Best Loudness button you've heard

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

  1. bgiliberti

    bgiliberti Forum Resident

    Washington DC USA
    Way back when, I used the contour button on my dad's Fisher 500C all the time. Since then, too much of what I've spent on fancy interconnects and cables comes down to what "loudness" and tone controls do with a button and knob. I would definitely use them if my gear had them. When I do upgrade, I will be looking for these features, even though I understand the virtues of a not having them in the circuit. On balance, I think the ability to tailor the sound to your taste and to your listening room outweighs the theoretical disadvantages to the signal path. It's about enjoying the music, not reaching some holy grail of perfection.
  2. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Simi Valley, CA
    Use 100% of the time on my McIntosh Mac 1900 and really like what it does for the sound.
    sunrayjack and 62caddy like this.
  3. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
  4. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident

    Yes. But you know the trend in "thinking" these days- facts are just an elitist conspiracy..
    sunrayjack and Vidiot like this.
  5. Robert C

    Robert C Sound Archivist

    London, UK
    That looks amazing but, hang on, an 8 kHz treble filter. What's that for? :laugh:
    SteelyNJ likes this.
  6. Linto

    Linto Mayor of Simpleton

    On a non descript boom box, in my tent in Glastonbury 1986 - mushrooms helped,
    also had a cosmic 3d button
  7. Linto

    Linto Mayor of Simpleton

    some would say there is little or no music above 8k
    SteelyNJ likes this.
  8. Ken Clark

    Ken Clark Forum Resident

    Chicago Suburbs
    The variable loudness on the Yamaha units works well. I also had an NAD receiver hooked up to Wharfedale Denton's and the loudness button really helped at low volume when any bass would just disappear. Currently my system has no such button but with my speakers I find I would rarely use it anyway.
    ls35a likes this.
  9. Back in the 70s and 80s I LOVED the loudness button for some recordings before I was shamed out of enjoying it. :tiphat:
  10. Jack Flannery

    Jack Flannery Forum Resident

    Houston, TX
    My old Luxman L-100 integrated had great tone controls, including an excellent "loudness" knob. Most loudness buttons are pig useless.
  11. SteelyNJ

    SteelyNJ Forum Resident

    New Jersey, USA
    "Setting this button to ON (in) reduces any high frequency noise, such as tape hiss, record scratch, etc. Frequencies above 8 kHz are attenuated by 12 dB/octave."

    I don't recall ever using that filter, except maybe to render listenable some totally beat-up childhood records.
  12. 62caddy

    62caddy Forum Resident

    Best loudness ON/OFF switch I've used is the McIntosh MX110 tuner preamplifier. Ideal for rounding out the HF and LF on a pair of Altec 14 which tends to roll off a bit on either end of the audio spectrum.

    Otherwise, McIntosh's Continuously Variable loudness circuit is hard to beat and it operates independently of volume position.

    Incidentally Yamaha copied the C Var loudness design from McIntosh.
    showtaper, The FRiNgE and nm_west like this.
  13. clhboa

    clhboa Forum Resident

    I'm one of those folks that always leave the loudness button on. My Denon DRA-685, Carver C-5 and the Kenwood cassette deck in my Silverado have loudness buttons that are used constantly. To me things sound very thin without it on.
  14. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    That's for playing worn Zeppelin albums, turn on the Loudness too!
    fogalu and SteelyNJ like this.
  15. LitHum05

    LitHum05 El Disco es Cultura

    It took me a while to swear off the loudness button on my Pioneer SX-535. But now I can't believe I ever listened to it with that added muddled sound. :nauga:
    F1nut and The FRiNgE like this.
  16. fogalu

    fogalu Forum Resident

    Killarney, Ireland
    I had this Philips amplifier back in 1969 (I still have it but it's dead). Right next to the power button there was a switch marked "Physiology" which intrigued me. There were two positions and the manual explained it as a compensator for lack of bass at low volumes or with small speakers. In other words, it was my first loudness button and I kept it on 24/7 with my rather small speakers.

    (I notice on this particular version it's called a "Contour" button. The "Physiology" term must have been considered too obscure but I loved it. It sounded way better than "loudness".)

    The switch above it was a treble filter but it was labelled "scratch"! This was for noisy or worn vinyl. As far as I can make out, it's renamed on the model below, but apart from the written descriptions, this is absolutely identical to my first decent amplifier.

    Last edited: Feb 24, 2017
    SandAndGlass and SteelyNJ like this.
  17. nosliw

    nosliw Azunyan! にゃーーー!

    Ottawa, ON, Canada
    My Nakamichi TA-2A has a variable loudness knob but I personally do not use one. My parents' Hitachi receiver do have a loudness button, but it might be useful for turntables with a not-so-great cartridge.
  18. sheffandy

    sheffandy Forum Resident

    Sheffield, UK
    The first amp I bought way back in 1981 (Sansui A-40) had a loudness button, it did make quite an improvement especially at low volumes.

    SandAndGlass, sfoclt and SteelyNJ like this.
  19. I love the loudness button on my old Proton D540 int. amp. I use it in a bedroom system - so it's usually low level listening - sounds great.
  20. beppe

    beppe Forum Resident

    Venice, Italy
    Mine. Because I haven't.
  21. avanti1960

    avanti1960 Forum Resident

    Chicago metro, USA
    my friend had an old realistic receiver that had a loudness toggle that made his mini monitors incredibly nice and punchy!
    SandAndGlass and The Pinhead like this.
  22. L5730

    L5730 Forum Resident

    Yamaha AS-700 loudness control works pretty darn well at doing what it is intended to do. Keep the volume knob at the usual daytime setting, and turn the loudness knob to take the loudness out of the sound, making the sound output quieter, without losing body and definition.
    It sounds fairly transparent down to about 3/4 of a turn, then just loses everything really. But honestly, if the music is mastered to about -16 LUFS there is plenty of range on the volume pot to not even worry about the loudness knob. Sounds better using Pure Direct mode (bypassing everything) or even better still using CD Direct (an Op-Amp in the CD input specific signal path).
  23. BMWCCA

    BMWCCA Forum Resident

    Central Virginia
    I always liked the variable Loudness control on my McIntosh C20 pre-amp—my first pre-amp and still in use today.

  24. Gretsch6136

    Gretsch6136 Forum Resident

    My listening habits have certainly changed over the years.

    My first hi-fi was purchased new in 1985. It was a JVC separates system with a glass fronted teak vinyl veneered chipboard cupboard for the components and matching speakers, also made from chipboard. It was one of their lower end systems. I worked a part time job for over a year before I could afford it ($699).

    I remember how I used to set it. Bass and treble controls set to maximum and the loudness button always engaged. I never reduced any of these controls ever, no matter what or how loud I played my stuff. The turntable used to howl with feedback but I didn't care. It was the only way to truly rock out! God knows how I didn't blow that sucker up!

    All these years later I'm running a valve amp with nothing but a volume and an input selector. My sources and speakers are so far ahead of those old JVC components its not funny. I love how my setup sounds, but for some records, I do find myself wishing for a bass boost once in a while.
  25. bhazen

    bhazen Fab Fourever

    Newcastle, WA
    I call loudness buttons "midrange suckout buttons"...

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