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stevebrock's picture
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RE: Tone Controls

Nevr felt the need for tone controls - I have had Rotel & Marantz amps and never used them

 

Michell / Icon Audio / Kudos

 

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RE: Tone Controls

Making high quality analogue filters that accurately track each other (for 2 channel stereo) that introduce little noise, phase and amplitude distortion is difficult and expensive. Cheap and cheerful analogue filters (the electronic bits behind the tone controls) arguably did more harm than good, and so the higher end amp manufacturers either included a 'tone control defeat' button, or did away with the controls entirely. 

There is no chance that you are hearing the mix in the way the original mixing engineer intended unless you are using the same speakers, arranged in the same way, in the same acoustic space as the engineer used - and you are not.  The biggest impact on perceived sound is the speaker / room interaction,  so the 'I want it to be original' argument against tone controls in my opinion has no legs at all.  Applying appropriate filtering can correct for many of the ills suffered by real life setups.

The challenge is that a coarse base and treble controls aren't sufficiently discriminating to do much good. What is needed is a much more sensitive set of controls to correct for room / speaker anomalies. These days, extremely sophisticated filter regimes can be constucted in software and implemented as digital filters.

I have an acoustically treated listening room that frankly sounds dreadful. I have a comprehensive room equalisation regime in place that turns a dreadful sound into something quite acceptable.  

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RE: Tone Controls RE: Tone Controls

stevebrock wrote:

Nevr felt the need for tone controls - I have had Rotel & Marantz amps and never used them

 

+1

My previous Technics amp had them but I never used them.

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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

isnt mcintosh part of marantz? who also still put controls on their higher end stuff,  I only tend to adjust the bass a few db up on bright or thin recordings,

never feel the need to change the treble from the 0 centre position

if i ever buy an amp without tone, i would get an active sub to up the bass if needed

Marantz MCR610 DALI Zensor3    Technics SL1300 CA Azur 651p Marantz CD7300, Marantz PM6005, AE109     

 

 

 

 

 

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RE: Tone Controls

andyjm wrote:

Making high quality analogue filters that accurately track each other (for 2 channel stereo) that introduce little noise, phase and amplitude distortion is difficult and expensive. Cheap and cheerful analogue filters (the electronic bits behind the tone controls) arguably did more harm than good, and so the higher end amp manufacturers either included a 'tone control defeat' button, or did away with the controls entirely. 

There is no chance that you are hearing the mix in the way the original mixing engineer intended unless you are using the same speakers, arranged in the same way, in the same acoustic space as the engineer used - and you are not.  The biggest impact on perceived sound is the speaker / room interaction,  so the 'I want it to be original' argument against tone controls in my opinion has no legs at all.  Applying appropriate filtering can correct for many of the ills suffered by real life setups.

The challenge is that a coarse base and treble controls aren't sufficiently discriminating to do much good. What is needed is a much more sensitive set of controls to correct for room / speaker anomalies. These days, extremely sophisticated filter regimes can be constucted in software and implemented as digital filters.

I have an acoustically treated listening room that frankly sounds dreadful. I have a comprehensive room equalisation regime in place that turns a dreadful sound into something quite acceptable.  

Check out:

http://www.roomeqwizard.com/

Yes, good post.

Though odd to hear your room is acoustically treated and still sounds dreadful. Why?

I ask out of genuine interest as I'm currently treating my room. My listening position is against a wall (unavoidably), and I was using the tone controls in my Devialet to take 1-2dB off the top end. That worked OK, but now that I've put some GIK panels up behind the listening chair, the sound has improved massively. It's not just that I can now dispense with the tone controls; the whole sonic picture seems clearer, including the soundstage.

This goes back to something I was saying recently on another thread. Tone controls and EQ are a good thing (esp. in the form of DSP), but if the problem is speaker-room interaction, in many cases it'll be better to treat the room (if you can) than to use tone controls.

