Why do so many audiophiles hate equalizers? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

Railing against AV enthusiasts for not applying large an often visually intrusive acoustic treatments into what is often a shared room is a waste of energy because of other competing requirements, eg aesthetics or the wishes of other members of the household.

When talking about the room it doesn't mean we are necessarily talking about room treatments. Attention to 'the room' starts even well before that.

Have a look through some of the later postings in the "lets see pics of your stereo setup" and note how many systems have one speaker in a corner up against a side wall and the other speaker in the middle of the wall length in free space. Do you understand the technical errors such poor placement will be creating..??

..
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Old 02-07-2014, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

When talking about the room it doesn't mean we are necessarily talking about room treatments. Attention to 'the room' starts even well before that.

Have a look through some of the later postings in the "lets see pics of your stereo setup" and note how many systems have one speaker in a corner up against a side wall and the other speaker in the middle of the wall length in frees space. Do you understand the technical errors such poor placement will be creating..??
Yes, I understand acoustics reasonably well, as it's an interest I've had since working on the design and construction of a recording studio many years ago, and other projects since.

In response to your comment above, that doesn't change my point one iota merely moves it back one step from optimising the acoustic space, to correct placement withing the space they have. Many enthusiasts are constrained by domestic requirements to where they are able to put their audio/HT gear, and if that location is as you described then that's all they have and have to live with it. Even heavy treatment of the near side will will not ameliorate the effect of it's proximity to make to symmetrical with the other side.

There are also plenty pf people with dedicated spaces and having spent a considerable sum on their gear, choose to arrange it as an altar to audio electronics, rather than even work on placement, let alone optimsation with room treatment. Here is one example: I have many others saved.

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Old 02-07-2014, 08:15 PM
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When working with challenging rooms there are usually alternative options to pursue. A diagonal corner setup works good for some rooms. Choosing more appropriate speakers that will work better with the room they have is another avenue.

What I see more in here is speakers plonked in a room that more happens to fit the decor or is just carried over from where they used to have the TV placed when they were only listening to the TV speakers. Very little thought/priority is given to the acoustics of their room arrangement.

I don't see nowhere near as many bad rooms in audiophile orientated forums. People there still have challenging rooms and it may be the family lounge they have to share with other family members but they still manage much more symmetrical setups and also manage to keep the speakers further forward into the room rather than being pushed back against the wall with some monstrous TV unit and bookcase sticking further out in front of the speakers and crowding them out.

And those are the most important things before any treatments or EQ or anything else.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

A few points:

Equalizers ALONE are NOWHERE NEAR as good as building a custom built room for music listening. A decent balance of good diffusion particularly for first reflections coupled with absorption of bass frequencies with bass traps makes an obvious difference. In my first "above garage" theater, simply buying a bunch of cheap Auralex foam corner bass traps made an immediate and impressive difference in bass acoustics no matter what else I did with my single subwoofer. This was my first indication that room acoustics aren't "voodoo".

The listening position itself makes a massive difference depending on what room modes you are sitting in... likewise the speakers positions make a massive difference in soundstage.

bass frequency range in particular sounds GREAT when linear and you MUST eliminate as many nulls in the listening positions and predominantly kill bass peaks with equalizers. Multiple subwoofers with equalization options makes a much bigger difference in many cases for bass room correction than an equalizer with a single sub.

EQ/Audyssey/Dirac/Trinnov... whatever... are not a substitute for poor a room. I have heard people say: "room correction will work best in an untreated room". Trust me: A turd is still a turd. THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A PROPER ROOM. I am not trying to be an elitist here, but to take your "hobby" to the next level, you have no choice but to do some construction for the absolute best results. You may have a sufficient room by luck alone... however the odds of this are VERY low. More than likely your definition of sufficient hasn't been modified by sitting in a truly amazing room.

There is a reason why even symphony/concert halls, airport lobbies, and even restaurants have room treatments. EQ salesmen are not being deceptive but visiting the websites of software companies like DIRAC provide ZERO assistance when it comes to suggesting room treatments based on their room analysis software.

I WISH these software provided you with these additional suggestions in a user friendly way. Simple suggestions like: "move your subwoofer, the location sucks"... or "hey dude you are sitting in a major null, move that couch a bit and retest the response." The typical user is not going to have the knowledge to easily fix problems encountered with room interactions.

