Equalizers - don't listen to the nay sayers

Because of age related hearing issues and my inability/reluctance to wear hearing aids, I decided to experiment with a pro audio type graphic equalizer. To summarize my hearing problem, even though my hearing loss is ALMOST balanced between the right and left ears, the left is somewhat more compromised in the 1500 to 6000hz range by a few dB. This presents no problem for voices and some instruments but when frequencies get into this range where sound is more directional the sound stage moves right toward my better ear.

I thought that if I were to adjust just the left side frequencies upward a few dB for those that were weaker than the right the problem would be solved. To do this, I used a tone generator on a test disc and for each generated frequency I raised the left side amplification until the tone centered from my listening position, leaving the right side flat throughout the range to 8000Hz which is the upper limit of my hearing.

This pretty much centered the sound and required some getting used to but still didn't resolve the overall high frequency hearing loss that I experience in both ears, and it also seemed to move the soundstage somewhat to the left for lower frequencies. So I raised the left channel gain slightly to compensate for that perception and adjusted the right side ranges in the upper frequencies to nearly the same slope as the left but slightly lower because of my somewhat stronger right ear at those frequencies.

I know that I still have some tweaking to do but this improvement for me has so far been so significant that I recommend ignoring those who would direct you away from at least experimenting with equalizers; it's cheap and fairly easy to play with.

This advice may not apply to those with normal balanced hearing with the good fortune to have a dedicated perfectly balanced listening room but there are not that many of us living in that world. I haven't, for many years, owned amplification equipment with balance or frequency control and even if I still owned some of these that did, I don't think I would have been able to do what I have accomplished here with the wider range of control available with various available pro equalizers.

My present system is Shanling CD or AppleTV as sources, Peachtree Audio Nova as preamp, Peachtree Audio 220 amp and Martin Logan Theos speakers.
I'm glad to see your update, Broadstone. What EQ are you using (how many bands?) Have you researched the 1/3 Octave EQ which would isolate more of the frequencies?
I liked using the presets and EQ on Amarra
I'm currently using a pre-owned DBX 1531 which provides 2/3 octave adjustment in stereo. Now that I'm sure I'll keep an EQ in the system I'll either get a second 1531 and use one unit for each channel for 1/3 octave operation or buy a good 31 band stereo unit after I do a little more research.
Thanks for sharing Broadstone. Regardless of age we all differ in our hearing abilities. In addition most of us are working with a less than ideal listening environment. I have often thought about how these differences should be considered as one enters the signal purity/signal processing debate.
No one has escaped aging. At some point we all will have some issues. Thank You for sharing your experience. It will come handy someday. There will always be nay sayers. Ignore them. Good to know you are enjoying the balance you found.
This is why sometimes you go to a friends or associate's home and listen and it is totally incorrect to you, but to them it is fine. Their system is adjusted towards their hearing abilities. A high end, good quality equalizer is just the thing. Having one's hearing checked is always a good idea and it is good to read about quality equalizers. I would definitely add one rather than give up listening to wonderful music.
I'm glad to hear that there are some who appreciate the value in experiments that stray from the path of the audio "purist" who would dismiss this approach out of hand. The other reason for this post is to correct my equipment description. Even though it would make absolutely no difference in my approach or its outcome, my speakers are ML Ethos, not the Theos.
I had a mint, vintage 1978 Luxman G-11 EQ. Had it recapped about 10 years ago.
Was dead silent when in active in the circuit and did what it was intended to do. Decided to sell it for next to nothing a while back. I suspect my hearing is starting to decline as I close in on the 50 age mark. Now thinking this EQ would be more useful as I get older. I gave in to my friends telling me that real high-end audio does not include EQs. Oh well, never too old to see things from a new point of view :)
Looking at the DSP Studio in JRiver, I note that one can add parametric equalization on a per-channel basis but the typical band-type equalizer is applied to both channels simultaneously.
Which brings up another question: if your source is digital, is it better to equalize in the digital domain?
That's the whole issue with EQ...using it for analogue gear. Easy to keep it in the digital domain in the studio, but not so at home; a CDP as a source and an analogue preamp as the destination.
I just noticed Broadstone has a Peachtree DAC/Pre. A CDP to DAC would keep it in the digital domain, but I'm assuming he's currently using an older analogue EQ unit.

Behringer makes very nice digital EQs and would keep the front end digital.
Sorry for the delay. I now use the Behringer DEQ2496 and it's incredible.
Broadstone, how was the learning curve on the Behringer for an analogue guy?
lowrider, I have a digital system but learning the 2496 is going to be the same in either domain I assume, but perhaps with somewhat different goals. Anyway, I'm still in the curve from the standpoint of learning its full capability but may not have to go much further for my purposes.

Maybe it's partly because I have such limited experience using equalizers in the first place, but learning certain aspects of its use was in no way straightforward and the instructions provided (only on the internet, btw) were not much help. There are, though, several good articles and You Tube presentations on the internet which were very helpful.

My main reasons for buying this EQ were to compensate for upper frequency hearing loss and to establish some baseline room equalization. The auto room eq was a little challenging to establish but worth every bit of time and effort to achieve. Adjusting for specific frequencies or ranges of frequencies with either the graphic or parametric functions, or both simultaneously, is much easier.

One of the really great features is that there are multiple memory slots so that any settings that you establish can be saved and retrieved at will. The bottom line is that it has nearly limitless ways to control sound to fit individual tastes and listening environments. Everybody should have one but keep your manual handy.