Building a New System - Could use some advice

T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
I just bought an EQ-355 equalizer: https://artproaudio.com/product/eq355-dual-31-band-eq/#overview

Thought it would connect to my home stereo given it has RCA connections, but doesn't seem to be the case.

Since I am due for an entirely new audio system, I was considering keeping the 355 and buying components that are compatible.

Can anyone recommend reasonably priced components that will be compatible with the 355. I am focussed on SOUND QUALITY and compatibility to play CDs, Turntable, and connect my iPod (which I do now with simple L/R RCA cables) in an available port.

If anyone could recommend components of excellent sound quality compatible with the EQ-355 I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much,
Tony.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Full Audioholic
I just bought an EQ-355 equalizer: https://artproaudio.com/product/eq355-dual-31-band-eq/#overview

Thought it would connect to my home stereo given it has RCA connections, but doesn't seem to be the case.

Since I am due for an entirely new audio system, I was considering keeping the 355 and buying components that are compatible.

Can anyone recommend reasonably priced components that will be compatible with the 355. I am focused on SOUND QUALITY and compatibility to play CDs, Turntable, and connect my iPod (which I do now with simple L/R RCA cables) in an available port.

If anyone could recommend components of excellent sound quality compatible with the EQ-355 I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you so much,
Tony.
You didn't mention what kind of gear you currently have. Ideally you want a separate pre-amp and amp with the 355 in between or an integrated amp / receiver with pre out / in loop, but if you have an integrated amp or a receiver with tape connections, you may still be able to use the EQ. On some older gear you can connect the tape out to the EQ in and EQ out to the tape in and use the tape monitor feature to run all signals through the EQ.

To be honest, EQs are not very big sellers any more. Most modern speakers are good enough not to require manual equalization, and when it comes to adjusting for room acoustics, a modern AVR with Audessey room correction does a better job. It depends on your own personal goal. Is it to achieve as flat a response as possible matching the source material, or is it to shape the sound curve to match your own tastes? "Sound quality" is totally subjective and some purists might argue that an EQ in the wrong hands will be detrimental, but in the right hands or with proper measuring equipment you can compensate for some of the room's characteristics.

"Reasonably priced" is also very subjective. There are plenty of people here that spend way more than I am willing to. ;) I would start with posting what speakers you are currently using, as that will have the biggest impact on sound quality. Poor speakers on new gear will still sound poor, while new speakers on some decent older gear could improve things. Also, is this strictly 2-channel for music or any plans to add a TV and surround speakers?
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Why do you need a Graphic EQ? I assume it is because you don't like any Automatic EQ?

If I were using an EQ, it would be a Parametric EQ and it would only be for the subwoofers.

If you buy a good AVR or Pre-pro, it would have some kind of PEQ or GEQ built-in.

For example, my Yamaha AVR and Pre-pro have Parametric EQ built-in for manual adjustments. Denon and Marantz have the GEQ. Anthem also has PEQ.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
"Sound quality" is totally subjective and some purists might argue that an EQ in the wrong hands will be detrimental, but in the right hands or with proper measuring equipment you can compensate for some of the room's characteristics.
Exactly. When you say "sound quality" a lot of people will say that ANY eq is a bad thing. Sound quality comes down to speakers, not electronics. It would be helpful to know what op has right now.
For example, my Yamaha AVR and Pre-pro have Parametric EQ built-in for manual adjustments. Denon and Marantz have the GEQ. Anthem also has PEQ.
Get the right model of Denon or Marantz with the app editor and you can pretty much do anything with it you could PEQ or GEQ too.

It seems really odd to me to replace gear just to work with an old GEQ tho, especially when there are better options for offering good sound quality...
 
T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
You didn't mention what kind of gear you currently have. Ideally you want a separate pre-amp and amp with the 355 in between or an integrated amp / receiver with pre out / in loop, but if you have an integrated amp or a receiver with tape connections, you may still be able to use the EQ. On some older gear you can connect the tape out to the EQ in and EQ out to the tape in and use the tape monitor feature to run all signals through the EQ.

To be honest, EQs are not very big sellers any more. Most modern speakers are good enough not to require manual equalization, and when it comes to adjusting for room acoustics, a modern AVR with Audessey room correction does a better job. It depends on your own personal goal. Is it to achieve as flat a response as possible matching the source material, or is it to shape the sound curve to match your own tastes? "Sound quality" is totally subjective and some purists might argue that an EQ in the wrong hands will be detrimental, but in the right hands or with proper measuring equipment you can compensate for some of the room's characteristics.

