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Freddy58's picture
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Tone Controls
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Hiya folks Smile

 

No doubt, this topic has cropped up before, so I apologise if it's a boring topic.....I'm just curious.

I've been into Hi-Fi, on and off, for a number of years, although never seriously. I've always got the impression (from 'those in the know') that tone controls were unnecessary if the components were 'up to it'. But really, is it as simple as that? Surely, we all have personal preferences when it comes to how we want the 'tonality' to be? Do not tone controls allow us to fine tune the sound according to taste?

 

Cheers...Freddy

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RE: Tone Controls

It depends on the music.

 

Some music is badly mastered with too much treble and using tone controls can improve the sound. Other music such as rave music sounds better with more bass and tone controls can help here too. But good quality, well mastered music sounds right to start with so there's no need to use tone controls with this.

Hi-Fi - Yamaha RX-V667 > AVI DM5 > AVI subwoofer

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RE: Tone Controls

This is one thing I miss with the Leema. Tone controls do allow you tweak any nasty recordings, but outside budget models, amps with tone controls are fast becoming a rare breed.

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RE: Tone Controls

plastic penguin wrote:

This is one thing I miss with the Leema. Tone controls do allow you tweak any nasty recordings, but outside budget models, amps with tone controls are fast becoming a rare breed.

devialet, mcintosh, meridian, classe, bang and olufsen to name just a few hardly budget models

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RE: Tone Controls

lpv wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:

This is one thing I miss with the Leema. Tone controls do allow you tweak any nasty recordings, but outside budget models, amps with tone controls are fast becoming a rare breed.

devialet, mcintosh, meridian, classe, bang and olufsen to name just a few hardly budget models

Never said those makes you mentioned were budget, did I?

Cyrus, Leema, Roksan, Arcam FMJ range, Exposure 2010 upwards, Naim and a host of other makes DON'T have tone controls.

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RE: Tone Controls

no, you did not say mentioned brands are budget but you did say: "outside budget models, amps with tone controls are fast becoming a rare breed" so I've put few names and I don't feel like tone controls becoming rare breed.. I would say vast majority of british amps lacks tone controls, some kind of industry fashion.. well designed tone controls are helpfull, but then you won't repair really bad recordings at home.

... accuphase, luxman, myryad, parasound.. 

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RE: Tone Controls

I can remember the days ewhen just about every man and his dog had a Graphic Equaliser in his set-up.

Tone controls may be useful for some that have an overly 'bright' system or whatever.

Using them to 'correct' bad recordings brings me to the point of saying 'what is a bad recording' is it one that doesn't sound quite right to you or what? There a very few 'bad recordings' that I have found these days. Maybe some rough old seventies CD's but cannot say any recent stuff I have heard was bad.

Some recordings are specifically asked, by the artist, to be recorded / produced in a certain manner. This might not be quite as you think it should sound so you can either spend hours playing with your tone controls or you can leave them switched off and assume the resultant sound is 'fidelity'. Smile

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: Tone Controls

My Creek doesn't have tone controls, and I can't say I've ever thought I wished it had. Previously I've had Marantz and Rotel amps with tone controls yet never used them.

 

 

.

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RE: Tone Controls

Is it a crime, to use tone controls? No it is not, look at Luxman or Accuphase. It is better to have it and not use it than need it and not have it, simple.

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RE: Tone Controls

DIB wrote:

My Creek doesn't have tone controls, and I can't say I've ever thought I wished it had. Previously I've had Marantz and Rotel amps with tone controls yet never used them..

The Creek Evolution 50a now has them.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Tone Controls

chebby wrote:

DIB wrote:

My Creek doesn't have tone controls, and I can't say I've ever thought I wished it had. Previously I've had Marantz and Rotel amps with tone controls yet never used them..

The Creek Evolution 50a now has them.

It is interesting to see that although the 50a has them the more expensive Destiny 2 does not appear to have them.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: Tone Controls

chebby wrote:

DIB wrote:

My Creek doesn't have tone controls, and I can't say I've ever thought I wished it had. Previously I've had Marantz and Rotel amps with tone controls yet never used them..

The Creek Evolution 50a now has them.

It is interesting to see that although the 50a has them the more expensive Destiny 2 does not appear to have them.

Regarding the 'upper end' amplifiers that do it seems some manufacturers figure there is a market demand for some sort of tone controls and others, quite obviously, do not.

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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RE: Tone Controls

Al ears wrote:

chebby wrote:

DIB wrote:

My Creek doesn't have tone controls, and I can't say I've ever thought I wished it had. Previously I've had Marantz and Rotel amps with tone controls yet never used them..

The Creek Evolution 50a now has them.

It is interesting to see that although the 50a has them the more expensive Destiny 2 does not appear to have them.

It's an older model.

It will be interesting to see if their new 100a amp will have them or not.

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Tone Controls

There's nothing wrong with using tone controls, but I personally find them useless.

They are far to limited to be of any use, I find a graphic much more useful as you can tweak the required frequency band rather than the standard 100Hz - 10kHz points of bass and treble controls. 

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RE: Tone Controls

It's a bit like seasoning your food.   Some people will not use any seasoning at all. Some will taste first and then adjust if necessary and some will automatically season their food regardless.

It is becoming more likely that 'tone' adjustments will happen in the digital domain like in the Creek 50a and the Naim UnitiQute with their 'Switchable Bass Contour Control' -  for low-volume listening - that automatically reduces the effect as the volume is raised.

More systems will have such features (and other more useful and more sophisticated DSP modes) as the vestiges of 1980s 'hair shirt hi-fi' thinking disappear and people begin to demand these features in more expensive systems too.

The days of having to adjust the 'character' of a system - whether just  for the duration of a track or permanently due to a room change - by expensively changing major components (or endlessly swapping cables to dubious effect) should be over.  All this should be within the control of the user.  No more debates about 'warm', 'smooth', 'bright', components or 'best system for classical', or 'best system for heavy metal' etc. Just switch it into the appropriate mode (or customise your own) and enjoy.

(I can almost sense the 'purists' frothing at the mouth and stroking their old copies of 'The Flat Response' for comfort!)

"We are currently awaiting the loading of our complement of small lemon-soaked paper napkins for your comfort, refreshment and hygiene during the journey."

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RE: Tone Controls

chebby wrote:

It's a bit like seasoning your food.   Some people will not use any seasoning at all. Some will taste first and then adjust if necessary and some will automatically season their food regardless.

It is becoming more likely that 'tone' adjustments will happen in the digital domain like in the Creek 50a and the Naim UnitiQute with their 'Switchable Bass Contour Control' -  for low-volume listening - that automatically reduces the effect as the volume is raised.

More systems will have such features (and other more useful and more sophisticated DSP modes) as the vestiges of 1980s 'hair shirt hi-fi' thinking disappear and people begin to demand these features in more expensive systems too.

The days of having to adjust the 'character' of a system - whether just  for the duration of a track or permanently due to a room change - by expensively changing major components (or endlessly swapping cables to dubious effect) should be over.  All this should be within the control of the user.  No more debates about 'warm', 'smooth', 'bright', components or 'best system for classical', or 'best system for heavy metal' etc. Just switch it into the appropriate mode (or customise your own) and enjoy.

(I can almost sense the 'purists' frothing at the mouth and stroking their old copies of 'The Flat Response' for comfort!)

Just on the way up to the loft to retreive my copies now. :grin:

 

Motto: Never pay full price for anything, there is always room to haggle!

Tom Evans Audio Design amplification / Acoustic Zen speakers.

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