You should check out www.manleylabs.com and check their pro gear section. They make excellent equalizers. Hope this helps.
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I'm using a Rane ME60 in one of my systems, and I'm happy with it. It has 30 sliders per channel for 1/3-octave control. I hear no sound quality degradation, although I know all equalizers will theoretically have adverse effects. It has better build quality than an Audio Control 10-III I used in the past, although that was a much less expensive product. The ME60 was reviewed favorably in The Sensible Sound late in 2000. At the time I bought it, I also considered the Cello Palette, introduced in 1985 by Mark Levinson. While the Palette is a true high end product, it had fewer bands than the Rane (which comes across as more of a professional/industrial item). By the way, Mark's current brand, Red Rose Music, currently offers an equalizer that operates in the digital domain. It doesn't seem to accept analog signals and is intended to fit between a digital transport and DAC. See it on www.redrosemusic.com. Good luck!
I am using the Accuphase DG-28 equalizer. It works in the digital domain - no signal degradation.Control is 1/6 octave.Can be adjusted manually, or using their algorhythms.
You can measure your room reponse with a supplied microphone.
It puts out a signal through your speakers that is then measured and corrected. It really works, especially in the bass.
You need to qualify excellent... a Cello Pallette is going to cost you well more than $10K... the Manley, Accuphase, Z-Sys, GML are all going to cost north of $5K. The Z-Sys won't work for you because it operates strictly in the digital domain and doesn't have A/Ds - D/As. There is also the TACT room correction devices. Anything less than these eq's is a compromise and should probably be avoided. You are better off with room treatments than introducing an eq.
Save your money on an eq and buy a Peavey Kosmos - it will rattle your planet with the most fun you have had in audio in a long time $250-300 at your local music shop - dj's use it to bring life into the sound - I put one in my system and my high end friends were blown away at what it did - made the music lively - they didn't know what had happened because I didn't tell them in the beginning but they were like what did you change - go for a demo and ask to take it on loan -its fun and defeatable.