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Why are consumer EQ devices rare?

Tks

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#1
Perhaps I don't know how to properly search for them (tried "parametric equalizer on Ebay). But I don't see many. Even the ones that exist (rack mount sorts) are all seemingly analogue, and only 5 bands?

Where are all the digital ones? Ones that are easy to use and can be manipulated with some semblance of a GUI (something like an RME ADI 2 DAC). Also it might just be me, but 5 bands isn't particularly great. I know we have folks that say "you can never have enough DSP processing power". What does this even mean? Knowing the sorts of FPGA horsepower we have, and just general CPU's like Core M varients that need no active cooling, is running parametric EQ THAT demanding on chips? I somewhat understand there needs to be a DAC for a digital PEQ to exist (or one that simply can have a screen that lists out the metrics you are setting for Band, Gain, Q-Factor, and Filter type). DACs in recent history remind me of what mobile phones can do compared to dedicated DAPs. There is such a massive divide of secondary feature-sets outside of the pure task of conversion I just don't understand what some of these companies are thinking when they conjure prices in excess of like $2,000+ and yet it's still a gamble if the actual conversion being done is of high fidelity...

Outside of the costs of requiring software developers that will need to actually implement EQ within the DACs.. are these devices TRULY this underpowered where if you ask them to do anything outside of simply converting signal, they're just going to choke?

I've seen the MiniDSP HD.. kind of an odd price for a device that doesn't measure all that well. I'm simply confused >_>
 

SIY

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#2
People tend to use parametric far more than old fashioned 5 band or octave. It's built into devices like the DCX2496, miniDSP, and similar.
 

pkane

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#5
Perhaps I don't know how to properly search for them (tried "parametric equalizer on Ebay). But I don't see many. Even the ones that exist (rack mount sorts) are all seemingly analogue, and only 5 bands?

Where are all the digital ones? Ones that are easy to use and can be manipulated with some semblance of a GUI (something like an RME ADI 2 DAC). Also it might just be me, but 5 bands isn't particularly great. I know we have folks that say "you can never have enough DSP processing power". What does this even mean? Knowing the sorts of FPGA horsepower we have, and just general CPU's like Core M varients that need no active cooling, is running parametric EQ THAT demanding on chips? I somewhat understand there needs to be a DAC for a digital PEQ to exist (or one that simply can have a screen that lists out the metrics you are setting for Band, Gain, Q-Factor, and Filter type). DACs in recent history remind me of what mobile phones can do compared to dedicated DAPs. There is such a massive divide of secondary feature-sets outside of the pure task of conversion I just don't understand what some of these companies are thinking when they conjure prices in excess of like $2,000+ and yet it's still a gamble if the actual conversion being done is of high fidelity...

Outside of the costs of requiring software developers that will need to actually implement EQ within the DACs.. are these devices TRULY this underpowered where if you ask them to do anything outside of simply converting signal, they're just going to choke?

I've seen the MiniDSP HD.. kind of an odd price for a device that doesn't measure all that well. I'm simply confused >_>
DEQ2496 can be used in fully digital mode. 10 band PEQ, as well as lots of other DSP goodies. I even used two of them in a chain to get a 20 band PEQ for a test. Can probably find them for less than $200 on the used market.
 

SIY

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#6
Well, the examples I gave were what you were asking for- GUI, all the EQ power you could want, and features like delay and phase correction. It's built into these high performance low cost systems. Why would I use a Model T when there's plenty of Lexus and Hyndai around?

I have analog EQ and crossover units- packed away in boxes in my garage.
 

Tks

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#7
@SIY

But I already addressed the MiniDSP? The only other one you mentioned I have no idea about is the DCX2496. Also I was asking about just dedicated PEQ devices, and why they're so rare, >_<

The DCX2496 looks great, but again, it falls under the designation of rack-mount stuff that's a bit combersome in the consumer sphere, like a desk at home or something. Also confused as to what a "dynamic EQ" is, or how many bands this device supports.
 

Tks

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#8
DEQ2496 can be used in fully digital mode. 10 band PEQ, as well as lots of other DSP goodies. I even used two of them in a chain to get a 20 band PEQ for a test. Can probably find them for less than $200 on the used market.
Ahh I see, that looks enticing to say the least. Just wish it wasn't a Rack-mount form factor >_< But with all those inputs and features, it is completely understandable.
 

SIY

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#9
The rack mount ears on the DCX and PEQ are removable.

I use the DCX and the miniDSP in my living room and lab systems, and they both work just great. Get the idea of "bands" out of your mind, that's what you did in 1972 when there were no better solutions- parametric is far more flexible. I have not run out of EQ power yet...
 

Tks

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#10
The rack mount ears on the DCX and PEQ are removable.

I use the DCX and the miniDSP in my living room and lab systems, and they both work just great. Get the idea of "bands" out of your mind, that's what you did in 1972 when there were no better solutions- parametric is far more flexible. I have not run out of EQ power yet...

I think you may have misunderstood me. When I said "bands" I mean't to say, frequencies. With respect to my post, all I see on the market are equalizers with only a few frequencies that can be manipulated at one time (I understand based on Q factor/filter it's not literally a single frequency) but it's simply mostly 5 frequencies, and that's that. So when I say bands, I don't literally mean the little sliders you see on many equalizer devices like 100, 1k, 4k, 10k, 20k (for example).

Something like the DCX and more properly the DEQ (with graphic equalizer as well as 10-point parametric EQ) is what I was wondering as to why they're so rare, and why not many devices like them exist (the RME and miniDSP are the closest, and only ones I know of).
 

DuxServit

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#11
Well, with most pop/rock music today being engineered to be “loud” (as in loudness war), there’s little point in consumer EQ.

