Need opinion's on Equalizer's please - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 09-15-2007, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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What's the overall feeling out there on graphic equalizers? Does the added electronics between the source and speakers justify itself? I know from doing tests in my listening room that I have some high and low spots in the frequencies. The room is very well treated, but far from perfect it seems.Should I spend time and money trying to flatten it out with further treatments, buy an EQ, or quit worrying about it? Or if I have missed a good thread on this using the search button,please point the way to it.Thanks.
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post #2 of 30 Old 09-15-2007, 09:15 PM
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Graphics equalizers are a poor substitute for proper room acoustics. You're much better off trying to take care of your room problems once and for all. If you're getting room cancellations in a certain band at your listening position and you up the levels on an EQ you're going to still have cancellations in that spot but now in other spots of the room you'll have way too much signal. You'll just be going around in circles.

But they're fine for their intended purpose of adjusting for poor recordings or mediocre speakers.
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post #3 of 30 Old 09-15-2007, 09:35 PM
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equalizers introduce more distortions and phase shifts

using one is like pulling up a think blanket and turn on your air conditioner

that is why high end equipment mostly do without them

if you just prefer disco music thats another story

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post #4 of 30 Old 09-16-2007, 11:17 AM
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Graphic EQs, even given the noise/distortion issue, are almost useless for room and speaker correction. Curing the acoustic problems with room treatment is the first, and ideal, approach. Remaining LF problems can be dealt with using parametric EQs or DSP. See the threads on RoomEQWizard if you need to get into that.

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post #5 of 30 Old 09-16-2007, 10:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Well,I guess the EQ is out. I have seen some by Rotel,Parasound,etc. so I thought maybe technology had improved.
RoomEqWizard is what I used to do the tests. My readings varied up and down from the reference of 75db by maybe 5db to 10db all over the test range but I had three "spikes" at least 25db below at 450hz,800hz,and 2khz.I also had an area above reference by at least 15db from 6khz to 10khz.I really have no idea what is considered within tolerance but will assume flat is best.So with this data I thought I could just "tweek" those areas and all would be good.
All my reflection points are treated,bass traps in corners etc. I guess I will have to find other ways to boost my low spikes and lower that whole upper range.The room was treated with dedicated theater in mind but is used now more for 2 channel listening.Thanks all, and if you have any suggestions please throw them out there.
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post #6 of 30 Old 09-17-2007, 06:40 AM
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Fix the room first. Then see if an equalizer makes matters better or worse for you. Don't do it the other way around and this is because most issues in your listening environment are based upon time domain problems.

"I've found that when you want to know the truth about someone that someone is probably the last person you should ask." - Gregory House
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post #7 of 30 Old 09-18-2007, 06:36 PM
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Fix the room and you won't need an equalizer period.

See Barry's site for tips on fixing your room. He hangs out at stevehoffman.tv forum if you want to talk to him about it personally.

http://www.barrydiamentaudio.com/monitoring.htm

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post #8 of 30 Old 09-21-2007, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. I'll do some research on why I'm having problems in the frequency ranges that I mentioned.
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post #9 of 30 Old 09-21-2007, 04:05 PM
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Seems like you have done some work with your room acoustics. Perhaps its time to step back and think about your overall setup -- is your listening position causing problems? Perhaps the location of your speakers is at fault?

Where is your listening location with respect to the room?

Can you provide graphs and pictures?

I had similar problems with the midrange due to the location of my speakers with respect to the wall behind them. Moving the speakers out into the room about 4 feet helped. Also moving the speakers away from the side walls helped for a couple other problems too.

The high treble - is it the design of the speaker doing this? or is it just a ton of high frequency reflection in your room (lots of glass? hard surfaces?)
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post #10 of 30 Old 09-22-2007, 02:59 PM
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Generalizations about EQ are best avoided. EQ is a tool and like any tool can be used in the wrong situation or misused in the right one.