Matt

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RE: Tone Controls

eggontoast wrote:

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. 

i remember those seperate equilisers in the eighties and ninties with all the sliders and dancing leds , kind of wanted one until i realised just how much distortion they have to really mess the sound up, I came to the conclusion thingssound better left flat 

thank god they where just a fad

Marantz MCR610 DALI Zensor3    Technics SL1300 CA Azur 651p Marantz CD7300, Marantz PM6005, AE109     

 

 

 

 

 

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RE: Tone Controls

eggontoast wrote:

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. 

+1

Tone controls are too much of a blunt instrument. A good quality graphic equaliser is far more useful.

Hi-Fi - Epiphany Acoustics EHP-02Di > AVI DM5

Head-Fi - Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2Di > Sennheisser HD700

Portable - Sony NWZ-A847 > Westone UM3x

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RE: Tone Controls

peterpiper wrote:

if i ever buy an amp without tone, i would get an active sub to up the bass if needed

That's what I do. A separate subwoofer (and some active speakers) allow you to add more bass by adjusting the volume level and crossover of the bass speaker which means you can get more bass without adding any of the phase distortion that tone controls and graphic equalisers introduce.

 

With the treble I have no option other than to use a digital graphic equaliser to change the sound but provided it's used subtly (-1 or 1.5 dB) I don't notice the small amount of added phase distortion.

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RE: Tone Controls

steve_1979 wrote:

eggontoast wrote:

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. 

+1

Tone controls are too much of a blunt instrument. A good quality graphic equaliser is far more useful.

A graphic equalizer takes up more room.

Amp; CDP; Turntable; Tuner; Speakers

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RE: Tone Controls

You've moved house. The new layout doesn't allow for your favourite speakers to stand 18" from the wall and corners so the bass is a tad boomy as you now have to place them 6" from the wall and 12" from the corners.

You drop the bass control one or two notches and it sounds excellent again with no boomy bass on the tracks where it was worst.

However, the guys on the forum are telling you 'straight' is best and you should instead change cables, change the speakers, change the amp, treat the room acoustics (you've just moved house, you don't have any money), change the  music, move house again, do penance at the shrine of the blessed Julian for your sin,  stick foam and egg cartons and carpet off-cuts or velcro some cats behind and to the sides of the speakers, get a divorce  ...  etc.  ANYTHING but use the tone control. ("Move away from the knob. Never touch the knob. Go directly to source and do not collect £200 because you are a disgrace to hi-fi!")

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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.

Why would you want to play " nasty recordings".......

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RE: Tone Controls

Sospri 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.

Why would you want to play " nasty recordings".......

Some people's favourite music was never recorded very well.

"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

Sospri wrote:

Why would you want to play " nasty recordings".......

Because the musical content can still be good even if the sound quality is bad. Some RHCP albums for example.

Hi-Fi - Yamaha RX-V667 > AVI DM5

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RE: Tone Controls

chebby wrote:

You've moved house. The new layout doesn't allow for your favourite speakers to stand 18" from the wall and corners so the bass is a tad boomy as you now have to place them 6" from the wall and 12" from the corners.

You drop the bass control one or two notches and it sounds excellent again with no boomy bass on the tracks where it was worst.

However, the guys on the forum are telling you 'straight' is best and you should instead change cables, change the speakers, change the amp, treat the room acoustics (you've just moved house, you don't have any money), change the  music, move house again, do penance at the shrine of the blessed Julian for your sin,  stick foam and egg cartons and carpet off-cuts or velcro some cats behind and to the sides of the speakers, get a divorce  ...  etc.  ANYTHING but use the tone control. ("Move away from the knob. Never touch the knob. Go directly to source and do not collect £200 because you are a disgrace to hi-fi!")

Lol!

good points well made Chebby and good use of hyperbole.

I myself was on the verge of going down the room treatment

route when I had the lovely Sugden Masterclass, but fortunately, the Accuphase with it's tone controls came along... problem solved, I've got them set at my preferred balance and rarely have to adjust them.

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net

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RE: Tone Controls

peterpiper wrote:
isnt mcintosh part of marantz?

D+M Group offloaded McIntosh a while back. It's now owned by Fine Sounds, the Italian-based parent of Sonus faber, Audio Research and Wadia.

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