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Does a graphic equaliser have a place in a hi-fi system?

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ellisdj

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Dec 11, 2008
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Why do you need more flexibility than setting the exact freq response you want and press calculate - job done?
I dont see how it gets better than that?
It does speakers and subs no issue

With other routes you will be forever messing around never fully satisfied. Dirac is a job done no need to mess with it anymore.

I am serial tweeker but for freq response once its good its good.

PS if you can do all it does costing less then fair play I would do that as well but it has surprised with how comprehensive a job it seems to do.
 

George

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Nov 20, 2014
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I think I'd better explain about my system. It is basically an old school analogue stereo system. Marantz PM6004 amplifier, Q Acoustics 2020 and 3020 speakers, Sources are Humax Freesat box, Rotel RT950BX FM tuner, Sony DVD/CD player and Amazon tablet for Spotify, iPlayer radio etc.... So no digital outputs. I,m fairly happy with the sound of my system and looking for some minor tweeks. I was thinking along the lines of a used graphic equaliser on EBay.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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ellisdj said:
Why do you need more flexibility than setting the exact freq response you want and press calculate - job done? I dont see how it gets better than that? It does speakers and subs no issue

With other routes you will be forever messing around never fully satisfied. Dirac is a job done no need to mess with it anymore.

I am serial tweeker but for freq response once its good its good.

PS if you can do all it does costing less then fair play I would do that as well but it has surprised with how comprehensive a job it seems to do.
Dirac gives you correction to two channels hence lack flexibility if you need more :) It's more than enough for most people, sure. I bought Minidsp 2x4 HD to upgrade it to DDRC-24. That would've been even better value with added benefit of 2.1 integration and a very good crossover. Ultimately, I underestimated how many channels I would need and how far the project would go. Now I'm using OpenDRC-DA8. I've converted a pair of Dali 104 into actives with a digital crossovers and correction. Lovely experiment that went very well and taught me a lot. With 3 way Dalis and a sub I neede 4 stereo channels so Dirac wasn't an option.

I am now planning to convert a pair of vintage Jamo floorstanders I got recently. By all means I'm still learning but don't see myself messing around once it's all setup. And these might be the ones. I'm currently running them with passive crossovers in place and no correction and I'm astounded with how great they sound. They have been after all a speakers of the year 1989 *biggrin* It's interesting the further back I go the better speakers I come across.
 

ellisdj

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Dec 11, 2008
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Thats what I thought but Dirac just corrects the whole of the left sub and right sub channels as one each

Thats how its been designed for stereo so it wont matter that you have lots going on before it.

Obviously it doesnt give you crossovers etc for setup but you can still use it post setup.

Not sure effect on a single sub though thats only concern I would have.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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One sub was fine non directional and only mostly mono signal at these frequencies anyway.

It is a great near plug and play solution though. So I don't blame them for charging what they do.
 

ellisdj

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Dec 11, 2008
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With mono sub how would it correct it for left and right as it doesnt know its one for both.

I.e over doing it, Thats what I meant
 

George

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Nov 20, 2014
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Al ears said:
chebby said:
ellisdj said:
Mini dsp dirac live box is a modern equaliser with no negative effects allowing you to set the sound exactly how you want it based on actual measurements. And it helps improve the speakers as well.

No brainer.
No brainer if the OP can afford £995 ...

clicky

... given that one of his sources is a second-hand Rotel RT-950BX FM tuner from ebay (£25 or so IIRC) i'm thinking George is looking to ebay for a graphic equalizer too.

I could be wrong.
:)

I couldn't see if George had quoted a budget anywhere.
I guess what i'm after is a good quality old school Equaliser? It does not need to be dirt cheap but I don't want to spend hundreds either, any recommendations?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
174
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18,670
George said:
I think I'd better explain about my system. It is basically an old school analogue stereo system. Marantz PM6004 amplifier, Q Acoustics 2020 and 3020 speakers, Sources are Humax Freesat box, Rotel RT950BX FM tuner, Sony DVD/CD player and Amazon tablet for Spotify, iPlayer radio etc.... So no digital outputs. I,m fairly happy with the sound of my system and looking for some minor tweeks. I was thinking along the lines of a used graphic equaliser on EBay.
I actually have a different view to some of my esteemed fellow posters here, now that I've seen your system. Everything you have should work pretty well together as long as its all connected correctly, and you've not put the speakers behind the settee, face down!

