EQ is the last option!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Building DIY' started by XL5, Jan 2, 2019.


    1. XL5

      XL5
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      I am in the fortunate position of building a new set up.
      I am tired of buying great speakers only to have the EQ strangle their full potential.
      Room shape and size are the most important considerations, after that buy the best speakers you can afford.
      I do understand not everyone can build from scratch and EQ is probably all you can hope for to improve listener enjoyment but paying out big bucks for great speakers only to hear or not to hear their full potential is madness.
      If you can apply sepmeyer’s rules to within 5% for your room then that is the best start you can ever do.
      Follow this with good speaker and especially subwoofer placement and your good to go.
      Regarding subwoofer placement I have tried them all and the “crawl” i find is the simplest and most reliable method.Building a Home Theater - Part 1: Introduction and Planning | Basic Design Goals - Room Dimensions
       
    2. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      I do agree that the room has a massive impact on the end result. Size, shape and how much treatment is applied, location of the speakers/sub(s) and that's just for the sound. Having zero ambient light if using a projector, dark (ideally black velvet or similar) wall/ceiling coverings to minimise room reflections will also maximise contrast. I think though that in practice, even supposedly 'dedicated' rooms can't always meet these ideal specifications though for various practical and cost reasons. It'll be interesting to see how you get on with your project.

      However, I'm not convinced by the sub crawl method: It's highly subjective and will depend on what track you play to hear 'the best bass' while you crawl around the room. I've seen some set ups that claim to have used this method, yet the subs (rather too conveniently for my liking) seem to end up each side of the centre speaker.

      Far better IMHO is to start with something like REW room sim to see how your room might measure, trying lots of different placements for the sub(s) and move the MLP back and forth, then test by making multiple measurements in the room. Adding room treatment too if it's a dedicated/built for purpose room like @kbarnes70 did and I have too in a less dedicated room than his. Despite doing this, both Keith and myself still ended up using Dirac to fine tune the end result, so I think your 'no eq' could be a little optimistic: I have a sub in each room corner yet spent a considerable amount of time setting up individual delays and pre-equalising them before running Dirac. I have quite a large 'sweet spot' thanks to the layout, but still needed Dirac to help flatten some of the inevitable peaks caused by room dimensions/distance from MLP.

      I gather than Lyngdorf's Room perfect is designed to allow the speaker's natural character to come through. I have also found with Dirac that eq correction range can be limited if required, or the target curve can be modified to follow the speaker's natural response (especially above the 500Hz range). So it shouldn't have to 'strangle' your speakers.

      Tl;dr: Don't discount all forms of eq and expect to spend a lot of time getting your room to work well.

      Don't forget to post your build once you get started. :thumbsup:
       
    3. orange55

      orange55
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      You are right about RoomPerfect. I have it and it is unlike any other EQ system.
       
    4. XL5

      XL5
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      I know what you mean about the sub always being conveniently placed after the “crawl” method :rolleyes: but I can assure you mine usually ends up in the most unlikeliest spots.
      I intend to keep MLP in a set position, speakers at correct positions, so sub will be where it will be ;)
      The trouble with EQ for instance is it isn’t aware of speaker directivity only wide dispersion speakers, so it will add midrange/treble or pull mid bass and can lead to a bright and tiring sound.
      I might of been tempted to use EQ for off axis listening positions (and then only on the front wide speakers) but that will not be the case in my build, sweet spot for myself and the wife, friends and relatives in the cheap seats :rotfl:

      Will create a thread when it starts;)

      KelvinS1965 Thanks for the input pal :thumbsup:
       
    5. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Will you be using any eq for the sub at all then? A single sub is likely to have a number of peaks and troughs in it's response, even 4 doesn't give a flat response alone as I found without some eq. Maybe something like an antimode just for the sub could be worth looking into though?

      This was a REW measurement at the MLP of my 4 subs after manual eq and delay setting, then with Dirac applied:
      LFE to 5Hz.jpg

      By comparison this was a single sub before eq:

      LR & Q15 only 40cm delay T5.jpg

      (The second graph does include the LR speakers as I can't find a sub only chart now, but it is still pretty accurate regarding the response below 80Hz of the sub only).
       