Equalizers always kill the purity of the original signal so targeted EQ for bass regions may be all that you want to do.

After hovering in AVS for a good part of the last decade I have built a GREAT room with GREAT speakers and expended a ton of time and money doing so but enjoyed every minute of it. Even still I keep looking for more options for "fine tuning" and improvement. Almost like the recording is somehow going to be larger than life... or better than life... if I try something different. The fun in this hobby is clearly the journey since perfection does't exist and is obviously unknowable and unattainable even if perfection did exist.

Out listening room is our Zen garden. Meaningless and meaningful at the same time.

There is no such thing as a perfect room, there will always be something lacking or there will be too many frequencies. Equalization (as others in this thread have said) is needed to tune a room, if you have ever done live sound you know that equalizers are always used.

"Then one day you find ten years have got behind you no one told when to run you missed the starting gun."
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbeam418 View Post

There is no such thing as a perfect room, there will always be something lacking or there will be too many frequencies.
Too many frequencies. That's the more common of those two problems (though audiophiles will never admit to it).

Sanjay
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Old 03-28-2014, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by qguy View Post

deletia...

I think there a few requirements for testing cables

1. Experience and AGE of the listener. When I tested this, I had 15 years listening experience and the current system was untouched for 2 years. ANALOGY : Ask you grandmother to test regular octane gas vs the next level octane gas in a Ferrari, I doubt that she could tell the difference, but to a Formula 1 Champion driver like me smile.gif one second on the accelerator and I can tell you which is which  deletia...

 

Really depends on the Ferrari. Some will need premium, some, e.g. 308 with 8.8:1 compression ratio, will more than likely run just fine on plain old 87 (talking US measurement system here). Buying more octane than the engine needs does no good, and the badge on the hood matters not one bit.

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Old 03-29-2014, 05:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post


Equalizers always kill the purity of the original signal so targeted EQ for bass regions may be all that you want to do.

Horse feathers! Please let me introduce the concept of "The right tool for the job" ;-)

IMO, the worst thing about equalization is that it seems to be vastly oversold. The leading malefactors are ignorant marketing people who work for AVR manufacturers and call things like Audyssy, MCACC. and YPAO "Room Correction".. If one is observant one may have noticed that every chance I get I avoid that phrase. My problem is that I long ago discovered what many others, perhaps the most well-known being Ethan Winer discovered, which is that many of the things that need to be corrected in a room can't be corrected electronically with any useful degree of generality.

It is not that electronics can't help one manage some of the things that go wrong when setting up an audio system. It is not that it necessarily screws everything up. When it doesn't work, its probably in a situation where it should have never been tried for that particular problem.

I think other than that shading of meaning, we are basically on the same page.
Quote:
After hovering in AVS for a good part of the last decade I have built a GREAT room with GREAT speakers and expended a ton of time and money doing so but enjoyed every minute of it. Even still I keep looking for more options for "fine tuning" and improvement. Almost like the recording is somehow going to be larger than life... or better than life... if I try something different. The fun in this hobby is clearly the journey since perfection does't exist and is obviously unknowable and unattainable even if perfection did exist.

+1
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:00 AM
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Perfection is more or less live... Although that can be done in different ways too

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Old 03-29-2014, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by blazar View Post

Perfection is more or less live... Although that can be done in different ways too

Most live music is amplified. Even our local symphony orchestra uses amplification. I think it is pretty hard to find real live music in this age.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:01 PM
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Yeah i look at the speaker as its own instrument. My horn speakers sound more "live" to me than anything else I have heard besides maybe planar speakers (which cant do the kinds of peak SPL I like).

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Old 03-31-2014, 10:32 AM
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I'm a purist.`

When I want to listen to a song, I kidnap the band and recording engineer and force them to play it in my living room.

I don't want ANYTHING to come between me and my music.
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Old 03-31-2014, 11:48 AM
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I'll bet the recording engineer had no such compunction about using EQ.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A9X-308 View Post

I'll bet the recording engineer had no such compunction about using EQ.

+1

What many audiophiles may not know is that most (almost all!) of the microphones used for recording have audibly non-flat response curves to say the very least, and so the mic is basically an EQ package.

