bass/treble control usage

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Asim, Jan 25, 2003.

  1. Asim

    Asim Stunt Coordinator

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    Ok, all you audio efficionados...

    do you guys ever use your bass/treble controls? or is this a big audio NONO...that everything should sound good "simply and plainly" thru...

    i know there is always the "well if it suits your ears, why does it matter" response, but i am trying out several speakers with my H/K AVR520 and am noticing better results using the knobs. your help would be much 'preciated.

    thanks.

    - asim
     
  2. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

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    I keep the bass flat and adjust the bass volume on my sub.

    I bump the treble just a bit.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    With a receiver of the caliber of the 520, you should not need any adjustments, IMO.
     
  4. Yousaf

    Yousaf Second Unit

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    It all depends on what you like. Even though my speakers are considered bright I still like a little more treble...the knob is 10-15 degrees to the right. It's really not much, but I like the sound so I keep it there.

    However, when auditioning speakers you should keep them flat otherwise you are changing the sound of the speaker. To accurately evaluate a speaker, you need to try and cut out all other variables so that only the speakers remain. Changing treble and bass might give you the wrong opinion on a speaker. Keep the dials at neutral, pick the speakers you prefer, then if you find that they are lacking a bit (and none of the other speakers could duplicate the sound) use the knobs a little to fine tune the sound to your liking (but if you need to change it a lot, you can probably find a better speaker that will play in your desired manner).
     
  5. Asim

    Asim Stunt Coordinator

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  6. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    The Tone controls in any Receiver (or Pre/Pro for that
    matter) are rudimentary and should be set flat.

    The "Holy Grail" is flat in room response or as close to
    flat as possible. And the only way to truly get flat is to
    run a Real Time Analysis (RTA) of the room, see where the
    dips and peaks are and then use high quality equalization
    from the likes of ART or Behringer or DBX to correct for
    those room anomalies.

    That being said, you may not even like the way flat sounds!
    To you flat may be dull and lifeless and to me it could be
    smooth and warm. They are your speakers and your reciever
    and you should do what ever it is that makes YOU happy and
    that IS the bottom line, no matter what anyone else tells
    you.

    My ears tell me I am close to flat, My room is fairly dead
    acousticaly if you clap there are no echoes, every wall has
    some sort of absorbtion item on it (canvas paintings and
    other items that tend to absorb not reflect and I have
    super thick carpeting also.

    I love the way it sounds, I have done numerous internal
    tweaks to my mains to make them sound the way they do and
    I am not done... I have done things to the room to help it
    make the music sound better. Little things like placing an
    acoustic tile against the wall where a bass reflex sub fires
    can do amazing things for tightening up bass and removing
    the boominess..

    And never forget that speaker placement can have as much
    effect on the sound they put out as just buying a different
    speaker would.. A bright speaker's tweeter can easily be
    tamed by placement, Midrange can be dialed in, bass can be
    boosted by placement near more room boundries etc..

    After my defective Behringer Tube Ultra-Q gets replaced (it
    is on it's way here now..) I am going to run an RTA of the
    room with TrueRTA on my PC, get a rough idea what's going
    on and then equalize from there. No speaker not even a JM
    Labs Grand Utopia or a Wilson WHAM or a Wilson-Benesch Bishop
    is perfect, they all have compromises and in a bad room will
    sound horrible. So fix the environment first and that will
    make the most out of any speaker!
     
  7. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

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    I never touch my tone controls. I second Brett's Post.

    Also, consider that it is pretty tough to objectively evaluate the characteristics of any music/software if you've modified it from the beginning. You leave yourself with no baseline as a point of "reference."

    Keeping tone controls neutral has also expanded my musical horizons as well. Example: I wouldn’t have been caught dead listening to anything "top 40" three years ago. Now, I listen to a broader range of musical material and find that as long as the recording is clean, I tend to appreciate it more, regardless of the musical style. This is especially true when a tune has a great bass line.

    --Steve
     
  8. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Steve,

    I am in 100% agreement.. It has expanded my allready broad
    musical tastes to an even wider range. I feel that this is
    what a "true" AudioPhile is, You don't have to own 40K
    speakers playing off 10K Amps through a 5K CDP to be called
    an AudioPhile, you just have to have the desire to really
    enjoy the music. That is afterall what it is all about,
    enjoying the music. It can lift the spirits when you are
    feeling blue, it can supercharge your attitude and make
    you want to get out there and dance and shake it up.

    It is all about the music, and the cleanest means of
    reproducing it that you can afford.

    Good music can come from a bargain system that has been
    carefully tweaked. Dare I say that a $1000.00 pair of
    properly placed speakers in a properly tweak listening
    environment can outperform a set of 40K speakers that are
    sitting in the wrong room.
     
  9. Zack_R

    Zack_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I think using the tone controls is okay if used sparingly, the way a pinch of seasoning can enhance a food's flavor. Since they are on your receiver, why not experiment? It cost nothing and you may save yourself money from having to purchase replacement speakers.

    Since speakers are generally rated +/- 3db I see no problem in making adustments within this range. If you find yourself having to adjust more than a little to get the sound you want you may want to think about room treatments or different speakers. However, if you can adjust the sound so that you like it, then using tone controls can save you money instead of buying another pair os speakers.

    With my speakers I can't make them something they are not by making big swings in bass and treble. When I do this the speaker sounds like it is being audible stretched beyond it's natural build intent. I currently have my bass flat and my treble @ -1.5 db from flat.
     
  10. Brett DiMichele

    Brett DiMichele Producer

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    Zack,

    The truth is that even if you buy another pair of speakers
    they probably will sound just as bad if it's a room issue
    and it always is..


    Most speakers today are VERY decent.. And with careful
    placement and tweaks they can deliver stellar performances.
     
  11. Rob Rodier

    Rob Rodier Supporting Actor

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    Tone controls are essential when listening to many sources. The key is that they are well designed and use quality parts. The McIntosh stuff is an excellent example.

    Lets not give these record producers more credit than they deserve!

    -rob
     
  12. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    Botton line, tone controls and others ie volume are determined by many factors. I don't think one can say setting controls flat is always correct. To accurately make that statement one would need to know which reciever and speakers are being used. As we all know some speakers and recievers are bright ie Yamaha, Klipsch.

    If one has that combination they might very well want to turn down the treble on the reciever. Room acoustics also come into play. However, the last and what I believe the most important factor is one's sense of hearing. Only that person truly knows if they should add or subtract bass or treble.
     

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