater the delay.

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post #8 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoLLgoTT View Post

Although I use a HTPC as player I don't want to use it as an audio processor. I prefer a robust hardware design. Remember that an amplifier with thousends of watt is connected behind that equalizer and a "plop" or errornous sound can cause serious damage to the drivers.

MiniDSP's sample frequency is too high to be very precise in the low end. There is a thread at their board which discusses the problem. Btw. even old designs like the K+H Pro C28 have only 11 kHz in the bass section to get a high frequency resolution.

Isn't there any professional hardware which can change the ULF?

Yes, analog beats digital for ULF. The signal arrives in analog. Converting to to digital and then back to analog is very dependent on the ADC/DAC quality, not the bits used for processing. Units like the DCX can work, but they roll off sooner and do not retain the signal integrity in my experiences, which span a decade.

Desertdome is a top notch guy when it comes to HTPC systems and the JRiver stuff. I haven't tried it, so I would definitely defer to him on that and I would implicitly trust what he has to say about it. cool.gif

In any case, I have a couple mono Bassis units from Marchand and I can custom build an SEQSS if you can provide the right data. The Marchand is measured flat to 2 Hz (+0/-3dB) and the SEQSS has virtually no roll off.

Ping me if interested.
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post #9 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 01:23 PM
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If you don't mind analog Rane and I believe Symetrix PEQ's work down to 10 Hz
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post #10 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoLLgoTT View Post

My subwoofer wall will be built next weekend and I'm still looking for a suitable equalizer for the < 20 Hz region. At the moment I'm aware of the following possibilities:

- Marchand WM8 -> rather expensive
- MiniDSP -> reported to not work well in the ULF and may have clipping problems
- self-made circuit board with Linkwitz transform -> only one fixed preset
- Bossobass' SEQSS -> availability?

Are there any other linkwitz transforming equalizers? Or any digital equalizers which can be configured for under 20 Hz?
I second the Rane PE-17. Accurate as a swiss army knife. I suggest using a Room EQ Wizard (REW) with a USB sound card like the Behringer UCA 202 to set the filters. I use an electrical loopback mode to set the subsonic filter at 18Hz for my LMS subs. I like the pure analog mode of the Rane avoiding another A-D to D-A conversion and it does not overload that easily. I still try not to exceed -9dB for the subwoofer output from the pre-amp to keep the signal absolutely clean even when driven to very high levels (like in the war of the world or flight of the phoenix). Let me know if you need help with the Rane and REW.
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post #11 of 49 Old 11-26-2013, 01:54 PM
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post #12 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 04:33 AM
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Wait a minute. What leads you to believe that the MiniDsp does not extend well below 20hz? I know lots of folks who are running the MiniDsp balanced 2 by 4 HD with loads of output below 20hz, with plenty of measurements to back it up. This is the first I have heard about the MiniDsp rolling off below 20hz.
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post #13 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 06:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noah katz View Post

If you don't mind analog Rane and I believe Symetrix PEQ's work down to 10 Hz

Tried them both. Can't find the Symetrix right quick (must have filed under a stupid file name), but here's the PE-17:

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post #14 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Wait a minute. What leads you to believe that the MiniDsp does not extend well below 20hz? I know lots of folks who are running the MiniDsp balanced 2 by 4 HD with loads of output below 20hz, with plenty of measurements to back it up. This is the first I have heard about the MiniDsp rolling off below 20hz.

I haven't seen " plenty" of measurements below 20 Hz that I'd trust, but a loopback performed by a credible source would solve the mystery. Can you post one?

Plus, Nils is talking about rail voltage clipping, which is a concern when signal shaping (boosting). I'm not aware of any test results on that front?
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post #15 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 07:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

Wait a minute. What leads you to believe that the MiniDsp does not extend well below 20hz? I know lots of folks who are running the MiniDsp balanced 2 by 4 HD with loads of output below 20hz, with plenty of measurements to back it up. This is the first I have heard about the MiniDsp rolling off below 20hz.

No one said it rolls off quickly. I said it lacks precision in the ULF. Please read this thread for more info. The general problem is that a high sample rate gives a bad precision in the low frequencies. In the linked thread there are several measurements which proof that.


