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The Swamp
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Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:17 am

Hi guys. I'm trying to do an old-school type of thing with a modern receiver and an external equalizer. The problem I am having is that modern receivers no longer have pre-out and main-in RCA ports anymore. Back in the day, hooking up an external equalizer was cake. Now, it takes some real talent to pull it off, depending on the equipment.

The receiver is a Denon AVR-1907. The equalizer is a Behringer MiniFBQ FBQ800.

Interestingly enough, the Denon actually has pre-out ports on the back. No main-in, though. The pre-out ports are sending a signal to the EQ because the power meters show the signal. I have the pre-outs going to the input on the EQ. This is where it gets tricky. I don't know what to connect the output on the EQ to on the back of the Denon to get it to work correctly.

I have a TOSlink optic cable coming from my sound card to the back of the receiver. I can access the signal on the Denon on the CD monitor. I've tried connecting the EQ to various inputs, but I'm not getting any sound. I can monitor the signal from the TOSLink cable by selecting CD, but that is what is also sent to the pre-out. That makes sense when using an external amp. I'm not sure how to change the settings so that the EQ signal will be picked up by AUX or any other input.

Denon has posted a procedure for using an external EQ, but it involves using Zone 2, and I think you can only use a pair of speakers. I have 4 speakers, plus a sub. And the description of the procedure is confusing as heck. I was hoping for something easier.

If you had my receiver and EQ, how would you go about hooking it up?
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:21 am

Is that a multi-channel equalizer?
 
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:29 am

If the receiver doesn't have an old-school "tape monitor" loop you probably can't do what you're trying to do. Your best bet may be to get an outboard DAC to convert the optical signal to analog, and put the EQ upstream of the receiver. Or use the analog line out of your PC, if your PC's analog audio output is good enough.
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The Swamp
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:45 am

I hadn't thought of that, but I could see where it could work. I'd lose the digital signal, but I'm only listening to the receiver in stereo mode anyway. So, I'd not really be losing anything. It sounds like the tricky part in this is the TOSLink connection. The EQ itself would act as the pre-out main-in, which is how it worked back in the day.

I'm not sure if the equalizer is multi-channel. I don't think so. It's a pretty basic EQ. I'm also not sure if I have Tape Monitor ability on the Denon, although I don't know why I wouldn't. The receiver is from about 12 years ago, and I believe they still had tape capability back then. I was gifted the Denon when a friend of mine upgraded. He also gave me a pair of Definitive Technology floor speakers. It's a nice receiver, although I don't know it that well.

I do have an old JVC tape deck I could pull out and dust off, if that makes any difference?
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:16 am

The reason it has pre out is so you can connect either active speakers or passive speakers through an external power amplifier.

I'm a little confused - you write you have 4 speakers and a sub but is only using the receiver in stereo mode. How does that work?
Using zone 2 for the loopback path would be the way to achieve what you want, but zone 2 can only support two channels. But that shouldn't be a problem since your EQ is also just two channels.

So the complete path would be like so:
1: PC -> AVR opt-1
2: AVR front pre out -> FBQ800 in
3: FBQ800 out -> AVR analog in (e.g. AUX)
4: AVR surr. back -> speaker

This should work after you've configured and enabled the two zones in the receiver menus. You should probably set your master volume control to control zone two so you do not change the volume of the audio going through the EQ. It is generally best to put the volume as far towards the end of the chain as possible.
 
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:01 am

To externally convert optical to analog, you would need something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/D03K-Digital-Ana ... 009346RSS/

That's a 2-channel (stereo) EQ you've got there.

Looks like that receiver does have connections for a tape deck; you may be able to get things working by connecting the EQ to the tape in/out connections.

Having a physical tape deck will not help you here.
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The Swamp
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:44 pm

I don't think using the Tape Monitor function is going to work. Apparently, the Denon won't pass a digital to analog signal in the way I'm trying to do it. The only solution appears to be the optical to analog converter. That way, the signal passes through the EQ before it gets to the receiver. That would allow for 5-channel stereo, whatever that means. I'll have to do some reading up and find out exactly what that is and what it does.
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:52 pm

The Swamp wrote:
I don't think using the Tape Monitor function is going to work. Apparently, the Denon won't pass a digital to analog signal in the way I'm trying to do it. The only solution appears to be the optical to analog converter. That way, the signal passes through the EQ before it gets to the receiver. That would allow for 5-channel stereo, whatever that means. I'll have to do some reading up and find out exactly what that is and what it does.

Well, with 2 input channels through the EQ, it'll be some sort of matrix output with front left copied to rear left and same for the rights. Adding center to that will kill any stereo imaging.
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The Swamp
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:00 pm

I read a review that said that Denon did the five channel stereo well.

But, I'm not sure what that means. Is that like a 5.1 setup, except it's just stereo?
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:49 pm

The Swamp wrote:
I read a review that said that Denon did the five channel stereo well.

But, I'm not sure what that means. Is that like a 5.1 setup, except it's just stereo?

Are you expecting 5.1 like one would get from gaming or movie discs, or are you looking to expand 2-channel stereo into 4.1 or 5.1?? Does that Denon have a "fake 5.1" mode that emulates true 5.1 from a 2-channel input?
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Re: Need Advice on External Equalizer

Tue Jun 04, 2019 3:25 am

The Swamp wrote:
I read a review that said that Denon did the five channel stereo well.

But, I'm not sure what that means. Is that like a 5.1 setup, except it's just stereo?

It can do several types of upmixing where it takes a 2-channel input, applies some filters are splits it in multiple channels. A well-known method is Dolby Pro-Logic which requires a specially encoded stereo signal, but more advanced methods have been created which is designed for any kind of stereo source.

You should still be able to achieve this using the 2-zone method that I wrote about in the previous post if you just use Zone 2 as the first zone as such:
1: PC -> AVR opt-1
2: AVR surr. back pre out -> FBQ800 in
3: FBQ800 out -> AVR analog in (e.g. AUX)
4: AVR 4.1 speaker out -> speakers

Then you need to set the Zone 2 input for Opt-1 (SPDIF), Zone 1 input as analog AUX and then control the volume using the Zone 1 volume. This way, you can use the 2.0->4.1 upmixing in Zone 1.

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