Yes, it truly is! I added it to my $80k (2 channel only) system with reservation. I had an 18dB peak at 42Hz and a 16dB peak at 63Hz. Buy the time I had enough tube traps to kill the boom I had deleted all the life from my music. I thought I was going to have to move or just live with it. Then, I read the article in TAS or Sterophile (I forget).
You can't tell that it is in the chain - really! I have Spectral/Wilson/MIT/VPI/Audio Research equip and it is very ruthless when it comes to bad sounding additions. I was amazed at how much clearer and more accurate the music became. Never mind the fact that it's way more fun to listen. Your head bobs, your feet tap - just like a live presentation.
Get it and try it. They have a 30 day return policy. I found takes about 2 weeks for break in but, that could have been the new interconnects as well.
Good luck, Greg
Adding to Greg's post, I have a friend who has a system including Dynaudio Evidence Masters, Levinson 33 monos and the Levinson 32 pre and top of the line digital. He can hear every change to a component, cable, power cord, you name it, in that system. He's been trying out a Parc, and is very seriously impressed--to his ears, there's only improvement, and it's sonically not present in the chain (save for the obvious equalization it does, of course). The biggest difference he's noticed is how much more open and transparent the lower midrange became once the bass peaks were attenuated; and this in a system that sounded pretty damn good to begin with. He's got me seriously considering trying one out in my system as well.
If you're going to do active room correction, look at the TacT RCS 2.2X, also recently review in TAS.
Or if you just want to do a digital source use Behringer unit for a lot less money and it will just as well. The only value of the Rives unit is with analog soources. Otherwise save your money and get a Behringer unit.
The last two points are pretty much correct at pointing out alternatives to the Parc; however, having a much-used analog source, a DSD source and a digital source with a D/A converter that I far prefer over those in other units, I welcome the thought of a transparent analog equalization device in my system over a device that converts analog to digital and back again. Even with a pcm digital-based system, you have to weigh the undeniable benefits of the room correction against the use of an ADA converter that may not be as good as the digital converter you're using. Fortunately, if you have a tape loop in your preamp you can easily do some A/B comparisons to satisfy yourself on this point.
Even questionable audiophiles say the Behringer ruins the sound, and not just because it's digital or switching back and forth. Because the unit ruins the sound more than other components or A/D, D/A switchers.
Most audiophiles use the Behringer only on the sub, whose frequency range is where room EQ makes by far the most sense anyway.
(I took the thread to mean "is EQ a truly audiophile practice," not "is the Rives device transparent enough for audiophiles.")
I can only add that the behringer is an awsome EQ but, left for the subs as mine is.
Why would Rives make a second rate component, anyway?
The guy's up front about everything he does and he started just like one of us here in this forum. His track record speaks for himself, including the acoustics forum in the Asylum.
Have experienced no problems using the Behringer with my main system in a digital only mode with a meridian 518 jitter reducer and attenuating only 80hz and below. I've been told that it may introduce phase issues, but I switch back and forth and can't tell so...
If you can tell the difference, well your ears are better than mine. I'd like to hear why though it sounds worse when used only as a digital device.
I too would prefer the Rives unit, but for $3k or so...well that is way out of my range and it's up to you to say whether it's worth it or not. But like I said, I would get one if I could afford it! For now I'll take my system, though limited to digital, for about 1/3 the price!
The Behringer unit only costs a couple hundred dollars at Guitar Center (it is a pro piece). Could be worth it to try one and see what kind of improvement equalization provides in your system before spending big bucks. If it helps you can always upgrade to a rives or manley unit and use the behringer in a home theater or sell it. If your room has a few significant spikes you may even find the beringher actually does more good than harm, audiophile piece or not.
Just in case it wasn't clear, I said most audiophiles use the Behringer on the sub only, i.e., it ruins the sound when used full range.
Here is my question: if you have a older bi-amp system, which came with a bass contour device, however is RCA and you want to run all balanced components from a DAC into a ARC tube pre-amp, then into two power amplifiers, one tube for the mid-high and one SS for the bass; is it possible the Rives Audio Parc would not cut into the high pass and defeat, or add to the natural passive crossover? I would like to use it if it worked as the original bass contour without the old parts and RCA inputs and outputs. The three parametric EQ would be an advantage, if only this did not cut the out the higher frequencies to any extent. If it does have a high pass crossover, what is available the uses audiophile XLR for balanced analogue components?