By consumer I mean the average person on the street with a mobile device. The RME ADI2 is not a consumer device— it’s for audiophiles ;)
 

SIY

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#12
The devices DO exist, and more importantly, the functions do exist as software solutions for those who want them.
 

RayDunzl

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#13
I use a miniDSP OpenDRC-DI - digital in/out - in front of the DAC. It's noiseless as far as I can tell, just recalculates digits.

It has PEQ and FIR capability, with 6144 taps, and resamples whatever to 48kHz. ($325)

Add AcourateDRC to measure and create "correction" files for the miniDSP ($85). Or do it yourself for free with rePhase or other software.

All my sources - CD/Oppo/TV/HDRadio are routed through it.


Before/after sample:

1556838269300.png

The "EQ" applied looks something like this:

1556838767490.png
 

andreasmaaan

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#14
Also I was asking about just dedicated PEQ devices, and why they're so rare, >_<
The most likely answer IMHO is that, if not you're not gonna do it the optimal way (prior to the first DA conversion, e.g. with software), then the next best way is using a DSP with ADC and DAC on each end. But then, if you're going to bother manufacturing a device with ADC-DSP-DAC, you may as well put more features in the DSP than mere parametric EQ - hence devices like the miniDSP and DCX2496, etc.
 

Tks

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#15
The most likely answer IMHO is that, if not you're not gonna do it the optimal way (prior to the first DA conversion, e.g. with software), then the next best way is using a DSP with ADC and DAC on each end. But then, if you're going to bother manufacturing a device with ADC-DSP-DAC, you may as well put more features in the DSP than mere parametric EQ - hence devices like the miniDSP and DCX2496, etc.
Makes sense, though I don't understand why you would want to the the EQ before, and after? Is before the DA conversion something insufficient? Basically what I am wondering is why most multi-thousand dollar DAC's don't have equalizers like the RME. Like is there a reason for it?

I use a miniDSP OpenDRC-DI - digital in/out - in front of the DAC. It's noiseless as far as I can tell, just recalculates digits.

It has PEQ and FIR capability, with 6144 taps, and resamples whatever to 48kHz. ($325)

Add AcourateDRC to measure and create "correction" files for the miniDSP ($85). Or do it yourself for free with rePhase or other software.

All my sources - CD/Oppo/TV/HDRadio are routed through it.


Before/after sample:

View attachment 25644

The "EQ" applied looks something like this:

View attachment 25646
I'll be honest, not a single clue what it is you are doing when you say you have a MiniDSP OpencDRC-DI -digital in/out - in front of the DAC. And why that would be "noiseless"?
 

DuxServit

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#16
The devices DO exist, and more importantly, the functions do exist as software solutions for those who want them.[/QU
Pretty sure iTunes doesn’t have EQ software (would be nice though). Same with Spotify AFAIK.

Most Gen X/Y/Z folks have never seen one :)
 

andreasmaaan

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#17
Makes sense, though I don't understand why you would want to the the EQ before, and after? Is before the DA conversion something insufficient?
In most cases, you wouldn't want to use EQ both before and after DA conversion. I was simply comparing the two ways of doing it and saying the former was more optimal.

Basically what I am wondering is why most multi-thousand dollar DAC's don't have equalizers like the RME. Like is there a reason for it?
I suspect this is simply because few (if any?) DAC chips have onboard EQ. For that, you need a separate DSP chip and supporting circuitry. RME includes such a chip in their Adi-2 DAC etc., but this involves extra cost and extra work incorporating the DSP chip into the device. Most manufacturers don't bother with this, presumably since the two markets don't generally overlap greatly.
 
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RayDunzl

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#18
I'll be honest, not a single clue what it is you are doing when you say you have a MiniDSP OpencDRC-DI -digital in/out - in front of the DAC. And why that would be "noiseless"?
The bit-perfect digits representing the music waveform from the sources go in to the black box (yes, it is black), they are recalculated in a SHARC DSP to apply the selected filtering (EQ), and a whole new set of digits come out, representing the "equalized" musical waveform, for the DAC to transcribe into a modified stream of voltages for the amplifiers and speakers to ponder.

Noiseless in the analog domain, since there's no analog there. It could add quatization noise, jitter, or any other nasty digital faults, of course, if poorly implemented.

I can't hear those "noises" at the sofa nor see them with a microphone, so, I got that going for me, which is nice.
 

Tks

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#19
The bit-perfect digits representing the music waveform from the sources go in to the black box (yes, it is black), they are recalculated in a SHARC DSP to apply the selected filtering (EQ), and a whole new set of digits come out, representing the "equalized" musical waveform, for the DAC to transcribe into a modified stream of voltages for the amplifiers and speakers to ponder.

Noiseless in the analog domain, since there's no analog there. It could add quatization noise, jitter, or any other nasty digital faults, of course, if poorly implemented.

I can't hear those "noises" at the sofa nor see them with a microphone, so, I got that going for me, which is nice.
Thank you for laying it out for a laymen.

So you can for instance use the MiniDSP in the following scenario?:

(for example) Send out signal from the digital source (like a computer, or whatever), have it first reach the MiniDSP(and have it do it's EQ), then the DAC, and then the AMP/end device like speakers or headphones. I thought to apply EQ digitally, the device would first have to apply it's own "Digital Processing" since it's being passed through the EQ Device (the MiniDSP itself), and this could be done and not inherit the MiniDSP's shortcommings in terms of any "Processing" like would occur if using it as a DAC for example?

Oh one other thing if it's not too much trouble to ask. What is FIR and 6144 taps? Totally clueless on that as well.
 
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