Amplifier tone control

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Any thoughts/advice re adding external tone controls to an existing amp, including advantages/disadvantages of doing so?
I haven’t owned an amp with bass/treble controls for years (currently a Rega Brio), but having recently acquired an old pair of Castle Severn floor standers, I am having a real issue trying to control boomy bass. Not all the time and not on all tracks, but when it happens it can reverberate the whole house (and not necessarily at high volumes!)
Mostly, I now stream FLACs via a Raspberry Pi 4, with Moode Audio software and an Allo Boss DAC hat. The line level output goes into the Brio.
I realise that I have the option of introducing a software based equaliser (within Moode), but as far as possible, I would prefer to not go this route.
I’ve also tried numerous different locations for the speakers. minor improvement but no real fix. Accoustic room treatments simply not an option.
I have come across an external tone control from Schiit, called the LOKI. looks as though it will do the job and although I don’t own any other product from this manufacturer, I’ve read numerous comments about how good their products are. Sadly, though, the LOKI is out of stock at the UK distributor (as are most other products), with no idea as to when they will be back in stock.
I would appreciate any ideas for alternative solutions - preferably without involving me in soldering onto PCBs, etc
Thanks
 

DT79

Distinguished Member
I realise that I have the option of introducing a software based equaliser (within Moode), but as far as possible, I would prefer to not go this route.
Why is that? It will, without a shadow of a doubt, give better results than doing it with another device in the analogue domain. And it's probably easier to do, and you already have it.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Why is that? It will, without a shadow of a doubt, give better results than doing it with another device in the analogue domain. And it's probably easier to do, and you already have it.
Thanks for the reply.
Due to a lack of expertise, I guess I was concerned that manipulating the source signal in the digital domain would give a poorer result.
Added to that, I do find the number of options (slider controls etc) within the equaliser, slightly overwhelming. To me, a simple tone control (there are 4 on the LOKI) seemed like the easier option. Obvioulsy, that’s not the case!
Thanks again
 

DT79

Distinguished Member
Thanks for the reply.
Due to a lack of expertise, I guess I was concerned that manipulating the source signal in the digital domain would give a poorer result.
Added to that, I do find the number of options (slider controls etc) within the equaliser, slightly overwhelming. To me, a simple tone control (there are 4 on the LOKI) seemed like the easier option. Obvioulsy, that’s not the case!
Thanks again
Adding any additional device in the signal chain will be detrimental to some extent, but a device which manipulates the signal in the analogue domain has to the least desirable option in principle. Having said that, Schiit have a good reputation and if it does what you want, then it could well be the lesser of two evils.

But as you’ve got the EQ option in your software you might as well give it a go IMO. You could try the different sliders around the bass frequencies one at a time and always undo any change that makes things worse instead of better. If it doesn’t work for any reason you can reset to default and look at the Schiit.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
You can download free frequency analyser/measurement apps to phones/tablets. Use these at the main listening position to see what frequencies are dropping out or being amplified in the sub 200hz area, then set the opposite on the PC software to counteract (once the frequency is set then you an play around with the gain (dB/volume) and Q value (sharpness of the peak) to get a flatter curve). Note these are only indicative as the phone/tablet mic is not calibrated but is a good first estimate.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
Adding any additional device in the signal chain will be detrimental to some extent, but a device which manipulates the signal in the analogue domain has to the least desirable option in principle. Having said that, Schiit have a good reputation and if it does what you want, then it could well be the lesser of two evils.

But as you’ve got the EQ option in your software you might as well give it a go IMO. You could try the different sliders around the bass frequencies one at a time and always undo any change that makes things worse instead of better. If it doesn’t work for any reason you can reset to default and look at the Schiit.
thanks for this. I will have another play with the equaliser settings. there is also a Parametric EQ which only has 4 sliders compared to the 10 on the standard EQ. I really must try to find out how the Parametric EQ works.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
You can download free frequency analyser/measurement apps to phones/tablets. Use these at the main listening position to see what frequencies are dropping out or being amplified in the sub 200hz area, then set the opposite on the PC software to counteract (once the frequency is set then you an play around with the gain (dB/volume) and Q value (sharpness of the peak) to get a flatter curve). Note these are only indicative as the phone/tablet mic is not calibrated but is a good first estimate.
Many thanks. I will give this a go.
 

kit1cat

Active Member
I have used both EQ in moode and the Loki, and much prefer the Loki. Much easier to get up and adjust the knobs on the Loki on the fly then to keep altering the EQ settings in moode. In my experience one EQ setting does not suit all.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
...
I have come across an external tone control from Schiit, called the LOKI. looks as though it will do the job ...

How and where do you connect the Tone Control? Have you considered that? Most likely the Tone Control would go between the Pre-Amp and the Power-Amp; can you do that?

It could go between the Source and an Integrated Amp, but then it would only work for that one source.

My advice, is simply trade your BRIO for an amp that has Tone Controls.

But then .... that's just my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
How and where do you connect the Tone Control? Have you considered that? Most likely the Tone Control would go between the Pre-Amp and the Power-Amp; can you do that?

It could go between the Source and an Integrated Amp, but then it would only work for that one source.

My advice, is simply trade your BRIO for an amp that has Tone Controls.

But then .... that's just my opinion.

Steve/bluewizard
many thanks. very good question and if I’m honest, I hadn’t really thought about the limitations if multiple sources are involved. As it happens, I mainly play FLAC files via a Raspberry Pi so it would have to be the line out from the DAC which would be connected to the LOKI. That would leave my TT connected directly to the Brio without tone control but I’m thinking I could live with that.
Thanks again.
 

Going Grey Now

Active Member
I have used both EQ in moode and the Loki, and much prefer the Loki. Much easier to get up and adjust the knobs on the Loki on the fly then to keep altering the EQ settings in moode. In my experience one EQ setting does not suit all.
Thank you for the reply.
If I do eventually decide to go with the LOKI, the problem seems to be sourcing one!
 

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom