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  1. #1
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    Default Turned off the loudness...

    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.

  2. #2

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    The fact is that with a decent set of speakers and a room that is reasonable you don't need tone control. Even if there are slight oddities you will become accustom to them.
    Vinyl, the final frontier...

    Avantgarde horns, 300b tubes, thats the kinda crap I want... :D

  3. #3

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    I've read many comments about manufacturers needing to do away with tone and loudness controls.
    The better ones never had them to begin with and now you know why.
    'Political Correctness'.........defined

    "A doctrine fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

  4. #4

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    Yeah man. Don't use them. Unless you have some crappy recordings that need serious boost in the bass or treble. I bypass the controls on my pre.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  5. #5

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    I agree about tone controls not being needed if all else it high grade.I found myself not using my equalizers as much and slowly without even noticing I left them out after moving a system around a bit or to the outside building.I don't even miss them AT ALL. I used to swear by them too.

    I still like a loudness button (if the amp has one) when listening at low levels and I even have the bass turned up just slightly on the SRS2 systems preamp.

    I thought about hooking an equalizer up to one of my newest systems just yesterday but it's not high on my priority list right now.;)..I would listen real close before the addition and then again and see what differences or distortion arises.
    Most people just listen to music and watch movies . I am glad to be a part of a select group that tries to take our auditory and visual senses to a higher level: we EXPERIENCE them.... GOT SDA?...GOT SUNFIRE? ...GOT Maggies?

  6. #6

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    Tone controls are locked out on the receiver I am using except for the Stereo, Front Stage Surround Focus/Wide, and Autosurround mode when it resolves to stereo only. This means I don't use the tone controls.

    Loudness is a different issue. When I added the subwoofer to the entire setup and set all the speakers to Small, I got plenty of bass drum out of the setup but I still wasn't getting string bass/bass guitar/bass synth sounds.

    I actually tried to avoid using Loudness. However--after trying a workarounds including setting front speakers to Large and using Plus mode for the subwoofer (way too overpowering bass for all types of music), setting speakers to Large and using separate high pass crossovers on the front speakers (okay, but not good enough for a variety of music beyond rock and dance music), turning up the subwoofer enough to hear the string bass/bass guitar/bass synth sounds (resulting in way too overpowering bass drum sounds)--the best bass for the setup I am using actually seems to occur with Loudness enabled and the subwoofer turned up barely above its minimum volume.
    Main room speakers setup, 5.1 surround sound setup: Pioneer VSX-517K AV receiver, Polk Audio Monitor 40 Front speakers, Polk Audio CSM Center speaker, Polk Audio M10 Surround speakers, Polk Audio PSW110 Subwoofer.

    Secondary room, 2 channel stereo setup:
    Technics SA-GX170, KLH TW-09B.

    Computer, 2 channel stereo setup: Nata SL-200 Integrated Amplifier and Speaker System connected to a Soundblaster X-fi Xtreme Audio Soundcard.

  7. #7

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    Loudness is a different issue. When I added the subwoofer to the entire setup and set all the speakers to Small, I got plenty of bass drum out of the setup but I still wasn't getting string bass/bass guitar/bass synth sounds.
    This can be a problem. Using an AVR to to play stereo music is full of possible errors due to all the setting possibilties. Assuming you have at the least moderate bookshelf speakers, then no sub, speakers at large, and direct mode. Take it from there by upgrading speakers and electronics to improve the sound.

  8. #8

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    I was a fan of always keeping the controls at dead center till I was at Carverfest 2009. I had the chance to sit and listen with Bob Carver and he is a tweaker to the 10th degree.

    And from what I took from my time spent listening with Bob was that the more control you have the better you can make the sound.

    He really was able to make the adjustments needed and I could hear a difference. Now with me going home and trying to do the same, I have to say I have a hard time to do what he did but I have changed my mind and started to tweek when I can to little avail but it has made me rethink on how I listen to music. IMO, sound can always sound better but I do not have the ability yet to do so.
    Sunfire TGP, Sunfire Cinema Grand, Sunfire 300~2 (2), Sunfire True Sub (2),Carver ALS Platinum, Carver AL III, TFM-55, C-19, C-9, TX-8, SDA-490t, SDA-390t

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by thuffman03 View Post
    I was a fan of always keeping the controls at dead center till I was at Carverfest 2009. I had the chance to sit and listen with Bob Carver and he is a tweaker to the 10th degree.

    And from what I took from my time spent listening with Bob was that the more control you have the better you can make the sound.

    He really was able to make the adjustments needed and I could hear a difference.
    True. The point is you need to know what you are doing, and you need to know what 'good' sounds like. Sort of like a musician tuning their instrument. Additionally, in order to really make a difference one needs more than a balance, treble, and bass control. You need to control every frequency.

    The problem is 99.99999% of the population does not know what they are doing, and controls just give them the opportunity to screw things up. Of course, it's their equipment and they can do what they want.

  10. #10

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    You also degrade the signal as you add more controls. That's why minimalist SET systems sound so good. It's as simple as it gets. I'd rather put the money on room treatments to fix anomalies.
    CD Player: Original CD-A8T
    Pre: Antique Sound Lab Passive T1-X DT
    Amp: NAD C270
    Speakers: B&W DM6
    "I would rather have a cup of tone than an ocean of power" **Dr. Harvey Rosenberg**

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by organ View Post
    You also degrade the signal as you add more controls. That's why minimalist SET systems sound so good. It's as simple as it gets. I'd rather put the money on room treatments to fix anomalies.
    Bingo!

  12. #12

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    The loudness control isn't really something that's meant to be used at all times. I was guilty of leaving it on all the time with my first stereo's though.

    It's really just meant for boosting mid-frequencies at lower volumes, to give the illusion of having a fuller sound. It can be useful at times, but for the most part you're better off without it IMO.
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  13. #13

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    I never use any loudness controls for 'critical' listening but if I'm playing the FM at low volumes at night..yeah I boost the sound--but then it's really only 'background' music.

    2 channel has always sounded best with no treble or bass adjustments...just Pure Direct on the Denon/Adcom pre/amp!

    cnh

  14. #14

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    Years ago I was a treble junkie. It was like sugar for me. Now I look back I wonder how I have any hearing left. What I did when making the "transition" to 0dB, I spent the first week with the treble turned all the way down to -6db from flat. It got me off the "stuff" and I have been on the wagon ever since.

    My name is Steve, and I'm a recovering trebleholic.

    Source: Squeezebox Touch/CIA Power Supply
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    Subwoofer: SVS PB12-NSD

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