Whatever happened to equalizers?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chuck Bogie, Feb 4, 2003.

  1. Chuck Bogie

    Chuck Bogie Second Unit

    Jan 14, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I remember back in the dark ages, when we could tweak the sound for the room - didn't have to play with moving the speaks around...
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

    Jul 8, 1998
    Likes Received:
    There still around.

    I use an Audio Control Bijoux (5.1 channels) in my system, and would not be without it.

    That said, you can NOT properly set an EQ by ear. I use test tones, SPL meters (Radio Shack and Infinity RABOS for the bass), and PC based measurement software.

  3. The only multi channel ones that I know of are the audio control bijou which is a 5.1 channel or the Rane THX-44 and THX-11 one is center, left, right, and sub the other is for suround left and right so for a 5.1 setup either get the Bijou or the Rane THX-44 and the THX-22 and for a 7.1 setup you will need to get either a Bijou and a THX-22 or a THX-44 and 2 THX-22's
  4. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Aug 5, 1999
    Likes Received:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:

    The equalizers from the “dark ages” that you refer to are probably those stereo 10-band equalizers, right?

    Those equalizers are not really good for “tweaking the sound of a room.” They were more correctly sophisticated tone controls, more suited to tweaking poorly recorded program sources. They can actually do a fairly good job of this, if you have a good ear and know what you’re doing. Too many people, however, were prone to setting them to a “smiley face” configuration, which of course gives the exaggerated “boom-sizzle” response that people with untrained ears tend to liken to good sound quality. (Note: Whenever you see an EQ set in a smiley-face, you can safely say to yourself, “Here’s a person who doesn’t know how to use an equalizer.”)

    For “tweaking the sound of a room” you need something more sophisticated than a 10-band (a.k.a. one-octave) equalizer. You need a 1/3-octave or parametric equalizers, and good ones are not cheap.

    Furthermore, the advent of multi-channel sound has complicated the prospects of using equalizers to tame room response. As both Brian and Chris noted, you need an expensive multi-channel equalizer, or (even more expensive) dedicated stand-alone equalizers for each channel - including the sub. Not to mention, you need to be able to connect them between the pre-amp and the power amp. If your receiver does not have pre-outs and main-ins for all channels (and I know of none that do) you have to add at least some stand-alone power amps.

    Needless to say, Chuck, depending on the quality of your equipment, introducing equalizers into a home theater can quickly add up to a pile of money.

    This is probably why most home theater buffs, if they use equalizers at all, concentrate on the most problematic area, the sub. A dedicated sub equalizer offers the most “bang for the buck” in home theater.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
  5. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

    Aug 3, 2000
    Likes Received:
    I use parametric eqs on my sub and mains, *only* for low freq room induced peak attenuation. The ubiquitous but cheap digital Behringer BFD for my sub, and a higher quality analog unit for my mains. (Currently deciding between the Symetrix 552E, and the Behringer Ultra-Q, which also has tubes.)

Share This Page