    6. XL5

      XL5
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      Not sure whether to go single or double (wow 4 subs and a nice flat response, well done ). Once I’ve got everything sorted I’m not at all opposed to a bit of EQ on the sub as it would be rude not to try it ;)
      My mate jay130984 who has a JL212v2 as a single and is very happy but who's internal organs have now been liquidised owning such a sub is contemplating a second...i will of course be glad to read his epitaph should he ultimately choose this route :rotfl:
       
    7. Jay130984

      Jay130984
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      Fresh out of hospital, my organs are fine & dandy Mark:D
      As you know i have had x4 subs and dual subs in my room over the last couple of years
      The integration of the 212v2 was very easy in comparison to the above and once it was phased in, you wouldn't know where it is in the room
      I have had my fair share of EQ-ing in the past (like most) since my last upgrade i have rerun it only the once (in 9 months) i am just so taken back with the way it sounds, don't feel the need to
      I do think some EQ-ing is needed within HT, the down side of it, it can become time consuming the more you become involved and can take away some of the fun/enjoyment
      I for one cant wait for you to start building your new set up, hope ya pockets are deep and you buy everything i suggest:laugh: just doing a list
       
    8. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Yes, I'm with Jay on this one: Don't fall down the rabbit hole of spending more time tweaking your system than actually just using it. I've been there and done that myself, though once I got it sorted at least I could sit back and know that there was no need to fiddle about with settings and just enjoy the show instead. :)
       
    9. XL5

      XL5
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      Yep theres more to life than forever messing and second guessing yourself. It will be interesting to do a text book build and see how it sounds without EQ but like Paul i might go for one almighty sub like his 212v2....In wall speakers as well look to be on the shopping list so placement is even more important.
      Pauls set up is just brilliant, all the benefits of a full cinema with no speakers in your face.
      Making Way For Dali Phantom S In Walls
       
    10. XL5

      XL5
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    11. KelvinS1965

      KelvinS1965
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      Some interesting stuff in that link. I particularly like and agree with the comment: "You are actually better off positioning the subwoofers so that they cancel the standing waves so the standing waves never occur in the first place."

      My subs are at 25% room width too (the rears are also 25% up, centre of the front 15" is probably pretty close on that score too), though I gave up trying to fit 2 extra subs 25% from the ceiling as I was going to fit another pair of IW28S high up the rear wall, but at £800 each it was starting to go well over budget...The end result shows that it wasn't necessary and I still have a nice wide 'sweet spot' so I'm not the only one benefiting.

      One thing I didn't notice was any comment about having an exact match for the front three speakers. If you can do too this I'd highly recommend it. Over 20 years I've run all sorts of set ups and like many on here have done running upgrades. I always found that the ones with fully matching LCR gave the best results.

      I've reduced my room decay quite bit with the extra room treatment (<200mS above 100Hz, not much higher below, apart from a bump at 30Hz), but I like this for a multi-channel set up. Some say that for stereo you need a bit of room decay left. I do know that I never have issues with muddled dialogue/effects being too loud, even on content that has been criticised for this (such as a TV series last year called SS-GB; I could understand the speech no problem).

      Oddly my criticism of Dirac compared to bypass is that it doesn't initially sound as clear, so I'm not suffering from mid/treble boost in my room. However, one option in Dirac is that I can restrict eq to below Schroder frequency, so this is something I plan to try next time I run a new calibration.
       
    12. DougAP

      DougAP
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      I did something similar somewhat unintentionally. The new(ish) NADs come with basic Dirac, the EQ of which is capped at 500Hz. You have to pay to upgrade to full Dirac Live. When I bought the T758v3 I was planning some room changes, so held off buying full Dirac and only ran the basic version. A couple of weeks later I upgraded, even though the room's unfinished, as Dirac offered 20% off across Xmas. Obviously, I couldn't resist running a full frequency EQ, even though the room's about to change.

      Given the NAD has three Dirac slots, I've been able to switch on the fly between no Dirac, Dirac capped at 500Hz, and full-range Dirac. I prefer full-range, probably due to the fact that, without it, the upper frequency roll-off's reasonably severe at the MLP (I'm vertically off-axis to my L/R - they're above ear height). However, that said, there's surprisingly little in it between capped and uncapped Dirac (at least, based on the simple sweeps I've run so far). By contrast, without Dirac, bass and lower midrange in my room sound bloated, muddying perception of the entire frequency range.

      The impression I quickly got from this is that Dirac seems to work most of its magic on the lower frequencies, which pays dividends further up the frequency range, even if the higher frequencies aren't EQ'd.
       
    13. XL5

      XL5
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      Interesting, so if a room is built to exacting calculations using Sepmeyer’s rules and getting the physical domain side of acoustics right, placement of speakers, then a spot of EQ on the sub should be all thats needed and let the speakers sound as the manufacturer intended them.
       
