Parametric EQ advice for warmer/fuller sound

Could anyone please help me by showing an example of frequency settings in Parametric EQ to achieve ;

Warmer , thicker/fuller sound especially on vocals.and more laidback , less harsh and less bright/forward overall sound wtihout losing too much detail on the top end.

My system is ;
Focal Sopra No.2 speakers
Primaluna Dialogue Preamp
Hypex Ncore400 monoblocks
Gustard x20pro DAC with Singxer SU-1
HQPlayer-Roon-TIDAL Upsampled to 512DSD

My room is 45m2 with more than half of it covered with glass with thin curtains and with little to none room treatment unfortunately. Although that causes a lot of harshness issues i have tried Harbeth 40.2’s for a day in the same setup and room which was smoother , warmer and less fatiguing to listen to. So i need some specific settings or maybe a preset on the P.EQ since buying the Harbeths can not be a choice at the moment. Thank you for your help!

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I have done many years eq-ing sound systems so hopefully I can help…

The frequency of 110Hz is your friend. All the warmth is generated around here.
And the frequency of 2-3kHz might be your enemy. This is where harshness lives.

When EQ-ing, don’t have the bandwidth too narrow especially at 110Hz and just boost 110Hz a few dB and cut 2-3KHz a few dB. Job done.
Also the frequency of around 250Hz might need a little cutting…but only a very little. This area can lead to a low honk in the sound.
However you will never get a sound that is excellent with all those hard surfaces. Try to put soft furnishing on some of the walls/floors!
Use your ears when EQ-ing!

There are proprietary automatic filter devices…some work well…that sweep the room and create an inverse set of filters to make corrections.

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Thank you Andy , i really appreciate such help especially when it comes from the right person.

I boosted 110hz by 3dB and cut 2.4k by 3dB with Q at 2 on both of them. Not sure if 2 is wide enough for bandwidth.

I will report back when i get adequate time of listening with these settings.

This can have dramatic effects on the SQ you achieve. Makes more sense than EQ-ing…

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I concur, I think many people shy away from all treatments because they are ugly, but even just two absorptive 2x4’ panels will significantly reduce reflections when placed between you and the primary reflection points and can easily be stored away when not in use.

I’ve had several “acoustics” people tell me if you can’t fully treat the room, don’t bother with any. I say BS! Every bit helps.

DSP will never trump physical treatment , but you got to divide the room in 2 , bass…and the rest
Bass DOES benefit hugely with DSP as physical treatments are big when it comes to curing low bass issues Peaks of +10db are not uncommon…you would need lots of huge bass traps.

Parametric eq is a godsend for whacking out those nasty bass peaks…

DSP wont and cannot cure destructive nulls … the more power you pour in the deeper the null becomes

Stuff like room reverb , reflections etc must be treated physically…DSP alone cannot do it … normally 300hz upward needs physical

Careful when boosting… digital clipping is not far off apart from asking an amp or speaker to do what it cant…a 6db boost requires 4x the power the rest of the spectrum is using…

Here is a good article on eq and instrument frequencies
http://mixing101.wikidot.com/equalization

I enjoy watching many ‘property development’ programs here in the UK where owners get to design and build their own ‘dream’ houses. More often than not I cringe at the laminate flooring and echoey interiors. Not a speaker in sight and I can hear the terrible acoustics as they walk around and talk about the finished interior. Quite horrible really.
The rare exception tends to be architect designed places where they invariably have black Meridian active speakers on show, which blend very nicely into the clean interiors. The rooms tend to be large also, which helps with bass problems. Acoustics are very important.

I’d measure the room - limitations of DSP aside, it’s the perfect solution for many of us that can’t treat a room physically. That said a few rugs and batiks and thick sofas never hurt. A measured response will almost certainly give better results than just doing PEQ by ear IMO.

