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Whatever happened to Graphic Equalisers in Hi Fi?

Discussion in 'Sound Science' started by shark_jump, Feb 11, 2010.
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  1. ford2
    I ended up selling all my stereo system components and put the money into a good AVR.
     
  2. Shark_Jump
    Well, for what its worth, nobody has said anything to convince me equalisation is nothing but a good idea in the majority of set ups.

    What you hear comes from the pressure waves at your ear drum, not the (perfect??) sound coming out the drivers.

    And like a couple of correspondants have said, if you don't need it you can always by-pass it.

    I call it as a fashion thing, they are certainly out of fashion at the moment, but so am I. They will come back in. In the mean time the laws of physics stay the same (Well at least for some of the members of Head Fi).
     
  3. TwoTrack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ford2 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I ended up selling all my stereo system components and put the money into a good AVR.



    [​IMG]
     
  4. ford2
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TwoTrack /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    [​IMG]




    Notice I said "good" AVR.[​IMG]
     
  5. Shark_Jump
    Searching the web it looks like you can get parametric EQ apps for the iphone.

    Which is great if you have an iphone, can't see anything for Macbook/itunes though.
     
  6. Happy Camper
    I gave mine away to my brother when I bought e-stat speakers. I have been re-considering the action as he only uses it as a light show but it would cost me. I think it could work well with headphones as long as it's a flexible unit and you know how to use it.
     
  7. Redcarmoose
    The use of EQ in high end is like taking Kool-Aid and adding it to a $350.00 bottle of wine. The use of EQ in the past was to debox those huge boxy speakers we were all using. The only reason people used EQ was because there was a way to boost the mids and remove the lower mid box sound which all those speakers seemed to do at the time. If anyone goes back to their attic and brings down a pair of those monoliths and plugs them in for about 10 seconds they will realize it was just the sound of the times and the altered mood that they were in around 1978 which made it all sound so good.
     
  8. gilency Contributor
    Skateboarding is not a crime.
    Parametric equalizing is not a crime. I enjoy playing with it, using it and listening with it.
     
  9. jcx
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Redcarmoose /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    The use of EQ in high end is like taking Kool-Aid and adding it to a $350.00 bottle of wine. The use of EQ in the past was to debox those huge boxy speakers we were all using. The only reason people used EQ was because there was a way to boost the mids and remove the lower mid box sound which all those speakers seemed to do at the time. If anyone goes back to their attic and brings down a pair of those monoliths and plugs them in for about 10 seconds they will realize it was just the sound of the times and the altered mood that they were in around 1978 which made it all sound so good.



    I don't think Linkwitz is a drug addled naif:

    Reference earphones
     
  10. b0dhi
    Quote:

    Listening tests to commercial recordings and my own DAT head-related recordings revealed a very realistic tonal balance, frequency extension, superb detail and dynamics without using any equalization. When I actually listened to a slow sinewave sweep, I found a fairly broad peak centered at 3.8 kHz, a mild peak at 5.9 kHz and another peak at 9.2 kHz. I made no attempt at equalization, because the realism of the E2 is so convincing. Also, at all frequencies the sound seemed fuller than with the other models, though I cannot explain why it should.



    Co-incidence? [​IMG]

    As a side-note, my next project will be software which allows you to manually correct your headphones' response to perfect perceptual flatness. This will also provide perfect L/R balance at all frequencies, which is lacking in headphones in all price brackets IMO.
     
  11. Shark_Jump
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Redcarmoose /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    The use of EQ in high end is like taking Kool-Aid and adding it to a $350.00 bottle of wine. The use of EQ in the past was to debox those huge boxy speakers we were all using. The only reason people used EQ was because there was a way to boost the mids and remove the lower mid box sound which all those speakers seemed to do at the time. If anyone goes back to their attic and brings down a pair of those monoliths and plugs them in for about 10 seconds they will realize it was just the sound of the times and the altered mood that they were in around 1978 which made it all sound so good.



    I have got around 200 CD's, IMO only around 10-20 of them have been really properly mastered/recorded/produced/engineered and don't need some form of processing / EQ.

    If I may continue your analogy, the majority of my expensive wine is corked.

    Does your high end system make crappy recordings sound good? I would have thought it would make them sound worse as you can hear how bad they are to a higher accuracy. :)
     
  12. Ham Sandwich
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Redcarmoose /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    The use of EQ in high end is like taking Kool-Aid and adding it to a $350.00 bottle of wine. The use of EQ in the past was to debox those huge boxy speakers we were all using. The only reason people used EQ was because there was a way to boost the mids and remove the lower mid box sound which all those speakers seemed to do at the time. If anyone goes back to their attic and brings down a pair of those monoliths and plugs them in for about 10 seconds they will realize it was just the sound of the times and the altered mood that they were in around 1978 which made it all sound so good.