@desertdome
I'm a long HTPC user, but I never tried Jriver. Maybe I will, when my home theater is ready. But I still prefer a standalone solution which is independent from any source. smile.gif

At the weekend a friend of mine brings a K+H Pro C28 to my home. Its PEQ can be configured to 10 Hz. And it has FIR filters on board. Generally FIR filters can be minimum phase, too. This avoids the high latency of linear phase filtering. But I don't know the Pro C28's rolloff yet. This will be my first measurement when I have it at home. On the plus side this controller has high input/output voltages and very high dynamics. It cost 5000 € about several years ago. Now it is a bit outdated, but still better than most controllers on the market.

Ah, and it samples with only 11 kHz in the bass section. That should give precise result in the ULF. I'll report when measurements are done.


@bossobass
Thank you for the measurement.

You've got a PM. smile.gif
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post #16 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 07:22 AM
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"Are there any other linkwitz transforming equalizers? Or any digital equalizers which can be configured for under 20 Hz?"

if just looking for a little boost action down there, a dcx or the inuke software can do it.

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1461489/how-to-extend-the-high-pass-filter-below-20hz-in-dcx2496

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post #17 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 07:48 AM
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Yes, analog beats digital for ULF. The signal arrives in analog. Converting to to digital and then back to analog is very dependent on the ADC/DAC quality, not the bits used for processing. Units like the DCX can work, but they roll off sooner and do not retain the signal integrity in my experiences, which span a decade

I never thought about the conversion process in the ULF. Thanx Bosso, just more food for thought in the future

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post #18 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoLLgoTT View Post

No one said it rolls off quickly. I said it lacks precision in the ULF. Please read this thread for more info. The general problem is that a high sample rate gives a bad precision in the low frequencies. In the linked thread there are several measurements which proof that.


@desertdome
I'm a long HTPC user, but I never tried Jriver. Maybe I will, when my home theater is ready. But I still prefer a standalone solution which is independent from any source. smile.gif

At the weekend a friend of mine brings a K+H Pro C28 to my home. Its PEQ can be configured to 10 Hz. And it has FIR filters on board. Generally FIR filters can be minimum phase, too. This avoids the high latency of linear phase filtering. But I don't know the Pro C28's rolloff yet. This will be my first measurement when I have it at home. On the plus side this controller has high input/output voltages and very high dynamics. It cost 5000 € about several years ago. Now it is a bit outdated, but still better than most controllers on the market.

Ah, and it samples with only 11 kHz in the bass section. That should give precise result in the ULF. I'll report when measurements are done.


@bossobass
Thank you for the measurement.

You've got a PM. smile.gif

I tried reading that thread that you linked on the MiniDsp forum, but for some reason my phone cut the screen in half and I could only read parts of it. What exactly is the issue with the MiniDsp boosting the below 20hz content? Can this be worked around in the software? I really hate to hear this as I ordered a MiniDsp 2 by 4 balanced with the HD plug in for possibly providing boost for some sealed subs that I am building. Any info on this matter would be great!
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post #19 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 08:42 AM
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Ah, I hadn't thought of the loss in precision with high sampling rates. It's true, to get full BW you have to have 40k sampling which, after spreading out across DC-20k Hz leaves very low precision in the SW BW. Add that to the obviously low cost ADC/DAC and the power supply solutions offered and it isn't a good prospect on paper.

Here's various analog and digital solutions I've measured after dialing in the proper curves for my current system and 10 dB boost:

c6af3c00e4e21ca23f1ffeb222f6213d.jpg

When you add the AVR and the amplifier roll off, this completely explains why most people do not have strong <10 Hz response.

Currently, I'm using the Oppo 105 as a pre/player. Its loopback is almost as flat as the SEQSS, so no loss there. The amplifier is -3dB @ 3 Hz and I don't use smoothing EQ, so therein lies the answer to my results vs most others.
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post #20 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 11:04 AM
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The Rane PE17 has a 12dB octave non defeatable high pass at 10Hz. The Symetrix 551e is a little better with what amounts to a 6Hz filter with everything bypassed.



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post #21 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martycool007 View Post

I tried reading that thread that you linked on the MiniDsp forum, but for some reason my phone cut the screen in half and I could only read parts of it. What exactly is the issue with the MiniDsp boosting the below 20hz content? Can this be worked around in the software? I really hate to hear this as I ordered a MiniDsp 2 by 4 balanced with the HD plug in for possibly providing boost for some sealed subs that I am building. Any info on this matter would be great!

The filter behaviour under 20 Hz is unstable. According to this post the reason is the high sample rate in combination with a fixed point DSP. There is a 48 kHz version of the SubEQ plugin, but I don't know how stable it is.