IME sometimes EQ makes a rig sound better and sometimes worse. IME It's best used to correct a speaker with drooping high frequencies and to make bad sounding recordings listenable.
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post #11 of 30 Old 09-23-2007, 07:05 AM
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KeysZ

Trying to correct bass frequency room anomalies acoustically, generally runs from difficult to impossible, unless you are planning on completely rebuilding your room. The worst thing to do is to try using these tube type traps, because they generally don't work at bass frequencies are wind-up deading the room. If you can't correct the problem by loudspeaker repositioning, then equalization is the probably all you can do. You generally -don't- want to try bring big response dips up. You -do- want to equalize big peaks down.

I believe there are some whitepapers on this subject over on the jblpro website. JBL and Genelec (as well as other speaker manf) are actually buiding bass eq right in some of their speakers. It has generally been well received in the pro audio industry, which validates the basic technique.
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post #12 of 30 Old 09-23-2007, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastl View Post

KeysZ

Trying to correct bass frequency room anomalies acoustically, generally runs from difficult to impossible, unless you are planning on completely rebuilding your room. The worst thing to do is to try using these tube type traps, because they generally don't work at bass frequencies are wind-up deading the room. If you can't correct the problem by loudspeaker repositioning, then equalization is the probably all you can do. You generally -don't- want to try bring big response dips up. You -do- want to equalize big peaks down.

I believe there are some whitepapers on this subject over on the jblpro website. JBL and Genelec (as well as other speaker manf) are actually buiding bass eq right in some of their speakers. It has generally been well received in the pro audio industry, which validates the basic technique.

Agreed for the very lowest frequencies, i.e., those below 100Hz. OTOH, a graphic EQ is not sufficiently flexible for this application and a parametric is required.

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post #13 of 30 Old 09-24-2007, 06:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson View Post

Agreed for the very lowest frequencies, i.e., those below 100Hz. OTOH, a graphic EQ is not sufficiently flexible for this application and a parametric is required.

But it is still an EQ

Aren't you the guy from stereophile Magazine?

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post #14 of 30 Old 09-24-2007, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raymond Leggs View Post

But it is still an EQ

Not all equalizers are created equal.

Quote:


Aren't you the guy from stereophile Magazine?

Is my sig illegible?

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post #15 of 30 Old 09-25-2007, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry so long to post,very busy lately. I have attached a quick drawing of the room, hopefully it is complete. The room is 21'8x16'4. The tests were done using a Pioneer 56txi and Infinity Alpha series speakers. Alpha 50's fronts and Alpha Dipole sides.(rears were not checked) The results I mentioned above seemed to mirror each other for all speakers,with slight variations.The seating position is approx 12'6 from fronts,8'0 from sides. The front speakers are approx 3' from front and side walls.As shown on drawing,I used different finish materials on walls to mix up the reflective properties.No scientific reason for placement,just wanted to mix it up. The ceiling is untreated concrete with the exception of five 2'x8' Owens Corning rigid panels attached to the ceiling at 1st reflection points.I guess that would amount to 80sq. ft. of the total 336sq. ft. of ceiling being treated.Thanks
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post #16 of 30 Old 09-29-2007, 02:55 PM
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Maybe its the audio snob in me, but if I saw an EQ in someone's system, I would scoff at it.

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post #17 of 30 Old 09-29-2007, 03:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizelbs View Post

Maybe its the audio snob in me, but if I saw an EQ in someone's system, I would scoff at it.

Again, it should depend on the particular EQ and how it is being used. This is no longer the day when EQ meant a 10band graphic.

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post #18 of 30 Old 10-05-2007, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shizelbs View Post

Maybe its the audio snob in me, but if I saw an EQ in someone's system, I would scoff at it.

It is the audio snob in you.

