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What is Q-factor?



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 9th 03, 05:12 PM
Peter
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Default What is Q-factor?

Just got Kenwood X569 installed, and started tinkering around with controls.
What is Q-factor and how should I be setting it for bass, mid and treble? Is
it something determined by speakers?

Thx!
Peter


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  #2  
Old December 9th 03, 06:29 PM
Peter
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Default What is Q-factor?

> "Q" is a measurement that usually comes up when talking about
> equalizers. It tells how "wide" the affected area is when you dial in
> boost or cut for a particular center frequency. For instance, in an
> equalizer with a large "Q", if you dial in 3 dB of boost at 120 Hz,
> you may find that this results in a 2 dB gain at 110 Hz and 130 Hz,
> and a 1 dB gain at 100 Hz and 140 Hz. Also, in some equalizers, the
> more boost or cut you dial in, the larger "Q" gets, which means that
> if you need to dial in a large amount of boost or cut, like 6 dB or
> more, you may get unwanted effects on nearby frequencies.
> An equalizer with a smaller "Q" would allow you to dial in
> larger adjustments without the changes spilling over into adjacent
> bands as much. Several manufacturers, such as AudioControl, have
> "constant-Q" equalizers, where the "width" of the affected frequencies
> doesn't change, no matter how much boost or cut you dial in.
> As for your Kenwood deck, I think the "Q" you're talking about
> is part of the "System Q-EX Sound Control " that deck features. As
> such, I'm not sure if it's the same "Q" I'm talking about. What are
> the available settings? If the choices are "narrow", "medium" and
> "wide", or "small", "medium", and "large", then it's probably the same
> equalizer "Q" I described.


Yes, this seems like it. Q-factor can be set from 1.0 to 2.5 (slightly
different for each band). If I understand it correctly, larger Q means wider
frequency spectrum will be affected by bass/mid/treble boost setting, right?

Thanks for the exhaustive explanation!

Peter


  #3  
Old December 9th 03, 07:37 PM
Scott Gardner
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Default What is Q-factor?

"Q" is a measurement that usually comes up when talking about
equalizers. It tells how "wide" the affected area is when you dial in
boost or cut for a particular center frequency. For instance, in an
equalizer with a large "Q", if you dial in 3 dB of boost at 120 Hz,
you may find that this results in a 2 dB gain at 110 Hz and 130 Hz,
and a 1 dB gain at 100 Hz and 140 Hz. Also, in some equalizers, the
more boost or cut you dial in, the larger "Q" gets, which means that
if you need to dial in a large amount of boost or cut, like 6 dB or
more, you may get unwanted effects on nearby frequencies.
An equalizer with a smaller "Q" would allow you to dial in
larger adjustments without the changes spilling over into adjacent
bands as much. Several manufacturers, such as AudioControl, have
"constant-Q" equalizers, where the "width" of the affected frequencies
doesn't change, no matter how much boost or cut you dial in.
As for your Kenwood deck, I think the "Q" you're talking about
is part of the "System Q-EX Sound Control " that deck features. As
such, I'm not sure if it's the same "Q" I'm talking about. What are
the available settings? If the choices are "narrow", "medium" and
"wide", or "small", "medium", and "large", then it's probably the same
equalizer "Q" I described.

Scott Gardner


On Tue, 9 Dec 2003 19:12:31 +0200, "Peter" >
wrote:

>Just got Kenwood X569 installed, and started tinkering around with controls.
>What is Q-factor and how should I be setting it for bass, mid and treble? Is
>it something determined by speakers?
>
>Thx!
>Peter
>
>


  #4  
Old December 9th 03, 08:39 PM
Scott Gardner
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Posts: n/a
Default What is Q-factor?

On Tue, 9 Dec 2003 20:29:00 +0200, "Peter" >
wrote:

>Yes, this seems like it. Q-factor can be set from 1.0 to 2.5 (slightly
>different for each band). If I understand it correctly, larger Q means wider
>frequency spectrum will be affected by bass/mid/treble boost setting, right?
>
>Thanks for the exhaustive explanation!
>
>Peter


That's the nicest way anyone has ever phrased "Damn, you're a wordy
sumbitch, ain't ya Scott?"
Seriously, some people can describe things, keeping it very brief
while being perfectly clear. I'm not that good, so I generally
sacrifice brevity for clarity.

