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Discussion Starter #1
In shopping around, I've noticed in many high-end brands such as Denon, Yamaha, and Harman Kardon, that even their mid-line models don't have equalizers. Yet many lesser, cheaper brand amplifiers do include at least a 3-band EQ.


Initially I thought maybe they are taking more of a 'purist' attitude by saying a high-quality recevier paired with high-quality speakers should not need signficant EQ adjustment beyond the bass and treble controls. Do these controls provide adequate control for compensating for varying acoustical environments? I've found the source material to be more of a factor in equalization needs than the listening room (as you go from TV, to DVD, to CD).


Then I thought, maybe it is because they figure equalization should be done with a separate (parametric) EQ component, but then this would render the amplifiers in the receiver basically useless since you would need an external amp to go after the EQ. I suppose there must be EQ's that have an input and separate output for each component? Ah ha, maybe that's the answer, just use a seperate EQ that has a separate output per input so you can just place it between the source and the receiver.


I'm still a bit confused though as to why so many high quality receivers in the $350-$550 range. The higher range amps like the Yamaha 2400 or 1400 have it. What's the thinking here? What's the most practical approach to equalization for the average Home Theater?
 

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To do amy good at equalizing out room effects you probably need at least 1/3 octive band equalization. On low end receivers equalization is a check-box feature, not something of any real use. Pioneer's MCAA on the Elite and Yamaha's similar processing are state-of-the art for consumer equalization at the moment.
 

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You're absolutely right, there's no way to get everything set up without allowing for room acoustics.


But how many people *really* know how to do that correctly?


EQs seem to go in and out of fashion. They were big in the 70s and early 80s, seem to die off a little in the 90s, and I think they're about to come back again.


I think there was some purist backlash against the overuse and misuse of EQs in earlier years.


But correctly set up EQ is not only not bad, it's very necessary most of the time. I think the next trend will be for auto EQ during setup.
 

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Aren't Yamaha and Pioneer using graphic multi-band equalization for room correction? IMO, that type of equalization is next to useless for accurately correcting room effects. You don't want a 1/3 band graphic EQ, you want a parametric EQ with a few channels and adjustable Q.
 

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the newer Yamaha's do have the YPAO which is an automatic room EQ an so does Pioneer, Yamaha receivers of the past have always incorpoated a center channel EQ.
 

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Quote:
I'm still a bit confused though as to why so many high quality receivers in the $350-$550 range.
Errrrrr...... does that strike anyone else as an oxymoron? :D
 

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Also goes the notion that "Less is better". The less you put between your source and the output, the better. The idea behind an EQ is generally to compensate for a weak link in the equipment. Most of the time this is performed poorly.


Why not take the money put towards an EQ and upgrade another part of the system (its weakest link)?
 

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Wick, the weakest link in most everybody's system is the Room, not equipment. EQs are mainly to compensate for room peaks and dips.
 

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I respectively disagree that the room for 'most' people is the weakest link. When someone is talking about a $350-550 receiver, then personally, I find money would be better spent on something other than an EQ.


However, if you have, say, $3000 into a system, then possible the room may be causing some issues. With this, however, some simple speaker placements or wall treatment may help instead of putting money into an EQ. After all is failed, then maybe an EQ would be the way to go.


IMHO.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Consultant
I'm still a bit confused though as to why so many high quality receivers in the $350-$550 range. The higher range amps like the Yamaha 2400 or 1400 have it. What's the thinking here?
Well, $350-$500 is more of the entry level than it is the "high quality" level. And you are just not going to get a extra lot of bells and whistles thrown into a receiver, at that price range.

And that the range that the 1400 and 2400 are in, is the "meaty" range, of the midrange level. And is also the range where you start to get some of the "extras", that are not in the entry level products. And and it's not until you get to $2000 and up pricing, that it starts getting you into the higher ranges. And $3500 to $4500 puts you in in the highest ranges that there is for receivers.

In other words, you get only what you pay for. And when starting at $350, you are not paying for a lot yet.
 

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The basic problem with both Pioneer's and Yamaha's EQ systems is that they pre-select and hard code the center frequencies (mostly 1/3rd octave) even though Yamaha does offer a limited parametric capability (limited hard coded center frequencies and limited "Q" or bandwidth of the filter which is automatic and not adjustable by the user).


For both of these EQ systems, few rooms will have frequency anomolies that match their 1/3rd octave center frequencies, i.e. acoustically both are not very useful although some people do get lucky.


Parametric EQs with 1/60th octave center frequencies, 1/60th octave bandwidth or "Q" and boost/cut of 16dB are much more useful when trying to EQ room modes.


Maybe in another year or two the manufacturers will include fully adjustable parametric EQs (center frequency, bandwidth or "Q", and variable boost/cut levels).
 

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pio elite introduced their mcacc more than a year ago. it was utilizing graphic equal to tune your room as close to air studio acoustics as a reference


then yammy thought it was good idea so its ypao appeared 6 months ago but because of patent rights they put in a different equal using parametric while the idea is similar to mcacc


in stereo most audiophile shunt equalizer for purity but then using interconnect cables between pre and power amps as a mean to tune the system


when you think deeper in recording studio sound engineers use reverb and eq for added effects anyway so in movie it is artificial sound and never will be close to playing instruments in music. i believe it will be a trend now as denny is rumored to add auto cal equal in their next updates. meridian has been researching this room acoustic adjustments but nothing marketable yet appear in the market.


digital world is still developing fast with many new ideas. just stay tuned....
 

