Can I build my own LOUDNESS control with minimal sound quality degradation?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chris PC, May 5, 2002.

  1. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,975
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I often listen to my system without the subwoofer, trying to use my front speakers -3 dB point of 32 hz. I often feel as though I'm missing some of the bass impact which I had in my older system. My old system had sealed speakers with a -3dB point of 45hz and a 50 watt per channel amp with a loudness control on my new receiver. It really bugs me that not only does my new receiver not have a loudness control, but I also have no bass and treble in source direct. Now with my newer setup, I have ported speakers with similar, if not less distored bass down to 28 hz or so in room, but a steeper drop off there and no loudness control. Forgive me for throwing even more processing into the mix but I am desparately nostalgic of loudness controls. I like music at medium to loud levels, but often, I don't like having to turn up the entire volume because I want more bass. I love full bass sound and I notice that when I turn up the volume I reach a point where the bass seems full in comparison and then I turn it up higher and it seems as thought the midrange and treble gain more than the bass does. I imagine my 105 watt x 3 receiver has its limits into 6 ohms, but I feel cheated sometimes. Often I will hear smooth low bass, while other times I feel I am lacking that full warm bottom end bass levels.

    On the web I have seen plans and schematics for loudness controls and they interest me. Is there anything out there that would be decent enough to use? Frankly, I never noticed the difference in sound quality when I defeated the tone controls on my older amp. I want a loudness control!
     
  2. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Chris,



    Loudness controls were never intended to be used like you have been using them. They were designed to boost the lows and (to a lesser extent) the highs at low volume , to compensate for the ear’s natural reduction in sensitivity at the ends of the frequency spectrum at reduced listening levels. To that end, loudness controls gradually reduced the effect the higher the volume was turned up. Unfortunately too many people used them at normal and high listening levels to induce some “boom/sizzle” to their sound.



    Loudness compensation controls typically never worked very well because the receiver manufacturer had no way to know the efficiency of the end user’s speakers. The only decent loudness control anyone ever had was Yamaha’s variable control that allowed the user to induce the exact amount his speaker’s needed.



    At the risk of sounding simplistic, why not just turn on the sub or use your tone controls? Or connect a 10-band EQ between the CD player and receiver? Any of these would give you a lot more control of your system’s bass. Makes a more sense than a cobbled-together “boom/sizzle” switch, IMO, and it will eliminate the "sound degradation" issue.



    Regards,

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You're dissapointed that receivers don't have bass and treble controls when in "tone direct" mode. [​IMG] That's the whole point of a "tone direct mode"! That's the reason they exist, to bypass that stuff. [​IMG] So turn off tone direct and turn your bass up to compensate for your speakers. I have an all analog system in my office with a Harman/Kardon HK3270 analog stereo receiver and a pair of old Mirage 290i speakers with no sub and I crank up the bass for just the same reason you do.
     
  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,975
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  5. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 1999
    Messages:
    6,123
    Likes Received:
    40
    Trophy Points:
    6,610
    Location:
    Katy, TX
    Real Name:
    Wayne
    Chris,

     
  6. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,975
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes but as I mentioned, if i don't use source direct, I would then be left with D to A in CD player and then A to D and D to A in receiver again. Pretty sure thats how it works because when playing CD player via analog inputs, the DSP's, dolby pro logic, tone controls and bass management all work, which leads me to believe there is some A to D and D to A going on. The point of using a digital connection would be limiting myself to only one D to A conversion in the receiver before amplifying and that would make SOURCE DIRECT not such a big deal and not necessarily desirable. There are other reasons I'm not super fond of my receiver so I am looking for an alternative. As I've mentioned, the Outlaw 950 allows tone control on the analog direct mode and may not require my using it since the 950 may not cut of the digital signals.
     
  7. Saurav

    Saurav Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    2,174
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Source Direct and Tone Bypass are two different concepts. The first eliminates the A-D and D-A conversions on analog inputs and all the processing done in the digital domain, like bass management. The second eliminates the extra resistors and capacitors in the signal path due to tone and balance controls.
     
  8. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  9. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

    Joined:
    May 12, 2001
    Messages:
    3,975
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Yes. Exactly. I don't want to get into the other problems but lets just say my receiver is quirky. I remember playing the subwoofer only with my main speakers disconnected and increasing the bass only to watch the Radio Shack SPL meter register a -1/2 dB each time I increased the bass 1 dB while playing tones between 20 and 50 hz. I tried this with my regular front speakers and they produced a 1 dB increase in bass. Weird. My main problems with the Marantz SR6200 are the 100 hz crossover and the digital dropouts.
     

Share This Page