I know this is heresy, but...

I am interested in adding some sort of equalization within my system....tone controls for lack of a better analogy. I know that years ago Audio Control used to make a band equalizer. Anyone out there making that sort of device today? Basically I am looking to add a little more bottom to my system without adding a subwoofer or adding a lot of noise to the sound. Thoughts?
I have an Audio Control Richter scale, which is probably what you refer to. However the Behringer DEQ2496 is far superior.
I've written several times about my Audio Control C-101 Series III. It was a terrific unit, and seemed to add zero noise (although it probably did). Easy to use. The best manuals in the business are written by Audio Control...informative and entertaining.

If I was in the market for EQ, I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
What is you preamp right now?? I will suggest you a good route, and in general the easiest, and what I found the best sound with never distortion or added color at loud levels that I could ever hear...You could sell your current pre, Buy a mcintosh preamp with 5 band eq built right into it, #1 if you pick up something used you will never lose money on it if you decide to move on down the road cause its mcintosh, #2 you get to keep the hi end status without adding a cheap plastic eq into the system, plus the mcintosh pre's are some of the best sounding out there, and will go low...

The models with the 5 bands have a 30 hz band so unless you are looking for 20 hz this is the best for simplicity. So if you can sell your current pre go for this, Another plus to a mcintosh is it will come with a variable loudness control, really contours super nice to listening levels and always makes your speakers sound filled out and full not just a loudness button, but some might only have the button.

Also they sound warm and smooth. Other options for anything good will require you to buy a pro audio unit, and unless your system uses balanced XLR you will be doing some adaptors to connect your RCA's. Watch out if you choose to go looking for a cheaper Consumer audio product, some of them only go as low as 60 hz or 40 hz... but 30 hz is plenty for anything on a music recording.

I am not speaking any home theater here with subs anyway but we don't know what your equipment is either. Just a suggestion, I myself sold my mcintosh because I ended up with a active crossover speaker system and have no use for an eq being I have a limitless parametric EQ built in connected to the woofers only, but still highly recommend mcintosh pre's for the sweetest bass pounding simplified 2 channel systems.
Two more to consider: If you want a lot of bands, I have had good results with a semipro unit, the Rane ME60, with thirty sliders per channel -- www.rane.com/me60.html. I you can get by with fewer bands, I understand the old Cello Palette is very musical -- you might be able to find a used one.
No matter which equalizer you get, you really need a RTA, so you can 'see' what you are doing. BTW, an equalizer isn't going to add any bottom to your system if it isn't already there! An equalizer is good for taking away bumps and anomolies, however.
Bob P.
Behringer DEQ 2496. Hook up a mic and let it do all the room corrections for you, then add or subtract what you want.

FYI, I always thought the shorter the signal path the better, then I tried this DEQ and I don't know how I listened without one. Buy it from someplace where you can return it if you don't like it, but I would bet you'll keep it.
This heresy business is a case of the emperor having no clothes. Of course you may need tone adjustment. Recordings vary widely in how much *they* were equalized (either naturally or artificially). Good recordings tend to sound better on more systems, but even good recordings may not sound right on a given system without some adjustment of the tone. The only problem with equalizers is if they distort or pollute the noise, not the fact of EQ per se. Furthermore, even if you wish to pump up the bass or treble more than the recording engineer intended, that is not necessarily wrong. It's a matter of taste, though many surely overdo it. The fact that so many "audiophiles" evidently shy away from EQ shows how subjective and susceptible to fashion this audiophile business is.
Benjamin7...Actually, while an equalizer is undoubtedly the best way to rebalance the sound of a particular disc, it is not very convenient. Tone controls (remember those) are best for this purpose. They are also rejected by many audiophiles who are still living in the 1950s when tone control circuits were primitive and caused distortion. The best application of an equalizer is to fix problems that don't change from disc to disc. An exception to this rule would be a digital unit like the DEQ2496, which allows you to store and recall many different EQ curves at the touch of a button.
We all wish our multi thousand dollar equipment and speakers were tone coherant directly with all recordings, but in general this is nothing more than a fantasy, and honestly the only way I have found fairly consistent and liveable with almost no adjustment is a Very good analog source.

