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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Bob Segno, Aug 23, 2001.
Any suggestions on a decent equalizer to buy. Like Yamaha or Audio Control, or others?
It depends on what you will use it for.
For graphic equalizers, I have had good success with AudioControl (the Rialto model in particular, $400 on eBay), but my most useful equalizer is my Rane PE-17. It is a parametric equalizer and is capable of adjusting very specific bands of frequencies.
When you raise or lower the "80 Hz" slider on a graphic eq, you are actually boosting or cutting a fairly broad group of frequencies. In other words, when you raise the 80 Hz slider 4 dB, you are also raising 75 Hz and 83 Hz (though not as much), which may not be what you want. For example, let's say you have determined, using test signals and a Radio Shack SPL meter, that your room is causing a 4 dB peak at 78 Hz and a 3 dB dip at 87 Hz. You couldn't really fix the problem with a graphic eq because the 80 Hz slider would affect too many surrounding frequencies (unless, of course, you have a fancy model that has a slider for every freq).
A parametric eq, on the other hand, allows you to select a center frequency such as 80 Hz, a bandwidth range (such as .5 Hz), and a level boost/cut. So you could more easily "dial in" a specific frequency and boost/cut it without affecting the surrounding frequencies. This type of equalizer is a tremendous tool to get the most out of your subwoofer.
[Edited last by Brian Perry on August 23, 2001 at 10:31 AM]
Are parametric equalizers usually used just for front channels in a home theater setup? Do you have to buy one equalizer for each channel?
Parametric equalizers are usually dedicated to the sub in home theaters. Yes, the only way to equalize the other channels is to buy enough mono or stereo equalizers to have one for each channel. Realistically, the front channels and the subs are the channels most people would want to equalize.
Adding to what Brian said: A parametric equalizer will also affect adjacent frequencies, just like a graphic equalizer will. However, with a parametric EQ the bandwidth can be narrowed to minimize this, if need be.
The situation of a problem with a peak at 78Hz coupled with a dip at 87Hz is a good example of how a parametric equalizer is superior to a graphic for dealing with specific non-ISO centered frequencies, as well as peak-dip combinations. However, peak-dip combinations like this are typically a function of the speaker, not the room. Room-induced peaks and dips are more typically spaced further apart and usually occupy a bandwidth between a 1/6 and 1/2 octave.
By the way, the proper values of bandwidth are “Q” and octave (see example, previous paragraph), not Hz as Brian indicated. However, since he is well versed in the uses of parametric equalizers I’m sure Brian knew this; he was probably just in a hurry.
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
My Equipment List
Thanks for the info...interesting and useful. Though I'm sure it's not a replacement for a real equalizer, I'm wondering about the purpose of the "Parametric Equalizer" setting on my Yamaha DSP-A3090? Is this meant as some sort of quick and dirty way to equalize frequencies?
Actually, it is not incorrect to express bandwidth in Hz. One is simply stating the difference between two frequency points in absolute terms.
Expressing bandwidth in octaves is acceptable, too, but it must be given with respect to a specific frequency.