"Reasonably priced" is also very subjective. There are plenty of people here that spend way more than I am willing to. ;) I would start with posting what speakers you are currently using, as that will have the biggest impact on sound quality. Poor speakers on new gear will still sound poor, while new speakers on some decent older gear could improve things. Also, is this strictly 2-channel for music or any plans to add a TV and surround speakers?
I appreciate the reply..

I use a pair of Bose 701 speakers with an Onkyo amp and an older receiver (Kenwood VR-3100). My old EQ was strictly RCA connections and worked well with the Kenwood's Tape2/Monitor setting. I liked the sound and love being able to customize it via the old EQ.

Seems like I will have to make the move over to more of a professional configuration with possibly TRS connectors if I want to use a multi-band EQ??? I really don't know much about that. That is why I am posting these messages hoping I can pick up some advice.

Thanks again, I do appreciate the help.
Tony.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Why not use the Kenwood's pre-outs to the eq then to the amp?
 
Eppie

Eppie

Full Audioholic
Don't quite understand why you think the new EQ will not work when you previously had one connected to the Tape2/Monitor? The photo of the EQ rear plate shows both balanced and unbalanced (RCA) connections and using RCA should be connected the same way as before. What might be confusing is the poor choice of colours on the EQ jacks. If you try and match white to white and red to red, it won't work. Tape Out/Rec connects to Channel 1 In and Channel 2 In (red to white and white to white). Tape In/Play connect to Channel 1 Out and Channel 2 Out (red to red and white to red). Or use the Pre Out as lovinthehd suggested if the Onkyo is a 2-channel amp.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Full Audioholic
Never seen the Bose 701 before. Interesting design. Is it the original or Series II? That does somewhat explain the EQ. The 901's were terrible without the matching EQ. If these are direct reflecting speakers like the 901 they may very well benefit from an EQ like the 901's. Moving to new speakers would likely remove the requirement for the EQ, unless you're more interested in shaping the sound to your personal taste as opposed to aiming for a flat response. If you like the speakers, that EQ should work with what you have.
 
T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
Don't quite understand why you think the new EQ will not work when you previously had one connected to the Tape2/Monitor? The photo of the EQ rear plate shows both balanced and unbalanced (RCA) connections and using RCA should be connected the same way as before. What might be confusing is the poor choice of colours on the EQ jacks. If you try and match white to white and red to red, it won't work. Tape Out/Rec connects to Channel 1 In and Channel 2 In (red to white and white to white). Tape In/Play connect to Channel 1 Out and Channel 2 Out (red to red and white to red). Or use the Pre Out as lovinthehd suggested if the Onkyo is a 2-channel amp.
Thanks - I think your reply about the poor choice of colors on the RCA jacks explains why I couldn't get it to work. I already sent it back and got a refund.
At this point I am seriously considering waiting out until I can convince myself to go for a McIntosh system. I have my eye on the MA12000 Integrated Amp. It is 350 watts x 2 and has a built-in 8-band EQ. Not too sure which speakers I will get. The McIntosh ones are way pricey.
Thanks again.
 
T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
Exactly. When you say "sound quality" a lot of people will say that ANY eq is a bad thing. Sound quality comes down to speakers, not electronics. It would be helpful to know what op has right now.

Get the right model of Denon or Marantz with the app editor and you can pretty much do anything with it you could PEQ or GEQ too.

It seems really odd to me to replace gear just to work with an old GEQ tho, especially when there are better options for offering good sound quality...
Thanks for the reply. When I say sound quality I am thinking clear, unobstructed sound the way it was intended to sound. I can listen to the same recording on several systems and on some of the better systems I can notice sounds in the songs that I had not even heard before.
 
T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
Thanks for the reply. When I say sound quality I am thinking clear, unobstructed sound the way it was intended to sound. I can listen to the same recording on several systems and on some of the better systems I can notice sounds in the songs that I had not even heard before.
At this point I am seriously considering waiting out until I can convince myself to go for a McIntosh system. I have my eye on the MA12000 Integrated Amp. It is 350 watts x 2 and has a built-in 8-band EQ. Not too sure which speakers I will get. The McIntosh ones are way pricey.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Thanks for the reply. When I say sound quality I am thinking clear, unobstructed sound the way it was intended to sound. I can listen to the same recording on several systems and on some of the better systems I can notice sounds in the songs that I had not even heard before.
You're not in a typical situation with the Bose 701 speakers, which I know little about. I do know they require some sort of proprietary eq tho so I get why you want to incorporate the eq, I think.
At this point I am seriously considering waiting out until I can convince myself to go for a McIntosh system. I have my eye on the MA12000 Integrated Amp. It is 350 watts x 2 and has a built-in 8-band EQ. Not too sure which speakers I will get. The McIntosh ones are way pricey.
What do you mean exactly by getting a McIntosh system? You're talking big bucks there. That kinda money can get you some really nice speakers too if that's something you're considering. We can offer some suggestions, but they're probably going to be quite different from what you have now. What are you looking for, assuming a new system? There are a lot of options out there for speakers for Mac money. You looking for a more modern update?
 
