They all do different things. You have to first decide what processing or eq you need.
There are many options for room EQ but the best are for multichannel systems and are digital. Among them are the Audyssey and the TacT. Also, there are more from the "professional" market from the inexpensive Behringers (which some have found sonically unacceptable except for bass) to the complex, integrated JBL Synthesis system.
The z-systems products are wonderful can be used for this purpose but, imho, are more suited to program EQ than to room EQ.
Again, one cannot make recommendations unless you tell us a lot more about your system.
I had the TacT, and no matter how it was configured, it interfered with transparency. Not a lot mind you, but I could hear it. I decided to move away from all DSP and concentrated on room treatments like Tube Traps, diffraction units etc. I found that using an analog approach was much better for me.
That said, if it's low end room reinforcement you'd like to tame, the PARC sounds like it might be the ticket. As Kal says, it's hard to say without knowing exactly what you're hearing now that you'd like to "fix".
I have a midbass suckout in my room which is 32x20x12 cathedral ceiling. my system is no slouch in filling this room
Von Schweikert vr-7se
Dartzeel amp and preamp
emmlabs cdse player
vpi tnt table and V.D cabling throughout
When talking to Albert von Schweikert he advised me to send the speakers back to be revoiced and calibrated to my rooms anomalies. With the size of speaker and difference in electronics I thought it was wiser to try some sort of room equalizationin which he agreed. He has used the behringer and z systems in his own system and found them to be highly beneficial. I guess the bottom line for me is to make the midbass region more prominent without any other loss
My room had a suckout around 80-100hz. I first used the Behringer DEQ 2496 and was impressed with the results. However, it wasn't the most transparent piece. I then upgraded to a TacT RCS 2.0 and I'm very happy with it. In my opinion, if there is any loss of transparency, it's more than made up for by what TacT can do for your room.
I guess if you can fix your room passively, that would be best. If not, the digital solutions make a lot of sense.
The midbass from about 60 -100 hz is the problem. I talked to z- systems and they discontinued the rdp and said they couldn't help my problem at this time. Audyssey told me that my preamp was not applicable for their product. A bit confusing to say the least. I will check out Tact. Most of these companies are obviously working at solving multi channel equalization.
Snook2 said, "I need to correct my last response. My suckout is 8db from 45 -65hz"
I say, how do you know this? And are there other problems or is this the only null you have? Also do you have any peaks?
I believe the Rives PARC only corrects for peaks. It may not be any help if it only reduces peaks.
Kr4...Although the equalization is done by a 32 bit floating point DSP module in the Behringer 2496, the unit includes excellent A/D and D/A converters, so can be used just fine with analog signals.
"Transparency" is a subjective thing. One should judge for themselves.
And Cerrot...I know it would be difficult to concede that a $300 item could improve a $70,000 system. But, with a $70,000 system the worst element will be your room, and an equalizer of some kind would help.
A grandson of mine imports products from the far east, including some speakers. One model he was selling for something like $50, but there were few sales. He jacked the price up to $200, and now they are selling well! Go figure.
"Kr4...Although the equalization is done by a 32 bit floating point DSP module in the Behringer 2496, the unit includes excellent A/D and D/A converters, so can be used just fine with analog signals."
If you say so. I have no experience with them and was merely pointing out what I have heard. Your opinion is equally valid.
""Transparency" is a subjective thing. One should judge for themselves."
"One model he was selling for something like $50, but there were few sales. He jacked the price up to $200, and now they are selling well!"
Does this refer to the Behringers? ;-)
"Acoustat6".... I use a rive test cd2 and an SPL meter to arrive at this conclusion. After talking to Rives today I realise an equalizer may not help matters. I will still have the suckout in this region no matter how much gain I increase. Rives explained the stress on the amp and the speakers by trying to fix the suckout by increasing gain. Since I can't move my speakers too much I believe a good subwoofer placed properly should alleviate the bass problem and further optimize a good system
Snook2....I heard that Rives is coming out with a new PARC model that will boost as well as cut (like the Behringer).
IMHO, and based on hands-on experience, your 8 dB problem should be easily foxed. Don't forget that the correction could be limited to 4 dB boost by cutting gain over the rest of the range.
