ART EQ-355 Dual 31-Band 1/3 Octave Graphic EQ
ART EQ-355 Dual 31-Band 1/3 Octave Graphic EQ is rated out of 5 by 7.
Rated 5 out of 5
from Great equalizerI've had this over a year now. Love it , it's a must have for sound tailoring. The Ashley eq looks great, more db boost but almost $400 more. This has more connecting options. Solid, bang for bucks.
Date published: 2015-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5
from Highly RecommendedMy application for the EQ355 is in a home audio system. I purchased the EQ355 for a number of reasons – it was at my price point, was a mature product having been out since about 2004, had the functionality I wanted, and Google searches returned zero bad reviews or negative comments on any problem or reliability. P_E description states a 1 year manufacturer’s warrantee but in reality it’s a full 3 years parts and labor which speaks well for ART’s confidence in their product. ART is a US company located in NY which for me is a one day UPS ship should I encounter problems.Before installing in my system I made some basic lab measurements just to confirm performance. With all detents centered, EQ in and the level controls full CW, frequency response measured -1 dB at 20 and 20KHz. Response between these extremes was commendably flat which is mostly a function of the slider pot accuracy at the detent position. I found no anomalies with pink noise or sine wave testing. All sliders, push buttons and rotary controls operated smoothly with no noise.The EQ355 is an Op-Amp based design using numerous JRC 4558 dual and quad versions. The 4558 is a general purpose and very inexpensive ($0.23) part. It has enough open loop gain but the slew rate of 1 V/uS is too slow. High performance audio op-amps have slew rates of at least 18 to 22 V/uS. However, if ART had used higher performance op-amps it would have driven the 355’s price up considerably.With a steel enclosure I found the equalizer to be well constructed and solid in all respects. One big feature not in the P_E product description is that it has a hard wire bypass, one push button for each channel. Most low cost equalizers I’ve owned pass the input signal through unity gain active circuits when bypassed so a true comparison between equalized and non-equalized audio is not possible. The EQ355 passes the input signal through hard wired switch contacts to the output. You can prove this by unplugging the 355 when in bypass mode – the unaltered signal is still present at the output. To me this is an important feature which P_E could put into their product description.I installed the EQ355 between my preamp and dedicated headphone power amplifier with the preamp in passive mode. Both of these are non-commercial units which I designed and built. Most of my critical listening is with headphones. Phones used for this review were Sennheiser HD-650, SONY MDR-7606 Pro and mostly Hifiman HE-400i planar magnetics, a recent purchase. I must confess to being an audiophile but I never joined the anti-tone control society. The first thing that stood out in my listening is that the EQ355 is dead quiet with no audible hiss or hum. ART provides a heavy three wire AC cord and plug and a ground lift switch. The chassis rear also has a convenient ground screw should you need it to manage hum caused by ground loops, yet another nice feature and good flexibility.My source material was from CD’s up-sampled to 192 KHz and vinyl records played on a vintage VPI HW-19 MKII, SME Series 3 Arm and AT OC-9ML/II MC cartridge and Shure step-up transformer to a Leach Low TIM RIAA phono stage. I found the sound to be very clean and crisp overall. The EQ355 does have a tendency to sound a bit hard in the highs if EQ is applied in the bands from 3.1 KHz and above. My experience with op-amps tells me that upgrading the JRC 4558’s to better amplifiers would cure this entirely. Even so male and female voices were very clean with no splashy emphasis unless too much EQ was applied. Both EQ’d and non-EQ’d bass were deep and tight with no bloat. With 31 bands of EQ available on each channel it’s possible to work magic on source material that needs some help. In general I found that I never needed to bump up EQ to +/- 12 dB and left these buttons in the +/- 6 dB position. ART has intelligently provided two bright red LED’s that illuminate if +/- 12 dB EQ is selected. Two more subdued green LED’s lite with +/- 6 dB EQ asserted.The EQ355 does compress the front to back soundstage depth to some extent but this is true of all analog equalizers. The stereophonic effect depends heavily on electronics with linear phase response at all frequencies to maintain the aural time clues between sounds and channels. Or said another way, flat frequency response over the entire audio band in our electronics is important. Analog equalizers by their nature and purpose introduce some phase shift within each equalized band. The more EQ used in each band, the more phase shift compared to an un-equalized band. This isn’t all that bad unless imaging is on the top of your list when shopping for equipment. The effect is more noticeable with loudspeaker listening than with headphone listening but either way it’s there. I have yet to try the EQ355 with my Martin Logan SL-3 Electrostatic speakers and will eventually get around to it. If I’m still using this equalizer after the 3 year warrantee period I also plan to replace every single 4558 with much better performance audio op-amps. I suspect that modification will put the EQ355 in a class of its own.I don’t see how you could go wrong buying the ART EQ355. At this price point I haven’t found another equalizer with as many features or as much performance. Add to that a 3 year parts and labor warrantee and no negative reviews to be found and you end up with a real winner. Highly recommended.
Date published: 2015-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5
by Mark Long
from Great EQ .This is a great EQ . for the home theater , use 3 of these in my set up , one of them had a small problem with one channel but was quickly replaced by these fine folks installed it soon as I got it worked perfectualy . Thanks Mark Long !!!!
Date published: 2013-05-27
Rated 4 out of 5
by James-the-Bomb - 29399
from Seems well-builtI like the construction. I think it rolls off low frequencies below 20 hz too much. It may have a filter to supress 10hz & below, which i would like to defeat.
Date published: 2010-03-17
Rated 4 out of 5
by One-Shot Scot - 17180
from ART EQ-355: RCA Connections For Home Stereo Use.Dual, 31-band, 1/3 octave graphic equalizers almost always require the additional purchase of expensive XLR to RCA audio cables along with expensive line level shifters in order to make them compatible with the RCA connections prevalent in most home stereo systems.The ART EQ-355 is one of the very few dual, 31-band equalizers to feature balanced XLR, balanced 1/4 inch TRS as well as unbalanced RCA connections. A line level shifter is not needed because this equalizer has a continuously variable gain control that adjusts the output volume to match the input volume from its XLR, TRS and RCA connections.The sound quality of the EQ-355 is exceptionally clean. There is not a trace of hiss, hum, buzz or any other extraneous noise. The EQ-355 has a heavy, sturdy build quality. All buttons and sliders are solid and precise in their operation.Be aware that while the EQ-355 has a traditional 17.25 inch case width, its faceplate is 19 inches wide. Because this equalizer was designed to be rack mounted, it may not fit inside some home stereo cabinets. It also has no feet on the bottom of its case, so it might be necessary to apply some adhesive furniture protectors if the unit is to be placed on a shelf.Overall, I am very pleased with the ART EQ-355 and I feel that it is a great value. I didn t give it 5 stars because I realize that it is probably not the greatest equalizer ever made. However, at this price level, the ART EQ-355 has reached the point of diminishing returns. You would need to pay a lot more to get an equalizer that can truly claim a 5-star rating.
Date published: 2008-12-11
Rated 4 out of 5
by AlonzoTG - 08851
from poor balance of controlsI'm using this eq in a home environment. Major selling feature was the inclusion of single-ended IO. The major issue with this eq, is that it's bands are far too close to each other on the low end (below 1k), sometimes spaced by only half a dozen hertz or so, while leaving many gaps above 1k.All eqs will add an "overprocessed" quality to the sound while correcting tonal distortion. It's a trade-off.
Date published: 2008-03-13