B&W speakers need EQ for correction

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Ilia, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. Ilia

    Ilia Extra

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    In one of the previous threads I stated my B&W DM 602 speakers sounded too loud at a higher than usual volume, and I was not sure whether it was speakers or Nakamichi AV-10 receiver.
    Well, I went to the audio store and listened to Magnepan MG12 - did not like them. Great speakers, just prefer box type. Maggies provided great sound stage but not as great instruments separation. Any way, went to listen to top of the DM line B&W towers - same impression as my 602s - turn the volume up and midrange is overwhelming - very straight forward sound. Otherwise I love my speakers, so sales rep and I started thinking and came to the EQ idea. This way I should be able to lower the mids in stereo listening (I don't care much about HT). Here is the question:
    Which EQ in your opinion is best to suit the purpose? Please keep in mind I don't want to get too busy like some of us correcting room deficincies - just simple frequency adjustment. I would do it with receiver but it has only treble and bass control, no midrange. Other concern is whether EQ will result in extra noise or other issues.
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Here are your options, Ilia.

    The receiver’s on-board tone controls are the easy first choice, since they’re already there and require nothing but a twist of the knob (or a few button pushes, depending on your receiver). It’s no problem not having a midrange tone control - raising the bass and treble controls has the same functional effect as reducing a midrange control.

    While this will definitely tame your midrange response, it’s painting with a “broad brush,” if you will, and you may find that the midrange reduction is not where you need it to be, or that there is loss in places that didn’t need reduction. If that’s the case, your next remedy will require some changes or additions in hardware.

    If you haven’t upgraded your receiver in a while, you might want to do that. Many mid-line and higher receivers from the past year or so come with very effective digital auto EQ functions that reportedly do an excellent job in solving problems like this.

    If that’s not where you want to go, your next option is an outboard equalizer(s). Here things can get tricky – and expensive. Or, cheap and relatively easy. It all depends on how precisely you want to address the problem and the quality of the equipment you want to use. Be forewarned though, since you’re concerned about adding noise, that will eliminate the budget gear.

    No matter what kind of equalizers you end up with, it should be noted that if you intend for them to function for all program material, you will need pre-out and main-in connections on your receiver. If you only have pre-outs, you will need to add an outboard amp. Alternately, if you are only concerned about music sources, you can connect the EQ between your CD player’s analog outputs and the receiver’s inputs.

    As far as what your options for outboard equalizer are, that’s pretty involved, but I’ll be happy to go into it if you think that’s where you want to go. I’d say first try the tone controls and get back to us here if you’re not happy with the results.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Well there's always the possibility of dealing with room issues especially if there are hard, reflective surfaces. As an aside, I take it you've got those on stands appropriate for where you're sitting?
     
  4. Ilia

    Ilia Extra

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    Wayne, I read your previous posts and glad you replied. Since my receiver has only pre-outputs and no main ins, and I care mostly about stereo reproduction, I would not want to upgrade a receiver. Nak AV-10 is quite "musical" and I'm happy with it. Placement is not an issue, so it's just me and EQ. I bought yesterday Behringer FBQ1502 as an entry EQ just to try the concept out - have not played with it, just hooked it up. Now, I always thought digital coaxial input results in a better sound quality. Well, I placed my EQ between DVD (NAD) and recever's analog inputs. DVD is also connected through the coax, so I can compare digital an analog with the swith of one button on the remote. I must say I have mixed feelings now. Digital connection provides more "defined" sound when analog connection greatly improved my sub response making it less boomy and more natural ( I cross-over with a receiver built-in 80Hz point). I will start to play with frequencies today and tomorrow and ill post if I will have improved the sound. The big question, of course, is how good (or bad) Behringer FBQ1502 is.
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Don’t know if you checked out the specs before you picked it up, but this thing looks like a real bottom feeder. I mean, frequency response is 10 Hz- 200 kHz, +/-3 dB! The S/N ratio figures are not the worst, 94 dB at +4 dBu, but I find that suspect because they have the same figure for both the 1/3- and 2/3-octave units (typically the more filters, the lower the S/N ratio). Also, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the S/N ratio will be worse at the lower consumer signal level of -10 dBV. The THD rating is good, but it’s only given at 1 kHz, not broadband.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  6. Ilia

    Ilia Extra

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    Wayne,

    This maybe true - Behringer FBQ1502 may not be a "state of the art". Here is my point, though. I wanted to adjust frequencies myself and see whether it helped my problem (too much midrange). I started with the entry level model to verify the concept. Well, here is what I have to say. After tweaking the EQ a little I have to admit the sound quality at least 10 times superior to what I had before. Without introducing any noticeable noise, this EQ simlpy allowed me to eliminate certain frequencies MY ear refuses to recept at acertain degree. The sound coming out of my bookshelves is truly amazing now - I have not heard anything better below 4K yet (e.g. Nautilus speakers). I remember listening to JMLABS that sounded surely better but they were at 8K! To make the long story short, $120 made me so much happier with the system, and although I agree that more sophisticated EQ are out there, I would better save another 200-300$ since the existing one does the job.
     

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