By no way does digital ever consistently come close I don't care how much the transport or player costs, maybe this is opinion, or my experiance souly. I don't think this is so much to do with the equipment however just the recording, and vinyl seems more even in general and fairly consistent. I am not selling the idea of vinyl here, But an Eq is not a bad thing especially with multiple sources that need to be tuned in, but can overdo some stuff definatley.
FOr those that have used the Berhinger ULTRACURVE PRO DEQ2496, please let me know, have you used it between preamp and amp or source and pre? It is balanced only I/O and for me this means b/t preamp and amp.

I am curious how transparent this device is, but i am also interested in the undeniable flexibilty that a real EQ brings to the audio table. I have scores of CDs that sound better over my monsoon system in my car, than thru the hi-fi. Please don't tell me my system is whacked then...;)
I know that an EQ is not a panacea for all discs but certainly some would benefit with a little spectral tilt...too warm and wooly too bright poor bass eq, etc.

I think my room acoustics are very good now with the help of 8th nerve and big fuzzy furniture, but some cds can't be helped even with good room acoustics and fairly transparent audio gear (Marantz 8001, ARC LS-15, ARC 100.2, Dynaudio COntour 1.8's). I think the benefit of even simple tone controls would be totally sweet, in the ARC-LS 15 itself!!
Dpac996...The DEQ2496 has balanced inputs and outputs, but can also be connected single ended either input or output, or both. It automatically detects what you are doing and sets its gain accordingly. I use it single ended in from preamp, and balanced out to power amps. I had unbalanced interconnects made with RCA on one end and XLR on the other so as to avoid using adapters.

Opinions about "transparency" range all over the place, and I suggest you ignore them all. (Except mine of course...very transparent). The darned thing is so inexpensive that you can get one and form your own opinion.
The transparency of the DEQ2496 will manifest differently depending on the resolution of the system into which it's installed.

Therefore, YMMV.


The more harmonics in music the less sensitive it will be to room modes (if you excite several modes at once an uneven response at a particular frequency becomes less obtrusive). An instrument without harmonics is not much use....it won't sound good at all. Tube amps on electric guitar throw out loads of harmonics and give the guitar a very rich sound even when distorting a sound that is good in all kinds of venues due to the richness in harmonics.

Analog generally has higher harmonic distortion content than digital, especially in the LF, it is possible that a good analog system will therefore play better in a room than digital. The same can be said of Tube amps...the added harmonics can help even things out a little ( our brains perceive a combination of the fundamental and related partials not single frequencies ).

Digital, with the least harmonic content, is less forgiving on the room, IMHO. So I would agree with your comment. Digital will also sound "thinner", particularly in the bass.
The Behringer DEQ 2496 in my system is completely transparent. It also has helped sound improvements substantially. My room is already well treated being LEDE with four large bass traps, one in each corner.

The rest of my system consists of VMPS RM 40's(super revealing), Primare Pre 30 preamp, Rotel amp running both woofers of each speaker, Sony ES cd player outputting to the Behringer which then outputs to my Bel Canto DAC 1.1.

I've never heard better sound anywhere. I've also never paid so little for something that could help so much. As I said earlier even in my well treated room the 300 bucks the Behringer will cost you is a killer deal. After over 3 decades in this hobby I'd classify it as the best tweak per dollar in existance.

You have two ten band parametric equalizer bands as well as two 31 band graphic equalizer bands. The piece will also do auto equalization. You just set the curve you want, hook up the microphone(a necessity if you buy one) and let her rip. Then where it boosted the dips bring them back down to near even.

Please remember the AVERAGE listening room has peaks and dips of 15db. That's alot and is like letting a 5 year old adjust a graphic equalizer for you. That's what your room does to the sound. Fixing it can make a huge difference in the sonic presentation of your system. I'd still get room treatments first but for the little money the Behringer unit costs it's a no brainer.
The quad preamps have a "tilt" tone control that is very nice, and they are relatively inexpensive. They sound pretty good.

Warnerwh...By admitting that the Behringer is "transparent" in your system you have admitted that your system is inferior :-(

My condolances, and, as Rauliruegas says. "enjoy the music".
I use the 2496, but my preamp only has a unbalanced processor loop. So I use XLR/RCA adapters. I like it in my system. I would give it a try, and if you dont like it, it will be easy to resell.
Undertow. A very good analogy and well said.
Matrix is correct, get yourself a McIntosh preamp with equalization. The more current models are designed in such a way that the tone controls are truely out of the signal path when they are set to 0db. Although I personally do not use equalization now but have in the past, it could hold water that one slight turn of a tone control could save you hundrerds if not thousands of dollars in tweaks!
audiophiles. Actually I don't know how many people have said that.

