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Old 01-18-2012, 07:51 AM
Location: WV and Eastport, ME
11,714 posts, read 11,305,024 times
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Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
My cousin is audiophile or as I like to refer to him the audio snob. $20K sound system and the eq was flat. His take on it and I beleive it's the same for most of these people is you're supposed to listen to it as the artist/engineer intended. .....
Assuming that the recording studio that produced the tracks, the studio where it was mixed and the studio where it was mastered had all been tuned to come close to a flat frequency response, you would need to have your listening room also tuned to a flat frequency response with the equipment you have to actually hear it (approximately) the way it was intended. You would PROBABLY need some kind of equalizer (whether it be graphic or parametric) to achieve a flat response across the audio spectrum detectable by most humans.
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Old 01-18-2012, 08:10 AM
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,820 posts, read 13,961,605 times
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Plenty of companies still sell EQ's.

Amazon.com: Pyle-Pro PPEQ200 Dual 10 Band Stereo Graphic Equalizer w/Spectrum Display: Musical Instruments
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:47 AM
Location: Silicon Valley
3,685 posts, read 8,495,667 times
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Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Just purchased a home theatre and not sure if it's the norm but like the home theatre I see a lot of systems that let you pick preselected choices based on what you're using it for. Bass, natural, voice, gaming etc.

Having said that buried in the on screen menu was option for equalizer.
Sounds like an HTIB (Home Theater in a Box).

All except the very cheapest home theater receivers today come with a microphone to automate frequency response calibration and speaker delay during initial setup. You can buy an Onkyo HT receiver with Audyssey automatic calibration for as little as $230.
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Old 01-18-2012, 10:54 AM
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,904,706 times
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Originally Posted by Viking Tech Solutions View Post
To answer the original question as to WHY they don't have Equalizers anymore, I would opine that it's because everything is trending towards simpler and or automated these days. Because clearly a machine can tell you how music sounds best FAR more accurately than your own ears. The same way it seems to be getting harder to get a car with a manual transmission these days. I want to turn it on and go, I don't want to learn anything extra, adjust anything, or be FORCED to choose things.
I think if you really look at products today - I think they have not gotten simpler. Yes there are more automated things today, but they are complicated. And since automated is often TOO automated, they have settings for choosing automated behavior.

Cars used to have a radio with two knobs and five pushbuttons for radio presets. That was simple. Now we have ridiculous joystick menu driven electronics in cars (like BMW iDrive) that doesn't improve anything from a usability perspective.

Today's home theater receivers deal with no less than 5 speakers, a subwoofer, and a multitude of inputs, possibly including internet based media streaming. It is not simpler.

High end audio has never been a fan of EQ for reasons already stated. The simpler the signal path, the better the odds the signal isn't damaged. Tone controls, whether bass/treble or EQ, introduce additional circuitry for the signal to pass through. For many, perhaps most, this doesn't matter at all. I agree that in some cases where frequency response of the room is a problem, EQ might help.

For the casual listener who just wants more bass guitar, they should probably choose some bass heavy speakers like Cerwin Vega. If you want a loud, bright sound, maybe choose Klipsch. There are many choices today. And you can still find an EQ if you really want it.

It is more clear to me though that the masses don't care at all. They listen to stolen music ripped at 128kbps on crappy earbuds. They have no clue what high quality sound is. If they aren't willing to pay 99 cents for a song, why would they pay for good audio equipment?
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Old 01-18-2012, 11:02 AM
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
2,435 posts, read 2,896,149 times
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The average consumers are not audiophile purists like when I was younger in the 1970's - 80's. People want convenience now, and are not so interested in fine tuning every little nuance of music like I was. So graphic equalizers headed back down the road toward todays professional studios as the demand for them decreased in favor of generic sound settings on what might be called modern home elecrtonics 'docks'.
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Old 01-18-2012, 12:12 PM
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,395,649 times
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Originally Posted by hoffdano View Post
Most of the people I know/knew with graphic equalizers had horrible sounding audio systems. They often shoved the bass levels up near the max, boosted treble, and either left the mid alone or pushed it down. The result was an exagerrated sound that had no accuracy at all. It amazed me that these people liked the sound.
THIS. I used to do the same thing back when I was an ignorant young man. Not sure how I thought it sounded good but I did.
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:54 PM
Location: London, U.K.
3,035 posts, read 3,376,864 times
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Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
THIS. I used to do the same thing back when I was an ignorant young man. Not sure how I thought it sounded good but I did.
Me too, i'd never dream of it today (though mf did make a really nice off board tone control for my system- see attached). People who think that graphic eq's are necessary simply have never heard 'proper' hi-fi and don't know what it can do. Their jaws drop in amazement when they hear it for the first time.
Attached Thumbnails
Whatever happened to Grapic EQs on stereo receivers?-55031.jpg  
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:17 PM
Location: Houston
471 posts, read 1,375,248 times
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Kewl, an audiophile vs. Regular Joe gear discussion on C-D!

