The reason WHY A&H sounds warmer than Pioneer
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  1. #1
    Tech Guru exokinetic's Avatar
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    Default The reason WHY A&H sounds warmer than Pioneer

    IMHO I dont like the crossover points for the EQ on Pioneer mixers. But I didn't know why until now.

    I know each mixer manufacturer is known to have a slightly different "color" based on the individual components used, and how they are manufactured.

    But I really thought there was more too it than that.

    With a look at where different manufacturers set their frequency points for the channel 3 band EQ, a lot of very interesting things can be learned.



    Pioneer sets the low knob to everything 70hz and below.

    Then the high knob to everything 13000hz and above.

    Meaning the mid band knob has everything from 70hz to 13000hz!


    That leaves it with very little room for sonic manipulation of any music through EQing.


    Whereas an Allen & Heath runs the 3 band EQ in the Xone:42 like:


    Low: 420hz and down
    Mid: Center point at 1200hz
    High: 2700hz and up

    This gives you a VERY warm low band, as well as giving you MUCH greater manipulation ability of the high band.

    Allen & Heath's Xone:92 with its 4 band eq is run thus:

    Low: 100hz and down
    low-mid: center point at 250 hz
    high-mid: center point at 2500hz
    High: 10000hz and up


    ^Now THAT is a sexy set of frequencies.

    What this all means is, in a pioneer when you boost the lows, you don't boost ANY of the mids. So as a result the music becomes muddy, and lacks warmth. In order to compensate for this you would normally boost the mids a small amount with the lows, to retain the warmth. BUT Pioneer has to much high range on the mid (13khz and down!) so boosting the mids adds the warmth from the mid range just as equally as it adds the dry tinny highs, so in effect it cancels itself out, and instead of sounding warmer, it just sounds like you turned up the volume.


    So how do I know all this? Well I have played quite a bit at live shows on pioneer's and A&H's, but I don't own either of them.

    I own a DDM4000 for my practice setup, and it allows 100% customization of all frequency points in its 3 band channel EQ!

    WIN!

    So, I took a manual from a Pioneer DJM800, and plugged those frequencies into my DDM4000, and coming from someone who is VERY familiar with how Pioneers EQ feels (and from someone who thought his DDM4000 sounded "better" than a DJM800) it was very weird to have my DDM4000 feeling EXACTLY like the pioneer in terms of EQ. It was creepy.

    I then plugged in the A&H frequency point, and it was INSTANTLY clear why A&H mixers are considered "warmer" than pioneer.


    They all have a slightly different "color" .. or "tone" with the EQ knobs centered, this is definitely the case. But as soon as you put +1db on all three knobs evenly, that is where, based on the frequencies they are set at, the EQ's will really begin to change the "color" of the sound.

    Where those frequencies are set has a huge effect on this "coloring".

    And as no DJ plays an entire set with ought moving any of the EQ knobs from dead center, the "color" a certain mixers EQ's are going to add to a sound become apparent throughout a mix.

    Its that simple.


    I hope there is at least someone out there that has a constructive argument to this, because although I really feel this is the main contributer to the "color" a certain mixer has compared to another one (that is if all mixers were created equal in terms of noise isolation, and proper circuitry), I would love to hear why I could be mistaken somewhere along the way.


    Here I'm going to be listing different mixers, as well as my custom frequency setting for the channel EQ's.

    Check back as Ill be updating it.

    3 Band EQ's:

    All DJM low: 70hz
    Evo4 low: 200hz
    X:42 low: 420hz
    X4D low: 120hz
    All Rane low: 300hz
    DDM low: 330hz
    My low: 180/200hz

    All DJM mid: 1000hz
    Evo4 mid: 1200hz
    X:42 mid: 1200hz
    X4D mid: 1400hz
    All Rane mid: 1200hz
    DDM mid: 1400hz
    my mid: 1200hz

    All DJM high: 13000hz
    Evo4 high: 6500hz
    X:42 high: 2700hz
    X4D high: 10000hz
    All Rane high: 4000hz
    DDM high: 4200hz
    my high: 5000hz



    4 Band EQ's:

    X:92 low: 100hz

    X:92 low-mid: 250hz

    X:92 high-mid: 2500hz

    X:92 high: 10000hz


    To add, Mixers that have fully Adjustable frequency points for EQ:

    DDM4000
    Ecler Evo 5

    And Mixers I cant find info for:

    Ecler Nuo series
    Traktor default
    Serato Itch
    Last edited by exokinetic; 02-09-2011 at 03:08 AM.

  2. #2
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    You should never really try and 'add' to an audio source through a mixers EQ anyway (especially one with fixed bands), EQ was designed to be subtractive and remove unwanted frequencies and considering you can never add to a audio source, you can only subtract from it or apply effects to it.