The amount of destruction caused by the DEQ 2496 compared to the good it's capable of is negligable. After 35 years in the hobby I think I have a handle on what's important and what is not important to me. Many others seem to agree.

I've been told by others that my system is of the best they've ever heard. It is the best I've ever heard:)
Shadorne, good catch... Yeah I would bet fact is the richness and harmonic resonance of vinyl is in fact part of the whole equation.. However I have been lucky as of recent to find the miracle of room acoustics, I just treated my whole room with Killer results! Digital sounds nearly just as smooth, not all recordings hit rock bottom, but more of the panels I add keeps getting the room deeper and deeper in the gut region. Now of course you can overdue it, and I am done adding panels, very excellent balance, However I will probably get some of the little foam corner wedges to run along the long part of the ceiling soon cutting off that one major 90 degree angle left over.

As for balance, My Digital and Analog sources come SUPER close now, some albums show very rich bass, but the Cd's that are done low compete very well now too. Also for a good solid dose of analog bass in a digital system, I can't recommend Highly enough of giving a Cardas Digital cable a shot, this is the most analog I have heard CD since getting a hold of one for the Coax digital duties.
Acoustics". That is my opinion also. A major transformation is often possible. Glad to hear of someone else enjoying their system in a good acoustical environment.

If you don't have bass traps then they're also a very excellent improvement. You can't have too many but a minimum of two is a good idea. And the bigger the better.
Warnerwh, that is excellent your room treatments have resulted in great sound and I'm sure you have one of the better systems on Audiogon. My post was addressed to the average audiophile who is looking for a more economic solution to room acoustics. There is another school of thought here which involves selecting components and cabling that works within the existing room acoustics. Not every audiophile is so blessed and knowledgable as you.
Phd: Components and cabling are not nearly as effective as room treatment or a digital equalizer. With the large variation in amplitude in the frequency response of all of our rooms more drastic measures are really necessary to allow our systems to perform to their potential.

I realize this is not possible for everybody due to WAF or other concerns. Imo however if you've got 2k or more into your system and a live room some room treatments may help considerably if your system has issues that are bothering you. With electronics and especially cabling you're much more limited in the improvements.

I'd just like to see everyone realize what they've been missing as I found I did a couple of years ago. Even though I had significant treatments in my last house going all the way improved my sound profoundly. I once even took the rear speakers out of our HT system to see how they'd sound in a good acoustical environment. I was amazed especially considering I think I paid 2 or 300 for a pair of these Polk Rti 25's I believe. They sounded way better than they had any right to. Actually they sounded as good as they're capable of. That's why everyone needs to do the best they can with their room.

I've seen many pics of people's systems that must have cost 2 or three times what mine did of very nice gear. The rooms however have often been absolutely horrible for acoustics. I've also been to people's homes that had nice systems that I knew had way more potential but their rooms were awful. Two of these people after being in my room have also spent a significant amount on room treatment and have thanked me. Just as Undertow above says: The miracle of room treatments. Very well said!
Warnerwh, I do understand where you are coming from.. It is amazing how much we will spend on gear, gear, and More gear! But gets tuff to justify 500 or 1000.00 on room treatments. Well I myself was not capable of doing much before recent due to finally getting a room I could do somewhat a dedicated area. And today I am getting a bunch of fancy Lenrd Corner traps from auralex with cubes etc.. for the corners in my room cause now I am driven to see what happens with more control over the room. However, I don't think this is limited to having to put dedicated acoustic designed material in a room.

I found with my surround system I could add a 200 pound very full and puffy couch really works with very similar effects. We did this with my friends room as well in his 2 channel, and if you pull the speakers out of that room they fall flat, but with his giant full room couch surrounding them they have so much impact you would swear there are massage chairs built in everywhere. So if your in a very steril Ikea furnished room, yes you will have lots of issues more than likely, and people with these huge investments that really think their 20 k speakers are performing well would be shocked when they get to hear them in a room that is not just a wood floor with a glass end table and that metal framed 1" cushon audiophile chair. I would go as far to say that in general many showrooms you go listen to this stuff in is very similar and why it always sounds bad, with a 1/4" thick commercial carpet, end table and some 500 dollar chair that looks good but is nothing for sound absorbtion. I notice this issue at all these pictures of the shows in hotels too, basically Card table chairs sitting in front of bare wall, hard metal components, and a pair of stellar speakers that just don't have a chance in such an environment.