This topic is so loaded with controversy I'll stick to asterisks to make my post (relatively!) less wordy:

* what happened to EQs? Pretty much already been answered but I'll add that today imo any audio system that is larger than a phone book is considered uncool to most non-audio hobbyists (personally I place part of the blame for this on the computer and cellphone industries). Small anything is, as Lucy would say, "real in", even if output quality or usability is sacrificed........

* owning good speakers, even those costing $20K per pair or more, does not guarantee accurate sound in one's home. The room in which the system is located has an enormous effect on what finally reaches the listener's ears and where in the room those speakers are located (particularly the lower bass frequencies), so what started out ruler-flat from those $20K B&W Nautilus 800s can end up containing nasty - and very audible - bumps and dips. So much for the integrity of the music.

Better manufacturers do lots of testing using rooms configured like the typical living room, but if your room has lots of reflective surfaces - wooden floors, large windows etc - or it's heavily damped - thick carpeting, drapes, acoustic ceilings etc - those speakers will not sound like what their designers' intended. EQ to the rescue!

* EQs and that "smiley face" you see so much, formed by the sliders at the extreme ends being pushed much further up than the middle frequencies? For most people this is not an effort to damage the music or relive their childhood, but instead is the natural result of the hearing system's operating characteristics, in this case what's called the Fletcher-Munson equal loudness curves. Simply put, at lower volumes our hearing system is less sensitive to the lower bass and higher treble frequencies and without some help from the tone controls, music would sound "thin", dull", drab or whatever adjective one prefers. This is also why loudness buttons were on most gear, until the early 90s, which activated a circuit to automatically boost predetermined bass and treble frequencies, then reduce that effect (on better gear) as the volume was increased. Fortunately this useful feature is slowly making a comeback.

So while tone controls do technically add X amount of distortion to the music, IMO it is not audible (in well designed gear), so forcing myself to listen to music in the name of accuracy where the cymbals sound sharp enough to cut my hair or the bass is so weak that my Beck albums sound like they're being played through a $10 AM radio, is not an option for me. Tinkly treble and diluted bass is ALSO a form of distortion and is definitely not being faithful to the artist's intent.

BTW most rock and pop music is not recorded all that well, for decades actually, so having to do your own mastering at home via an EQ is a completely understandable thing! Higher frequencies in particular usually need to be tamed these days, which are probably intentionally boosted back at the studio to overcome the deficiencies of the crummy earbuds that usually come with most mp3 players or the nasty 1" "full range" speakers in the typical laptop.
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Old 01-18-2012, 09:31 PM
Location: Chicago
38,690 posts, read 90,172,117 times
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Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Yeah, but this isn't an integrated EQ and it's another piece of equipment for the signal to travel through, more connections for it to pass through, etc. Not to mention Pyle is a rather aptly named company, at least where their consumer-grade products are concerned.
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Old 01-20-2012, 04:25 AM
40,210 posts, read 41,799,403 times
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Originally Posted by Lije Baley View Post
BTW most rock and pop music is not recorded all that well, for decades actually,
The biggest issue is the mastering, they jack the amplification up and you lose all the nuances.

Why I Don't Buy "Remastered" CDs. - YouTube

Metallica Death Magnetic - How to lose the Loudness War - YouTube
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