Best Loudness button you've heard

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Whoopycat, Feb 22, 2017.

  1. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Des Moines
    Setting aside the debate as to whether loudness buttons should be used, which amp has the best loudness button you've heard?

    I'll start with my vintage Sansui AU-666. I was never super impressed with the amp on other speakers, but I hooked it up to my Zu Soul Superfly speakers (using lampcord, of course!), flipped the Loudness switch at normal listening volume (~80db) and it sounded like a subwoofer was added to my system. My Superflys went deeper than I thought they were capable of going, yet the bass was not muddy or bloated. The effect was much more impressive than simply turning up the Bass knob, which just made the bass sound badly EQ'd by comparison. I honestly didn't hear much difference in the treble, but with the bass response I didn't care. What the sound might've lacked in accuracy with Loudness engaged, it more than made up for in fun factor!

    Let's hear your Loudness Love Letters!
  2. The Pinhead


    Well this isn't destined to become a very popular thread (cue the naysayers) but I love the loudness button on my Technics SU-V5 amp. It provides a 10db boost around 50 hz at -30 db that has saved my day more than once with recordings lacking in the bottom end dept. It confers such recordings that ¨subwoofer¨effect you talk about. Absolutely love it !!

    It doesn't boost the high frequencies as well as the loudness button on my Pioneer receiver does which is a plus to me.

    If you like how it sounds, by all means use it ! The engineers who recorded it ¨as it was meant to be heard¨can eat my shorts !!!:D
    Paully, altaeria, Heckto35 and 9 others like this.
  3. BejittoSSJ5

    BejittoSSJ5 Forum Resident

    The DBFB feature on my Sony STR-D511 is pretty nice though I don't really use it.
    Stanton56 likes this.
  4. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff

    Best I've heard: Sansui G5700. Worst? (....and I mean that, to me, it was absolutely awful....) Kenwood KA-1400.
    BrentB and SandAndGlass like this.
  5. The Pinhead


    Yeah I used to have a small KA-300 and the loudness button never helped. Boosted around 100 hz so it muddied up everything. Another offender to me is Yamaha's variable contour; only good for low-level listening (in a total Fletcher-Munson way)
    HiFi Guy and MLutthans like this.
  6. Whoopycat

    Whoopycat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Des Moines
    I had one of those Sony receivers in the 90's with the DBFB button. I remember the manual saying something to the effect of "it's like Loudness, but different". I think I left mine on all the time. :cool:
    Stanton56 and The Pinhead like this.
  7. sunrayjack

    sunrayjack Forum Resident

    My Fisher 500C has a contour switch, when on it produces a very pleasing deeper sound without being muddy-----I Like It !!!!
    Once I buy the music , It's mine to listen to how I want to hear it.
  8. SteelyNJ

    SteelyNJ Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    Don't know about the best I've ever heard, but this was the best I've ever owned! Six possible "loudness" settings...or off!

    MC Rag, hifisoup, BrentB and 27 others like this.
  9. Gavinyl

    Gavinyl Remembering Member

  10. Mr.Sneis

    Mr.Sneis Forum Resident

    Phoenix, AZ
    Yamaha (cr-1020 and likely plenty of others) for me!
    yohalfprice, TWJ, KeninDC and 4 others like this.
  11. dxer2_2000

    dxer2_2000 New Member

    The loudness function on my Marantz PM-6005 performs very well. Really adds punch to the music. I always have it on.
  12. gd0

    gd0 Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies

    Golden Gate
    I wonder how many forum members routinely used the Loudness button on their receivers in the 70s - 80s– and will never admit it? :laugh:

    I've since migrated to other components without it, but in that time frame I used mine with impunity.

    And that would have been on a Pioneer QX-8000 quadraphonic receiver. Just to further erode my SHF cred. :laugh:

    As if I had any to begin with.

