bass / treble setting

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by bernard&*, May 13, 2004.

  1. bernard&*

    bernard&* Stunt Coordinator

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    hello,
    what should be the setting of "bass and treble" on a/v receiver when playing movie. will the maximum "bass" setting increase the subwoofer output.

    many thanks[​IMG]
     
  2. ScottCHI

    ScottCHI Screenwriter

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    flat
     
  3. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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  4. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    To clarify: The two answers above are directed to this part of your question:


    It might, but it will also change the tonal balance in every other speaker. If you want to increase the subwoofer output, the better approach is to adjust the volume for that channel in your receiver (if the receiver permits such adjustment) or adjust the volume of the subwoofer (if it's a powered subwoofer).

    M.
     
  5. bernard&*

    bernard&* Stunt Coordinator

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    thank's for clearing me up guys!
     
  6. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Allow me to cause some controversy. [​IMG]

    Bernard, set those bass and treble controls the way you want.

    Unless you are living in a room that has exactly the same acoustics as the mixing room used by the studio's soundtrack engineers and you are using the exact same monitoring/mixing speakers and subwoofer and amplifiers, simply setting your system to a flat state does not guarantee exact duplication of the sounds that those engineers and/or directors wanted you to hear.

    Most movies and music seem to be mixed decently but I've had some that had waaaaay too much treble which drove me nuts & had to give my treble knob a twist to mellow it out. As far as music goes there is one CD I have, Wrecking Ball by Emmylou Harris, where her vocals are recorded with such a horrendous amount of sibilance and "sizzle" the only way for me to listen to this album is to turn the treble down almost all the way (because my Technics' treble midpoint is set at 20kHz to avoid messing with the midrange).

    Edit: as far as the bass control/subwoofer question, it is possible for the bass control on your receiver to change the way the subwoofer sounds but this depends on how the bass control is designed. My Technics' bass control is centered at 50Hz which is quite low compared to many other receivers (probably to make it easier to control excessive bass "thumpiness" on modern pop & rock recordings). So this would definitely change the way the typical subwoofer sounds. But many other receiver's bass controls are centered in the 100hz to 150Hz range--this particular section of the bass region is sometimes called "pseudo bass". This will have little-to-no effect on most subs (remember, tone controls have different amounts of roll-off on either side of their center frequency, in other words, some controls centered at 100Hz will have an effect possibly down to 50Hz and up to 150Hz; others may just get down to 80Hz and up to 120Hz). Some speaker companies purposely design their smaller woofers to exaggerate these frequencies to make the woofer sound more "exciting" and though obviously you can tell it isn't true low bass it still sounds pretty good (but without causing the woofer or amplifier to strain themselves).

    As far as needing the bass control to tame sonic problems, it also has it uses. I have a few CDs that I use mine with. One example is one by Thievery Corporation, Mirror Conspiracy, that has some upper bass effects that react badly with my specific room/speakers relationship: on several of the tracks this bass becomes very boomy and blurry (it does not do this in my car though). I am certainly not going to move my speakers just for a few songs, so by simply turning the bass control knob I can get rid of most of that boominess.

    Also: unless recently things have changed drastically, most speakers' frequency responses are tested in an anechoic chamber. So this means when you put that same speaker in a real-life living room, it is almost guaranteed that the smooth and lovely frequency response you saw on the graph on their website is going to look like it drank a six pack of beer on the way to your house. So personally, I no longer worry about trying to get "perfect sound" in my listening room. And anyway, most good manufacturers listen to and tweak their speakers in rooms set up like the typical living room to make sure their product will sound acceptable once the customer puts it in their living room.

    So once I learned about the actual sound recording process and especially, about room/speaker interactions, I was no longer intimidated by those bass and treble controls.

    LJ
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Yet, like Michael, I prefer that the amplification unit put out a signal that closely as possible replicates the signal it was fed. A flat signal. The tone controls are defeated in both my systems.
     
  8. Mike SJ

    Mike SJ Supporting Actor

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  9. Bill Blank

    Bill Blank Stunt Coordinator

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    I personally set mine to flat to try and come as close to the original intent as possible. The frequencies where my processor's bass and treble controls are centered, I have no problems in my room otherwise they might be useful.

    Lance makes several good points and in the end it's up to you what you do. The one thing I caution is that should you goose your treble and bass controls and then get excited and goose the volume knob a little to far, you could run into problems.

    Just remember that even if centered at 100Hz and 10kHz you'll be affecting the other frequencies around them. If you like the result, by all means use them!

    Bill
     
  10. Johnny_M

    Johnny_M Second Unit

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    i agree with setting up to what sounds best for you. i mean, music cds also are recorded a certain way, but who doesnt adjust the base and treble when listening to music? same thing for movies, for instance after properly calibrating my theater the sub was barely visable, growing up the way i did i like some extra base so i upped it way past where it should be. but when someone gets punched on the screen u can feel it, and thats what "I" like.


    Johnny
     
  11. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

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    For the reasons I outlined above, the bass control is the least effective way of making your subwoofer more "visible" (I suspect you mean "audible").

    M.
     
  12. Johnny_M

    Johnny_M Second Unit

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    sensing a little sarcasm there. the point i was trying to make, forgive me if im not that clear (i talk to customers at the same time i post), was that if the option is there adjust it the way it sounds best to you. whether it be music, movies, or whatever. no 2 people hear things the same way. i grew up listening to loud music with enhanced bass and treble and that sound turns me on, i like to feel the sound and most music and movies when watched without any type of equilization sound horible to me compared to that which i adjust myself. but anyway, to each their own.

    Johnny
     

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