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Poll: do you use EQ/DSP, and if so what kind of system is it used on.

Do you use EQ or DSP in your system.

  • Yes

    Votes: 92 84.4%
  • No

    Votes: 17 15.6%

  • Total voters
    109
OP
B

billyjoebob

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Sure, but then we agree that the answer to the OP is that no one is actually suggesting to use DSP instead of tube amps, they're just trying to make a point about the fact that it's possible. :)
And......
There have been post on this very thread that suggest it!
 

Sancus

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It's actually pretty common in pro audio to use DSP to emulate all sorts of analog distortion and sound profiles and as far as I know it does work well in general.

But I agree for most audiophiles in that category it's a gear hobby. Not primarily based on altering the sound.
 
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billyjoebob

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Absolutely use it and have done so for 20 years. The utility is obvious in theoretical terms, and while exemplary FR is much, much more common now vs then, the fact that there are an ever increasing number of cost no object SOTA systems employing active amplification with DSP would seem to suggest that the old school, passively crossed over loudspeakers are a compromise, and possibly headed for extinction as the younger generation supplants today's well heeled audiophiles (and their typical abhorrence of altering the musical signal).

I don't see DSP as a gimmick any more than a highly computerized F1 race car achieves superior efficiency and fuel efficiency over anything ever built. Once upon a time I viewed tone controls with suspicion, if not disdain--that being the prevailing philosophy of the time, a prejudice even M. Levinson was unable to overcome with his uber expensive "Palette" equalizer.

What I have found to be the case, the better (and typically more expensive) the speaker, the smaller the reward. I see the real sweet spot for performance enhancement to be in the several hundred to several thousand dollar range, with perhaps an ever diminishing difference between a four thousand dollar/pr and forty thousand dollar a pair speakers.

And of course, this is just the speakers--being able to tame bass nodes and ameliorate the more egregious recording/mastering errors are other areas of enormous benefit. I agree that passive efforts to correct room response is always the place to start, but judicious use of EQ can reap additional benefits and/or keep room decor mostly intact as few of us have dedicated spaces. Finally, while ATMOS or some other MCh approach to envelopment is the future, ground breaking work on stereo sound staging has been achieved using head torso transfer function, high DI and sophisticated DSP to minimize the deleterious effect of the wrong channel in the wrong ear errors that degrade 2 channel playback.

Can it be overcooked? Without a doubt, which is one major barrier to wider acceptance and one reason why sales of high end DSP products come with the recommedation of using a trained tech to set up systems.
One of the main statements i often hear is that price has no reflection to quality, and I sincerely belive that.
And I 100% belive that the law of diminishing returns applies rather early in components and a little later in speakers.... but to make such a broad range statement as you just made is exactly what I am talking about.
You state that a couple hundred dollar speaker is "good enough" by metric of diminishing returns (your words) and DSP will assist to bridge that gap.
 

pseudoid

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I enjoy remapping the EFI in my LS2, using the OBDII and a laptop...
202204_ToneControlDefeat03.jpg

...but I refuse to engage in a similar manner with my audio equipment (5 w/EQ, few others w/Tone controls)
Eeeekqewphobia?
 

RobL

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I tweek my system with the onboard eq in my RME ADI2 dac. Set it once and forget it. This hobby is about enjoying the end result, no? (Confession: I have on occasion also used the tone controls and loudness function as well :eek:)
 

RayDunzl

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This is a question generated from another thread on this forum, and on that thread, it was implied that the majority of users here implement some type of equalization in their systems.
For me the answer is no.

Both my vinyl and CD playback are quite fantastic.
They are far more alike than different.

You do realize you use EQ on your vinyl playback, no?
 

sq225917

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I eq my iems on my dap, nothingness my hifi though.
 

Kuma

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Yes. For headphone listening I use RME ADI-2’s built-in EQ. For AVR/speaker listening I use Audessy.
 

RayDunzl

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I try to EQ so the music playback peaks in-room match the profile of the source...

Digital Sources -> switch -> DEQ2496 -> miniDSP OpenDRC-DI -> DAC -> pre/amp/speakers

I figure what "sticks out" is more annoying than what might be missing.

Below, Left and Right of the CD source (no EQ), and the combined result coming from the speakers measured at the listening position, at 10 feet (with EQ)...