T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
Never seen the Bose 701 before. Interesting design. Is it the original or Series II? That does somewhat explain the EQ. The 901's were terrible without the matching EQ. If these are direct reflecting speakers like the 901 they may very well benefit from an EQ like the 901's. Moving to new speakers would likely remove the requirement for the EQ, unless you're more interested in shaping the sound to your personal taste as opposed to aiming for a flat response. If you like the speakers, that EQ should work with what you have.
Thanks for the reply. I believe they are the original 701's. Yes, they are direct - reflecting. I am now leaning towards holding out until I can convince myself to go for a McIntosh MA12000 integrated amp. It is 350 watts x 2 with a built-in 8-band EQ. I have no idea which speakers would be my best bet.
Thanks again.
 
T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
You're not in a typical situation with the Bose 701 speakers, which I know little about. I do know they require some sort of proprietary eq tho so I get why you want to incorporate the eq, I think.

What do you mean exactly by getting a McIntosh system? You're talking big bucks there. That kinda money can get you some really nice speakers too if that's something you're considering. We can offer some suggestions, but they're probably going to be quite different from what you have now. What are you looking for, assuming a new system? There are a lot of options out there for speakers for Mac money. You looking for a more modern update?
Yes, at this point I am thinking to wait it out until I feel comfortable spending the money on an entire new system. Right now, I am thinking the MA12000 would be at the heart of the new system. Again, I have no idea about speakers.
Thanks.
 
Pogre

Pogre

Audioholic Overlord
Yes, at this point I am thinking to wait it out until I feel comfortable spending the money on an entire new system. Right now, I am thinking the MA12000 would be at the heart of the new system. Again, I have no idea about speakers.
Thanks.
Most folks here (myself included) would recommend starting with speakers. Those by far, have the most impact on determining your preferred sound quality. Followed by your room acousitcs. It would be good to get out and listen to a variety to get an idea of what's out there. A few companies offer in home trial periods too. That's a great way to really know what they sound like in your room.

You'll find the general consensus here that it's best to apportion the bulk of the budget to speakers for best results. I get the allure of Mcintosh gear tho. It's gorgeous stuff with top notch engineering and build quality. You need the right speakers first tho.
 
T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
Most folks here (myself included) would recommend starting with speakers. Those by far, have the most impact on determining your preferred sound quality. Followed by your room acousitcs. It would be good to get out and listen to a variety to get an idea of what's out there. A few companies offer in home trial periods too. That's a great way to really know what they sound like in your room.

You'll find the general consensus here that it's best to apportion the bulk of the budget to speakers for best results. I get the allure of Mcintosh gear tho. It's gorgeous stuff with top notch engineering and build quality. You need the right speakers first tho.
Thanks again - I appreciate the advice.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
While the Mc stuff might hold value well, it's not a particularly good value except that way IMO and just not terribly exciting otherwise IMO (well except for the pretty lights and/or meters). I'd much rather put the money towards speakers/subs than the electronics....and you can easily do better power amp wise if power is a concern (but how do you know what kind of power or impedance handling you need before you pick speakers?). If you do get equalization I'd think about parametric eq vs graphic eq (a glance at the manual for the MC12000 seems it's graphic eq). Especially jumping from Bose speakers to that, that's like from different worlds.
 
T

TonyLent

Enthusiast
While the Mc stuff might hold value well, it's not a particularly good value except that way IMO and just not terribly exciting otherwise IMO (well except for the pretty lights and/or meters). I'd much rather put the money towards speakers/subs than the electronics....and you can easily do better power amp wise if power is a concern (but how do you know what kind of power or impedance handling you need before you pick speakers?). If you do get equalization I'd think about parametric eq vs graphic eq (a glance at the manual for the MC12000 seems it's graphic eq). Especially jumping from Bose speakers to that, that's like from different worlds.
Thanks for the reply. I guess the next step is to start my journey of searching for speakers.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
Thanks for the reply. I guess the next step is to start my journey of searching for speakers.
Definitely unless you just want to keep using the Bose, speakers are largely about preference in the long run. I'd just want better than even what has been called by some Bose's best speaker (which isn't saying a lot).

Might I point you to Salk Sound and/or Philharmonic Audio?
 

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