Many, if not most, of the best sounding systems these days use EQ, whether built-in to the preamp; as a separate box, or (as in my case) as part of a digital crossover.
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post #19 of 30 Old 10-06-2007, 12:57 PM
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I agree with most here that graphic EQs do more harm than good. I've run a 2.1 system for the past 10 years. I've had a number of different monitor / sub systems and have always had pre-amps with either no tone controls or the ability to defeat tone controls. These systems always sounded pretty good however the room was tough acoustically. 10 foot tin ceiling, three doors, hardwood floors, and 6 foot high windows. An area rug and large drapes helped but dialing the sub in was always tough. Room modes have always been an issue until I added an SMS 1. The SMS helped cure a nasty 8 dB peak at 40 Hz that made dialing in the sub very difficult. What surprised me the most was how good my main speakers sounded after EQ ing just the sub. The sound is clear and the midrange has improved dramatically, the once bloated mid bass is now tight and tuneful. I believe that products like the SMS 1 are much better than a traditional graphic EQ, in fact it's one of the best components I've purchased in years regardless of price.
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post #20 of 30 Old 10-09-2007, 01:31 AM
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We need to distinguish between graphic equalizers and DSP.

Graphics would not be the way to go, unless you are extremely lucky to have the offending frequency fall exactly where you need it, with the correct Q, they would be useless for bass problems.

I have eq in my system, and if that were the only reason they would scoff, well that's OK, as their opinion would matter little after that.

Surely the proof of anything is the listening?? On the other hand if they went in blindfolded and still picked it well fair enough.

My biggest beef in audio?? The unbelievable snobbery and fixed opinions that abound.

Room EQ IS effective at the lower frequencies, at times amazingly so. Forget trying to use eq to correct anything much above 300 hz, below 100 most certainly, between say 200-300 be more judicious and check the results, if you like them fair enough.

Anything above that then it is conventional room treatment that will get you any results, which seems to be the case here. If it's been done properly and completely don't sweat on it, you've got what you've got.

The absolute best method is to use effective room treatment for all frequencies, coupled with eq if needed in the lower registers.

I use a deqx, but some of the cheaper options like the behringer DEQ (not DCX) 2496 and their equivalent if used correctly can produce great changes. Obviously there is a limit to the system quality you would use them in.

Ignore the technology on 'philosophical grounds' at your own peril, boorish snobbery might make you feel better when you are listening to sub-optimum results, I'd prefer to listen to the best I can get thank you very much.
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post #21 of 30 Old 10-15-2007, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the continuing input.I thought I would attach the graph I obtained tonight using RoomEQwizard.This is using both speakers during the test.This test was done using the same speakers,but I am now using a Lexicon DC-1 processor and a Parasound amp.Looking at the graphs I had from the 56txi I see little change,but I am now using a new version of RoomEQwizard.I have not yet figured out all it has to offer.If anything in the graph stands out to someone, a reply would be appreciated.Otherwise I will do some reading to get a better idea of what this graph is telling me.Thanks
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post #22 of 30 Old 10-16-2007, 01:40 AM
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I suppose I have the misfortune of pretty much every great system I've run across, whether it be in person or associates online, being totally void of any EQ.

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post #23 of 30 Old 10-16-2007, 04:02 AM
 
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There positively ideal for slight corrections in timbre changes of the LCR matching loudspeakers, as well as surround correction, (bass traps) from what I have read about can make up for a few errors where the EQ can only do so much without the use of (bass traps) the EQ is a last resort for touching up the sound.
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post #24 of 30 Old 10-17-2007, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeysZ View Post

Thanks for the continuing input.I thought I would attach the graph I obtained tonight using RoomEQwizard.This is using both speakers during the test.This test was done using the same speakers,but I am now using a Lexicon DC-1 processor and a Parasound amp.Looking at the graphs I had from the 56txi I see little change,but I am now using a new version of RoomEQwizard.I have not yet figured out all it has to offer.If anything in the graph stands out to someone, a reply would be appreciated.Otherwise I will do some reading to get a better idea of what this graph is telling me.Thanks

First off, due to the left hand side scaling, the graph is virtually useless. You have a range of over 180 db!! so any bass hump or whatever you are needing to see is lost.

