Level adjusting speaker drivers

Sometimes when I listen to various things it would be nice to turn up mid and Tweeter levels, and also bass too.

The speaker gets the signal and then it's split between the drivers by the crossover's, but what about the individual levels hitting these drivers. Would it be worthwhile to have a means to increase or reduce these levels?

Anyone ever done this and what tool did you use?



A graphic equalizer, more commonly known as an EQ, is used to change the frequency response of selected sounds, such as particular instruments or vocals in an audio track. It can be used to enhance the bass, reduce the treble, highlight a saxophone, or just make your audio sound better overall. EQs can be used in home audio or live sound. An EQ can be connected to audio equipment or physical hardware, or it may be a program on your computer. Once you get a handle on the basic operation of your EQ model, you can use it to make simple audio adjustments, then get into more detailed audio fine-tuning. This wikiHow article teaches you how to use a graphic equalizer.

Unfortunately it's an indication that your loudspeakers are not cutting it. Even without any tone controls, all your music should sound great with no reason to adjust things.

A big pet peeve of mine—speakers without L-Pad control of driver levels.  It is simply amazing how much a speaker can be transformed or made to work well in a tough room by tuning it with such controls.  Yes, they can be incorrectly used and that will mess up the sound, and, it does take a lot of patience and practice to use controls correctly, but, I think they sre essential to getting the most out of a pair of speakers.  I would take such controls over any equalizer.

Based on what you described, an actual equalizer, with 10 bands or more, is probably too much for your needs. If you don’t have a pre/integrated with built in tone controls already then a Schiit Loki is a middle of the road alternative:




Like any EQ though, you have to have a place in your audio chain to insert it.


This looks very interesting. Solution for biamping?

Does it control the levels or just the frequency ranges?

Hey OP,


It's as we discussed, a tone control, so it changes the levels of the sound but not directly the sound of each driver, which is a really good thing. :)

 You would need 1 of these devices for each speaker. It doesn't really address increasing voltage to each Driver as a result of using 2 amplifiers per speaker for biamping flexibility.





The problem you describe and the way you think you want to fix it are not lining up.

Sometimes when I listen to various things it would be nice to turn up mid and Tweeter levels, and also bass too.

The simple and best solution for what you described is a tone control like the Loki which will give you more control than driver adjustment.

The issue with adjusting driver levels is that they may or may not be at the musical boundaries. That is, if you want more bass from 100 Hz down but your woofer goes to 300 Hz you can’t fix it by adjusting driver levels.

The same for the tweeter.

OTOH, if you feel like getting into speaker making and crossover design, then yeah, get a crossover like a miniDSP and some drivers in a cabinet and go have fun or get an active line level crossover and multi-amp your speaker, but again, you will find based on your stated problem, that none of these solutions give you the level of control and ease of use you are seeking.

If you want to bi-amplify and the amps don’t have the same gain then you need to put a volume control on the higher gain amp.

Otherwise, have fun on your learning journey. 


Minidsp seems more design for subs.  And it seems pretty cheap of a product. And it's a nightmare to work with. 

Yes controlling gain is absolutely essential, and frequencies. would be wonderful if there were some Devices to do this that are easier to work with.


@russ69 -- "Unfortunately it's an indication that your loudspeakers are not cutting it. Even without any tone controls, all your music should sound great with no reason to adjust things."

I have to somewhat disagree with that -- recordings are all over the place in terms sound quality. The vast majority of commercially recorded music has already been mixed, eq'd, limited, compressed and otherwise processed to some degree. Different artists, engineers and producers have their own opinion as to what a particular recording should sound like, and that will also be influenced by the sound signature of the microphones, studio monitors and other equipment used for that work. So, it is no surprise that when you play things back in your home, some recordings just sound better to you than others. 

As such, some people like the ability to tinker with the sound by using tone controls or an equalizer.  Along those lines, Schiit offers three well regarded  EQ units at attractive prices.  Or, you can also explore the use of digital software equalizers. Roon can do this as well as some other digital players and software. 



schiit equalizers are interesting, they have great products and this is an area that's underserved

I guess you can use one for each biamped speaker. I would be using the internal crossovers of the speaker and then maybe this Device would allow me to adjust levels to allow for voltage differences hitting each driver. And then if I want I can also adjust frequency levels if I wanted to.