It might also just be you prefer Harbeths in that room. I’d consider a speaker swap if the DSP doesn’t give you what you want - why fight it if you’ve found something better suited to the room…

The primary reflection point of the left speaker is glass and it is not like some part of wall is glass window , the entire “wall” is glass. I of course use roller blinds but they are so thin i don’t even know if they help at all acoustically. Behind the listening position is same too… OK hold on a sec. I will just post video now which will show what i am trying to explain and my difficulty. The video is from the very first time we moved in , by then i’ve had a different setup and speakers which i did not really care about.
Nowadays the room consists of Dolby Atmos enabled 11.2 speaker system but what i really care about is the harshness i get when i listen to stereo music through Sopra No.2’s. Especially when playing louder.

BTW, thank you everyone for suggestions. I really appreciate them. If i could , i would fully treat my room. I will still add some acoustic panels behind the speakers and such and see how if even little treatment helps as you say Larry :pray:

*Just watching the first minute will give you an idea.

Nice house but probably terrible acoustics. In buildings like this treating the ceiling with acoustic treatment can help a lot. Makes it more comfortable to live in. Nowadays there is invisible acoustic treatment that consist of foam that can be plastered. Works wonderfull. https://www.baswana.com for example.

Terrible acoustics for sure. Though one thing is good to say the least , which is the soundstage since listening position is around 6 meters away from the speakers and space between the 2 speakers is 3.7 meters.
I wish we had a company over here like the one you shared… I will try to find someone local who can apply similar. Thank you.

Hi Arda,

One material that transmits light but absorbs sound (to some extent) is clear mass loaded vinyl. This can be mounted in transparent panels that can be drawn across windows. You could also have material drapes between them and the room for night use or on hot days.

There are many disadvantages, however. The panels will degrade the view when drawn. You’ll need a heavy duty roller track to draw them and they will be bulky and intrusive when retracted.

Still, better than egg cartons on your windows !

Edit: These fixed panels are another possibility.

I had the same problem with 1028BE speakers. Different speakers was my end solution.

I would strongly suggest trying to deal with resonances due to hard surfaces before any digital equalization of room issues. It is not correct to correct for resonances by creating dips into instantaneous frequency response.

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At the high end, a trick used in eq’ing for my band in some venues is to select as narrow as possible Q, boost by 10 dB and scan from 1-4 KHz until you hear the offensive frequencies, which you already recognize, being boosted Then after identification with a manual scan, go back and reduce. With a good identification, you may find even 1 dB reduction on target is helpful. If it is not obvious from measurement, this can work.

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Handy cheat sheet:

https://www.cheatography.com/fredv/cheat-sheets/eq-tips/

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Thank you everyone for their responses. Regarding what DrTone said about changing his speakers my end solution was changing my amp to Pass Labs XA30.5. All the fatiguing and brightness is gone now. Although my room’s acoustic problems are still obvious i can live with how the sound is now after i changed the amp.

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Hello Andy,

Thank you for the advise… I haven’t even heard of such thing as a clear mass loaded vinyl. I will see if i can find them where i live.

Hi Andy,

Thanks for this information - it sounds exactly what I need too :slight_smile: What you don’t clarify is the ‘type’ of frequency we should be setting…low shelf, high pass etc etc. It’s very confusing for us newbies.

Thanks for any clarification

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Hi there

No not low pass or high pass …just regular normal parametric filters. The type that have the three parameters of: frequency, cut or boost and bandwidth (also called Q).

Set the frequency first…the bandwidth will normally default to a reasonable setting, then cut/boost that frequency! That’s it. There are no hard and fast rules…a bit like music!

I would say 200Hz can often be troublesome (boxiness) in a room however and I usually end up cutting some here. Like I say…harshness is 1k to 3k area and warmth 100Hz to 120Hz.

A brightening can be achieved with a boost in the 5k to 12k area with a very wide bandwidth, or even a shelf filter. In a similar way keep the bandwidth wide when boosting for warmth in the 100Hz area.

I KNOW hiFi buffs will be grinding their teeth at all of this and I get it, but real world solutions are what I am familiar with in my work.

These are generalisations however!

There is more to say on bandwidth but I’ll leave that for now.

Hope that helps.

Andy

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