I'm not an audio engineer so I hope someone with the knowledge could help explain things to me in laymen's terms or correct me. That would be really helpful. I'm glad that equalization has started to become more popular recently and that people are starting to understand that equalization CAN sound good, but I wanted a thread that would further the discussion away from simple frequency response adjustments. The benefits of equalization as a quick fix to neutrality is already common knowledge, but I'm not sure the deficiencies are quite as known. Explanations tended to be a bit technical for me so I only have a general idea of what's going on. Minimal phase equalizers People know that the most common equalizers, minimal phase equalizers, cause a lot of phase shifting and the steeper the slope of the filter used, the greater the phase shifting which would cause unwanted interference in the sound waves. The effect of minimal phase equalization when cutting or adding to frequencies would also change the soundstage according to the frequencies adjusted. Vocals or instruments in those frequencies would either be pulled in or out of the soundstage resulting in a smear of the soundstage and the other frequencies. A small cut or gain on an minimal phase equalizer can have a global effect on the sound; soundstage change and interference. Linear phase equalizers From what I understand, linear phase equalization while increasing phase shifting also delays the frequencies keeping the wave signal transparent and without interference. Frequency balance can be changed without a change in soundstage or transients. However, linear phase equalization causes a slight dispersion of the signal through time. Ie: Adding gain on the bass may cause the bass to hang in there a bit too long which would result in that "whooshing" feeling due to sudden loudness of the bass. However, using shelving techniques and keeping the frequencies down seem to make the delay in signal non-existent. It seems that using bell-curves, especially sharp ones, tends to increase further time dispersions, however, I have been fine reducing frequencies rather than increasing. How I EQ on my Stax: The fewer the bell curves and adjustments, the more transparent it sounds. Pre-amp: Lowering the preamp should not resolve the problems above, so it should be best to reduce frequencies instead rather than resorting to lowering the preamp. Adding gain on the pre-amp, AFAIK, causes a lot of signal lagging issues in linear phase equalizers. I'm not certain of the effects of changing the pre-amp on minimal phase equalizers but I try to keep the pre-amp untouched. Personally, I find linear phase equalizers to be superior. More expensive equalizers generally have the side effects reduced, but linear phase advantages outweigh minimal phases'. Supposedly, Algorithmix has reduced the time-shifting to inaudible levels, but I haven't heard it yet.