DSPeaker Anti-mode 8033 Subwoofer EQ Review

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<img src="http://www.avforums.com/news/images/20090516232720.jpg" align="right">Reviewed by Russell Williams
So, to sum up; It's small enough to tuck out of the way, sturdy, simple for technophobes, effective enough for technophiles, as cheap as it currently gets and it works. That makes it an easy recommended buy.
Read the full review...
 
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Stuart Wright

AVForums Founder
Staff member
Wow, never heard of a product like this before. Thanks, Russell. Would you buy one?
 
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AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
Great review Russell, looks like the anti-mode can do a lot that the AS-EQ1 can do for less than half the expense. I look forward to hearing your comparison and how much difference the AS-EQ1's ability to boost dips as well perform the all important speaker sub integration, makes to the end results.

Well done :)

Adam
 

Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
Nice review Russ :smashin:
Moonfly mentioned this piece of kit to me a couple of weeks ago and having read the manual, I thought it seemed decent, which you've confirmed.

Without going to read the manual again, doesn't the 8033 also have the ability to boost the bottom end?
Did you have a play with that? And if so, what did you think?

Tbh, I'm slightly disappointed that you never mentioned this, as I feel it might be a simple way of introducing a house curve, which while strictly incorrect, might be nice for films :devil:

I know you're not keen on boosting, but doing so on this box also introduces a low freq filter, IIRC, so should be pretty safe.

If you never tried it, is there any chance and maybe post your thoughts?
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
Wow, never heard of a product like this before. Thanks, Russell. Would you buy one?
If I was interested in subwoofers enough to know about the benefits of EQ, but not really bothered about the technicalities of doing it, then I'd definitely buy one. At the moment, I'm trying to convince myself I need the extra manual control a BFD or SMS-1 delivers, but a little voice (of common sense?) is telling me the 8033 would be ample.

Certainly, for anybody with a room that only suffers a few minor peaks/dips, it's a great little bit of kit. I tried to trip it up by pushing a large ported sub into the worst corner of the room (as per the published graphs) and the 8033 still made it listenable.

Russell
 

Easybourne

Active Member
Would a product like this help me make my sub a bit more 'neighbour-friendly'? I live in a flat and would like not to be a nuisance, but I also want to be able to watch a movie at a reasonable level from time to time.
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
EQ generally tames the loudest and most dominant peaks in the response which potentially makes it less likely to trouble neighbours. On the other hand, once those peaks are removed, the sub tends to get turned up a bit to compensate and thus neighbours are troubled again.

Isolation platforms like an Auralex Gramma may help a bit, but short of major DIY works to acoustically isolate the flat, there's not much that can stop bass wavelengths penetrating walls or floors. I'm afraid self restraint will still be required.

Russell
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
That's right. It only cuts, but of course with the peaks reduced, you tend to turn the subwoofer up to compensate which of course is a boost.....

Importantly, it doesn't try to boost cancellations as far as I can see. I presume it can tell the difference between a power response dip and a modal cancellation null through the lack of ringing associated with the latter.

Russell
 
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Member 639844

Former Advertiser
That's right. It only cuts, but of course with the peaks reduced, you tend to turn the subwoofer up to compensate which of course is a boost.....

Importantly, it doesn't try to boost cancellations as far as I can see. I presume it can tell the difference between a power response dip and a modal cancellation null through the lack of ringing associated with the latter.

Russell
OK, based on this I'm now thinking a single setup procedure may not be enough for someone with a dip or a few dips. It sounds like the procedure would be to run the EQ to cut the peaks. You would then (probably) up the gain a little to bring your dips up, then re-run to bring back down what would now be a peak again, albeit a flat(ish) peak arcoss quite a range.

Is that something like correct or not recommended, or even just something you would do out of preference?

Also, in your review you mention the inital thump at the start of the first test tone and advise reducing the gain. Would this not have the effect of exacerbating and problem dips? Wouldnt it be preferable (as long as your sub can take it and its safe) to let the antimode start with this loud tone and to take it from there.

Cheers.

