External Equalizer vs Equalizer Built Into Rig

Discussion in 'Microphones, Speakers & Audio Processing' started by K4EI, Dec 4, 2018.

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  1. K4EI

    K4EI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm exploring SSB audio quality - a subject that has many nooks and crannies. One thing I find interesting about stations that sound particularly good is that a fair percentage of them seem to use a variety of external gear to shape and modify their outbound audio. The W2IHY 8-Band Audio Equalizer and his related EQPlus Audio Equalizer seem the most ubiquitous.

    My primary rig in the shack is a Kenwood TS-590SG, with audio originating from a Heil PR40 dynamic mic. Secondary rig is an Elecraft KX3.

    My question is... since both the Kenwood and the Elecraft have built-in audio equalizers, is there any qualitative benefit to adding an external equalizer, such as one of W2IHY's devices, to my audio chain? I understand there's a convenience factor, to be sure. But unlike a lot of controls on our radios, audio equalization strikes me mostly as a set-it-and-forget-it kind of thing.

    Interested in folks' thoughts...
    W2ARL likes this.
  2. KW6LA

    KW6LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well if you have an ear for the EQ and understand the 590s pass band TX limits, its works very well. First thing you do is set the transmit filters to what YOU think is best. Then EQ the Microphone for best sound. You start by getting rid of the bad stuff first like around 200-600 Hz. Then add 1.6 - 3k for clarity. Next is to add some power to your voice 50 to 200 Hz.
    Ends up looing like a smile on the sliders. If the EQ looks like a Big saw tooth its wrong. You a want smooth path, filter to filter.

    There was a Ham (sk) that used only the PR-40 and EQ in the 590 ( set up by a studio guy/ them ears ) and it was incredible to listen to. Others use pro gear with 1/3 octave or parametric Equalizers which CAN be more musical to cut and carve perfection. Nothing wrong with the W2IHY, but pro gear IS better if that's what you think you need. Good
    bragging over the air to say ur using Orban gear WoW !

    If just getting into SSB quality audio, I would find someone you admire ( good sound ) and get them to help you with the final touch up on the EQ. We have this problem listen to our selves
    with bone resonation to the ears. When you hear a recording of ones self, we say ( THAT DOESNT SOUND LIKE ME !!!! ) The skull bone throw of the low frequency a lot.

    I use to record music in some of the biggest studios around LA years back and learn a lot from engineer band member Dennis Sager KX6R He recorded Joe Walsh ( Ham ) Confessor CD and many others in the day. Just know The following posts will have some good info and a lot of bad. So you need to go slow and make your own decisions on what you need to do or buy!

    Also note, most hams are obsessed with filters RX which will limit what you sound like to them. Like a deaf person, I change my TX filters by 400 cps and they hear nothing. I wish you the
    best of luck and Happy Holidays.
  3. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    The biggest single thing you can do to have outstanding "audio" is not to overdrive your tx.

    No processor.
    No "alc"
    And watch the background noise -read amplifier fan.

    WZ4I and ND6M like this.
  4. KM3F

    KM3F Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rege, your just full of it!.
    I run outboard EQ, out board processing, ALC, 800 watts and have no problem with fan noise and have outstanding audio.
  5. KW6LA

    KW6LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Rege must be using a D-104

    No processor.
    No "alc"
    And background noise - amplifier fan
  6. AG5CK

    AG5CK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm partial to outboard processing but I went that direction before I had a rig with built in processing. I spent so much time making adjustments, talking to myself and solving rfi problems that I won't abandon it now.

    Blower noise is kind of a pet peeve. I also use a pr40 because of its pattern. I was using a condenser mic but it picked up every noise in the shack.

    What kind of amp? The blower on my AL1200 is loud enough that it can be a problem if you aren't careful. The fan in my al80b is almost silent so it's not a problem.
  7. KW6LA

    KW6LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I apologize to Rege. Just a joke but the question was EQ in the rig or outboard pro gear? We are confusing K4YWZ with Fan noise. Just go with the PR-40 and the EQ in the radio for now.
    If you out grow it fine, you can try the pro gear later if experimenting is your quest. The Pro Boxes can drive you crazy if you let it, but we Hams do like to fiddle with the knobs! Oh the Kenwood will be much easier than the K3 to get that nice audio. While the K3 receiver is tops, the SSB audio is only average at best. The 590 can be amazing with a little help.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    K4AGO likes this.
  8. KW6LA

    KW6LA Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sorry KX3 correction, will sound great too. K3's are difficult.
    K4AGO likes this.
  9. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    Why thank for the nice comment.

    I think what you meant to say is you spent a lot of money on a outboard processor because of peer pressure.

    ND6M likes this.
  10. AI3V

    AI3V Ham Member QRZ Page

    How about 20,000 ssb voice circuits on a intelsat bird.

    Each and every one "flat"response.

    Personally I use a mix of electret and dynamic mics.

    You want good reports?
    Talk in a normal voice
    Turn off the porcessor
    Loose the alc
    Watch the fan noise Darth Vader :)

    I will admidt that there is a great difference in microphones, and price has zero relationship with sound quality.

    The microphone that sounds the most like me cost a whopping quarter American dollar. :)

    PA1ZP, K4AGO, KC8VWM and 1 other person like this.

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