An old style equaliser may reduce or boost certain frequency ranges, but with nothing like the precision of a room correction system. And you'll have no idea what needs correcting anyway. I'm not being rude, it's more that we all have this amazing brain that somehow adjusts what we perceive via our ears. That means we quickly adapt to room anomalies - such that we still recognise our partner's voice whether they are in a bathroom, living room or (say) an art gallery, despite the wildly differing acoustics.

So I think you'll make it sound different, but find no actual improvement, and soon get bored of making changes. I'd maybe spend the money on speakers stands, or (to be controversial) better cables, to potentially improve the sound. However, if you buy from eBay wisely, you might risk little financially. Good luck, whatever you decide!
 

George

New member
Nov 20, 2014
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lpv said:
just get some technics.. plenty in good condition on ebay
Any Technics or a particular model?

Also dumb question but how does an Equaliser fit into my system? I am using 3 inputs on my Marantz amp. I assume the outputs from my sources first go into the equaliser then output's from the equaliser go into my amp? How many inputs/outputs do equalisers usually have? And how would I use the tone controls on my amp, is source direct on or off, loudness on or off, bass and treble position? Lots of questions I know but I have never used an EQ before.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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I don't have any hang-ups about GEs. They were great in the day and can still do a good job today. The only problem is whether the OP can find the right GE for sale. Technics made some good'uns but, obviously, they are pretty thin on the ground in the main.
 

luckylion100

New member
Nov 6, 2011
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Have a look and read up on some reviews. Not sure if you want just a very basic graphic equaliser or something that incorporates DSP modes as well... Anyway there seems to be some interesting options to explore. I've no experience in these though.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_odkw=TECHNICS-SH-GE90-DIG&_osacat=0&_from=R40&_trksid=p2045573.m570.l1311.R3.TR4.TRC1.A0.H1.XTECHNICS+graphic+.TRS0&_nkw=technics+graphic+equaliser&_sacat=0

https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2047675.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.XTECHNICS-SH-GE90-DIG.TRS0&_nkw=TECHNICS-SH-GE90-DIG&_sacat=0
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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George said:
Also dumb question but how does an Equaliser fit into my system? I am using 3 inputs on my Marantz amp. I assume the outputs from my sources first go into the equaliser then output's from the equaliser go into my amp?
Back in the day your amp would either have dedicated sockets for 'pre out' / 'main in' and your equaliser would slot-in there, or you would use a tape loop, which was commonly a button on the front of your amp labelled 'Tape Monitor' which allowed you to listen to recordings in real time from a three-head tape deck. Companies like Cyrus and Audiolab achieved the same thing with separate Record and Listen source selectors. Irrespective of the actual implementation, the main criteria is that the amp would send the output from one source through some sockets while you listened to the input from another.

Your amp definitely does not have 'Pre Out' / 'Main In' sockets, and while it has Recorder sockets on the rear, I doubt they operate as a tape loop, but they might (consult the manual). If they don't, then realistically you would be limited to connecting the equaliser to one of the amp's line inputs as though it was a source and plugging just one source into the equaliser, or two if it itself has pass-through for a recorder.
 

George

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Nov 20, 2014
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insider9 said:
Vladimir said:
Digital yes, analogue no.
+1
I have just downloaded Jetaudio for my Amazon tablet which has a graphic equalizer. Is this a digital equalizer because it will distort if I max everything out? Problem is that Jetaudio only works on music that is downloaded/stored on the device, so will not work with streaming. Any thoughts on the Jetaudio app for android?
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
379
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19,070
Although aimed more at recording engineers, this https://music.tutsplus.com/tutorials/eq-for-beginners-part-1-what-you-need-to-know--cms-25827 should help you understand what EQ can and cannot do.

For additional information: type “how to use a graphic equaliser” into google or other search engine.

