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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've been running some white van loudspeakers (DigitalAudio Cinema Series II) since around 2002. They're rated at 400 watts @ 8ohms, and 90db. I believe the ratings are per-speaker, as it's what is stated on each casing. I am trying to replicate the sound & bass quality I previously achieved with a setup described below. I purchased an Emotiva USP-1 and an Emotiva UPA-200. I'm not sure if I made the right decision.

I wired up the pre-amp & amp and the speakers are cranking. My problem is these devices have no equalizer controls. I'd like to put much more energy into the low end, as I am a bass enthusiast. I'm not sure what the best way to solve this is, do I buy a powered EQ? Get a different amp set up? Ditch the old speakers?

I would've thought the equipment I bought would include some sort of EQ ability, but I guess not. Right now I'm limited to maxing out the bass in the iTunes EQ, which is a lousy approach.

Before replying, consider that I've thoroughly enjoyed these speakers and never felt ripped off for the price I paid. They are used in my basement bar area, where true audiophile quality is not required, just loud music with great bass.

Some additional history for those interested. At one point, I had 2 MTX Thunders powering the speakers, one mounted on the back of each speaker. Each amp was running bridged and heavily powered. I could control the bass to fine detail using the Thunder EQ (Variable Bass Boost (0-18dB) centered at 40Hz). The result was hard-hitting bass at all db levels, the speakers didn't just shake up the house, but also 20ft. away. That's what I'm hoping to have again.
 

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For EQ your going to want to use a stereo one that's simply placed in between the processor and the amp. There are many eqs on ebay that will do the job just fine.
Those speakers may have large woofers but I would not push them to hard as they are not well built and 400watts is a big stretch.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Something like this PylePro PPEQ-150?

I'm also wondering if this setup just sounds silly. I could probably use an integrated amp with some standard bass-boost features right? I bought the Emotiva equipment hoping I was keeping everything at high quality. But to have to introduce a third device now has left me re-thinking this audio stack. If I can solve the problem now with a $100 EQ I will. I'm generally not concerned if I manage to blow the speakers. If that happens I'll probably be asking what to do with this killer equipment I bought.

Can anyone share resources about the whole pre-amp/eq/amp stacks are meant to work? This is exploratory for me and I've only had integrated amps in the pass for my main home audio setups.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Ah, that looks much more robust. I actually had a Pyle Pre-Amp with an integrated EQ for 1-year before this. I threw it away after it started vibrating, I had always thought the sound quality was garbage that it produced.

You'll see I've edited my previous response, as well.
 

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If you're looking for additional low end why not buy a subwoofer?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you're looking for additional low end why not buy a subwoofer?
The two loudspeakers have 12" woofers. Provided the right configuration they've had no problem producing strong bass in the past.

If I'm going to start buying new speakers then it'd be time to replace the loudspeakers as well, which I'm not ready for at least at this time.

With that said, I'm about $650 into the pre-amp/amp combo, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to spend $600 on an EQ. It'd be fair to say I should probably let these speakers go, but after 10 years there's definitely some nostalgia in beating them up still. I'd rather not add a sub in my bar area, as well. Just sharing my reasoning.
 

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Those car amps with that bass boost puts a huge bump in the frequency response but you don't really know until you measure it. I had rigged up a car amp for my subs for a bit and it had a bass boost like yours and when I swapped it out for a pro-amp that hump went away so I know what you're experiencing. Anyhow... It sounds like you're using a computer for a source but don't mention if it's Mac or PC. If it's PC you can try Equalizer APO.

Equalizer APO:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/equalizerapo/

A few GUI's for EQ APO (it doesn't have normally have a GUI, these are for playing with the knobs old school style so to speak):
http://jiiteepee.tripod.com/home.html

It's not very user friendly without a GUI but it was meant to work with Room EQ Wizard. That is you measure your room, get suggested EQ filters from REW, and apply the filters via text file with EQ APO.

It worth noting that I don't think EQ APO works with WASAPI or ASIO, only DirectSound.

Download that and try a boost around 40hz and I bet you'll get back some of what you lost.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Download that and try a boost around 40hz and I bet you'll get back some of what you lost.
I am using a Mac-Mini which connects to a Samsung TV via HDMI. Then I used the TV audio out to connect to the pre-amp via RCAs.

I tried out Boom for OSX. It worked pretty good! It took a while to configure it for strong bass quality. I disabled the iTunes equalizer, pushed the Boom EQ low-end and "booster" real high, and finally reduced the OSX system volume to about 2% to allow the amps to handle volume control.

