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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, let's pretend for a second that I know nothing about EQ. Ok, we don't actually have to pretend...

I have tried searching for threads or information, and I'm just at a complete loss. Can someone explain how to EQ a setup? Not so much the theory, but like the barebone basics. For example, I have a Yamaha RX-V683. I know where to go to manually adjust the equalizer, but no idea what I'm actually doing or where to start. I also keep seeing people mention software to download, and then copying results. Is there software to download into the AVR? Is it on your computer and utilizing a mic attached to the computer? I've also seen external EQs between source and AVR or AVR and speaker. Where does one even begin? If I wanted to just slightly improve my sound, where do I even start to know how to?

Basically, if someone can explain EQ on a Yamaha for example to someone who just started the audio journey, it would be greatly appreciated!

Lastly, I know my setup will be more significantly improved with speaker/sub placement, room treatments, different room size, etc etc. This question is more about the theory and understanding to pocket that knowledge for the future, when I intend to upgrade/build the dream setup.

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

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The vast majority of people will just run the auto-calibration (YPAO in your case) and call it good. They may tweak a couple bands on the AVR's GEQ to their preference (add some bass, cut some treble, etc). That's pretty much it.

But....if you want to go full "AVS Forum", you're going to need a computer with HDMI out, a calibrated mic (UMIK-1), Room EQ Wizard (free software) and a MiniDSP HD for the sub(s). Of course, there are threads here on AVS to help with setup and calibration using all of this equipment, along with a plethora of YouTube videos. ;)

The MiniDSP will allow you to EQ your subs separately from your AVR. If you want to EQ your speakers separately, you first need an AVR with pre-outs + external amplification + MiniDSP 10x10 (or similar).
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The vast majority of people will just run the auto-calibration (YPAO in your case) and call it good. They may tweak a couple bands on the AVR's GEQ to their preference (add some bass, cut some treble, etc). That's pretty much it.

But....if you want to go full "AVS Forum", you're going to need a computer with HDMI out, a calibrated mic (UMIK-1), Room EQ Wizard (free software) and a MiniDSP HD for the sub(s). Of course, there are threads here on AVS to help with setup and calibration using all of this equipment, along with a plethora of YouTube videos. ;)

The MiniDSP will allow you to EQ your subs separately from your AVR. If you want to EQ your speakers separately, you first need an AVR with pre-outs + external amplification + MiniDSP 10x10 (or similar).
Ok, my suspicions were confirmed - basically it's not as simple as "I think I'll just EQ this for fun and see how it sounds!". I assumed as much, but with how casually so many people talk about it, I wondered if maybe it wasn't as complicated as I thought. I think I'll stick with what I've got and figure out the rest when I have an actual need for it.

Thanks for the reply and great info!
 
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The basic premise of EQ is to get the summed frequency response of all speakers to be as flat as possible at your listening position.
In other words so there are no audible dips or peaks in the sound at any frequency range.
That is why we measure the freq response - so we can see where EQ needs to be applied to smooth out the response. If there is a big peak at 60hz we can reduce the output of the speakers at 60hz to bring it down. And if there is a dip we can also use EQ to bring it up. But at lower frequencies these peaks and nulls are often caused by "standing waves" which are influenced by the size of the room. In this case EQ can't help - this is where listening and speaker (mainly sub) position is changed to reduce the peaks and nulls or move your ears out of them, or acoustic treatments are added to absorb the affected frequency and reduce the standing waves which cause the peaks and nulls.

You should position the speakers, subs, seating and treatments to get the response as flat as possible before applying EQ.

Unfortunately most rooms have limited ability to move speakers, subs and seats around to suit or places to apply acoustic treatments and still have acceptable PAF (Partner Acceptance Factor) so EQ is applied to a less than perfect setup but is the only option remaining.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The basic premise of EQ is to get the summed frequency response of all speakers to be as flat as possible at your listening position.
In other words so there are no audible dips or peaks in the sound at any frequency range.
That is why we measure the freq response - so we can see where EQ needs to be applied to smooth out the response. If there is a big peak at 60hz we can reduce the output of the speakers at 60hz to bring it down. And if there is a dip we can also use EQ to bring it up. But at lower frequencies these peaks and nulls are often caused by "standing waves" which are influenced by the size of the room. In this case EQ can't help - this is where listening and speaker (mainly sub) position is changed to reduce the peaks and nulls or move your ears out of them, or acoustic treatments are added to absorb the affected frequency and reduce the standing waves which cause the peaks and nulls.

You should position the speakers, subs, seating and treatments to get the response as flat as possible before applying EQ.

Unfortunately most rooms have limited ability to move speakers, subs and seats around to suit or places to apply acoustic treatments and still have acceptable PAF (Partner Acceptance Factor) so EQ is applied to a less than perfect setup but is the only option remaining.
This makes perfect sense - thanks for the detailed info for an audio "idiot" lol. I've known for a while about room characteristics, and what you said is dead on - I have basically no wiggle room in my current situation (both physically and financially!). I was originally thinking I could get away with a little EQ "tweaking" to make slight improvements, but I'm realizing I'm just stuck in a suboptimal situation currently with being unable to change my room characteristics.

However, in a few years we'll be moving to a dream home (gotta get those student loans paid off first!) and I intend to build a dedicated theater. So all of this information and insight is being stored in my information bank to be recalled in a few years when I can actually use it!
 
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If you are interested in what equalizers are doing to your sound, a good place to start is to visit Harman's How To Listen site and download their application. Running the Band ID Training section helps familiarize one with the effects of band equalizers like Yamaha's, which is quite useful in not only understanding what YPAO is altering in your soundstream but can help you voice your own tone profile using Yamaha's Manual Parametric.

Yamaha's YPAO is versatile. The Flat setting is the room-compensation equalizer settings, the Natural setting tones down the higher frequencies (useful when things get louder), and the Manual section lets you roll your own sound profile.
 
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