    I agree that Allen and Heath mixers do have better EQ's over the pioneer DJM800, but that is probably be to the fact that they design/build mixing consoles as well as DJ mixers. I would still choose to use a pioneer over an Allen & Heath mixer due to the layout and functionality, or maybe its just my personal hatred (perhaps a bit strong) towards Allen and Heath DJ mixers.
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  3. #3
    Tech Guru exokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesT View Post
    You should never really try and 'add' to an audio source through a mixers EQ anyway (especially one with fixed bands), EQ was designed to be subtractive and remove unwanted frequencies and considering you can never add to a audio source, you can only subtract from it or apply effects to it.

    And the degree to which the EQ crossover points "color" the sound is the same going up or down.

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesT View Post
    I agree that Allen and Heath mixers do have better EQ's over the pioneer DJM800, but that is probably be to the fact that they design/build mixing consoles as well as DJ mixers.
    Uhhh. No. It is not "probably" due to the fact that A&H builds studio mixing consoles. Its a DJ mixer, not an analogue production mixer.

    It is DEFINITELY due to the fact that the EQ's are set to different frequencies.

    One is not better, and the other is not worse. They are DIFFERENT. And so they effect the sonic characteristics of music DIFFERENTLY.


    And your saying you would rather have less sonic manipulation, and less ability to "tune" the "tone" of anything going through your mixer in favor of the control surface looking a certain way and Pioneers effects?


    Because the effects bay on the DJM800 is the only thing putting it above the A&H, and the A&H has two fully rout-able fx send/return loops.... use any effect you can get your hands on, effect two channels separately, chain two effects on one channel...


    *shrug* To each their own.
    Last edited by exokinetic; 02-07-2011 at 07:49 PM.

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    Tech Guru Quenepas's Avatar
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    I would choose....



























    The cheapest!
    Erase. Stop. Start.

  5. #5
    Tech Guru exokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quenepas View Post
    I would choose....

    ...

    The cheapest!
    Working on your post count?

    As this has no relevance to the point of the thread, witch, if you were wondering, is to hold a constructive conversation on the specific "color" certain DJ mixers have, and more specifically WHY they sound the way they do.

    Based on facts, DJTT users experiences, and published technical information from the producers of said mixers.


    ....*sigh*


    ...Tonight I'm going to go over some Rane and Vestax manuals and plug their frequency points into my mixer and see what I find, will add to the original when I'm done.

    Cheers mates.

  6. #6
    Tech Mentor ANok?'s Avatar
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    very interesting stuff..i've been leaning toward the xone 42 because of people's testaments about the eq.
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    Tech Mentor The Vly's Avatar
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    Interesting to know!
    Is there any info on what Traktor's internal EQs are set at?
    "Listening to Techno without bass is like trying to get yourself off without using your hands."
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    Tech Guru exokinetic's Avatar
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    The Xone:42's fixed frequency points are VERY close to the custom points I ended up setting in my DDM4000. Gives me very warm bass and midrange, and it also gives me extremely fine control over the high band. I can take JUST as little or JUST as much as I want to, its a nice thing to hear.


    The one thing I change is I set my bass knob at somewhere between 180-200hz and below. I'm still doing testing to see witch one I really find best.


    What this does, is maintains the "warmth" of the bass EQ knob (and since my mid knob is very much focused on the "low-mid", band I can use it lightly to boost warmth as well) and allows me to do a full bass KILL, with ought effecting the sonics going on in the rest of the track.


    If you go too high on the low knob, when you do a full bass kill, it cuts out the bottom of the midrange and REALLY changes the sound of whats going on.


    When you leave that part of the midrange there, it allows you to Full KILL the highs and mids of one track, and Full KILL the bass of another track, and basically remix any tune with another tunes baseline, and ONLY the baseline.


    I cant do that with a pioneer because the bass EQ knob on the pioneer is 70hz and down, and a LOT of the baseline is in between 70 and 180-200hz. Why do you think almost every single adjustable "sub out" crossover known to man goes up to 200hz?

  9. #9
    Tech Guru exokinetic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Vly View Post
    Interesting to know!
    Is there any info on what Traktor's internal EQs are set at?

    Good question!


    Ill look at that next.

  10. #10
    Tech Guru SirReal's Avatar
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    Ok, here's a twist on DJ mixer eq's. I've got the Tascam X9. It's got parametric EQ's with adjustable Q factors for each band. WHY don't more DJ mixers employ this? I feel it's a feature that's totally lacking in dj mixer choice. It's pretty great to be able to sweep the frequencies within each band and find exactly the areas you want to cut or boost(although I also subscribe to the subtractive EQing method so I seldom, if ever add).
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