And yes, bigger "Q" means more spillover into adjacent frequencies
when you dial in boost or cut at a particular frequency. IMHO, being
able to adjust "Q" doesn't buy you much unless you have an RTA display
to look at while you're equalizing your system. That way, if you see
a wide, shallow dip or peak you need to compensate for, use the larger
"Q" value. If you have a sharp peak or dip you need to compensate
for, use the smaller "Q".

Scott Gardner

  #5  
Old December 10th 03, 05:43 AM
Peter
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Default What is Q-factor?

> >Thanks for the exhaustive explanation!
> >

>
> That's the nicest way anyone has ever phrased "Damn, you're a wordy
> sumbitch, ain't ya Scott?"
> Seriously, some people can describe things, keeping it very brief
> while being perfectly clear. I'm not that good, so I generally
> sacrifice brevity for clarity.


I know what you mean... got the same prob myself But seriously, this is
not what I meant...

> And yes, bigger "Q" means more spillover into adjacent frequencies
> when you dial in boost or cut at a particular frequency. IMHO, being
> able to adjust "Q" doesn't buy you much unless you have an RTA display
> to look at while you're equalizing your system. That way, if you see
> a wide, shallow dip or peak you need to compensate for, use the larger
> "Q" value. If you have a sharp peak or dip you need to compensate
> for, use the smaller "Q".


Sounds like high-end stuff for serious audiophiles. I'll just have to go
with the only measuring instrument I've got at the moment: ears. Anyhow, I
don't hear much of a difference by adjusting Q-factor... set them all to max
for now. Changing band center frequency yields way more noticeable
difference.

Thx!
Peter


  #6  
Old December 10th 03, 06:36 AM
Peter
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Default What is Q-factor?

> Seriously, it sounds like your deck has some pretty sophisticated EQ
> capabilites. Once you get everything installed, why not take it to a
> shop that has an RTA and have them tune it up for you? It shouldn't
> cost much, and the results are a lot better than tuning "by ear".


Ahem... what is RTA?

Peter


  #7  
Old December 10th 03, 08:09 AM
Scott Gardner
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Default What is Q-factor?

On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 07:43:17 +0200, "Peter" >
wrote:

>> >Thanks for the exhaustive explanation!
>> >

>>
>> That's the nicest way anyone has ever phrased "Damn, you're a wordy
>> sumbitch, ain't ya Scott?"
>> Seriously, some people can describe things, keeping it very brief
>> while being perfectly clear. I'm not that good, so I generally
>> sacrifice brevity for clarity.

>
>I know what you mean... got the same prob myself But seriously, this is
>not what I meant...
>
>> And yes, bigger "Q" means more spillover into adjacent frequencies
>> when you dial in boost or cut at a particular frequency. IMHO, being
>> able to adjust "Q" doesn't buy you much unless you have an RTA display
>> to look at while you're equalizing your system. That way, if you see
>> a wide, shallow dip or peak you need to compensate for, use the larger
>> "Q" value. If you have a sharp peak or dip you need to compensate
>> for, use the smaller "Q".

>
>Sounds like high-end stuff for serious audiophiles. I'll just have to go
>with the only measuring instrument I've got at the moment: ears. Anyhow, I
>don't hear much of a difference by adjusting Q-factor... set them all to max
>for now. Changing band center frequency yields way more noticeable
>difference.
>
>Thx!
>Peter



Yep, that's exactly the effect of using the highest "Q" setting. Now,
when you adjust the center frequency, you're adjusting a lot more
adjacent frequencies as well, so the overall effect is more
noticeable.

Seriously, it sounds like your deck has some pretty sophisticated EQ
capabilites. Once you get everything installed, why not take it to a
shop that has an RTA and have them tune it up for you? It shouldn't
cost much, and the results are a lot better than tuning "by ear".