In making level adjustments without changing the frequency mix, I guess you would increase each of the dials by roughly the same amount. Maybe this isn't a true gain setting adjustment, which I think I really need.

Does this make sense?

These speakers have them. You can raise and lower the level of the tweeters 6 dB the mid range 6 dB the woofer is stationary you can raise the bottom 12 inch woofer is used as a sub and has adjustability is called blueprintacoustic.com.

Minidsp seems more design for subs.  And it seems pretty cheap of a product. And it's a nightmare to work with. 

No on all.

I use a Flex 8 in a four way system. The updated control software isn't perfect but it's a whole lot better than before.

You get more than what you pay for. Anything comparable is 10x the DoReMi!

That's the problem with DSP, the interfaces are very disappointing given what they do.

I'll take a look at the flex 8.

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@mlsstk in your re@russ69 making a comparison between the engineering production of a song or album is nowhere near the same as adding an inline eq to change the out out. The eq will not change the levels of frequency the engineer used. It will only increase or decrease the “level” of out put for said frequency. These are two entirely different things. That being said an eq is the only option to do what you are asking for. Also be aware that an eq is best used as a way to calibrate your speakers to your room. If your room is sucking up the bass you can add more but you can’t change the frequency the producer laid down.

@sgreg1 -- I fully understand that one can't "unscramble the egg" once an album has been released. (I worked my way through college as a concert sound engineer some decades ago so have a fair idea of what goes on in a studio.) 

However, if you don't like what you're hearing on a recording, EQ is really your only option to make any change to the sound. It certainly isn't practical to start changing speakers, amps, cables and the like every time you want a change in sound quality.  Your attitude seems to be to sit back and take what you don't like.

I own a couple of Lokis (they're amazingly inexpensive relative to how excellent they are)...one for my video rig and another for the headphone amp in my hifi rig which I sometimes put in the main system if something seems to need EQ. An EQ is useful for far more than checking room effects as all recordings are different and thus interact with the room differently, but I don't use EQ often as my rig fits my room really well. I'm considering a Loki Max as operating it via remote sounds like fun and hey...who doesn't like fun? My experience with the Loki has shown it to be utterly transparent and noiseless, and I assume that the Max is also. 

Way back when, in the 50s and 60s, amplifiers used to have tone controls by which the treble and base response could be increased or reduced.  Then in the 80s we got graphic equalisers, that enabled adjustment of the response of different slices of the audio spectrum.

The latter were little more than gimmicks for the uninitiated to play around with.  This included uninformed production engineers who ruined many a good recorded performance by messing around.  To make matters worse, the circuitry employed impoverished sound quality.

As others have written above, don't go there.  Get a pair of speakers that produces sound that is to your liking.


I consider it irresponsible NOT to provide level controls.

Almost ALL Vintage Speakers, Electro-Voice, Klipsch, Altec Lansing, Acoustic Research .... came with level controls (L-Pads)

Mono era: started with single speaker in a space, with level controls

Stereo, ADDED a second speaker with level controls (and ADDED a 2nd amp, thus pair of mono-blocks)

The speaker(s) knew not what space/room they would play in. Later they might be moved, used in a different space. An owner's preference (perhaps a need due to hearing issues) could be addressed.

People bought speaker(s), or speaker kits (with level controls). put them in a space, located where they fit/looked good/wife liked. Then adjust the levels for a darn good sound in that space.


Recording technics; manufacturing; design methods, everything now stereo led to starting with Stereo Pairs of speakers and all the refinements since the late 50's. 

Many makers started eliminating level controls, thus no way to adjust them to your particular space. 


My main system is custom enclosures with electro-voice components (horn tweeter/horn mid/15" woofer), each with a Pair of Level Controls. You first adjust the mid horn relative to the un-adjustable woofer; then you adjust the tweeter horn to the mid. 

In the old days I did it by ear, with or without a friends help. Now, sound pressure meter/tripod/seated ear height and use test tracks of single tones. My McIntosh Mode Switch helps with refining results for the best frequency balance and stereo balance needed to produce excellent imaging. Amazing when you get it right.


My office, a pair of vintage AR-2ax, that came with level controls for cone tweeter and cone mid relative to cone woofer. One speaker gets a boost by an adjacent wall, the other does not. I was able to adjust them, so that I get very good sound balance and imaging at my monitor/desk chair which are centered on the speakers.

Like the old days: did it by ear, sounds darn good!