Do you adjust bass and treble?

Nelis87

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Nov 24, 2014
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I have listened to my music in Direct mode for years, so no adjustments in bass and/or treble. But last night I started to experiment with bass and treble adjustment a little bit. Turns out I like the sound of my bookshelfs better with the bass and treble on +1 (on a scale from 1-6). Just out of curiosity what are your experience with tone controls?
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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Every amp I've owned with tone controls seemed to need them so not to sound literally flat and boring, while every amp I've owned without tone controls didn't seem to need them. But I don't have any strong militant views either way. If it enhances your enjoyment, you go for it.
 

jimmy1

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Nov 5, 2013
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I used them on my last amp which was a marantz pm57 but seems to make the sound worse on my current amp so use it in direct mode
 

nopiano

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Feb 15, 2009
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I’ve not had tone controls on my Hi-Fi for over thirty years and don’t miss them. I do use the tone control on the Pure radio in the kitchen to make it less boomy on speech.
 

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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No

My system is so balanced that i don't need to, if i need to it's those foam plugs or what ever they are called for the bass port or the room control to lower the bass
 

Gonepostal

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Apr 26, 2014
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The Marantz I’m using has 4 settings for speaker response plus bass and treble adjustments. It’s to much choice and if I start fiddling with them I end up not listening to my music, for that reason I leave it on flat.
 

jimmy1

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Nov 5, 2013
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I suppose the better the amp the better the tone pots are gonna be but mine sounds fine on direct, really bassy when its meant to be and really good for acoustic and more chilled bass light tunes
 

Blacksabbath25

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Sep 20, 2015
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jimmy1 said:
I suppose the better the amp the better the tone pots are gonna be but mine sounds fine on direct, really bassy when its meant to be and really good for acoustic and more chilled bass light tunes
or your speakers give you a good amount of bass which also the amplifier helps with the control but I like the sound natural as it comes

I ones knew a person who I used to know but no longer with us but he was a big classical music fan and he never used the tone controls and he said to me ones that you wouldn’t find a violin with bass controls or a piano or any other classical instrument so why would you use tone controls the instruments should sound natural with there own natural bass weight and I’ve always remembered that so never use tone controls even though I have them .
 

insider9

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Sep 20, 2016
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Blacksabbath25 said:
he said to me ones that you wouldn’t find a violin with bass controls or a piano or any other classical instrument so why would you use tone controls the instruments should sound natural with there own natural bass weight and I’ve always remembered that so never use tone controls even though I have them .
It's an old cliche that audiophile berate use of EQ, while enjoying its many benefit. Imagine EQ wasn't used in studios... Imagine guitar amps, electric guitars didn't have tone adjustment.

How we hear is not just dependent on gear used, but volume too. It's perfectly reasonable to use tone controls when there is a need.
 

davedotco

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Apr 24, 2013
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My active speakers have bass and treble 'shelving' controls along with a control that adjusts the overall leven of the ribbon tweeter.

Given that they sit a little closer to the back wall than is ideal, I use a touch of bass cut to keep the bass balanced at proper listening levels and given my lightly furnished room the tweeter level is reduced very slightly, resulting in a flat and balanced response.

Downside is that the balance is a touch lean at background levels and the controls are somewhat inaccessible on the rear of the speakers. When we finally move house I shall address this, I plan to adjust for a balanced response at normal levels and set up a mild 'loudness' eq (or several) as presest on my streamer/pre-amp. In that way I shall be able to switch eq from the control app. The speaker settings can then stay in the (measured) flat settings.

Should be an interesting excersise, hopefully I can get my hands on the same mic I used last time, the measured results correlated pretty well with what I was hearing.
 

Electro

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Mar 30, 2011
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No , I don't have any tone controls and have never felt the need for any.

Each recording has it's own character and I accept them for what they are.

Simple tone controls won't make any significant change for the better , what you add or take away in one area you loose out in another so you end up constantly twiddling instead of listening to music, they are far to blunt an instrument imo.

I can see a point to DSP room correction but only if used to the minimum, physical room treatment should be used before DSP correction if possible.

I do think mild frequency controls fitted to speaker can be of use for really bad rooms or if the speakers can't be placed in the best position as long as they are set and forget.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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Blacksabbath25 said:
I ones knew a person who I used to know but no longer with us but he was a big classical music fan and he never used the tone controls and he said to me ones that you wouldn’t find a violin with bass controls or a piano or any other classical instrument so why would you use tone controls
Shame he isn't still around, would love to have completely shredded that daft reasoning right in front of him. For a start no hifi in the world reproduces sound exactly the same as hearing a piano, violin or any other instrument live in your room. That's even before you factor in the million other variables influencing the sound between the live performance and hearing the recording of it through your speakers.
 
gasolin said:
davidf said:
I add 1dB to the higher frequencies. Just adds a little more clarity at my listening level.
Can be done by angle the speakers towars the listening position if you haven't already done it
I have my speakers angled in pointing towards me - I prefer it that way, plus, my two channel system is my AV system as well, so a solid central image is important. Plus, the speakers are almost as old as me, so they have that ‘well worn’, smoother top end associated with 70s vintage speakers. There’s a pot on the crossover I can use to vary HF level too, as I used to do that on my dad’s pair, but I haven’t messed about with that on these ones.
 

Native_bon

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Nov 26, 2008
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MajorFubar said:
Blacksabbath25 said:
I ones knew a person who I used to know but no longer with us but he was a big classical music fan and he never used the tone controls and he said to me ones that you wouldn’t find a violin with bass controls or a piano or any other classical instrument so why would you use tone controls
Shame he isn't still around, would love to have completely shredded that daft reasoning right in front of him. For a start no hifi in the world reproduces sound exactly the same as hearing a piano, violin or any other instrument live in your room. That's even before you factor in the million other variables influencing the sound between the live performance and hearing the recording of it through your speakers.
Very much so, it's quite pointless, no harm in using tone controls if necessary. *music2*
 

Diamond Joe

Well-known member
Mar 1, 2008
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I reduce the bass occasionally but only because I don't want to annoy my neighbours, when I'm certain they're out I press the direct button (and crank the volume up *diablo* )
 

MajorFubar

New member
Mar 3, 2010
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Native_bon said:
Very much so, it's quite pointless, no harm in using tone controls if necessary. *music2*
Some people visualise the recording process as a straight wire with gain between a couple of microphones and the cutting head. They envision that a perfect hifi would recreate that 'one version of the truth' which was the live performance perfectly in their living room. This fallacy is an unachievable goal, and is as much perpetuated by the hifi 'scene', eg hifi magazines and the marketing machines of the manufacturers, as it is by the punters' own naivety.

If only they had an inkling of an understanding about what really goes on between recording the individual instruments and hearing the final result mixed and mastered, then they would realise there's no such thing as one version of the truth. What they're actually aiming for is a blind target, because a perfect hifi (which doesn't exist) would not inherently reproduce the sound of the real instruments but instead could only ever precisely replicate the sound the mastering engineer created, which as Rumsfeld would say, is a known unknown.

Maybe some simple recordings of solo instruments, singer-songwriter with a guitar, or jazz quartets etc are as close as you will ever get to what these folks naively think happens. But even then, the producer and mastering engineer will still have tailored the sound to suit their tastes and the brief.
 

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