How to use a Parametric Equalizer
Fri, Feb 12, 2016 5:42 PM

Many modern pre-amp / surround sound processors are equipped with parametric equalizers. They are powerful tools that in the right hands can tailor your sound to your liking. The goal of this thread is to help you get the most out of your parametric equalizer if you have one and prefer to use it.


First i'll give those of you who don't know much about how to program your parametric equalizer and don't care for the details a quick and easy way to use your PE. Later on i'll go into details about what the commonly misunderstood Q value is and give you my 2 cents worth on how to best use your PE to tune your system to match your musical taste. 


The easiest way to use a parametric equalizer (PE) is to program it to act just like a standard 10-band, 9-band, 7-band, 5-band or 3-band equalizer with set center frequencies and Q values. You then adjust the controls as you would if your equipment came equipped with a standard equalizer rather than a parametric one. As a general rule the fewer sliders you use not only will it be easier to adjust you tend to get a better sound. My advice is to use as few controls as you can get by with. 


On a standard equalizer all controls have the same Q value that you cannot change. To program one using your PE simply program the center frquencies that I list and give every one the same Q value that I have shown for that control:


10-Band: Q: 1.375 Controls: 30, 60, 120, 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 8000, 16000 Hz

9-Band: Q: 1.25 Controls: 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12500 Hz

7-Band: Q: 1.0 Controls: 60, 150, 400, 1000, 2400, 6000, 16000 Hz

5-Band: Q: 0.625 Controls: 100, 250, 1000, 2500, 10000 Hz

3-Band: Q: 0.375 Controls: 100, 1000, 10000 Hz




One quick note about these controls and bass management: 

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