By all accounts the PARC is an excellent item. My point is that while the PARC would set you back a few thousand bucks the Behringer would cost about a tenth as much. It would be a good way to find out if the suckout is really impossible to fix, as Rives has told you. Furthermore, the RTA of the Behringer will diagnose your problem easier and better than the SPL meter and Rives CD, which I also have used.
Since I can't move my speakers too much I believe a good subwoofer placed properly should alleviate the bass problem and further optimize a good system
You'll more than likely still want to EQ the bass region. The info you received from Rives is correct in that you should probably not attempt to boost in a trough, but cut in a peak. Basically, attempt to smooth out the peaks.
The deq2496 placed between the transport and dac does not seem to degrade the sound in any way, introduce glare or grain or anything like that. Even if you don't use all the EQ sections, just reducing the gain and increasing the stereo width makes a sonic improvement in many cases. Just avoid the A/D, D/A conversions.
If you should choose to go with a Behringer unit: Keep in mind that the Behringer ECM8000 mic is not a calibrated mic. It's response below 100Hz is inaccurate(fast roll-off), and that's why the following advice is found on page 15 of the DEQ2496's operations manual: "Press the large data wheel to exclude individual frequncy bands from the AEQ mode. These bands will not be processed by the Automatic Frequency Response Correction. It makes sense to exclude the low frequency range(up to 100Hz) from Auto EQing, because it is this range that may produce inaccuracies during the calculation of the frequency response, which may impair the results achieved with the Auto EQ." The Behringer mic is not provided with an individual calibration disc. Were you to purchase a mic that comes with a calibration disc(ie: a LinearX), there is no provision for entering the mic's curve data into the Behringer's response calculations.
Rodman99999...I guess the ECM8000 mic is not individually calibrated, and absolute SPL measurements might be off. However, the plot of frequency response (typical I suppose) is quite flat down to 50 Hz (where the plot ends) and the frequency response is quoted as 15-20KHx without a +/- dB number. Your suggestion that it falls off fast below 100 Hz does not jibe with my experience, and with results using the RS meter and Rives CD (which many people seem to believe). Where did you get this idea?
Fact is that I and some others find that the autoeq works fine all the way down to 20 Hz. The Behringer manual says it "may" not work well below 100. Perhaps they are worried about room resonances, where placement of the mic might yield various results. Of course each user can try it both ways, and make their own decision.
The Rives CD is excellent, BUT: How flat/accurate do you think the pick-up in a Radio Shlock SPL meter is at low frequencies(You have GOT to be kidding)? What good are response numbers without a +/- db figure(could be +/- 15 to 20db for all you know)? What do you think running a room EQ is supposed to check for? Identifying room resonances, nulls, peaks, etc. all are part of your measurement goals(why you're supposed to aim the mic at the ceiling). Where do I get my info with regards to these mics? By comparing them to actual calibrated and corrected professional mics and RTAs over the years. Whether you believe any of this or not is irrelevant, as long as you're happy with whatever you're trusting in/listening to.
BTW: If you happen to own a Behringer ECM8000 mic: Look at the frequency response curve(typical) that they have printed on the side of the box in which it came. The response actually starts to drop at 200Hz and is 2db down at 100. By 50hz, it's down 5db and rolling off even faster(they cut off the curve at that point).
Are you sure you are looking at the right box:-) And, I suppose you know that the RIVES CD has tracks which are, supposedly, compensated for the RS meter.
Since you referenced the plot printed on the ECM8000 box, something objective we can talk about, I took another close look at it. It shows a broad rise of about +1 dB peak over the range from 200 to 50 Hz. Nothing like what you describe. From 200 to something like 14 KHz it's flat +/- 1 dB. There is a rise of about 2 dB at 20 KHz, and then it rolls off. How the mic actually performs is another matter, but you are dead wrong about the plot.
Of course what's printed on the box, or posted on this website is irrelevant. I have had excellent results with the Behringer DEQ2496, and so have many others. The cost is so low that anyone who won't give it a try is foolish.