Scott Gardner


  #8  
Old December 10th 03, 09:19 AM
Scott Gardner
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Posts: n/a
Default What is Q-factor?

On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 08:36:20 +0200, "Peter" >
wrote:

>> Seriously, it sounds like your deck has some pretty sophisticated EQ
>> capabilites. Once you get everything installed, why not take it to a
>> shop that has an RTA and have them tune it up for you? It shouldn't
>> cost much, and the results are a lot better than tuning "by ear".

>
>Ahem... what is RTA?
>
>Peter
>
>

Sorry. RTA stands for "Real Time Analyzer". An example is the
AudioControl SA-3055. It's a 30-band analyzer, meant to be best used
with 30-band equalizers.

Here's how you use it. In your car, you play a disc of "pink
noise", which is nothing more than all frequencies from 20 Hz to 20
kHz, playing at the same time. It's different from "white noise", but
that's not important here.
If your stereo were reproducing the pink noise perfectly, the
30 bands on the RTA would all show the same level, meaning that all
frequencies are being reproduced equally in your stereo.
Unfortunately, your speakers do not reproduce all frequencies
equally, and the shape and size of your car changes the loudness of
some frequencies more than others. Also, most people don't like the
sound of a perfectly flat response curve anyway.
These peaks and dips in your system's response show up on the
RTA screen, and show you exactly what frequencies you need to adjust,
and by how much. This is how you "see" a wide peak that needs a large
"Q" value to correct it, or a small narrow dip that needs a smaller
"Q".

Scott Gardner


  #9  
Old December 12th 03, 08:59 AM
Donald Sherwood
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Posts: n/a
Default What is Q-factor?

Just a side note to those that get a little lost. The "Q" is just a letter
designation for Bandwidth. Seeing I have forgotten alot of stuff about tuned
RC, RL, and RCL circuits I won't go into that seeing I would have to refresh
up on that stuff.


"Peter" > wrote in message
...
> Just got Kenwood X569 installed, and started tinkering around with

controls.
> What is Q-factor and how should I be setting it for bass, mid and treble?

Is
> it something determined by speakers?
>
> Thx!
> Peter
>
>



  #10  
Old December 13th 03, 04:34 PM
Derek
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Posts: n/a
Default What is Q-factor?

RTA - Alternatively if you are really into this, you can buy RTA software
for PC's and with a mike do the testing yourself. www.trueaudio.com has RTA
software 99$ for 32 band rta.

If you know of other software, I'd like to know.

Derek

"Scott Gardner" > wrote in message
...
> On Wed, 10 Dec 2003 08:36:20 +0200, "Peter" >
> wrote:
>
> >> Seriously, it sounds like your deck has some pretty sophisticated EQ
> >> capabilites. Once you get everything installed, why not take it to a
> >> shop that has an RTA and have them tune it up for you? It shouldn't
> >> cost much, and the results are a lot better than tuning "by ear".

> >
> >Ahem... what is RTA?
> >
> >Peter
> >
> >

> Sorry. RTA stands for "Real Time Analyzer". An example is the
> AudioControl SA-3055. It's a 30-band analyzer, meant to be best used
> with 30-band equalizers.
>
> Here's how you use it. In your car, you play a disc of "pink
> noise", which is nothing more than all frequencies from 20 Hz to 20
> kHz, playing at the same time. It's different from "white noise", but
> that's not important here.
> If your stereo were reproducing the pink noise perfectly, the
> 30 bands on the RTA would all show the same level, meaning that all
> frequencies are being reproduced equally in your stereo.
> Unfortunately, your speakers do not reproduce all frequencies
> equally, and the shape and size of your car changes the loudness of
> some frequencies more than others. Also, most people don't like the
> sound of a perfectly flat response curve anyway.
> These peaks and dips in your system's response show up on the
> RTA screen, and show you exactly what frequencies you need to adjust,
> and by how much. This is how you "see" a wide peak that needs a large
> "Q" value to correct it, or a small narrow dip that needs a smaller
> "Q".
>
> Scott Gardner
>
>



 




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