I think the shape of the playback gets pretty close to the sum or the two sources.

Close enough to sound good, at least.

(The black doesn't align since it is the immediate value, taken at different times by a few seconds.)

index.php



This is best accomplished with "flat" EQ. No house curve or Harmon Slope or other malfunctions.
 
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VMAT4

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This is a question generated from another thread on this forum, and on that thread, it was implied that the majority of users here implement some type of equalization in their systems.
For me the answer is no.
It has been years since I moved off a desktop system foobar & EQ, to an AVR (audyssey), then to a traditional component system.
For me, I prefer the audio when I dont mess with it and let it play as it should.
It also appears that this may be my frustration with some things that are said on this site regarding "tailoring" the sound to ones specific desire.
Example. Stay away from vinyl, stream your music and add the distortion with your EQ. Or
Tube amps suck. Get a class D amp and add the distortion with EQ.

Neither of these statements make any sense to me.
Sorry, just my .02c

Maybe we make too big a deal out of distortion. After all at the speaker, isn't the limit of human sensitivity to distortion about 7%?
Also, isn't HiFi or Audio somewhat like picking neck ties? I'm not sure anything plays "as it shouuld". Some sound engineers would never use headphones to mix. Others have no problem with it. Yet some say they can tell if a recording is mixed with 'phones or monitors.

I'm trying to make two points here.
1) Distortion introduced by electronics solid state or glass state is small compared to transducer distortion.
2) Without witnessing every step of the production of a recording, can one really tell what "as it should" is?

In the end, to each his/her/their own. What is truth? Or high fidelity?
 
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JRS

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One of the main statements i often hear is that price has no reflection to quality, and I sincerely belive that.
And I 100% belive that the law of diminishing returns applies rather early in components and a little later in speakers.... but to make such a broad range statement as you just made is exactly what I am talking about.
You state that a couple hundred dollar speaker is "good enough" by metric of diminishing returns (your words) and DSP will assist to bridge that gap.
Actually it was just such an exercise that made me an ardent believer in DSP. I had just purchased a pair of the high performance Infinity Preludes (steep discount: 50% of $8K) that were the first flagship product after Harman Int'l had bought Infinity and applied the research findings to a four way of modest tower size. As luck would have it, I just bought a DEQX and was in the process of setting up some DIY speakers using the 50" B&G ribbons and had little idea of how and where to cross them over to the bass sections. And because I was in a buying mood, I also picked up a pair of modest JBL bookshelf 2 ways with a cool looking elliptical wave guide for the tweeters--these for the bedroom of my new home. They weren't bad out of the box, but I was curious how much they might be improved with DSP, and frankly wanted to get some experience before messing with $800 apiece drivers.

Well they say you can't make a silk purse from a sows ear, but you most certainly take a well behaved two way and make it over perform to such an extent that at modest volumes without a great deal of bass, it can sound very much like a bigger brother that sells for 15x as much. Anyway the Magnolia store wasn't crazy about taking the Preludes back, but in the end they did, and that was the last high end product I ever purchased.

The big B&G speakers were stunning in spite of my limited experience, and I have been doing DIY ever since. I'd much rather spend 1500 on drivers, build my own cabinets and voice the speaker to my preference than spending five or ten thousand for comparable commercial performance. It really is that simple. The best thing of all was getting off this revolving door of high end speaker buys--in one ten year period I bought Thiel, Infinity IRS, and Dunlavy speakers--the usual enchantment to dissatisfaction swing taking 3 years or so. And while I can't prove it, my belief is that had I DSP to address each of these outstanding but ultimately fatally flawed systems, I could have avoided that whole rat race/money pit altogether.

I very much doubt that any pair of speakers costing a thousand bucks would float my boat these days as the speaker needs to get down with serious bass extension and ear bleeding undistorted dynamics for my get your ya-ya's out moments. That's another great aspect of DSP--one can find very dynamically capable pro sound drivers that clean up quite nicely. Have my eyes set on some modestly priced Faital mid-basses that might just replace the somewhat prissy Scandinavian Skanning drivers I now use.

