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Thread: Hardware EQ: studio or PA quality?

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    Hardware EQ: studio or PA quality?

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    I need to correct my über-hifi set. The speakers pump out way too much low bass. The house almost collapses when a kickdrum is heard. I tried manipulating the speakers and redecorating the house. Forget about that.
    The amp bass knob goes too wide but not deep enough. So I am considering an EQ. I found a cheap Ashley 3102 with 31 bands and hi pass. But I can't find if it is PA quality or studio quality.
    Talk to me darlings. What should I get to fix this problem? I want good audio quality and no titty bar gear.
    The EQ doesn't need to be "musical" as I'm not soundscaping a recording. A dry analytical correction of my bass surplus is good enough.

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    Ashly is pretty good PA stuff. But I would suggest you look into parametric eq rather than graphic eq.

    If the speakers reproduce excess bass then they are by definition not high fidelity. Or perhaps they are not designed for their placement, e.g. in a floor-wall-wall corner when they are meant to be away from walls.

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    My speakers are hifi alright.
    So Ashly is PA? That seems unworthy of good hifi. Not up to studio quality or am I wrong?
    Why would a parametric be better?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff_Vane View Post
    My speakers are hifi alright.
    So Ashly is PA? That seems unworthy of good hifi. Not up to studio quality or am I wrong?
    What really matters is noise and distortion. I'm pretty sure you can look up those specs for the Ashly. I don't know what your standard is, but I bet it's pretty good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff_Vane View Post
    Why would a parametric be better?
    Graphic eq is designed for speed and ease of use. But the filters have fixed frequency and fixed width. If you want to make exact adjustments you need something with adjustable filter widths and centers. That's essentially the definition of a parametric eq.

    The difference between studio and PA gear isn't necessarily the quality of the electronics, it's what the processor is designed to do. If I'm mixing a band live and I don't have the opportunity to fine tune the system, I appreciate having a graphic eq. In the studio I almost never choose to use graphic eq because parametric is the better tool.

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    nope. The days of PA meaning poor quality were over many years ago. So much PA gear now is amazingly high quality. Good Hi-fi? A term we frequently laugh at. If you have loudspeakers that over emphasise the bass end then a parametric or 1/3 octave equaliser will sort it, with a suitable curve. Parametrics tend to have centre frequencies of course when what you want is a gradual reduction at the bottom end. We tend to work with flatter response speakers like the serious and often eccentric hi-fi folk do, while other hi-fi folk like smiley face eq curves and heaps of sub? Cut your cake and eat it.

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    I'm not trying to play pile-on, but in my tiny brain, if it's Hi-Fi, then there is no equalizer.

    An EQ introduces artificial responses. It intentionally changes the sound. How is that retaining or reproducing any Fidelity?

    All the above comments are true. I'd go further, pretty ordinary stuff these days outperform the revered studio gear of times long ago. Unless you cherish a particular 2nd order distortion, then amazingly cheap stuff can compete with the legends in any non-controlled environment.

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    Speakers are minimum phase devices. They change the sound by their nature, and that doesn't even take crossovers into account. So some eq on speakers isn't completely unreasonable. Theoretically, a corrective eq could also counteract any phase divergence of a speaker.

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    REAL hi-fi speaks, like audiophool quality, are single driver with no crossover. They also go for crazy prices.
    (I'm more of a 3way man, myself -- must be a throwback)

    EQ correcting speaker phase divergence is a lot like running into a curb to fix your front end alignment. Like you say, it might be theoretically possible, and I ain't saying it's totally impossible, but yeah, it kinda is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponder5 View Post
    REAL hi-fi speaks, like audiophool quality, are single driver with no crossover. They also go for crazy prices.
    (I'm more of a 3way man, myself -- must be a throwback)

    EQ correcting speaker phase divergence is a lot like running into a curb to fix your front end alignment. Like you say, it might be theoretically possible, and I ain't saying it's totally impossible, but yeah, it kinda is.
    A single speaker simply can't have a useful dispersion pattern and complete frequency response at the same time. It will narrow as you go up the spectrum.

    Even if you get the drivers in phase at the crossover frequency they will be diverging either side of that point. You get little squiggly zones in the response. Speakers are always a bundle of compromises.

    I suspect the speakers in question are designed for being in a big room away from walls but they're placed in corners. If you put speakers designed for half space into eighth space you'll get a big rise in LF response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    I suspect the speakers in question are designed for being in a big room away from walls but they're placed in corners. If you put speakers designed for half space into eighth space you'll get a big rise in LF response.
    Not surprisingly, that makes all kinds of sense.
    Good call.

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