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Old     (suprasteve)      Join Date: Nov 2004       04-16-2009, 11:09 AM Reply   
I would think i've got a pretty good listening ear as to what stereo's sound good vs. which dont sound good and ones that flat out sound like sh*t...Prior to installing the EQ, i've had numerous people tell me my shiz sounded good. Me not being content w/ that, I thought i'd install an EQ to get things sounding even better. Problem is, I was out on the water yesterday and I for the life of me could not get my stereo tuned to my liking.

with all the audiophiles on here and people that have EQ's installed, what are some of the settings that you've found to be most optimal. I have the Clarion EQS746 (
Old     (882001)      Join Date: Nov 2003       04-16-2009, 11:15 AM Reply   
i start all flat and work from the treble/ right to the bass/left. bring each one up til its too much then back it off a little move to the next. in the end it looks like a "V" from one end to the other with the middle sitting at 0
Old     (brucemac)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-16-2009, 11:33 AM Reply   
imo totally up to you and depends on your system and the recording. i run fairly flat, with a little bump on the high for the inboats and a little bump on the mid-bass for the tower speakers. heard good things about the EQS746, especially for the money, but went with the 420 so i could have seperate/two-zone eq for towers and inboats. curious to see what other's here do.
Old     (philwsailz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       04-16-2009, 11:39 AM Reply   

There are too many variables to make any generalized recommendations with regards to a universal setting. Speakers, amps, speaker locations, it all contributes to good, or bad sound. It will take your ear and time to get it... That being said, I have found some commonality from system to system...

My background in audio includes a lot of experience, including running concert sound for a number of years as well as studio recording. I can tell you that your total stereo system will be happier and less likely to clip or distort if you start your tweaking by CUTTING frequencies to see if you feel it sounds better or worse. For the center frequencies of the Clarion EQ you show, I would focus on 315 and 2.2K

Lots of audio systems can sound muddy, and cutting at frequencies near your 315 Hz center can remove muddiness and improve power handling. It can also make the low bass appear tighter and louder.

Vocals from some performers can literally make my ears bleed on some audio systems. Lots of times I find that cutting at or near 3K will remove the "screech" without lowering the overall vocal level too much. Your 2.2K control might be able to affect a similar improvement. try turning it down and see what you think.

Be careful. It is easy to think that you have found a setting that you think really sounds way better, only to find that 30 minutes later you are adjusting things again. It is easy to over-do it, and the perception of better is often due to LOUDER, not better. It is also easy to get to a setting that just simply fatigues your ears; it hurts to listen too long. A well-tweaked system will be comfortable even at loud volumes, and will allow you to listen for hours with no fatigue. If you can get to the point where it just sounds smooth and effortless, and you can sit and listen for a long time without messing with it, you probably have found that point.

Or you will forever fiddle and fiddle and fiddle with it, just like the rest of us do... me included.

Have fun with it!

Old     (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       04-17-2009, 10:04 AM Reply   

Before you can see benefits of an EQ, your gains and crossovers must first be dialed in. An EQ can't fix phasing or tuning issues.

The Clarion EQ has a built-in and non-defeatable lowpass crossover. If I remember correctly you can select between the 60 and 90 Hz. In some systems 90 Hz may be a bit too low and in others its just right. In any case set your amplifier low-pass an octave higher (180Hz) so you have a moderate slope and are still getting midbass contribution from your sub. Then set your high-pass between 100 to 120 Hz. This gap will allow you to gain up your sub a little which effectively raises the -3dB crossover point. This approach is kinda the norm.

Instead of using your EQ to boost at significant levels, use a combination of boost and cut to achieve what you want. Try to keep your average level within a dB or two of the midpoint. This will result in less radical octave to octave changes. Abrupt changes and a narrow Q will cause nasty side effects that are very audible. For the best sound quality use an EQ in moderation.

Like Phil said, its better to cut a peak than it is to apply a boost to correct for a valley. If you have an underlying phase cancellation, trying to repair this with equalization will ruin your dynamic range and suck the life out of your system.

I noticed that Kicker has a paragraphic 1/2 din EQ that will allow you to adjust the center frequency of each band. This is a little more complicated and requires a good ear to set. But this type of EQ puts the control right on the problem.

Earmark Marine

(Message edited by david_e_m on April 17, 2009)
Old     (philwsailz)      Join Date: Feb 2009       04-20-2009, 6:59 AM Reply   

David is spot-on. Thanks for elaborating David! I agree; if you need to make radical adjustments on the EQ, it points to a problem elsewhere in the system, and gains and crossovers should be set as best as possible prior to applying EQ. that is why you want bass, treble, loudness, bass boost etc set to ZERO when setting gains and crossovers.

The Kicker EQ David mentioned is the KQ-5 We have had it in the line for a long time; it is just a real good solid processor. There are 5 bands of EQ available, and in addition to boost and cut like a traditional EQ, you can also control the actual center frequency as David mentions. So for example, in my recommendation above where I suggested trying to get rid of the "ear-bleed sound" by trying to cut the 2.2KHz band, the KQ5 can sweep up and down in frequency to actually find the the best exact frequency to cut, right in the middle of the offending sound.

With the KQ5 you are getting real close to concert-level pro-sound control capabilities, (we cannot control the Q in the KQ5, or it would be full parametric) so again, David is right in sharing that it takes a real good ear to set correctly. But, with understanding of what it can do, a parametric EQ like the KQ5 offers control that a traditional graphic EQ cannot offer.

Have a good week all!

Old     (bkoz)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-20-2009, 12:52 PM Reply   
I have the same Clarion EQ as Steve. I was messing with it for the first time with the new system yesterday at the lake. My system sounded best with all the settings accept the 50Hz and 125Hz flat. I turned the 50Hz and 125Hz up just a bit and my sub sounded ALOT better, espessially at mid volume.
Old     (bkoz)      Join Date: Dec 2005       04-20-2009, 12:53 PM Reply   
Oh and I did set my amps up one at a time before I hooked the EQ up to them.
Old     (superairdawg)      Join Date: May 2003       04-21-2009, 4:01 PM Reply   
I just finished hooking up the same EQ (Clarion EQS746) and am not 100% sure how to tune my system with the additional variable, so I've been watching this thread closely! First obviously is phasing/tuning. I have a boat amp (Hifonics ZX6400) and sub amp (BX1500D) -- I assume the hi-pass on the boat amp should be set to the 100 to 120 Hz range per David's post. It actually looks like it was in that range from before. Then the sub amp low-pass should be set higher, like around 180 Hz. This is assuming the EQ low-pass crossover is set to 90 Hz. What is the best way to fine-tune these crossover settings? I do have a bass mechanic CD with test tones. Also, I assume I need to start from scratch again setting the gains on both amps?

Once the above are set, it sounds pretty straight-forward, generally CUTTING frequencies to clean up to suit how the system sounds. A final question, though. Is there no longer any need for the remote bass control? I'd assume I do the major setting at the amp and then the EQ bass volume would take over that control's functionality?

Thanks in advance!!


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