Oh, and excellent review, very well written up gain :smashin:
 
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Badger0-0

Distinguished Member
OK, based on this I'm now thinking a single setup procedure may not be enough for someone with a dip or a few dips. It sounds like the procedure would be to run the EQ to cut the peaks. You would then (probably) up the gain a little to bring your dips up, then re-run to bring back down what would now be a peak again, albeit a flat(ish) peak arcoss quite a range.

Is that something like correct or not recommended, or even just something you would do out of preference?


No, imo.
What you're doing is reducing peaks which will make the sub sound quieter overall, hence you turn it up to make it sound the equivalent of the previous setting. You're not bringing the dips up, more bringing the overall level up to where the peaks used to be.
In effect you've lifted most of the frequency range, but the maximum level will be no louder than it was, IE more bass, but it's not louder overall. Win-win :smashin:




Also, in your review you mention the inital thump at the start of the first test tone and advise reducing the gain. Would this not have the effect of exacerbating and problem dips? Wouldnt it be preferable (as long as your sub can take it and its safe) to let the antimode start with this loud tone and to take it from there.

Cheers.

Oh, and excellent review, very well written up gain :smashin:

The Ultra has protective circuitry, as you know, but I'd still play safe.
Don't forget, the 8033 adds gain.
 

Normal Bias

Active Member
Thanks a lot Russell, your review has just cost me £225! :rolleyes:. Seriously though, great review. This seems just the gadget to tighten up my flabby and somewhat boomy bass. I particularly like the simplicity of the setup. Not having an SPL meter or any means to plot response graphs atm, I'm hoping this will make quite a big difference for a comparatively small cost and time outlay. Certainly a stop-gap until I can justify investing in all the gear and an Audessey or the like.

If anyone's interested, I paid £225.80 inc delivery from bkelec.com, they appear to have an offer until 1st June.

A couple of questions (feel free to treat them as observations :)):

From the looks of your graphs, it doesn't appear to have been very effective at eliminating the ringing above about 80Hz. Maybe something in your room (window?) resonates too much for the anti-mode to be able to calm it down. I know that this is the upper end of a sub's range anyway so maybe this is moot.

I understand that the processing done by the box introduces a delay of about 2.7ms, or the equivalent of 3 feet distance. Did you adjust the sub distance setting in the processor at any time (either before or after calibration)? I guess the mic hears what it hears so this is unnecessary, and doing this post-calib would throw everything off. Maybe doing it pre-calib would make its job of matching the wave timings a bit easier. Maybe not :D (edit: you can't do it 'pre-calib' since the processor isn't involved, duh). edit again: sorry, just RTFM, just ignore this whole paragraph if you're still reading, LOL.

Anyway thanks again. Next up is a sub upgrade I expect :)

NB
 
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HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
The ringing above 80Hz is because the Anti-mode only equalizes the sub, not the speakers which are free to ring to their hearts content. It does not take into account the speakers contribution when EQing the sub either - it is a pure sub EQ device.

Depending upon the relative capabilities of the sub and how close the speakers 'issues' are to the crossover being used, it may prove beneficial to increase the crossover frequency to bring the problem area under the control of the sub and Anti-mode. Experimentation is the key and indeed devices like this do not preclude the use of programs like REW, Carma or XTZ's Room Analyzer from being used to set up the speakers as well as the subwoofer.

It doesn't matter whether you add 3ms or 2.7ft to you subs delay before or after you run the Anti-mode, because it is only EQing the sub. It does not take into account the speakers and no test tone is sent to the amp. The crossover between the sub and the speakers will still be down to you to optimize in the traditional fashion, or again with one of the programs/kits mentioned above.

Russell
 

Normal Bias

Active Member
I thought the waterfalls were from the sub only, but if it's the before and after with the whole ensemble then that makes sense. Ta.
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
They do include the speakers, but bear in mind I had the sub positioned badly to throw up more issues to correct. Normally, that big dip around 80Hz isn't there.

Russell
 
M

morris_minor

Guest
Hi,

Just come across this review of the 8033, and as I have a BK XLS300/PR coming I've been wondering how best to set it up (being a total noob when it comes to subs).

I've an Onkyo 607 with Audessy, and the fronts are AVI Neutron Fives.