Hope this helps

Bill
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
739
298
5,270
George said:
insider9 said:
Vladimir said:
Digital yes, analogue no. 
+1
I have just downloaded Jetaudio for my Amazon tablet which has a graphic equalizer. Is this a digital equalizer because it will distort if I max everything out? Problem is that Jetaudio only works on music that is downloaded/stored on the device, so will not work with streaming. Any thoughts on the Jetaudio app for android?
Not used it so can't comment. In regards to distortion it works differently in digital domain. You can cause digital clipping if you're not careful. It's not as bad as amp clipping as it's not necessarily going to ruin your speakers. I'd say try it at low volumes and see what happens. If you hear anything wrong just change the settings.

Digital eq won't degrade the quality as analogue would and most importantly will let you adjust just the right frequency you need.

If you continue down this road it would be useful to invest in a measurement mic to see what actually is happening.

Are you trying to address a certain frequency or just looking for slight change to presentation?
 

George

New member
Nov 20, 2014
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insider9 said:
George said:
insider9 said:
Vladimir said:
Digital yes, analogue no.
+1
I have just downloaded Jetaudio for my Amazon tablet which has a graphic equalizer. Is this a digital equalizer because it will distort if I max everything out? Problem is that Jetaudio only works on music that is downloaded/stored on the device, so will not work with streaming. Any thoughts on the Jetaudio app for android?
Are you trying to address a certain frequency or just looking for slight change to presentation?
I,m looking to lift the upper mids and high frequencies mainly. Regarding a mic, I will probably just use my ears.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
739
298
5,270
Is it because theres too little in these frequencies or are you having bass issues that make mids and highs seem too quiet? Of course can be combination of both. There may also be things you've tried already.

Scenario 1 - bass is fine and all you want is an uplift

If you've not tried it. Toe in the speakers toward your listening position. If you're using grilles remove them. Also look at the tweeters height in relation to your listening position. Tilting speakers backwards if tweeter is too low can help.

Scenario 2 - bass is boomy/overpowering, skewing the tonal balance

Try and give your speakers more room to breathe. Pull them out and see if it makes a difference. Alternatively move your listening position away from a wall and see if it improves the situation.

Important to do this at your usual listening levels.
 

George

New member
Nov 20, 2014
21
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0
insider9 said:
Is it because theres too little in these frequencies or are you having bass issues that make mids and highs seem too quiet? Of course can be combination of both. There may also be things you've tried already.

Scenario 1 - bass is fine and all you want is an uplift

If you've not tried it. Toe in the speakers toward your listening position. If you're using grilles remove them. Also look at the tweeters height in relation to your listening position. Tilting speakers backwards if tweeter is too low can help.

Scenario 2 - bass is boomy/overpowering, skewing the tonal balance

Try and give your speakers more room to breathe. Pull them out and see if it makes a difference. Alternatively move your listening position away from a wall and see if it improves the situation.

Important to do this at your usual listening levels.
I think the speakers are well positioned. Removing the grilles definitely helps a lot, but I have kids and am a little nervous to leave the grilles off. Though my kids are fairly sensible, maybe I might chance it *unknw*
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
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Think this thread is at cross purposes. Most people here are recommending digital EQ devices designed to carefully tailor the sound of a system to remove the negative effects of room modes and all the other myriad of reasons why a system might be perceived to have anything but a neutral tonal balance. Whereas what OP is wanting is just a basic solution to tweak the sound of his hifi to his personal preference. OP isn't asking anything wrong but the two schools of thought at play here are poles apart from each other.
 

George

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Nov 20, 2014
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I was listening to Steve Wright in the Afternoon the other day and I heard him say that every track played is Equalized. I,m not sure how radio 2 do this? Maybe the songs are EQ,ed before going onto the radio 2 playlist or some software automatically does it in real time?*unknw* But it's interesting to hear that radio 2 take this much trouble to get good sound.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
174
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18,670
George said:
I was listening to Steve Wright in the Afternoon the other day and I heard him say that every track played is Equalized. I,m not sure how radio 2 do this? Maybe the songs are EQ,ed before going onto the radio 2 playlist or some software automatically does it in real time?*unknw* But it's interesting to hear that radio 2 take this much trouble to get good sound.
That's interesting. I wonder if he meant equalised for volume, as otherwise they might broadcast some tracks much louder than others, which wouldn't suit most listeners.
 

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