EQ's... why doesnt everybody have one?

Just browsing around the systems on this site, i knoticed that very few have equalizers. I realize some claim they introduce unacceptable noise but i would hardly call my Furman Q-2312, at %>.01 20Hz-40kHz, unacceptable. This $200 piece of equiptment ($100 on sale at musiciansfriend.com) replaces several thousand dollars in assembling a perfectly linear system in perfectly linear room, and in my opinion, accomplishes the task better than any room design could no matter how well engineered. It brought my system (onkyo reciever, NHT SB-3 speakers and Sony CD changer) to a level i could not have dreamed. It extends the SB-3's frequency response by at least 10 Hz to a satisfying 30 Hz without any rolloff or sacrifice in clarity, but the greatest improvement was definately in the Mid-range, around the SB-3s crossover frequency of 2.6kHz. The clarity of vocals, strings, guitars, brass... anything in this range rivals that of uneq'd systems costing well into the thousands of dollars... my total cost; $800. One of the more supprising differences is a marked improvement in immaging, it think this might have to do with eliminating several resonances in the right channel caused by my back wall (the left back wall has a curtain over it). The second my dad heard the difference he got on my computer to buy one for himself, he couldnt even wait to get back to his own, he then kicked me outa the listening chair and wouldnt get up for the better part of an hour.
Eldartford, can the Behringer delay one channel versus the other to compensate for small differences in speaker distances? If so, is the adjustment done automatically as part of the room correction process? What microphone do you recommend for use with the Behringer? Does the Behringer calibrate to the mic or are mic frequency response deviations left uncompensated. Also, what is the bandwidth of the narrowest response peak/dip that can be corrected by the Behringer?

It may sound like I'm anti-Behringer, but that's not really the case. The Behringer represents an outstanding value in terms of features and performance. My point is that there are better units out there for room correction especially if you go beyond bass EQing). In absolute terms the sonic differences between these units is not that great, but in audiophile terminology, the differences are not subtle, huge, shockingly dramatic, unbelievable, jaw dropping and possibly the single greatest advance in audio in the last 30 years.

1. The DEQ2496 can delay one channel vs the other. This is very important for pro sound applications where speakers may be hundreds of feet apart. Range is 0 to 300 ms. Resolution is 0.02 ms. It is not automatic. This feature is not particularly useful for home audio since DVD players and Prepros all provide for speaker distance correction.

2. I use the Behringer mic. It comes with a calibration curve that you could insert manually when you initialize the auto EQ process. Frankly that would be a waste of time because the room resonances which the Behringer is removing are much larger than the mic nonlinearities.

3. The RTA is 1/6 oct. The Graphic EQ is 1/3 oct. The parametric EQ bandwidth range is 1/10 to 10 oct. There are 10 parametric filters per channel, plus high and low shelving filters. All these EQ filters can boost or cut.

There are also what I would call "notch filters" that they call "feedback destroyers. These only cut, and there are ten of them. Bandwidth is 1/10 to 1/60 oct. Attenuation is 0 to -60 dB.

There is also dynamic equalization (depends on how loud the music is). This can be used in home audio as a "Loudness" control.

It does some other neat things that I haven't figured out yet, but the above covers the specific questions you posed.

Yes the TACT manuals can be downloaded. Very impressive stuff. Very impressive prices also.
I brought the Behringer home 3 weeks ago for a trial. The difference is unbelievable. I can't imagine having the money to buy a system that wouldn't benefit from it. Just my opinion.
I would have to agree with Eldartford and Nuguy. You really have to hear this thing. I bought one just to play around with. I was planning to either return it or sell it. Well, it isn't going anywhere. I can't believe the difference it made in my system.

As far as it having cheap parts and degrading the signal. After having my Sony 900 transformed by Paul at Tube Research Labs, I contacted him about about upgrading my Behringer. I was told, "after working on the Behringer for 2 days, we ended up sending the unit back & the guy's money back, because we just couldn't make it sound any better". I think that says a lot.

Put aside your biases, about the cost or an eq in general, and just give this thing a shot. Unless your room AND your system is perfect, I think you'll be surprised.