In order to have good sound for music you just need a good pair of speakers and good receiver right? Wrong, there is more to it if you truly want the best sound. Adjusting the bass and treble settings on the receiver will help some. Depending on how powerful the receiver is and if it is a high current amp or not are both important factors to consider. Always make sure the speakers can handle the wattage of the receiver. If possible make sure the speakers can handle more power than the receiver is capable of. Personally, I do not like to use any surround sounds when listening to music (only for movies). I also prefer to not use my subwoofers (unless watching movies). Based on this you would expect me to use a natural setting for my sound, but I do not do that. I prefer full bass and only a slight (if any) boost of treble. Speaker placement, and room acoustics are also key factors to consider. If you are unsure how to best setup your speakers please refer to this book: “Customize Your Home Theater 5.1 to 15.2 channel and everything in between” for assistance.

This posting takes you beyond all of this and onto the next level. The next level is an equalizer (EQ) or graphic equalizer being added to your system. Sadly, these are hard to find. We used to sell one and it got discontinued, but we are looking for another model and as soon as we find it we will make it available for purchase in our store.  An equalizer can have anywhere from 5 to 10 equalizer settings for the left speaker and an additional equal number for the right speaker. Today I hooked up an old Sansui 14 band (7 to the left and 7 to the right) equalizer of mine and tested it out. I was unsure of what results I would find. I tested a Sony 7.1 channel 135 watt per channel receiver with a pair of old 5 1/4″ two way speakers with rear bass ports. These are the same speakers tested in the book, “Customize Your Home Theater…”

The test: The test was a CD played in three different ways to determine if an EQ is still relevant or not. Test one was an analog connection (RCA) from dvd player to EQ and another RCA connection from the EQ to the receiver. This was tested with the EQ settings off so the sound still went thru the EQ, but without the equalizers being on to adjust the sound. Test two was an HDMI connection from the dvd player direct to the receiver. Test three was RCA from the dvd player to the EQ and out to the receiver only this time the EQ settings were enabled. Which do you think sounded best and worst?

The answer is the plain analog without the EQ settings enabled sounded really poor (as it should). The surprise was how much of a difference it made when comparing the EQ with its settings enabled (on) versus the HDMI direct connection to the receiver. The HDMI sounded really good and most people will be perfectly satisfied with this setup. The winner was test three (EQ with EQ settings enabled). I figured the HDMI would either sound the same as this or slightly better. To my surprise the EQ was even better. Think about that a moment….you are taking a digital recording and downgrading it to tape quality sound then adjusting the sound thru the EQ and sending that enhanced signal to the receiver with another tape quality connection and it still sounds better than just digital direct to the receiver. The reason this sounds so good is because the bass and treble settings on the receiver are not replaced by the settings made on the EQ. Instead the EQ merely compliments the bass and treble settings you use on the receiver itself. Each EQ slider effects a certain range of sound. This range can effect sounds not normally heard much in the background. It can also effect the bass and treble levels.

What I am about to suggest should not be done with satellite speakers. You will need a really good pair of book shelf speakers or large speakers for this. I suggest based on these findings that you find an EQ and connect it. Be careful of the volume especially on smaller less powerful speakers. Always test the EQ sliders at low volumes. Be mindful of the volume on the receiver and be prepared to turn it down asap if there is any distortion coming out of your speakers so you do not damage them. You will need one pair of RCA connections to run from the EQ to the receiver. You will then need an additional RCA cable for each device you which to connect to the EQ. Now enjoy your music again, almost as if it was new again since it will sound so much more vibrant.

3 thoughts on “Optimize the sound coming out of your speakers

  1. excelente artículo.

  2. Hola y gracias por este blog es una verdadera inspiración .. Daphne Yance Isadore

  3. Hola y gracias por este blog es una verdadera inspiración .. Marcelle Rex Ranie

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