Note that many of the best sounding rooms seem to utilize something in the way of portable acoustics, or even several Plants placed throughout the room, now its all I notice in many of these pics is the PLANTS! nobody notices this, but they serve purpose, Add humidity to the room, have some diffusion, and the pots with heavy dirt etc.. can have some bass trapping properties.
Undertow and Warnerwh,

How much acoustic panel treatments did you need to add before you noticed an improvement in the bass? Square footage or linear feet of bass trap? What do you recommend if you desperately want to minimize the amount of ugly panels covering walls. What is most effective in a corner...a Mondo trap from Realtraps?
actually I have a similar trap to the realtraps, its from Gik, and it works pretty well when you span the corner as a hemholtz type should.. Cleaner response, way better Vocals in my experience, its weird but it cleaned up the lower midrange a lot too..
Beyond that I found that the panels minimum will be very dependent on the room size, actually a smaller room does take more due to so much reflection vs. a bigger space that kinda helps itself much more, not to say this is exact and that a big room can't benifit from many treatments as well.
Anyway I say Definatley killing the first point reflections on all sides of a speaker, via floor, ceiling, and both sides really helps. And some bass trapping in corners can resolve and increase response quite a bit too. Getting rid of any echo is key I noticed as well, but all this is relative to listening position, how much furniture, and what kinda space you have I would guess.. I am not an expert at all, just now realize the common sense benifits of even some simple treatments.. Diffusion etc.. is a whole other thing, and basically keeping things pretty well balanced seems to be the key.. Also, I kinda notice if a room looks like it will not sound that great or feels it, then it will not sound that great. Some care in setup can go a long way I guess, but I have limited experience in only about 4 different areas that I have somehow got to sound pretty dam consistent vs. when first just sounding like crap.
Shadorne, by the way I just saw your setup, and being everything is like flush mounted, and other issues being inside the walls etc.. with a pretty good sized area, and very Hard walls built around everything, you would be almost forced to maybe try something with return policy or get the professionals at Rives audio draw you up something very effective.. I could say this you have a very non traditional type install for the guys running 2 speakers out in the middle of the floor looking for 3 dimensional sound, I know enclosing my speaker cabinets into another cabinet within a wall would restrict a ton of air and space.. So you may be best just going after the most Bass trapping possible with aesthetic appeal you can in that room and hope for results with your subs. Or add a lot of large couches! But seriously you have a very different and other set of issues the traditional crowd probably does not deal with.
So you may be best just going after the most Bass trapping possible with aesthetic appeal you can in that room and hope for results with your subs

My thoughts exactly. Big rooms are generally better than smaller rooms but they can suffer from very long reverb times in the bass (end to end). Currently a PEQ has all the room modes well under control but my thinking is that it might be better (more natural sounding) to do more with bass traps on the rear wall to dampen long reverb (about 10 feet behind the listening position). I am struggling whether it will really do much to improve the extreme LF?

FYI: I am generally very skeptical of tweaks but following advice on a Genelec website lead me to be pleasantly surprised. The other thing that convinced me was Doug Sax Studio. Doug won a life long achievement award from AES for his work on audiophile recordings (Sheffield labs etc.) and he built this studio in 2004 with soffit mounted speakers in a half wall.
Shadorne...Rives audio, who certainly are great believers in room treatments, will tell you that low frequency problems can't be fixed this way. That's why they developed their PARC equalizer. The only really "correct" way to deal with LF room modes is to build a special room with ideal dimensions and no square corners. But few have the time and money to do this.
You may want to contact Rives or Realtraps. If you buy something from them they'll be very open to advice for you. Like Undertow says above, your system is unusual. I'd try to get the front baffle of my speakers out at least a few inches from the wall.

The rest of you room looks like it would also benefit from some treatment and bass traps. In my opinion you're much better off to get the room much more damped than your room is. All of the reflections are not what was on the recording and too many like that will definitely change things too much in my experience.

Best wishes to you. You may also want to post this over at the acoustics circle at audiocircle.com. Ethan Winer of Realtraps and the owner of GIK spend a significant amount of time there as well as others who may be able to help you better than myself. One thing that is for sure the money spent on room treatment is a bargain considering the improvements. I just read an old article in Absolute Sound where Robert Harley had said the exact same thing.