The result is solid, although it still lacks the quality I could hear in the car amps. Some frequencies come through with a bit of distortion. For $7 I'd say it got me about 70-80% of what I was hoping for.

I think if I go the EQ hardware route then I'd be prepared to match up some new towers & a sub with the Emotiva equipment.

The one thing I found odd which would be nice to get any detail on is that this Emotiva equipment mostly uses RCAs. I say that's odd because it looks like modern equipment uses XLRs these days, including all of the high-end graphic EQs I looked at. So if I wanted to add a graphic EQ to the stack I would need RCA-to-male-XLRs and RCA-to-female-XLRs. Is Emotiva making a mistake? Adding an EQ feels like a nuisance with this equipment stack.

Thanks for the advice!

p.s. I couldn't figure out what I said that tipped you off that a computer is the audio source!
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Actually, Yamaha’s professional graphic EQs are also bottom-feeders. Reasonably quiet, but don’t sound that great. Ashly is a better option, albeit a bit more pricey.
The Ashly equipment looks very nice. The only catch is my comment regarding the Emotiva equipment using RCAs. I'm kind of disappointed I bought the Emotiva equipment instead of other options, but I'm also amateur at this so maybe the amps are fine and I don't have the experience to know.

I must admit, I'm tempted to add one of these to the stack, just the RCA/XLR scenario is annoying.
 

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It seems to me like the USP-1 is the opposite of what you need for this application.
I would return it and go with an AVR that has pre-amp outputs.
That will give you the ability to EQ however you want.
http://www.accessories4less.com/mak...Networking-and-AirPlay/1.html#!specifications
This has a front L/R and subwoofer preout available so you can use your amp.
IMO much more versatile than the USP-1 as long as you do not need turn table capability.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It seems to me like the USP-1 is the opposite of what you need for this application.
I would return it and go with an AVR that has pre-amp outputs.
Nice, this is quite helpful as well. I knew I screwed up in some fashion when I set up the new equipment. I'll look into it.
 

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The one thing I found odd which would be nice to get any detail on is that this Emotiva equipment mostly uses RCAs. I say that's odd because it looks like modern equipment uses XLRs these days, including all of the high-end graphic EQs I looked at. So if I wanted to add a graphic EQ to the stack I would need RCA-to-male-XLRs and RCA-to-female-XLRs. Is Emotiva making a mistake? Adding an EQ feels like a nuisance with this equipment stack.
I don’t know of any modern consumer equipment that uses XLRs except for higher-end pre-amp/processors, so I guess you could argue that Emotiva is “behind the curve” in that department (I expect that any “high end” graphic EQs you looked are professional equipment like the Ashly and Yamaha, so you really can’t legitimately compare them to consumer equipment in that regard).

However, since our source components are not balanced, it could be argued that converting the signals to balanced is just unnecessary clutter in the signal chain, since balanced signal runs don’t offer any advantage in most domestic installations. So I really don’t see where Emotiva is making a mistake by not including balanced outputs, except for the “keeping up with the Jones's” factor. Since that obviously matters, it might behoove Emotiva to offer an explanation on their website why they chose to not include XLRs, for the benefit of those who don’t know any better. RCA to XLR cables aren't a big deal - you can get them at Monoprice or any local guitar shop.

If you previously got all the bass you wanted with these speakers, but now you don’t, the reason most likely is that you now have them set up in a much larger room than before.

As Jim suggested, if your main interest is pounding bass, you should get a subwoofer. It matters not that your speakers have 12” woofers; they are not designed for true low frequency response. The fact that it required an artificial boost from an equalizer to get the lows you were after proves it.

Regards,
Wayne
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have learned much from your comments @Wayne. I've been out of the home audio circle for a decade and am figuring out how some of the new tech available fits together. I appreciate your notes regarding consumer equipment which is in fact my application.

If you previously got all the bass you wanted with these speakers, but now you don’t, the reason most likely is that you now have them set up in a much larger room than before.
This is actually true as well. Although on first set up with the new equipment, just watching the distance in the woofer vibration was enough to see these speakers do not consume the bass by default - they need it forced via EQ as you describe, and I previously had done.

So as it is, I'm going to try an A/V pre-amp with a [hopefully] good EQ built-in (Emotiva UMC-200 matches the current equipment stack). It was dumb for me to not begin with an AVR component, I didn't realize I have 3 HDMI devices ready to plug in to one. I'm feeling very rusty in the Home Theatre department.

No doubt, my next move would be to seek speakers and a sub that compliment the equipment I've been putting together.... or find that I've failed and swap it out for other options ;)

Cheers!
 
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