Why All Hi-Fi Should Have Tone Controls, Including High-End.

harkpabst

Active Member
Well, it does make sense, doesn't it? :)
(not sure if you were being sarcastic or not)
Probably it makes sense to some. Just not in the context of a hi-fi related forum.

There are far less absolute terms in hi-fi than salesmen want us to believe. But still there is better and worse overall.

Still each and every individual should do what suites them.

PS:
No, I didn't mean to be sarcastic. I really meant it the way I said it. And by "better and worse overall" I really meant objectively better: Traditional tone controls cannot lower distortion or fix missing dynamic headroom.
 
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NEW MUSIC

Standard Member
I'm sure you didn't mean to say that.

Hi Harkpabst

Regarding the remark about “so what annoys me is there is fascistic technology available yet the formats we can access our music on either degrades or not as good as it could be”.

Yes I did mean this but it’s based on a conversation I had with a record representative many years ago (I think DAT had just been released) and I said if the companies put the music on these it will kill off records and he said that’s not going to happen formats that degrade, get broken are fine as they have to be replaced. No company is going to fully back a format that is as the studio recording and only bought once. let’s face it a digital download taken from the masters not compressed and a very good sample rate regardless how they manage to deliver / sell it to us would be fantastic. The tech is there but we can’t purchases it, so nothing has changed even though technology has come a very long way since.

Sorry if I have repeated myself that was not my intention it’s just that some questions had already been asked and answered earlier in the thread but re-asked by others, but I quickly realised that others who posted things where having the same issue so I think it’s where there is so much people miss or forget something that’s already been covered so should have said no more on reflection. But yes I did cover the major points again in the summery that was intentional.

No, I was not saying only my point of view matters and why would I there would be no point in a debate, I think it’s been a fairly good debate overall I was already aware of most reasons not to have tone controls but there have been a few good reasons put forward as to why not to have them was better that I did not know. So I have learned a fair amount from everyone’s input and can fully understand why some believe that they effect the music in a bad way in some cases, so my view has changed slightly that in some set ups, room dynamics, source you may be better off without tone controls but the same system in a differ room or different source or maybe not the best pressing you would benefit by having them. So what hasn’t changed (for me personally) is I feel pre-amps should have them but with a bypass switch without fail so it can be used without and only switched on if required. One of the reasons I say this is peoples hearing changes for a lot of us as you get older and that’s a fact so this way you don’t have to by a new amp. And yes I do get your point that tone controls do no good.

But most of all as others have said who cares as long as you enjoy the music as that’s what it all about, and it is. Music is about making you feel good regardless of the system, he won’t be reading this but one of my brothers is what I call tone deaf as he cannot tell a good system apart from a portable radio, but he says as long as there is music coming that it for me.

The one thing that no one has answered, if you listen to two or more top end systems same tracks why do they sound different when it’s supposed to be as intended / as it should be.

Keith
 

nomorelandings

Active Member
The Luxman has lovely milled tone controls, but confess I have only ever touched them with a microfibre duster! LineStraight in Luxman speak has been engaged from new. Previous Marantz pm14 the same. Perhaps I should give them a try. I did move the right gik corner base trap a little towards the speaker to evict a large spider and it changed the bass response. If a cd offends, I send it via coax to the upsampling TEAC. i suspect 8 times upsampling and slow roll off filter better than minus 2 on the treble tone control. But might be wrong.
 

harkpabst

Active Member
@NEW MUSIC, I am still not sure if we agree on this point.

Regarding the remark about “so what annoys me is there is fascistic technology available yet the formats we can access our music on either degrades or not as good as it could be”.

Yes I did mean this but it’s based on a conversation I had with a record representative many years ago (I think DAT had just been released) and I said if the companies put the music on these it will kill off records and he said that’s not going to happen formats that degrade, get broken are fine as they have to be replaced. No company is going to fully back a format that is as the studio recording and only bought once.
To me, this is fascistic technology:

iron-sky-poster.jpg



let’s face it a digital download taken from the masters not compressed and a very good sample rate regardless how they manage to deliver / sell it to us would be fantastic. The tech is there but we can’t purchases it, so nothing has changed even though technology has come a very long way since.
I don't buy the idea that at any point in time a "perfect", "error-free" master exists and evil record companies then take it, compress it, manipulate it and create something of lower quality that they are willing to hand out to us lowly customers. This simply is not happening.