It's hard to imagine how much it can help until you experience it for yourself. I still like Undertow's statement" The Miracle of Room Treatments". No exageration imo.
Shadorne, you can look at my new system pics I added 16 linear feet of trapping just hours ago, and I am updating the pics right now.. I have no idea of the sound yet as I don't have the time to mess with it yet, however it looks pretty good! you could maybe go look into this type treatment, the Corner wedges with blocks, they come in Brown, red, burgundy etc... and really take up no space, you could do an entire ceiling with pretty good results, not super cheap, but cheaper than most other ways to get around it I would assume.. Auralex is the main brand on them, but I got them direct from the foam maker for far cheaper.. about 200 bucks for it all..Including the 8 24" pieces of trap, and the 2 blocks for the corners and the auralex install kit, which is tabs that do not destroy the foam or the wall and can be pulled down anytime and used in another room over and over again.. Its kinda like an out of control crown molding in many colors! Check it out, might be more acceptable than foam panels all over the walls, and you bass is supposedly mostly concentrated in all the 90 degree corners anyway.
Shadorne...Rives audio, who certainly are great believers in room treatments, will tell you that low frequency problems can't be fixed this way.

The above comment is my worry exactly...I am sure acoustic treatment is essential and extremely beneficial in a smaller room ....but is it effective in a larger room for below 100 Hz? I don't use a PARC but I have a Behringer PEQ controlling or taming the Sub (reducing room modes). On the mains I use some slight bass shelving (about 3 db) to reduce the bass boost effect from the soffit mount. I don't have much concerns in the mid/tweeter range as all the walls have a roughened surface (about 3 to 4 mm deep) which helps with diffusion, furthermore, the speakers are placed well away from side walls (about 4 feet away, so side reflections are delayed about 8 msec which is almost certainly enough not to interfere with primary signal, using the 5 msec rule of thumb for side reflection and diffraction)

Shadorne, you can look at my new system pics I added 16 linear feet of trapping just hours ago, and I am updating the pics right now.

Wow nice set up - your room looks awesome and I bet it will sound great too once you have it all setup.

I appreciate all the ideas and admire/respect what you guys have done.
You may want to contact Rives or Realtraps. If you buy something from them they'll be very open to advice for you.

Warnerwh, I think that is a good plan but once I take that step I will find myself committed. That is whay I like Audiogon forums...it takes me years to make a change or a decision. I am not a compulsive tweaker and tend to approach everything from an engineering perspective. This is why your advice is so important to me before taking any steps. Unlike many on these forums, once I settle on something, I will likely stick to it for a minimum of 10 years or more.
Well having plenty of fore thought can only help. Btw bass traps are essential and will help the sound of the bass alot. Not only that but the clarity of the midrange often improves dramatically too.

Once you do get the room treatments there's no going back, no way no how.
Can someone tell me if the DEQ2496 connected between the CDP and preamp is worse than between pre and power amp?

I am a little disappointed that, while the DEQ does not add colorations per se, it does add a slight haze to everything. Sound is slightly less clear, less crisp, and a bit more shut-in.

Would it work better in the digital domain vs. analog?
Or is everyone here using it as an analog eq?

If you put the DEQ2496 between the preamp and the power amp its A/D will be working with only a few low order bits. The advantage of 24 bit hardware will be lost. You may not like the sound.

The solution to this is to attenuate at the input to the power amp so that the signal going through the DEQ2496 is at a healthy level. Set things up so that the peak level throughout a CD, indicated by the DEQ2496, is about 3 dB below cliping.
Eldartford, if I follow you it is better the way I have it - in analog mode between CDP and preamp? Using my CDB's digital output instead, the DEQ2496 DAC sounded horrible. My ear was hurting (like my B&W's) within 5 minutes. Guess I'll have to buy another component :-(, DAC, so I can use the DEQ2496 digitally without its on-board DAC. I think the [http://enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0705/behringerultracurve2496.htm] review said there was some loss in analog mode but none digital. Although I can't find the exact quote now.

The haze in analog mode is not as bad as, say, the Creek 4330R's "Mosfet mist". Got rid of the Creek in a hurry May keep the DEQ but still don't like it though.

I noticed sometimes the DEQ2496 meter goes into the red. So you are saying I can adjust this on the DEQ so this does not happen? There is no such adjustment on my CDB. Burning yes, playing, no.