I'm going to use Audessy first off and see what happens, but if there are problems something like the 8033 seems worth trying.

So my question would then be: would I have to eq the sub with the 8033 first, and then run Audessy on the eq'd sub? Or would it be Audessy first, then the 8033? My limited logic here suggests the first way would be the right way to do it.

Can anyone confirm this please? And maybe give any tips not in the manuals.

Many thanks,
Bob

BTW Russell - great reviews; your piece on the XLS300/PR was really informative - thanks.
 

Webmonkey

Active Member
Is there any reason to get this, if your receiver and your sub already has some EQ built in? e.g YPAO and SVS or Sunfire XTEQ sub??
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
Blimey - Thread from the dead!

The answer is that it depends. I've never met a built in EQ that was half as automatically accurate (if it was automatic at all) as that available in an AVR and certainly nowhere near that of the stand alone solutions. The reason for this is that even the built in systems that make a stab at automation tend to act like graphic EQs ie; they just adjust fixed frequencies up and down to a best fit.

To be honest, unless you target the exact centre of the problem frequency, then you will not likely end up with something noticeably better. This is where AVR EQ and stand alones win, because they hunt down the exact frequencies and deal with them head on.

There are exceptions in both cases. YPAO in it's cheaper forms is limited as to the lowest frequency it can target, which may miss the really big modal booms. Velodyne's EQ (in the DD subs) can be extremely effective when used manually, as it has a superb range of user control, that it's automated option doesn't bother with. SVS single/double band EQ can be very effective, because targeting the single/two biggest problem frequencies makes 90% of the possible improvements to your bass. It don't half require some patience though!

What an 8033 offers is dependent on the capabilities of the rest of your systems EQ. But even years since this review, it's still the budget king of accurate, automated, stand alone EQ. For it's price, versus the effort and let's not forget; the investment in a measurement microphones you'd otherwise need; a no brainer for the price of a decent cable.

Russell
 

Webmonkey

Active Member
Thanks for your VERY informative reply.

Now how about the "manual" built in EQ in EarthQuake SuperNova subs? This is the first time I saw dials for "Phase delay" (before only phase 180/0 switch) and dials for +/- 6dB for 20, 30 and 40 Hz as well as "InfraSonic" as on/off.

What is your opinion on this approach?
 

HiFiRuss71

Distinguished Member
Phase is not an EQ function. It's an integration function for systems that lack channel delays, which every AVR has. It can be handy where you want to integrate a subwoofer with a ported speaker, as the port is, by definition 180deg out of phase, but the realities of sound within a room make this less than absolute.

The +/- dials at whatever frequencies could broadly be termed as EQ, but they're only really there to provide a predetermined boost, at predetermined frequencies and that's not really useful compared to real EQ. The Infrasonic filter simply cuts frequencies below a certain point and unless that point is a problem frequency, it again is not really an EQ function in and of itself.

EQ in the true sense, is more about tuning out room induced peaks in the response, which in turn elevates the surrounding frequencies to being audible. Basically, it removes the peaks in the response that dominate and make everything sound one-note-boom, thus tightening the the bass and making it more tuneful and accurate. To be considered EQ, it MUST target problem frequencies exactly.

An Anti-mode does exactly that.

Russell
 

fallinlight

Distinguished Member
Hello all,

I intend to try an Anti-Mode and am confused as to the benefits of the SII model of the Cinema, if any. I am only running one subwoofer at the moment. Using a Yamaha A3070. Tom at BK Electronics said the SII might give me a better calibration depending on how bad my room/ bass currently is. The other seller said something about being able to also run 2 subs with the Cinema model. But I read on here somewhere that I would need a Dual Core or two Anti-Modes to set individual phase/ delays. Both however think the Cinema is all I need, really. But I feel safer to spend the extra and get the SII in case it does do a better job and if it will be better for calibrating two subs.

Does anyone have any advice on this or has anyone used both?

I am also confused by how to run it, after reading a thread on AVS. Would I run the Anti-Mode first, or after? And do I leave my sub on when running YPAO or not?

Kind thanks,

fallinlight
 

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