I Used Tone Controls Yesterday.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by No Static, Jun 13, 2012.

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  1. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider Thread Starter

    Heart of Dixie
    It started innocently enough.

    I wanted a little extra bass on a Kinks record I purchased last week. So I turned the bass knob up two clicks on my office intergrated (Kenwood KA-5700) and...it sounded a little better! I liked it! It reminded me of my equipment in the 70s way before I began searching for flat sound. Is my Kinks record defective? Should I look for another copy with more bass?

    Forgive me, but I may try the treble knob soon. Maybe flatter is not always better. And what do I do when I listen to my home system (which has no tone controls)? Does ADC still make an outboard equalizer?

    Thanks. I fell better getting that off my chest.

  2. phallumontis

    phallumontis Active Member

    Chicago, IL
    I've been wrestling with this as well. As much as I'd like to get a nice integrated without tone controls, I just can't shake the feeling that some recording or another would make me wish I still had them. I like the idea of being able to remove them from the signal path with a defeat button, and reintroduce them to make minor adjustments when necessary. For example, some of those old Grateful Dead soundboards circa 1977 have Phil Lesh's bass mixed insanely high, and a little adjustment would greatly improve the listening experience. Not all recordings are made equal.

    But then I think hey, my bedroom system doesn't have tone controls, and I just roll with it. However, I have been known to change the EQ settings on my iPod for particularly troublesome recordings. Dang! I guess I like having some sort of equalization available to me.
  3. George Blair

    George Blair Senior Member

    Portland, OR
    A flat record is a good thing IMO.
  4. tootull

    tootull the summer lightning cuts the sky like a hot wire

    Tone defeat, use it. Stop the madness.
  5. LeeS

    LeeS Music Fan

    I don't know who you are any more David. ;)

    It's a slippery slope...tone controls then equalizers then before long you are messing with ProTools.

    Tone controls are just the gateway drug. Just say no. Your ears will thank me.
  6. nightenrock

    nightenrock Forum Resident

    A flat girlfriend is not.
  7. dbz

    dbz Bolinhead.

    Live At Leeds (UK)
    OMG :eek:
  8. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    :laugh: :laugh: Get the villagers.
  9. Thurenity

    Thurenity Listening to some tunes

    I hope this isn't considered a thread crap, but why is the search for flat/neutral over what sounds good (which may not be the same thing, as referenced already here) given such a priority?

    The reason why I ask is that I'm assuming the goal for some is to get as flat a sound as possible from the LP/CD. But hasn't the EQ already been tweaked by the mastering itself, in some cases? I've got a few carts with different sound signatures, and using one on different LP's I'll sometimes switch it out as it might sound too bright in some cases, but more neutral for others. I usually just pick the one that sounds best to me and just go with that.

    It's just one of those things that, if I pined over and overthought, I'd probably spend more time tweaking my TT than just listening to music. It's why I don't consider myself an audiophile and probably never will. ;)
  10. Hoser Rob

    Hoser Rob Member

    I think this purist anti tone control thing is silly ... though they should damn well be defeatable.

    How many of us listen only to audiophile quality recordings? Lots of them need EQ.
  11. tootull

    tootull the summer lightning cuts the sky like a hot wire

    That would be you. :laugh:
    It's good to kid about it.
  12. Peacekeepr73

    Peacekeepr73 Digitally Remastered Member

    Wyoming, Michigan
    What if I were to say I use the Loudness button on my Sansui receiver even when I'm not listening at low volumes?
  13. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider Thread Starter

    Heart of Dixie
    Yes. Yes it is.
  14. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Senior Member

    Don't make the mistake of thinking you can "handle it." You're already thinking about trying the equalizer. I've done it all and I think it is a dead end.

    Truth is I use tone controls and loudness buttons for low level listening, on my Office system all the time. It can be very useful.
  15. No Static

    No Static Gain Rider Thread Starter

    Heart of Dixie
    Then I would say that's a time out, mister!

    And I thought I had a problem...
  16. Ham Sandwich

    Ham Sandwich Forum Resident

    Sherwood, OR, USA
    Then I'd say you must have been listening to Van Halen's OU812.
    I loved engaging the loudness button with that CD. It needed it. I no longer have a loudness button. I miss it. :cry:
  17. wgriel

    wgriel Forum Resident

    bc, canada
    I think only a few folks get stuck on the "quest for neutrality" for very long. Most of us get over that and start seeking out the most pleasing sound we can find. At least that's my journey: I'm in this because I want to enjoy the music as much as possible. I really don't care at all if that happens to be neutral or something else.
  18. tootull

    tootull the summer lightning cuts the sky like a hot wire

    Talk of loudness buttons? All hope is lost. Close the thread, hell burn it. Save the village.
  19. TommyTunes

    TommyTunes Senior Member

    How do you know that the bass wasn't decreased two clicks during the mastering and by you increasing it two clicks it was now flat?
  20. tootull

    tootull the summer lightning cuts the sky like a hot wire

    Names? I want names.
  21. Rmac58

    Rmac58 Member

    Hopewell, VA USA
    My pre-amp doesn't have tone controls, been listening this way for almost 20 years.

    The sub helps, tho.
  22. The only reason I don't like tone controls is that they would give me something to tinker with. I just like to play my music and not have anything to adjust and therefore obsess over.
  23. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Senior Member

    My preamp doesn't have a tone control...but my speakers do. Bwahhah.
  24. Dr. Bogenbroom

    Dr. Bogenbroom I'm not a Dr. but I play one on SteveHoffman.TV

    Anchor Point
    Do what you like, it's your music, your environment. Your ears (do you think everyone hears the same as well...it's not like you have the same hearing as whoever mixed/mastered it).
  25. KALEX

    KALEX Forum Resident

    If usin' tone controls is wrong, I don't wanna be right!

    ... never on SH's masters, though ;)
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