No, I was not saying only my point of view matters and why would I there would be no point in a debate, I think it’s been a fairly good debate overall I was already aware of most reasons not to have tone controls but there have been a few good reasons put forward as to why not to have them was better that I did not know.
...
So what hasn’t changed (for me personally) is I feel pre-amps should have them but with a bypass switch without fail so it can be used without and only switched on if required.
Here is (still) the simple truth: If you want a pre-amp with tone controls then go ahead and buy one. That's more than OK with me. But don't tell those who want pre-amps without tone controls that those devices must not be produced.

One of the reasons I say this is peoples hearing changes for a lot of us as you get older and that’s a fact so this way you don’t have to by a new amp. And yes I do get your point that tone controls do no good.
This is by far the worst argument for tone controls (even sophisticated tone controls, not the usual bullsh*t tone controls) ever. Really. Didn't anybody read what @GreyPoppy had to say about it?
I never ask the violins at a concert to turn it up because my hearing’s a bit dull that day, and I never complain if concert hall X is boomier or drier than concert hall Y.
If a person with somehow degraded hearing is listening to a live music event, this person will enjoy it just the way it is with all imperfections caused by their hearing loss. If the loss is starting to impact your enjoyment of live music there is one and only one fix: Get a proper (read: good and expensive) hearing aid. It will work on live music as well as on recorded music and offer additional benefits. Don't buy new speakers or a new amp, don't think about tone controls, go see your hearing aid acoustician!

But most of all as others have said who cares as long as you enjoy the music as that’s what it all about, and it is. Music is about making you feel good regardless of the system, he won’t be reading this but one of my brothers is what I call tone deaf as he cannot tell a good system apart from a portable radio, but he says as long as there is music coming that it for me.
No question about that.

The one thing that no one has answered, if you listen to two or more top end systems same tracks why do they sound different when it’s supposed to be as intended / as it should be.
To me the answer is trivial. And no, tone controls are do not enable you to make them sound the same.

Does my own current amplifier have tone controls? Yes it does. I can not only chose the gain for Bass and Treble but also the frequency (from 20 to 800 Hz for Bass and from 1500 to 16.000 Hz for Treble). But that's not all.
  • I can also chose between 13 predefined EQ settings.
  • If I'm not satisfied with any of those I can create an unlimited amount of custom EQ settings. Each of them can consist of up to 8 different filters (low pass, high pass, low shelf, high shelf or parametric with adjustable frequency, Q and gain (where applicable)).
  • I can assign any of those unlimited number of predefined or custom EQ settings to each individual input of my amp (where each of up to 10 Internet radio station is recognized as a separate input, all other Internet radio stations being the 11th input).
  • I can apply a custom EQ to my main speakers and a custom EQ to my subwoofers (each consisting of up to 8 different filters again).
Too good to be true? No, just the ultimate solution for everybody (excluding Peter @Hear Here). And this solution has been brought to you already in post no. 3!
 

ddlooping

Active Member
The Luxman has lovely milled tone controls, but confess I have only ever touched them with a microfibre duster! LineStraight in Luxman speak has been engaged from new. Previous Marantz pm14 the same. Perhaps I should give them a try. ...
Imagine if you did and enjoyed what you heard even more !!?? :O
 

Khazul

Well-known Member
let’s face it a digital download taken from the masters not compressed and a very good sample rate regardless how they manage to deliver / sell it to us would be fantastic.

As far as I can tell, that is pretty much what you get from Qobuz and at least some other Hi-Res streaming and download services but of course subject to the publisher releasing it as lossless hi-res or even producing in hi-res. I dont know how much the existence of MQA gets in the way of lossless hi-res releases, as far as I can tell not much.

I don't know how much production is actually done beyond 44.1k or 48k sample rate and down-converted to only release as 44.1k as I have been out of it for 12 or so years now so I have lost track beyond what I see on qobuz or tidal. Back then I was just starting to get asked to do hi-res (96 and sometimes 192k) production.
 

nomorelandings

Active Member
Imagine if you did and enjoyed what you heard even more !!?? :O
Hi,
in the interest of keeping an open mind, have tried on a couple of test tracks. My Sony music cd featuring ELP’s Lucky Man, Greg Lake’s fill in track that he wrote as a school boy, can be a bit bright with his over dubbed guitars and Palmer’s splash cymbals. A notch down on the treble helped here without loss of “air”. +1 on the bass did no harm to this 50+ year old recording. I left them set for “Gold dust Woman” - another over dubbed track with several over strung guitars. Boosted McVie’s bass guitar which is fairly low key compared to other Rumours tracks. A good suggestion, thanks, but Line Straight is optimum for most tracks to my ears. The Luxman and Epicons have great synergy and all sources rarely offend - Hifi nirvana.
 

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