And let's face it: we are freaks. The 99% don't care about < 20 Hz. So there is only small chance to get this fixed by MiniDSP team.
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post #22 of 49 Old 11-27-2013, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoLLgoTT View Post

The filter behaviour under 20 Hz is unstable. According to this post the reason is the high sample rate in combination with a fixed point DSP. There is a 48 kHz version of the SubEQ plugin, but I don't know how stable it is.

And let's face it: we are freaks. The 99% don't care about < 20 Hz. So there is only small chance to get this fixed by MiniDSP team.
that's only for the 96kHz units. the 8 channel output ones, not the 4 channel which are 24kHz. those units may have voltage limitations though for some setups
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post #23 of 49 Old 11-28-2013, 05:26 AM
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that's only for the 96kHz units. the 8 channel output ones, not the 4 channel which are 24kHz. those units may have voltage limitations though for some setups

So can you, or anyone else, confirm that it is possible to boost the sub-20hz content in a MiniDsp 2 by 4 balanced with HD plug-in, at say 16hz and up?

I was planning to build some sealed subs with my existing Dayton HO18's, and was planning to use this MiniDsp 2 by 4 balanced with advanced plug-in to boost the sub-20hz levels, but now I am not sure if that is a good way to do it?!
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post #24 of 49 Old 11-28-2013, 06:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bossobass View Post

Yes, analog beats digital for ULF. The signal arrives in analog. Converting to to digital and then back to analog is very dependent on the ADC/DAC quality, not the bits used for processing. Units like the DCX can work, but they roll off sooner and do not retain the signal integrity in my experiences, which span a decade.

Desertdome is a top notch guy when it comes to HTPC systems and the JRiver stuff. I haven't tried it, so I would definitely defer to him on that and I would implicitly trust what he has to say about it. cool.gif

In any case, I have a couple mono Bassis units from Marchand and I can custom build an SEQSS if you can provide the right data. The Marchand is measured flat to 2 Hz (+0/-3dB) and the SEQSS has virtually no roll off.

Ping me if interested.

Marchand or SEQSS accept balanced inputs?

JSS
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post #25 of 49 Old 11-28-2013, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmercy View Post

Marchand or SEQSS accept balanced inputs?

JSS

The Marchand can be purchased I believe with balanced or a RCA unit can be converter to balanced (I had to do this to mine).
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post #26 of 49 Old 11-28-2013, 09:41 AM - Thread Starter
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My Behringer Ultracurve DEQ2496 looks pretty good at the low end. But the controls can only be set to 20 Hz. This is the lowest shelve I can configure.

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post #27 of 49 Old 11-28-2013, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmercy View Post

Marchand or SEQSS accept balanced inputs?

JSS

Phil Marchand will build anything you ask him (and are willing to pay him) to build. smile.gif

I chose RCA input for the SEQSS because going with XLR in excludes 90% of the market for the hardware. I chose balanced out simply because the amplifiers used are assumed to be balanced in.

Balanced through is useful in eliminating noise. This requires properly internally grounded hardware on both ends of the cable, which, over 45 years as a live and recording musician, I have had many first hand experiences demonstrating that that is not the case.

With RCA in, if the result is that there is unacceptable noise, an RCA transformer adapter for RCA jack-equipped preamps or an XLR>RCA transforming adapter for balanced out jack-equipped preamps is the correct option.

Technically, this is the 2nd best way to achieve noise-free operation, but in the app we're involved with, there is typically no problem with noise and thus no advantage either way.

The nonsense floating around that XLR somehow magically audibly enhances the actual signal is just that.
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post #28 of 49 Old 11-28-2013, 01:01 PM
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My receiver has balanced XLR outs, so balanced would be ideal.

JSS
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post #29 of 49 Old 11-28-2013, 07:55 PM
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Phil Marchand will build anything you ask him (and are willing to pay him) to build. smile.gif

Lol, really? Does this still apply today?

I know my emails from a year or two ago have gone unanswered. At least, all the ones after the first email where I was detailing what I wanted and was going to buy. rolleyes.giftongue.gif
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post #30 of 49 Old 12-01-2013, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are the measurements of the Klein + Hummel Pro C28. Its input can be switched between electrical and transformer. It is pretty flat down to 2 Hz. I never saw a digital device that got this low. The IIR shelving filter at 10 Hz looks pretty good, too. I have to measure my new subwoofers and check if this controller fits my requirement.

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