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Outboard EQ for monitors?

Discussion in 'Monitoring & Headphones' started by rkruz, Dec 31, 2004.

  1. rkruz

    rkruz Guest

    I got these Nady model 250 50/50w biamped near field monitors from my home recording studio. They sound very muddy to me. If I EQ down the base up to 160hz and raise up the treble, they sound better. Problem is, I drive a 2nd pair of JBL speakers off the same audio output (Sound card on PC) and the JBLs sound great to my ears(full size passive JBLs with Yamaha 100W amp.)

    I got the NADYS as they can be desktop and I wanted something that I location properly to my ears and that would be nearfield.

    Is there a cheap stereo EQ I can put inline with the audio to the Nadys to knock down some of the muddyness and boost treb? If so, can you point in the direction to buy such a thing?

    Any thoughts on EQ or anything else you think might improve the situation are appreciated.

    Thanks for any tips!
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    It is not usually accepted practice to EQ monitors ...

    Usually the problem is the acoustics of the listening room and not the monitor ... however there is the rare case where the speakers really suck.

    The reason the Nadys sound bad and the JBLs sound good, may have to do with placement ... especially if you don't have bass trapping and absorption installed in your room. The sound can be different at various spots in the room ... if the sound changes when you step a foot forward or back, or side to side, you need to be thinking about some room treatments. Try and see if the Nadys sound better if you move them. A foot forward or back, or even a few more inches apart or closer together may make a big difference .. If so, again, you need to be thinking about some room treatments.

    The trouble with using EQ to correct the response is if the room has problems, these issues are generally caused by very narrow peaks formed by reinforcing reflections that are in phase with each other, and nulls created by reflections that are out of phase with each other. As you move about the room, you will move in and out of the dips and peaks and the sound will change... These peaks and dips (nulls) can be as drastic as 1/10th of an octave narrow and down or boosted as much as 30 dB or even more ... there is no affordable EQ that can correct these kinds of problems ... it's usually less expensive to deal with the room anomalies than to purchase an EQ powerful enough to correct the problem ....

    Even if you do choose to use equalization to correct the response, EQs are only effective in treating the lower octaves because except the lowest octaves where sound is nondirectional, EQing will only correct the problem in one spot of the room (where the measurement for the correction is taken)... Response in the rest of the room will still suck! ... Above that point, you still need either specifically tuned absorbers, placed after you analyze the room with a RTA (real time analyzer), to remedy identified problems or broad band absorption like 3 or 4 inch acoustic foam. So why bother with EQ at all? ... This is where the current line of thinking comes from.

    So the problem isn't your room? In the rare case where the speakers really suck, why throw good money after bad? Any EQ costing less than the Nady speakers is going to be pretty crappy ... so if the speakers are crappy and the EQ is crappy, all you are going to get is crap ... If the problem is the speakers, I advise you to consider upgrading to something better.

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