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cpu8088,

Quote:
when you think deeper in recording studio sound engineers use reverb and eq for added effects anyway so in movie it is artificial sound and never will be close to playing instruments in music.
Parametric EQ for home playback isn't concerned with that at all, but with the room's modal anomolies caused by the room's dimensions (modal peaks and nulls) that distort and corrupt the in-room frequency balance (i.e. boomy one-note bass as an example).
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cpu8088
i believe it will be a trend now as denny is rumored to add auto cal equal in their next updates. meridian has been researching this room acoustic adjustments but nothing marketable yet appear in the market.


digital world is still developing fast with many new ideas. just stay tuned....
Denon showed their new model 3805 @ WCES 2 weeks with their EQ system. SRP $1295. Available in March...
 

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Quote:
meridian has been researching this room acoustic adjustments but nothing marketable yet appear in the market.
Actually, it's in the market now..... at about 30x the price range we're talking here. :D
 

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great


think denny shipment to australia will be in june or after as we always lag behind america and europe being down under


same situation with meridian but then i dont want to be a guinea pig to absorb their development costs, just wait until the price go down a bit (or by then pio and yammy may come up with better and cheaper solutions) :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by MasterWick
I respectively disagree that the room for 'most' people is the weakest link. When someone is talking about a $350-550 receiver, then personally, I find money would be better spent on something other than an EQ.


However, if you have, say, $3000 into a system, then possible the room may be causing some issues. With this, however, some simple speaker placements or wall treatment may help instead of putting money into an EQ. After all is failed, then maybe an EQ would be the way to go.


IMHO.
Well, I respectfully disagree with your disagreement. :)


The room is the weakest link in every system, by a large magnitude. Any deficiency in amplifier distortion, source distortion, speaker distortion, non-flat frequency response, or speaker lobing error will be utterly dwarfed by the various early reflections, extended reverberation times, and horribly uneven room frequency response caused by the typical small listening environment. This aplies to systems ranging from HTIB systems to $1,000,000 systems.


The next biggest link is the speakers, and of course this varies depending on the quality of speaker. IMO, it takes a really, really crappy speaker to become the weakest link. So crappy its name would have to be a four letter word... :D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
After my initial post, considering the average participant here, I realized $350-$550 is the low end for a lot of people. But there is a lot in the $250-$350 range. I guess I really meant more like the $450 to $750 range.


One point though is that even if you adjust the EQ for the room, it is only going to produce good results if the source material is accurate. To be honest, my receiver is pumping stereo cable television 70% of the time, DVD 20% and MP3 or CD Audio 10%. I've got a 2-year old and 3-year old and don't have a dedicated "Adult" A/V room so I did get a chance to "rock out" like I used to. (So I put my money into my car audio. :)


I just picked up a Harman Kardon AV-330 a couple weeks ago and am for the most part happy with it. I chose it mostly for the Logic 7 since most of the TV broadcasts are in stereo, even the HD channels only a small portion of the programs are in Dolby Surround. The Logic 7 sounds better than the PL II. Unfortunately though, when watching HD TV, the cable box makes the receive auto-select Dolby Digital with PL II so as more and more television is broadcast in true HD, the Logic 7 mode will become less of a factor.


More to the point of this thread, I got rid of an old JVC RX888 and am missing the ability to tweak a 3-band EQ for each input. Granted it's a very crude EQ, at least it gave me the ability to increase the bass on the cable TV a bit (which it needed) and leave the DVD input pretty much flat (my 2-year old sleeps right above the speakers.) The system is in a big family room powering Klipsch 10.5 in front (in a 5.1 setup.) I'm a little frustrated that I can't set bass and treble per input and I consider this receiver, for the average consumer/enthusiast, a mid-level receiver so I was suprised they didn't have some EQ component. Then I went and looked at other reveivers that were even a little more expenisve and most had no EQ.


So right now I'm struggling with the thought of Ebaying the AV-330 and spending an extra $100-$150 and getting a Yamaha RX-V1400. I presume I would then have the ability to adjust the EQ (although it sounds like it is limited but much more flexibility than the stupid 3-band EQ on my old JVC) per input. The component video upconversion would be nice so I wouldn't have to still macro the remote for switching to the VCR - although if DVI is the next trend, I'll be macroing the remote to switch the TV to DVI anyway. It's a losing battle with these things, there's never a product that does it all for a reasonable price - always a compromise. And all this without knowing if YPAO even will make THAT big a difference in my listening environment! (I confess, I'm a toy junkie.)


It seems like if I step back and look at my application and listening habits, I have more than enough for what I need. No one I know, friends or family, has a better sounding system. But the audiophile in me is having trouble adjusting to settling for for the low-mid range when I know first just a little more money I could get something a little more "ideal." I'm nuts. Someone please give me an outside, objective perspective on this so I can lay it to rest. Is the YPAO feature worth giving up the HK 330 for?
 

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well said consultant


for me i like to tweak and go for cheapo or good value equipment.


this is part of the fun in this hobby trying to make equipment to work close to 100% instead of spending money on high end equipment which i believe those designers tweak to their liking with proper electronics. as i believe we will never achieve, like stereo to get to 100% of the voice or instruments, using dvds to get to what can be heard in the mixing studios using master data and different equipment.


yes bigus very true as my room is the problem area in L shape and i cannot believe i have a hike at 4000hz which my pio mcacc picked up and adjusted


pio and yammy are heading at the right direction. another year you will see more receivers coming out with auto cal. prove to me next year that i am wrong
 
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