    The people in the high end often refuse to listen to anything that doesn't sound good on their system. If you're doing selective listening like that then there is no need to EQ cause you're never going to listen to anything that needs EQ.

    There are various reasons for EQing. Sometimes it is to compensate for poor speakers or headphones. Other times it is to compensate for a poor mix or master. Other times it is to create a certain style of sound at the volume level that you want to listen to.
     
  13. .Sup
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I don't use one because my view is that if you need equalization, then you have a problem somewhere along the line.



    Completely agree there
     
  14. sbtruitt
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Redcarmoose /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    The use of EQ in high end is like taking Kool-Aid and adding it to a $350.00 bottle of wine. The use of EQ in the past was to debox those huge boxy speakers we were all using. The only reason people used EQ was because there was a way to boost the mids and remove the lower mid box sound which all those speakers seemed to do at the time. If anyone goes back to their attic and brings down a pair of those monoliths and plugs them in for about 10 seconds they will realize it was just the sound of the times and the altered mood that they were in around 1978 which made it all sound so good.



    I resemble some of those remarks (both now and then) [​IMG]

    The use of the EQ is exactly the same now as it was then: enable the listener to shape the sound the way they need or want it, whether it be to compensate for different speakers, rooms, material, or listener preference. It's relatively easy to apply and easier to disable.

    I have a number of said vintage speakers, which I like to move betwen systems and as such I like the flexibility of being able to shape the sound a bit when I want to. When I plug my old speakers in, the sound of the times was and still is pretty good...
     
  15. Redcarmoose
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Shark_Jump /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I have got around 200 CD's, IMO only around 10-20 of them have been really properly mastered/recorded/produced/engineered and don't need some form of processing / EQ.

    If I may continue your analogy, the majority of my expensive wine is corked.

    Does your high end system make crappy recordings sound good? I would have thought it would make them sound worse as you can hear how bad they are to a higher accuracy. :)





    At first a year ago I did not like the new detail I was finding out about in the mastering of CDs I had. Stuff was thin and even if clear was not as musical as my lower end systems. What I still had not found was, even if detailed, the music was not involving. I had a nice system and clear as a bell, but my combos of cables and k-701s and my Sonys were not synergistic. OK, so I could have gone for a quick and easy fix and purchased four more rca cables and an EQ, then band-aided my problem. What I did was try and try until things started to work out with the use of different headphones and powercords and cables. Adding vinyl helped too. I have cases of CDs and at this point just enjoy what they are. My system is so clear that at times I can even detect how remastered CDs have had EQ boosts to make them sound more fun and musical than the original CD, the original before remastering coming even from 1996. What I am trying to say is there is now perfect mastered CDs, and some they should have left alone. Some are great but if you have an open mind then you just enjoy everything for what it is. Even if the CD is a little bad you just learn to like it. What feels good is you are hearing all that is there. There is a little color but it is what it is. The process is not that bad to go threw and after you get used to how each CD or record sounds then you just like them for what they are. To add EQ is getting us farther from what they are. This is just where I am now. There are digital finalizers which I am sure could remaster each song into a segment of perameters which would be an improvement in a system. Why would I have to remaster each song to hear it? Yes there are all kinds of people who are making improvements with home remastering. Most of the time they are getting good results but I also seem to here artifacts. One big artifact I start to hear in a comparison of old recordings remastered then repressed onto vinyl in a new loudness that seems to distort all the highs. Again I am left with the feeling that I love all the original pressings for all their problems. When one problem is overcome another is added at times. The originals cost less if they are not rare. So you can call me old fashion but I am what I am. Adding EQ adds more things than it fixes at times. Try doing a blanket normalization to a couple of old songs. What you get is loudness? If I was going to make my music better then nowdays there are a lot more choices than just EQ. The results are ok. Still it effects other parts of the song. I just at the end just want to leave things as they are.



    I come from a place of having very little money for HI/FI. I have had so many hand-me-down monolith speakers from the 70s that I do not even remember them. Sometimes it is fun to break them out and hear a new sound. That is all it is is a new sound. I am not saying that all the old speakers are crap. There are many classics. The many I have used except the Voice Of The Theatre were just what they were. Most boxy, some thin and yes this could be the synergy of my system. I am not saying that I am an expert here. This is just what I have learned and my own thoughts on the subject. The sound I like comes from a matching of speakers to the type of music. The best way to see if EQ is right is start to play with it in I-Tunes or Fubar and live with it for some time. I always end up going back to flat, but that's just me. I am sure some systems could sound better from a single song being tweeked till it matches your system plus and minus points. It is just too much hassel and what do you do and what do you think will happen with the next song and the next. Do you think even parts of songs could be EQed to be better than another part of the song? Where does it end? I have found a simple path with the shortest point a-b is the best way. I also have a very simple system and enjoy the lack of tone knobs or EQ sliders.
    I very rarely use speakers.
     
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