  13. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Chicago, IL USA
    I had a Yamaha integrated amplifier in the 1970s. It featured a variable loudness control. It had a very nice ability to play around with it to get what you wanted. I admit I used it often, but of course I listened to music, and still do, at low levels.

  14. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    As a matter of opinion, the Pioneer silverface era loudness curves are super-aggressive, just overbearing. Nothing unusual about Pioneer, as most others also over-compensated IMO. Crazy thing.. music does not sound any louder with the loudness on.. :sigh: The idea is that music sounds "room filling" when listening at lower volume. I feel the loudness compensation never accomplished that for me.
    Shawn, LitHum05, F1nut and 1 other person like this.
  15. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    somnar, Rad Dudeski, SirMarc and 7 others like this.
  16. Wally Swift

    Wally Swift Yo-Yoing where I will...

    Brooklyn New York
    I only use "loudness" when listening at low volumes. My Sansui 2000X is a great performer in this regard.
  17. Guy E

    Guy E Senior Member

    Antalya, Turkey
    My current Yamaha amp has this... I rarely use it, but it's a good approach.
  18. I listen to my McIntosh MA5100 through a pair of Mordaunt-Short bookshelf speakers. Although they carry a surprising amount of bass for their size, the loudness button absolutely delivers. It's like having a subtly smooth subwoofer in the mix, especially at low volume levels. I wouldn't enjoy my LPs as much without it.

    Live on, loudness button!

    cnolanh, Heckto35, Aardvark23 and 3 others like this.
  19. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Chicago, IL USA
    That is because the term "loudness" is short for "loudness compensation". I agree the shortened form doesn't make sense. It does, however, work fine for me, although some futzing with the volume is necessary.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  20. enfield

    enfield Forum Resident

    Essex UK
    Not keen on Loudness buttons (supposedly designed to improve low volume listening)..I worry that amps with this feature can sound thin without the Loudness Button activated in order that the loudness feature sounds more impressive when turned on.I want an amp to sound neutral (with maybe some separate bass & treble adjustment).Not a amp that sounds either thin or over-pumped.
    apesfan likes this.
  21. SKBubba

    SKBubba Forum Resident

    My Denon AVR's "dynamic eq" feature is like a throwback to the days of the loudness button, only more subtle and refined. If subtle and refined isn’t enough, there's always sub level adjust. +3db for the win!
    Vinny123 and Digital-G like this.
  22. timind

    timind phorum rezident

    In the early 70's I had a Harman Kardon 330B that I probably always had the contour button engage. It definitely added a nice little kick.

    It's been a while now since I've owned an amp with a loudness button.
  23. R. Totale

    R. Totale The Voice of Reason

    One guy I worked with came up with circuitry which perfectly modeled the FM curve. It did require setup, since there is such a large variance in associated equipment. He had a volume control with a concentrically-mounted loudness control. You left the loudness control all the way at the bottom (off) and moved the volume control to as loud as you would ever listen to music. Then you advanced the loudness control until the marks on the volume and loudness controls were aligned, left it there and backed off the volume. As long as you left the loudness control where you had put it the curves were perfectly implemented at lower listening levels. If you got new speakers that were less efficient, you'd set it up again and the curves would be perfect for your new setup. This was all set to go into a commercial product, but unfortunately the company bought the farm before it could happen.
  24. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Still have two ears working

    S FL
    I think the loudness boost feature was really important with vinyl, because there are limits to how much low end you could get. After cd's arrived, I didn't need to use it anymore.
    Heckto35 and unclefred like this.
  25. gary191265

    gary191265 Forum Resident

    If it gets the desired effect that YOU want, how can it be a good or a bad thing? I've never had an amp with a loudness switch/button but I'm sure if I had, I'd have given it a try.

    It's no different to using room treatments, half-inflated bicycle inner tubes, cable made from spaghetti that was regurgitated by Malaysian high-fi monkeys, or any other supposed tweak, if it obtains the desired effect for you personally.

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