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Digital Line Level DACs, Digital Crossovers, Equalizers, etc.

Equalizer: Software based (on the PC) or a Hardware, Analog one?
Equalizer: Software based (on the PC) or a Hardware, Analog one?
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Old 6th May 2019, 05:36 PM   #1
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Default Equalizer: Software based (on the PC) or a Hardware, Analog one?

Hi


After settling on a USB DAC that I like,
I feel that I need a small touch of an Equalizer, in order to fine tune the sound that I get.


What would be a better option: (that is, Sound Quality wise)
A software (digital) Equalizer, running on Windows,
or a hardware, analog Equalizer, based on resistors and capacitors, and connected right after the DAC, and right before the Amplifier?


Thank you
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Old 6th May 2019, 06:22 PM   #2
Osvaldo de Banfield is online now Osvaldo de Banfield  Argentina
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman5 View Post
Hi


After settling on a USB DAC that I like,
I feel that I need a small touch of an Equalizer, in order to fine tune the sound that I get.


What would be a better option: (that is, Sound Quality wise)
A software (digital) Equalizer, running on Windows,
or a hardware, analog Equalizer, based on resistors and capacitors, and connected right after the DAC, and right before the Amplifier?


Thank you
I strongly prefer the second option. Two reasons:

1.-You will need a specialized PC, with the dedicated power consumption,
2.- Always some noise from the video or HDD card filters into audio lines increasing background noise.
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Old 6th May 2019, 06:31 PM   #3
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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Interesting.
BTW, you did not mention anything regarding the quality of a software equalizer..
I mean, assume for example, that we had an ideal world, inwhich the 2 issues that you described did not exists..
Can a software equalizer do a good job like an analog one,
or a digital one can never get to the level of an analog one?
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Old 6th May 2019, 06:48 PM   #4
Markw4 is offline Markw4  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman5 View Post
Can a software equalizer do a good job like an analog one,
or a digital one can never get to the level of an analog one?
Two different things, so it depends. In some cases they may be indistinguishable. In other cases, one or the other may sound better. Also, there are some digital filters that have no analog counterpart. In some cases those filters can sound quite good if well designed. Of course, data converters need to be good too. SQ tends to be limited by the weakest link in the processing and reproduction chain.
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Old 6th May 2019, 06:49 PM   #5
Osvaldo de Banfield is online now Osvaldo de Banfield  Argentina
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Because I have not experience in such a software, so if I say anything, it will be a stupid comment. In any case, while digitizing and post eq. "analogize" you are losing audio quality, and it will result mixed with PCs own noise. I still prefer classic RC networks.
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Old 6th May 2019, 07:07 PM   #6
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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I see.
Thank you both.

Can you maybe recommend an Analog Equalizer (product, or board) that I can use after the DAC and before the Amplifier?
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Old 6th May 2019, 07:31 PM   #7
Markw4 is offline Markw4  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spaceman5 View Post

Can you maybe recommend an Analog Equalizer (product, or board) that I can use after the DAC and before the Amplifier?
For what dac chip and board design? What is it about the sound now that you want the equalizer to fix (or improve)?
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Old 6th May 2019, 07:36 PM   #8
cbdb is offline cbdb  Canada
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If your feeding the dac from a computer, then definetly use a DSP EQ before the dac. If you plan on DAC to ADC to EQ back to DAC, analog seems like a better option. As far as sound quality niether is better, you would have to compare unit to unit.
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Old 6th May 2019, 07:39 PM   #9
cbdb is offline cbdb  Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markw4 View Post
For what dac chip and board design? What is it about the sound now that you want the equalizer to fix (or improve)?
If hes like me, to equalize mix to mix. Some mixers/masterers like too much 200hz etc. ( or there system lacks it.) or mine has too much?
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Old 6th May 2019, 07:40 PM   #10
spaceman5 is offline spaceman5  Israel
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The DAC is fed from a computer..
so there's no ADC+DAC, just DAC...


The DAC is Lee's TDA1387 DAC..

Click the image to open in full size.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Markw4 View Post
What is it about the sound now that you want the equalizer to fix (or improve)?
There seems to be some rise around 100Hz that I don't like,
and also I might increase the mids a bit.

BTW, I think this is not from the DAC, but from the amplified speakers that I use..
(Yamaha HS7 monitors)
So I want to fix this.

Last edited by spaceman5; 6th May 2019 at 07:49 PM.
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