Rescale the LHS to 45-105 db. How high do you want to see?? If full range, then you will need to apply smoothing, it will also smooth the bass (so if you want to fix the bass you have no smoothing) but it will bring out the higher frequencies. 1/6 or 1/3 octave smoothing is sufficient. You will see much more clearly what you have once you've done that.

Absolutely no need to map down to 2 hz, I doubt you have bass that low, it's all noise by the look of it. I wouldn't put too much faith in the 20 hz measurement either, looks like you roll off quite a bit higher 40 -50 hz or so.

So, full range rescale the left and the frequency range cut it off at 20, and apply smoothing.

To look more closely at the bass, rescale the left, cut off at 20 and 200 hz with no smoothing and then we can see what you have.
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post #25 of 30 Old 10-20-2007, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Terry J,Yep,been awhile since I used this program and wasn't sure what I was doing.Thanks for the tips.I used the same saved measurement and applied the changes to the graph and will repost the resized fullscale here.This used the 1/3 octave filtering.Hopefully I have done what you requested properly,if not let me know.I was not sure if I needed to make the changes and remeasure or just apply to the current measurement. Thanks!
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post #26 of 30 Old 10-21-2007, 08:46 PM
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hi keys

well straight away we can see a difference in what the graphs tell us!! However, you seem to have lessened the db scale and now it looks a bit worse than it would if in the format I'm used too! The LH scale is usually set at 45-105 bd, ie swings of 30 db each way. The actual figures don't change of course, but after a while the standard scale gets used to if you follow me.

It looks like it would sound bright to my ears, (the 3-10 k region) but hey we are all different.

I could have missed what you are using to measure with, if it is the RS meter then it is totally unreliable above say 5 k so in that case I would ignore it for now.

Indeed if you are only interested in the bass frequencies, and are using the RS meter then it really only makes sense to graph up to 200 hz.

Truly, the forum to be posting your graphs in and getting answers to your question is the shack, though posting them here could very well introduce people to this area who may not come across it otherwise, which can only be a good thing.

The other advantage of posting there is that you will have real experts helping you, rather than me. Bear that in mind when I talk, I most certainly do not consider myself an expert.

As you can see, there are quite large swings in the bass region, and I don't feel I'm going out on a limb if I say you would notice an improvement if they were cleaned up!!

I have no idea what the system is that you are running, and the type and quality of any bass eq would be dependant on your system. You might not put a behringer bfd in a system worth $200,000 for example, but for most systems it would be a safe bet.

A very good but still reasonably priced option is the behringer DEQ 2496, a step up on the bfd's IMO.

Top of the line solution are something like the deqx, but with a price tag to match. (Does WAAY more than just bass eq mind).

You can muck about on paper (ie use the find filters function in REW, or do it manually) and dial in the eq and see graphically what the results would be.

I'm not sure what help you are now looking for, so ask if you have a question, but back to the starting point of this thread. Is it worthwhile investigating graphic eq to help?? No.

Can para eq help a response like this?? Most assuredly.

If I can, is it worth having room eq AND room treatment? Yes, the best way to go if you can. No room treatment? Well, significant results can still be gotten with eq.

Hope that helps, and if I can help further then let me know.

Just on a more general point, too often in audio (as in other areas of life I spose) people are bound by pre-existing or fixed ideas. The 'purist' would usually poo-poo or deride the entire concept of room eq for example, on some lofty theoretical plane no doubt, somewhere up there in the clouds, whilst the rest of us actually listen to music down here.

They could very well disdain the concept of measuring their system..." Hummph, measurements. I use my ears (often with things like 'the most exquisitely sensitive measurement system the universe has yet seen' or some such twaddle) and I laugh at the 'objective measurement crowd' ".

