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Old 3rd May 2012, 07:36 AM   #1
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Default Bass & Treble controls, or rather lack of.

Forgive me if this sounds ignorant to the people who design and build tube amps, BUT, why don't so many amps out there on the market have Bass & Treble controls.
I have these but I would only buy gear that did sport these features. That excluded a lot of amps that I would have otherwise been interested in.
A bit peeved off about it cause I have to do the major overhaul on old gear ( as interesting and satisfying as it has been), I could gave saved a lot of time & bother (and many expletives) !
Cheers & regards to all,
Andrew.

PS: This is in no way meant to offend anybody !!!
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Old 3rd May 2012, 07:51 AM   #2
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Because an amplifier just 'boosts' the signal at its input .
You mean integrated amps ...
Well , the tone controls are put before the amplifier signal 1) to correct the deficiencies of the record 2) to suit listeners taste 3) to correct speaker's ( and room ) deficiencies .
Once you have the perfect recording , the perfect speakers and optimal listening habitat , it is obvious that you don't need a pre-amplifier with the tone control defeat button always pressed
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Old 3rd May 2012, 08:00 AM   #3
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Well,

some time ago you could get bass, Middle, Treble controls..Before Eq became popular..It all comes down to Audiophile ideas...The more you put in a signal path the more it degrades the signal, Thats why some have two mono volume controls (Left and right) so you get balance with only two pots...With the tone controls you are using the controls to overcome the non linearities of the system and listening room..The best way to do it is build a pre-amp and put anything in it that you want..if you change your mind you can have a "Flat" switch that shorts them out..Also it means that you can use any power amp that takes your fancy..I always put a volume control on my power amps because it means you can use it "on its own" with just a single Ipod or CD etc..

Here is an interesting question...How many on here wish they had tone controls but don't have them because they think its not "HiFi" to have them or not fashionable?
Be honest when you answer.. If you had them would you use them?

I notice some HiFi tube amps sneaking them in on the side out of view, It looks quite appealing and tastefully done...I guess if you asked them the answer would be there was no room on the front..

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M. Gregg
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Old 3rd May 2012, 08:24 AM   #4
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Second thoughts,

I remember many moons ago..when my equipment had tone controls..I didn't keep adjusting them I found a "Sweet spot" and it stayed their untill dust built up on the Knob..That was also the case in the 60's with the single tone knob on the old auto changer (I was very young then LOL)..Now I find that interesting.. no one else seemed to adjust from this setting..

I also remember my father talking to a salesman about buying some audio equipment..and the talk was this amp has great tone and this is a bit edgy etc...no talk of imaging..etc This is on reflection that the old gear is still considered quite good by some people.. Perhaps a 300B has great tone?

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M. Gregg
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Old 3rd May 2012, 08:38 AM   #5
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Simply because in the '60s there was a vast growing market , so a console would have to face an infinity of possible mix between the parts . Also , positioning of cabinets was not sufficiently studied ...and also nowadays submitted to the convenience of having a clean sitting room .
SWBO still rules and children putting fingers INSIDE the cones made bookshelf famous , possibly out of reach and out of sight , so a little tilt in the treble for correct off-axis... Then came the boombox era with the Ultrabass EQ, with a little parenthesis of good '70-'80 design , where Japan was first , at least in semiconductor production technology .
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Old 3rd May 2012, 09:00 AM   #6
M Gregg is offline M Gregg  United Kingdom
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picowallspeaker View Post
Simply because in the '60s there was a vast growing market , so a console would have to face an infinity of possible mix between the parts . Also , positioning of cabinets was not sufficiently studied ...and also nowadays submitted to the convenience of having a clean sitting room .
SWBO still rules and children putting fingers INSIDE the cones made bookshelf famous , possibly out of reach and out of sight , so a little tilt in the treble for correct off-axis... Then came the boombox era with the Ultrabass EQ, with a little parenthesis of good '70-'80 design , where Japan was first , at least in semiconductor production technology .
LOL,

OFF topic..I remember looking at an LP (record) that said "this is a Stereo recording" on it early 60's and discussing if it would work on a mono record player..the first stereo recording I or my friends had seen...LMAO... These moments are very precious when you are very young..


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Old 3rd May 2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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Surely there must be more opinions on this subject. C'mon guys/gals, don't hold back.
The most stupid questions are the ones that don't get asked.
I still wouldn't have a system with lack of afforementioned controls !
Andrew.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 11:13 AM   #8
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I use to think that way...but Im a purist. I am perectly happy with no tone controls on all of my equipment. I had a Mac pre that had them..and didnt like how the sound was altered. Though, they didnt call them tone controls on the Mac...they had some other way of describing what the controls did.
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Old 3rd May 2012, 11:30 AM   #9
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Post 3 by Gregg is the correct one.
Also throw in the Fletcher-Munsen curves for aural sensitivity vs. audibility at differing frequencies. Douglas Self did an excellent technical book "Loudspeakers" which deals with the issues.

The crafty bit is to manipulate the loudness control (+10dB Bass) plus the bass headroom on the tone control if ones pre/main amp can take it. A good method to sound-out the bass handling.
richy
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Old 3rd May 2012, 11:39 AM   #10
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The first few replies sum it up pretty fairly I'd say. Power amps don't need tone/EQ controls, period. Depending on the quality of your source and overall system linearity, you may need them in a pre-amp.

Remember how cassette tapes always had that tone sweep at the start? I think most people don't realise that was meant for EQ calibration. Once you got that tone sweep to an even amplitude all the way through, then your system was calibrated to what the recording studio intended, making up for variance between setups, so that you could hear the music the way the band and producers intended. Or it could be just that cassettes were an '80's thing and everybody had a graphic EQ and liked to watch the cool lights go from left to right when they started their tapes.

Now with CD's, being all digital, I'm assuming they figure that all systems should be fairly linear and reproduce the music the way they intended. This is usually not the case, especially when you include the room as part of the system. Most rooms are not ideal shapes for sound, and tend to cause nodes and voids.

What about vinyl? Who knows what the expectation was there? All I know is that with my vinyl listening setup at home I have all the tone controls on 0 and every album I have sounds perfect like that.
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