Usage and Recommendations for Improvement
As far as the eQ.2 performing, it worked as advertised, cutting levels at frequencies and over bandwidths as specified by the user. Where the eQ.2 could be a bit better in actual use is the small knobs coupled with wide ranges that make settings imprecise.
After determining what settings I needed to flatten my room bass response, I found it difficult to make those setting. Any setting between the control boundaries was by eye using tick marks that did not always correspond to the ranges in a simple, logical way.
Assuming linear behavior of the 7/16” knobs with a rotation range of about 300 degrees:
- Band 1 frequency range is 50-10 = 40Hz
- 5 intermediate tick marks, 6 spaces, each tick is 40/6 = +3.33Hz
- Band 2 frequency range 100-50 = 50Hz
- 5 intermediate tick marks, 6 spaces, each tick is 50/6 = +8.33Hz
- 0.3-3.0 octaves = 2.7 octaves, 9 intermediate ticks
- 10 spaces, each tick is 2.7/10 = +0.27 octaves
- This puts the one octave setting at an unintuitive 10 o’clock position
- +15-(-15)=30dB, 9 ticks, 10 spaces, each tick is +3dB
Slight adjustments in the rotation of the knobs would leave me overshooting or undershooting the desired setting value. The available rotation would be put to better use with wider angles for adjustments, for example with the width, using 1/6th (0.167) octaves to 1.0 octave over the same knob rotation to allow control that is more precise. Another way to improve the difficulty in making settings would come from simply using larger diameter knobs:
The frequency knobs, for example are less than 1/32nd inch per Hz. Doubling the diameter to an inch at least gets us to 1/16th inch per Hz and at least onto a standard ruler.
On top of this, the tick marks themselves are actually hidden behind the knobs, in that they are arrayed around at the same outer radius as the knobs. So, one has to get in close with good lighting to actually see them to make adjustments using the marks; a potential problem if the eQ.2 is installed in a tight equipment rack or other out of the way location.
As to how the eQ.2 sounds, that really is a function of how well one’s tuning efforts work out. In my case, nipping some small humps above 40 Hz resulted in a perceived extension of bottom end bass output, improving low end extension. Considering that every 3 dB is a doubling of power, I effectively doubled the bass output in the lowest octaves, relative to the range I trimmed.
The difference I found is not a huge change but it is a noticeable improvement. Of course, bigger room mode problems will lend themselves to ever more dramatic acoustic improvements with the eQ.2 properly tuned, albeit with a need to increase the overall LFE output to rebalance the system. Remember, that flattening bass humps will lower the overall output across the frequency range, requiring some rebalancing of the subwoofers relative to the mains.
Even if one owns equipment with DRC like Audyssey built in, additional parametric equalizers in the bass range may still be beneficial. The various implementations Audyssey still have a limited number of equalization bands to spread across problems throughout the audio frequency spectrum. Freeing some of those bands to deal with phase sensitive mid and high frequency problems in the digital domain by adding a few bands of analog parametric equalization at low frequencies will allow Audyssey to concentrate on additional spatial and coherency room acoustics problems.
The eQ.2 represents a usable parametric EQ solution but with some caveats. The eQ.2 is inexpensive and functional, but it is bare bones basic. For someone on a tight budget or the DIY types, the eQ.2 will certainly do the trick. It will take a couple of measurements and a bit of trial and error with the knobs to get the settings just right, but it can be done. If adequate tools to take measurements with are not readily available, it is unlikely that any real progress can be made at taming unruly bass frequencies, and may actually produce less than satisfactory results that make the situation worse. This is not a solution for someone who expects to press a button and have results.
I can recommend the eQ.2, but only if one knows what they are getting into.
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The Score Card
The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:
Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating
Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.
Audioholics Rating Scale
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|Fit and Finish|
|Ergonomics & Usability|
The last several years have seen an increase of the number of options for room equalization at bass frequencies available to consumers. Following up on my A7S-450 review, I was asked to review an external parametric equalizer that Elemental Designs (eD) sells alongside its subwoofers. The eQ.2, can be purchased separately or as a bundle with one of the eD’s subwoofers at a slightly reduced price. The eQ.2 represents a usable parametric EQ solution but with some caveats. It is inexpensive and functional, but it is bare bones basic. For someone on a tight budget or the DIY types, the eQ.2 will certainly do the trick provided you take the time to set it up properly as I instruct in this review.
Discuss " Elemental Designs eQ.2 Parametric Equalizer Review" here. Read the article [audioholics.com].
Add this to an RCA line amp and you can use that to drive your subs.