However, a graph of the bass response of a typical system in a typical room looks very much like yours, in other words your's is what I would have expected to see. Nothing unusual.

So, the purists can maintain whatever they want in the Ivory Tower, I'll listen to smooth natural bass myself.
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post #27 of 30 Old 10-21-2007, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastl View Post

KeysZ

It has generally been well received in the pro audio industry, which validates the basic technique.


After dealing with pro audio for many years both live enforcement and studio, I must clear up something here.

Pro audio industry validates the use of EQs becuase the sound engineers are usually traveling to different venues every night. Sometimes they are inside, sometimes they are outside. Half the time they are dealing with acoustics that sound worst than a pair of Bose speakers under the Atlantic. I've setup systems in everything from major theaters to basketball gyms. You don't have the luxury of tuning a room when you only have 2-3 for setup and everything must be broken down and back on the semi by 3:00am. Besides the fact, most speakers that the pro industry drives are not designed for detail and clairity. They are designed for power and throw.

In these circumstances a good 1/3 (31 band) octave eq is sometimes your only friend. The best sound you can get in just a 1/2 hour or so worth of sound checks.

In the studio application, the room is always tuned first. You must keep in mind though, studios are normally setup completely flat for mixing purposes. This can be very difficult to achieve without and eq of some sort (be it graphic or parametric).

Home application, HT setups, etc. people are not necessarily trying to setup in flat a enviroment. They want more dynamics and some life to the music. All of these real world variables is what creates the life and sound stage of each persons system. In that aspect, yes an eq can do more damage than good. Especially if your using cheaper equipment that can (and will) color the sound, on top of, causing a noteable amount of distortion in a given band.

I don't condone the use of an eq if you have the ability to setup and tune a room to your preference but, I also recongnize the fact that sometimes it is needed to achieve the results required in some applications.

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post #28 of 30 Old 10-21-2007, 09:49 PM - Thread Starter
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terry j,thanks again for the replies.I am using a radio shack meter for the input.Problem is, it is the upper frequencies that concern me.I think my system sounds too bright.I did not know there was issues with the meter in the higher ranges.I will try some different speakers to see if it is them or my room.

I think I have strayed from the original post,I now need to spend some time looking at my room treatments I guess.I like the overall sound but always want to make it better,can't help it! I will take further discussions on RoomEQ to a new thread.

Condar your input is appreciated as well.

Thanks again, Jeff
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post #29 of 30 Old 10-21-2007, 11:01 PM
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Hi Jeff (much prefer a first name myself)

yeah, if you're interested in the higher frequencies then you need something better than the RS meter.

It's not too expensive to get the behringer ecm 8000 mic, not sure where you live so no point in me giving a price, and bear in mind seeing as how it's pro gear (and behringer to boot, the pro world kinda look down on them!) you will never have to pay top dollar. You will however need to supply phantom power to it and a mixer to get the data into the computer, and the cheapest option is the xenyx 802 (i think it is). All up (here in aus) less than $200.

However, if say you measure and indeed find they measure bright...well, unless you are going to do something about it (eq, x-over changes or whatever) what's the point in knowing? if you understand me.

Maybe try some easy (and cheap ie free!) changes first. Toe them in or out (on axis will be brighter than off axis for example), not sure what else to suggest but that's the first thing that comes to mind. You could even test that theory with the rs mic. Measure them on and off axis and see if the 'brightness' disappears. Even though the meter is not accurate itself, the 'relative' differences might manifest???

Again, depending on the quality of your system, the DEQ 2496 can be used to actually adjust the FR os the mains themselves, and then on top of that still be used to eq the bass. As far as it goes it is a very useful unit.

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazin...acurve2496.htm

good luck
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post #30 of 30 Old 10-23-2007, 07:22 PM
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KeysZ

The big peak at 48 Hz is what you want to try and equalize downwith a parametric. The large broad peak centered around 6 kHz looks more like a loudspeaker thing. Maybe you need to try different speakers?
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