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Amp upgrade + tone controls question

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Dan_H, Aug 25, 2005.

  1. Dan_H

    Dan_H
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    Hi all,

    I'm in the process of upgrading my system, which currently consists of a Marantz PM4000 amp and Sony CDP XB740E CD player driving my latest acquisition, a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze B2's.

    The Monitor Audio's gave a pair of B&W 602's a comprehensive spanking when I auditioned them, and I love the sound they produce. However, I reckon there's more sound to come from them, by feeding them a better quality signal than the Marantz can provide. I have in mind to spend around £400-600, and thinking possibly Cyrus 6vs or Roksan Kandy, which brings me to my question concerning tone controls.

    I like lots of bass (as long as its taught and well controlled - something that impressed me greatly with the MA's), and I have the bass controlled turned up quite a bit on the amp. The Marantz is equipped with a tone defeat switch - if I activate this, I find the dreadful lack of bass quite upsetting. Am I likely to find amps without tone controls to have a sound equally as thin as the Marantz with its tone defeat on?

    I would be most annoyed to spend a fairly hefty slug of cash on an amp only to discover that it produces inadequate bass for my bass hungry ears. Hopefully, I will audition before I buy, but I have seen an opportunity to scoop up a Roksan Kandy for a bargain, and I am not unknown to make a rash purchase without proper research! Would appreciate the thoughts of other forum members concerning bass and tone controls.
     
  2. Julio V

    Julio V
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    Hi Dan-H,

    My suggestion is you should audition Roksan kandy. It will provide more dynamic and of course weighted bass than Cyrus 6vs. My amp is Roksan Kandy Mk3. it is more open and soundstaged plus details.

    When come to tone control, I am not intending to offend you , in a higher level of music listening, you will find tone control is really a bastard. It will destroy all your music party. My tack is try to listen music for a week ( choose the CD you love) without engaging the tone control- it means that it is in flat mode: Bass –Treble knob no longer have any effect, then come back with tone control. I am sure you will change your mind.

    To be honest, I had a Marantz amp( older than your PM4000) but the CD direct button( tone control) was out of order. It means that I had to suffer from the bass and treble control knobs even though I adjust them all to the 12 o’clock position. Eventually, I decided to open the amp, took out the cables linking between the main board and bass and treble knobs. It became non tone control mode. It means that Bass-Treble knob no longer have effects when you turn them up or down. The result is fantastic- sound stage and detail were gained.
     
  3. Londondecca

    Londondecca
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    With the tone controls switched off - this is the true sound of the amp. In crude terms you are simply masking the abilities of the amp.
     
  4. Dan_H

    Dan_H
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    Thanks for advice guys.

    Julio_V - no offence taken, I've long been aware of how tone controls are frowned upon by audophiles. I think in the past I've been a little too eager to crank up the bass just to see how deep a pair of speakers will dig, without worrying about how this might compromise the rest of the sound. I am giving your suggestion a try - tone defeat is engaged, and to be honest, I'm enjoying the sound already! Thanks for the tip.
     
  5. Julio V

    Julio V
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    dear Londondecca and Dan-H,

    You are quite true to say I did mask the abilities of the amp. However, my CD direct botton ( tone control bypass) is out of order and I can distinguish the significant improvement in term of sound. Generally, you have 2 option:
    1-You will choose CD direct and break amp for the sake of music and sound improvement
    2- You will never touch the heart of music when keeping the amp in full ability. Which option would you choose- in case of your amp's tone control bypass botton is dead?
    \


    Dear Dan-H,

    I agree with you that the sound you love is the best sound of all. If you love tone control for more bass , just keep going with it. However, bear in mind that 99,9% of high-end amplifiers have no tone control. I think the high-end amp producers have their points when they cut off the tone control function. Some didn't offer headphone output even there is only 1 pair of speakers driven by the amp. So have you ever thought: Great minds will think alike? Could you answer the question : Why did most of them make a high end amp without tone control?

    With the mid-range or high-end amp sound great in no tone control with any problem about lack of bass, I am not sure about the low budge amp when it coms to thin bass .

    My system is : Rosan Kandy Mk3, Quad L11 and Musical fidelity A3.2 CD player. Looking at my post DAC upgrade in the same forum, I am going to upgrade my amp. If you like it we could discuss about it. It is a good amp

    The more you put in the amp, the more it will make noise. So in this sense, the sound result is more or less affected. If you want more functions in the amp without leaving any distortionor or being degraded, you definitely pay more for it, simply because the makers will do more research and choose the finest opponents for the purpose of noise reduction

    I hope it will help
     

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