    14. Jay130984

      Jay130984
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      In theory yes, but am sure there would be a few hurdles, especially within the build/after
       
    15. XL5

      XL5
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      Hi Paul, agreed but it will be interesting to try the "purist" route by following the physical recommendations together with appropriate wall coverings.
      Acoustic wallpaper....is there such a thing o_O
       
    16. Jay130984

      Jay130984
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      There is all sorts of claimed acoustic stuff out there, whether some of the (not so well known) would bring anything into the room only research would help
       
    17. XL5

      XL5
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      Been looking at a few acoustics wall coverings, one thing ive got to be careful about is to avoid it looking like a 70's porn shoot..will have to get some kipper ties and shirts with long pointed collars ( Think of Jason King) :laugh:
       
    18. Jay130984

      Jay130984
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      Don't be too careful nor too serious
      You would have to have a bath house and smoke room off the cinema room...1971/72..JK;)
       
    19. XL5

      XL5
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      28F2CEAF-066C-4183-989D-E9CB1C146EA2.jpeg
       
    20. Jay130984

      Jay130984
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    21. XL5

      XL5
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      I used to but packed it in many years ago but if it makes me look as cool as JK I might start again :cool::rotfl:
       
    22. Jay130984

      Jay130984
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      Are you swinging:D towards a dedicated room then Mark?
       
    23. XL5

      XL5
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      First and foremost the physical acoustic domain, room shape, size, position of speakers, sub, wall coverings etc. Then design it to be somewhere for everyday relaxation using muted colours, browns, blacks and a few accents together with clever lighting to give it that lounge feeling.
      Bloody hell I'm starting to sound like Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen :rolleyes:
       
    24. Jay130984

      Jay130984
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      There is a similarity (you don't have a crush):blush:
      Am sure with your background with art, the coloring wont be a problem
      Think lighting can make or break the feeling of the room, if not done correctly
      Had the covers off the speakers for the first time (in 9 months) looked bloody great for couple of
      hours, strange how you get the impression that it sounds better just cos you can
      see all them driver:rolleyes:
       
    25. XL5

      XL5
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      Stamp on that bloody worm before it gets into your head :D
       
    26. Jay130984

      Jay130984
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      Deb's did....very quickly
       
    27. Seriously Ltd

      Seriously Ltd
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      Good room correction is an essential part of both good music and movie reproduction. Install the speakers and subs correctly, get the room right and treat if and where required.

      We always run room correction regardless of the cost of the system whether it be £10-£500k.

      We use RoomPerfect, Trinnov EQ, Dirac, ARC, Custom Audyssey and Audyssey XT32 depending upon the processing used.
       
    28. XL5

      XL5
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      Agree if the room is awkward etc, but it will be interesting to build a room to Sepmeyer’s exacting rules to get the acoustics correct in the physical domain and then listen to the difference between no EQ and hearing the speakers at their full potential and then listening to them after applying various EQ software as above.
       
    29. bardel

      bardel
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      Interesting thread guys....

      I’m tempted not to read that first link given I’ve just finished my room in the last year!!! (well I read the first few paragraphs)....

      I put a lot of time into my room design based on a book for building music studios (can’t remember the name off the top of my head) as I wanted to de-couple the sound from the lounge above the basement and try to create the best environment I could.

      As for acoustic wallpaper, I’ve not heard of that, but have gone for a completely fabric finished room (including ceilings) and have acoustic treatment within this.

      I also planned to break the surfaces up bar the floor (actually the rear half is staged) by putting columns along the side walls to house the speakers and a coffered ceiling (housing the Atmos speakers).

      Im blown away with the result personally, how much of it is down to this design / planning or purely equipment I don’t know. I’m glad I did it though as I can’t stand wondering “what if?”

      I have Dirac running for room correction, I wasn’t overly impressed initially with musicality, I found it lost a bit of life, but then without it, it didn’t sound perfect either requiring some better handling of the lower fequencies. In the end, after contacting Artcoustic, they came out to have a look / listen and spent half a day re-Dirac’ing and making other adjustments which has made a significant difference. So I think what I’m trying to say is, you will probably still benefit from EQ and Dirac isn’t a set and forget process, it still requires a level of skill and understanding to get the best results.

      I am already wondering about Room Perfect though..... :confused:
       
    30. XL5

      XL5
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      Hi bardel, if you don't mind me asking what are your room dimensions? The fabric finish to wallpaper is the way to go and not necessarily the cheapest as you can pay £100+ per roll..at the end of the seventies they couldn't give ut away:rolleyes:
      To help isolate the room which really does work i plan to use a bead of mastic along the joists before screwing them in place with minimum torque, then after a day just give them a slight tightening. This creates a great barrier to combat vibration;)
       

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