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Maintaining Sound Integrity

In our quest for highest sound quality we repeatedly stumble over shortcomings in sound equipment. Since a chain is as strong as its weakest link, every device in the audio chain has to be of undoubtful quality, to maintain maximum possible sound purity. Unfortunately, as our tests often reveal, some wellknown and well accepted mixers, amps, and equalizers don't meet the necessary quality standards. Sometimes, the outcome is really shocking. There is no doubt that the more expensive models often show better results, but this is no hard rule. Even some very expensive models of established brands would prove dissapointing as well. However, we discovered a rule of thumb which is technically quite logical, but unfortunately far from common practice:

Simple (pure) solutions generally yield the best results.

Complicated tone-controls such as EQ's as well as crossovers showed the worst results.

Therefore, use short signal paths; avoid unnecessary devices. Solve problems at the source, don't mask them with an extra device.

Avoid steep filters as much as possible. Use low-Q tone controls. Bypass EQ sections whenever possible.

Use excellent microphones and speakers. They will solve a lot of problems before they even become a problem.

The more complicated a device is(more op-amps, steep filters), the more money you have to spend to maintain signal integrity. A good 31 band EQ needs extremely high quality op-amps, impossibly accurate capacitors, and a superb design, and still it will be a box full of compromises. And don't think a digital EQ is better. The worst EQ's we worked with were digital!
So invest serious money when you buy that 31-band EQ! Only then it will keep up with the rest of a high quality, straightforward PA-system.



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