Most microphones used by vocalists have audibly non-flat response curves that vary their bass peaking with distance from the mic to the mouth.

Mics also have tremendous variations in response versus acceptance angle, and that is just another tone control.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:14 PM
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I haven't read through the rest of this thread, so I'll just answer for myself. The reason I don't use an EQ is because I don't have an RTA and a calibrated flat mic with which to determine where the peaks and nulls of my room are and therefore using an EQ would be an exercise in futility.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tweaked05 View Post

I haven't read through the rest of this thread, so I'll just answer for myself. The reason I don't use an EQ is because I don't have an RTA and a calibrated flat mic with which to determine where the peaks and nulls of my room are and therefore using an EQ would be an exercise in futility.

There are plenty of folks that look at EQ as a bandaid which won't solve all problems at all listening positions. Any EQ you do for one position might make another position worse.

So far I have given up on using EQ on my main speakers since it seems to do things I don't like... I do bass management and bypass Audyssey otherwise on the mains.

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Old 03-31-2014, 03:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

There are plenty of folks that look at EQ as a bandaid which won't solve all problems at all listening positions. Any EQ you do for one position might make another position worse.

So far I have given up on using EQ on my main speakers since it seems to do things I don't like... I do bass management and bypass Audyssey otherwise on the mains.

Yeah, I think I agree with you on bypassing Audyssey for the mains especially when listening to 2 channel sources like my TT. I don't really like what Audyssey did. It dramatically increased the center image sure, but it also dramatically increase the midrange as well making it sound less balanced.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blazar View Post

There are plenty of folks that look at EQ as a bandaid which won't solve all problems at all listening positions.
And there are plenty of us who don't. I have quite a number of poorly recorded discs of music I like and some judicious tweaking can make them more pleasurable.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:43 PM
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"Purity of the signal" is a common reason, but also I'm sure most have only used crappy graphic EQ's. I used to dislike EQ's simply because they always seemed to affect the quality of the signal too much. However, as soon as I tried a quality parametric EQ I gained new respect for EQ's and now have no issue using them.

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Old 04-01-2014, 03:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweaked05 View Post

I haven't read through the rest of this thread, so I'll just answer for myself. The reason I don't use an EQ is because I don't have an RTA and a calibrated flat mic with which to determine where the peaks and nulls of my room are and therefore using an EQ would be an exercise in futility.

Trained listeners can operate equalizers pretty effectively by ear. There are two skills that are required:

(1) Knowing what things sound like when they are right

(2) What frequencies are associated with what they hear.

The best way to learn (1) is to attend live concerts of the kind of music that you listen to.

The best tool for learning (2) is an equalizer, preferably of the parametric kind with a frequency response curve display that tracks the adjustments to the equalizer.

Another good tool is system tuning software like the excellent freeware Room Eq Wizard. It will help you learn what the knobs on your equalizer do to the sound.
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Old 04-02-2014, 02:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tweaked05 View Post

The reason I don't use an EQ is because I don't have an RTA and a calibrated flat mic with which to determine where the peaks and nulls of my room are and therefore using an EQ would be an exercise in futility.

You don't need a calibrated mic to measure the peaks and dips. Using the mic that came with your AVR plugged into the mic input of your computer would work fine for that.

A calibrated mic is only necessary for the role-off at either end of the frequency range which will be starting to get outside of what is audible anyhow.

I use TrueRTA and my AVR mic with great success.
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Old 04-02-2014, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwi2 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweaked05 View Post

The reason I don't use an EQ is because I don't have an RTA and a calibrated flat mic with which to determine where the peaks and nulls of my room are and therefore using an EQ would be an exercise in futility.

You don't need a calibrated mic to measure the peaks and dips. Using the mic that came with your AVR plugged into the mic input of your computer would work fine for that.

A calibrated mic is only necessary for the role-off at either end of the frequency range which will be starting to get outside of what is audible anyhow.

I use TrueRTA and my AVR mic with great success.

I've tested this out on a variety of PCs and it can work brilliantly or it can go bust. Some laptops downsample their mic inputs so that there is a brick wall filter at 4 KHz. Others work brilliantly. I guess the best idea is to try it, and if the results show a steep rolloff in the audio band, either fiddle with parameters or use an outboard USB-based audio interface.

The mics that come with AVRs are generally very good.
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