Trying to sharpen the vocals...EQ related question


Looking for some clarity on the following:

-Current Setup-
Technics 1200mk2
Sonus Blue Gold Cartridge/Needle
Yaqin MS-12B MM Tube Amp (Stock tubes)
Marantz SR-8000 Receiver
Bose Acoustimass 6 Series III SS Speakers

Really enjoying listening to vinyl, this setup produces great sound for the money. Highs and lows are crisp and clear, but the vocals often seem somewhat muted or flat. They lack the same crispness and clarity.

If I wanted to try to pull the vocals out a bit more, would running a 10-band graphic equalizer between the pre-amp and the receiver enable me to do this? Or does the pre-amps' hard-coded equalization curve already adjust the signal such that the additional eq would be redundant and ineffective?

Thanks for your help.
Check your DSP settings on the Marantz - perhaps it is doing some processing that is messing things up....
This is a very unusual system but, it seems to me, the likely culprit is the Bose system. You may appreciate some things about it but, clearly, the lack of midrange presentation says otherwise. I have yet to hear an AcoustiMass system that has a decent midrange, despite the common criticism of its highs and lows.

Boy, I haven't heard a Sonus cart in years, but I happen to remember trying one in my Technics SP1200 back in the 80's and it was horrible. No life. As I recall, I really liked the Denon 103D in that arm. Change that cartridge, IMO.
That's a satellite system with separate bass module, right?

Often high bass levels tend to obscure mid-range detail, which is where most vocals occur.

If applicable, try lowering bass levels by moving bass module out from walls and away from any corner and see what that does. If it helps, then you might tweak location further to obtain the best possible balance between low end weight and midrange detail.
Shadorne, I cycled through the settings, seems like 5ch Stereo produced the nicest sound - still presents the same issue though, but perhaps just a little less obvious.

Chayro, will take a look at the Denon cart. Sounds like I will have to dig around for some NOS. Thanks for the suggestion.

Mapman, you are correct, separate bass module. Will try re-locating and see what that does.

In general, just for my own knowledge, in terms of the original question around adding an in-line EQ, does that seem like a solution that would make a material impact on sound quality, specifically mid-range?
I don't think you necessarily need a Denon, but, as I recall, the Sonus was a very high-compliance cart, which was not a good match for that type of arm. Nowdays there's a million nice high output MCs like the Sumiko Blue Point. Denon 103s are still being made, BTW. Check out
You are correct. The Technics arm is of moderate mass. The Sonus is a very high-compliance cart, probably not the best match. I ran a quick calculation (via and it looks like the resonant frequency is roughly 5.23Hz - which could produce some low-level distortion. Looks like I should stick to a moderate to low compliance cart.
10-band eq will be effective. Just bring the frequency between 250Hz and 3000Hz up about 3db or whatever amount that suit your taste.
I think an EQ would only add to the problem(s) you are having.Maybe try some different speakers.I think that would be more beneficial to getting the sound you want.Of course this is just my opinion.The ultimate answer is what you hear and like.
The 2 1/2" cubes just can't produce mids.You might be able to
force some out of them with an EQ,but at a loss of over driving the little drivers.The mids are most likely trapped in the woofer box.They contain a 5 1/4" woofer,a good size for mids.Bose won't give any spec's,and its my understanding that they sue reviewers for publishing the spec's of tested Bose systems,watts,frequency response,etc.
It's funny - I was checking out needledoctor and, if you click on the technics tables, they also recommend the Denon 103 for it, among others.
I saw some good reviews on the Denon DL-301 MKII. Any experience with that cart on the Technics arm?

Hifitime, I guess the decision to go with the cubes was based in-part on a spatial constraint. I live in a small apartment and the cubes produce a decent surround sound (they double as tv/dvd/xbox/blu-ray audio) and are practically invisible. Any speakers/sub combo that you have used that have a similar size profile but produce a more balanced sound?

Thanks again all for the comments, most helpful.
THe cube/sub-module configuration is surely not optimal for midrange vocals as mentioned.

You can try to tweak it and see what happens but a change may be needed depending on what it is you are looking for.
Dear Greenr: You can try your Sonus cartridge ( I own it and is very good in that midrange frequency range. ) with a different headshell ( different build material and headshell weight. ) and with different headshell wires. Even you can try different capacitance values to load the cartridge.

Regards and enjoy the music,
I have heard good sounding small speakers,2 way with a 4" to 5" woofer.Its been to long a while to remember who made a good little one.There must be a lot out there.Hopefully somebody has some suggestions.Maybe some magazines like Home Theater(their reviews) that can be read for free on the net.