RE: The ECM8000 box's printed curve(which I'm holding in my hand). Where did you learn to read a response curve? Did you happen to notice the annotation that says, "Proximity Effect"? That means the three curves plotted(BELOW 1kHz) are at different distances from the source. Regarding these three curves: The red curve is at 2cm, and the rise is 12db above the average at 1000hz. The green curve represents 10cm(mic less than 4" from source) and has a broad 5db rise above average. At 1m(the black line)the response begins to roll off at 300Hz, and is 5db down at 70Hz, the curve's cut-off(not the 50hz as stated earier-my bad). Just continuing the same attenuation rate, the response would be -10db at 25Hz. Again- the black curve represents the response at 1m(about 3ft). I doubt anyone's listening position will be that close to their speakers, and the bass response of the mic will be much more attenuated at say 3 to 4m. The mic is flat between 200hz and 2kHz +/- 1db. Above that freq. there is a broad rise to +6 out to about 12kHz then dropping to +3db at 15kHz(where the curve ends). Of course- That's just a curve typical of these mics, and some ECM8000s will be better, some worse. The 6th octave RTA function alone makes the cost of the Behringer DEQ2496/ECM8000 a bargain, and I always try to have them on hand for my cheaper pro-sound customers. BUT- To think that one can accurately adjust one's in-room bass response, without first determining the mic's roll off at the listening position(and compensating for it in your calculations) is purely delusional. That's why the operations manual advises against even having the bands below 100Hz activated during the AEQ function. Behringer know's the combination's limitations. I'm certain many will be satisfied with the results of a DEQ2496 in their system(Look how big Stereo Review's circulation was over the years). Again- If you're happy.........
Rodman99999...Your box is not the same as mine, which shows only one plot.
Use of the Rives CD in conjunction with the ECM8000 suggests to me that the mic is nowhere near as bad as you suggest. For whatever reason, it and the DEQ2496 make a great improvement to my two systems.
But I agree with you that the RTA is worth the price. I bought the thing for the RTA to back up the Rives CD/RS meter approach. The benefit of room correction was a pleasant suprise. I have suggested that people buy it for the RTA, and discover room eq for themselves.
I use the Behringer's RTA readings to back up the TacT correction in my (very difficult-bordering on accoustic nightmare) listening room, via the TacT's parametric EQ(the DEQ2496 stays out of the system). The Tact 2.2X using it's FFT "clicks" and RCS algorithms, the DEQ2496 using the pink noise track on 'Irrational, But Efficacious!', and my ECM8000(correcting for it's response). Between the clicks(which are sampled before any reflections can reach the mic), the steady state sampling(which includes resonances/reflections), and a bit of Sabine Math tossed in(helps me keep my head in the sweet spot)- My bass sounds/feels quite authentic. The 'Sheffield Drum and Track Disc' and my son playing his drum kit make great references. BTW: That particular mic, and of course- it's box, were purchased about 5 months ago.
My bass sounds/feels quite authentic. The 'Sheffield
I use the Behringer PEQ below 90 Hz only - I used a Ratshack meter and
manual measurements to get a plot and then adjusted by ear to get the
desired response. I don't allow any PEQ processed signal to go to my mains -
so it ONLY goes to the sub (even though it is digital and should not affect
phase I worry about filter ringing etc. - I don't want to risk any detrimental
stuff to the midrange or mid bass)
I think if you use these kind of cheap devices conservatively and do not try to
get "flat" but simply make small "tweaks" to smooth
things out (tame peaks) then I have only GOOD things to say about Behringer
as it is great value.
I'd be wary of any computerized solution but I guess I am old fashioned - I
like to see the plots myself and see the difference I get over a wide area - and
my ears play final judge and jury - to my ears the least adjustment necessary
is usually better (the room is the room and it is real and it is there - so a
certain small amount of room modal effect is "natural" and preferred to my
way of thinking).
Drums are a great reference - it is the hardest thing to reproduce
It would help if you supplied a "virtual system" - a picture says a
thousand words - digital cameras come in Kellogg's Frosties packets these
days - there is no reason not to.
Eldartford- The response curve(with proximity effect) for the ECM8000 is on the sleeve that comes on the mic's plastic case. The curve you were referring to(on the outer box) is the mic's tranfer function, not it's freq. response in db. I had to look at a new mic's packaging to find what you were looking at. Curiousity and all that. Happy listening!!