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Old 14th June 2009, 03:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: MN
Default Tone Control Center Frequencies?

I have this car stereo that the tone controls annoy me to no end. it is a nice stereo and they included Bass, Mid and treble controls but the bass control just never seemed to be the right frequency. always seemed to add too much tubby-ness to the sound. So i finally decided to look into why.

This particular stereo choose to center the tone control frequencies at 100hz, 1khz and 10khz (digi controller ic, freq's are right out of the spec sheet)

I can live with the Mid and HF controls. but the bass control at 100hz just seems too high to be a bass control. So it got me thinking and i realized i have never thought about what the center frequencies of tones controls normally are??

So... where would the bass tone control of an avg stereo normally be? and i realize that's like asking how many grains of sand there are in the world but surly there has to be some sort of average.

and is the bass control generally a low shelving type control or a bandpass type control?

In my particular device is is a band pass control with a Q of .9 at maximum boost of 12dB according to the spec sheet for the digital controller IC used.

they use external capacitors to simulate an inductor for the center frequency and were nice enough to give the math to determine that freq. So once i decide what to change the freq to, i can simple change 4 capacitors.

Thoughts, opinions, your 2 cents worth???
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Old 14th June 2009, 05:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
I agree, the tone band for MOST audio is way too close to the middle of the spectrum to be useful.

My current amp does shelving at 40Hz and 12kHz, which I like.

Luckily, as you say, on analogue circuits you can change these things. Pity those stuck with DSP-based tone controls.
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Old 14th June 2009, 06:51 PM   #3
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Location: MN
the whole thing has been a very interesting learning experience. the IC uses a simulated Inductor for the tone shaping. I found on Rod Elliot's site an excellent description of a simulated inductor circuit.

I am thinking about trying 50hz as the bass control center. I might have to raise that a bit but i am going to give that a try. maybe i can rig up a small PCB with some dip switches and configure it so i can switch it between several settings to figure out what works best

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Old 15th June 2009, 03:13 AM   #4
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Ok i tried a little experiment tonight. I took home stereo graphic eq out to the car with an extension cord and plugged my ipod into the eq and then from the eq into the car stereo and i found 60hz to be close but still to high, 50hz seems to be about right! which makes the fix for the stereo very easy!
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