I was challenged by a sales reps at one of our two Home Audio stores to turn off the "loudness" setting on my Denon and bypass the tone controls for a week. (I had been complaining about highs being to bright and getting hard with higher volumes.)
So I did...
My first thought was - man, my system sounds like s**t. I realized I was listening to the XM receiver so I put a CD in - big difference but I still wasn't convinced.
I had an opportunity to just sit down and listen to a few CDs yesterday with no wife or kids around. I grabbed the 5 CDs I had been taking with me to test drive some new speakers and put them in the tray. Turned the stereo up to a decent listening volume and just listened to the music. (I've taken the time to audition some great speakers over the last few days in my quest for a new pair. This has more than pointed out the limitations of my current system.) I must say - the Monitors have never sounded better. They were no where near as fatiguing as I had experienced over the last 3 years.
I'm sure there are many of you who would say something to the effect of - "told ya!" I've read many comments about manufacturers needing to do away with tone and loudness controls. I don't know that I'd agree but - I'm no longer using mine. Thanks to Donnie at Barney Miller's Home Audio in Lexington, KY for the challenge and opening my ears.