What do equalizer controls provide in db? What do equalizers (like New Klark Teknik | High-Performance Dual-Channel 30-Band 1/3 Octave Analogue Graphic Equalizer, DN370 with Low/Hi Pass and Notch Filter) mean when they say +6 and -6 on the y axis? Is that 6db?

1 Answer 1


Yes. That means whatever frequency is being affected by the equalizer is being changed by the number of decibels indicated. Most of the time, a change of 3 to 6 decibels at a frequency is audible to most listeners. During mastering of recorded music, the mastering engineer may make important changes of .5 to 1.5 decibels or smaller.

Don't let any of the technical aspects distract you from basically making it sound good to your ears. If you are trying to make music sound good to others, you have to start with your own ears and learn how they are different from others' ears, and the best way is to get in there and start making changes and seeing how those changes sound.

  • I know its indeed for my ears...Do they have 150db equalizers?
    – user10164
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 5:46
  • Never seen a 150dB tone control of any sort - it would be far too noisy. If you want to dramatically cut or boost one narrow frequency you could look for a notch or bandpass filter, these can produce either a "wah" or phasing effect. But extreme cases becomes unusable. (Very high resonance filters often oscillate, and in any case they sound "weird".)
    – Andy
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 8:08
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    The difference between a sound that causes physical pain and hearing damage and a sound that can't be heard at all is about 120 dB so there is not much point in any audio processor attempting to change something by 150 dB. Other signal processors (radio frequency or video signal) might benefit from changes that big but that is a huge power level difference. I don't think any real world audio device has a dynamic range of close 150 dB at all. Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 11:45
  • @ToddWilcox 24 bit digital audio has a dynamic range of around 144 dB, so it is not that uncommon. Commented May 16, 2015 at 11:30
  • By device I meant amplifier, speaker, signal processor, etc., as opposed to a medium or file format. When you play back that digital audio, there's not much that can actually reproduce that dynamic range. Commented May 16, 2015 at 13:00

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