And no I don't think I can match a Perlisten, KEF Blade or my personal dream speakers--Sanders 10e hybrid electrostatics that maintain their composure beyond 115dB--with traditional cabinetry and off the shelf drivers. At some point the ability to bridge the gulf is so expensive and/or time consuming, and the instrumentation to so do (Santa, can you drop off a Klippel analyzer this XMAS?) just makes it prohibitive. But short of that, a decent mic, software and a few good power tools can be very rewarding.

DSP for the masses!
 

VMAT4

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Cote Dazur

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Not using DSP in my music room where my “HiFi” 2.0 system is, the speakers are where they are supposed to be, so is the seat position. It sounds great. The room is big with minimum furniture and some acoustic treatment.
I use Audyssey with my AVR on 5.1 in my living room, speakers position is not optimum, but with DSP it sound better than without.
 

sigbergaudio

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Weather anyone is actually suggesting it or making a point is of no consequence. It's not my job to understand ones intentions.

(...)

You state that a couple hundred dollar speaker is "good enough" by metric of diminishing returns (your words) and DSP will assist to bridge that gap.

So you are not interested in WHY people use EQ? Based on the answers so far, do you still have a question at all beyond wanting to see the percentage of people who use EQ? When I read your initial post there is actually no question in that text.

(...)

This feels like a strawman, that is not what he said. And using EQ/DSP to correct a speaker will often not work very well, it's primarily to improve integration between speakers and room. But doing that will significantly improve the sound (at least at moderate levels) to the point that the system can sound better than a more expensive system with no DSP. That doesn't mean an expensive speaker (again with DSP) won't improve it even further.
 
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billyjoebob

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So you are not interested in WHY people use EQ? Based on the answers so far, do you still have a question at all beyond wanting to see the percentage of people who use EQ? When I read your initial post there is actually no question in that text.

(...)

This feels like a strawman, that is not what he said. And using EQ/DSP to correct a speaker will often not work very well, it's primarily to improve integration between speakers and room. But doing that will significantly improve the sound (at least at moderate levels) to the point that the system can sound better than a more expensive system with no DSP. That doesn't mean an expensive speaker (again with DSP) won't improve it even further.
There was no question.
Hence a poll.
Strawman.really?

Did you not see where I posted the very attributes of room correction?
 

Axo1989

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Most of us don't use or advocate EQ for "tailoring" the sound. We use it to try and help minimize damage caused by our rooms/or issues with our speakers. Myself, I just do basic measurements using pink noise and make adjustments with mathaudio in Foobar. As far as I'm concerned, it's the folks using vinyl, tube amps, etc that are tailoring their sound. We aren't "adding distortion" (in fact, we're trying to further minimize distortions.) When we suggest using EQ to tailor one's sound (if that's what they want to do for whatever reason) we mean that that's a way that at least gives them some sort of control over the tailoring rather than having it "hard-wired" into their system and then un-ambiguously applied to every single piece of music they play through that system whether or not that "tailoring" is in any way desirable for that music.
Using DSP to correct for room modes etc at the listening position, we correct some linear (amplitude) distortion caused by the room, but usually increase the non-linear (harmonic) distortion from the loudspeaker drivers. I think the trade-off is worth it, as added (low harmonic) bass distortion is subjectively innocuous (within limits of course) compared to wildly uneven bass FR.

So I'm 'yes' but basically just run Sonarworks system-wide software on my Mac source hardware. It’s Mac>DAC>amp>speakers. Sonarworks isn't for DIY types or tweakers—tweaking EQ would sh*t me up the wall—but works for me with a clear UI and clever measuring routine for a wide listening area along with some sensible parameters. The result fixes an otherwise severe 15 dB bump at 50 Hz from my room's long mode and smooths some other modes that reduce energy in the mid-bass relative to the midrange. This took a fair toll in headroom on my previous smaller floor-standers (no subs then) but that's fixed now with larger replacements. There's better stereo imaging also, which I didn't expect—with frequent demurring about going full-range from many posters but which I don't find problematic.

Now we see [trigger warning] Darko declaring Dirac DSP decisive in an integrated streamer/DAC/amp comparison. What's happening to the world?

 
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tuga

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I P-EQ the in-room response (up to 200Hz) using filters custom-made with REW and applied by HQPlayer during the upconversion process. I am using a pair of large-ish and passive standmount speakers.
 
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