Message from the Past: We were never against tone controls


For those of us who started being audiophiles a very long time ago, we have a message for you all:

We were never against tone controls. We were against poor sounding tone controls, and many of them were. From bass / treble nobs to 1/3 octave equalizers, they all were almost universally garbage.

That was decades ago. Now things are in some cases much better, or at least, not nearly as bad sounding as a poor recording.  Stop using guidelines from the 1980's to decide what to do.

You are not obligated to sit through a performance without adjusting the music to suite your tastes. It’s OK to boost the bass, or turn down the treble for your liking. You have all the permission you need.
erik_squires
If you have a true hi end preamp tone controls are not needed. 
It's a slippery slope.  The next thing someone might argue is that it's ok to have a volume control!
If you have a true hi end preamp tone controls are not needed.


Yeah, amazing how that Aritficial Intelligence automatically adjusts for my tastes, my room and recordings.  It like just knows how to fix up my Stop Making Sense CD so it no longer sounds terrible.
Yeah, I know, it's *knob but one of my biggest fans, EBM, commented before I could fix it.
If you don't have tone controls, how can you say you have a high end preamp?  You don't.  You have a mid-fi preamp that is missing features.
@erik_squires 


Ok, while I totally agree with your premise that it's fine to incorporate tone controls into audiophile listening, I have to categorically disagree with this statement of yours.  Seriously???

If you don't have tone controls, how can you say you have a high end preamp? You don't. You have a mid-fi preamp that is missing features.

@three_easy_payments

I'm trolling. It's obvious I'm trolling, and yet, people will allow themselves to be trolled. :)
Quad plowed its own furrow with Tilt controls.  (Nothing to do with pinball, either.)
Permission?
We don’ need no stinkin’ permission.

It's in the implementation. The future "super" Loki will give the Cello Palette a run for the money.
Not the only brand, twoleftears .

Several did this.  The M&K SB speakers for instance had an impressive amount of built in tone controls, executed by fairly high number of parts in the crossover.  Ative speakers often have one of the best options too, to compensate for room placement.
I’m a tone control person. I use a passive preamp when I want/need to.

Why not have the feature, makes no sense to me NOT to have it..

If the recording need a little bass bump, you just toss the recording?

Really what do you do if the recording isn’t what you like?
BUY another one?
Make another one?
Turn the TONE knobs? YUP that’s me..

The people that scream NO tone control, get in their cars/PU/SUVs/RV and what do you do? Turn the music up and play with the Fader, Balance, Bass boost, Treble.. You folks are funny.. WE ALL use it..

Remember, when they added springs to TT, LOL now it’s all the rage, they call it vibration control, great idea, 70+ year old idea.. BUT a great idea none the less.. My Thoren, Garrard, Sparta, Russco, Fairchild, QRK, and EMTs all had bladder/springs vibration control. The youngest in the bunch is 65 years old.. Older is better..

Tone control BIG PLUS 1 from me, it’s an OLDER idea, with new TEC.
Great stuff, DSP, PEQ, on the fly monitor, on the fly correction...
BASS Heaven, NOW...

What it tilt control? Did I read that right? TILT? 

Regards
Frankly, I couldn't give a hoot over tone controls. I think it's only one time out of a hundred where I find a recording's EQ to be foul enough to complain.  I actually enjoy the different EQs the producers and artists deliver.  They lend a recording personality.  Distortion and fuzz, though, are another issue entirely.
I've been thinking about this lately and I'd like to point out that it's not just artists and producers who make recordings. I'm happy to compare different high-end recording of Haydn Piano Trios or the various reissues of, say, Exile on Main Street. I don't use tone controls for anything like that. I also listen, though, to plenty of music that was not professionally released or was dubiously mixed; consider the incredible collection of Grateful Dead audience recordings on Archive. Some of those are gnarly and need some help. (I used to do a lot of Dead tape trading, speaking of a long time ago, and one of my Nak decks had pitch control, thank god; I got some doozies in the mail.) Also, recordings today can come from youtube or all kinds of social media, and many need some EQ assistance to be listenable. I bet many folks on 'Gon are just as qualified to "produce" a recording as the amateurs making recordings in their basements. And, as a couple people have said, what's the harm in listening to the sound you like? 

I didn't mean to type that much! I've been looking at preamps lately and thinking about those ... knobs. (Balance control--I like that!)
One of many reasons I love McIntosh so much. Good tone controls. A DB or two of boost or cut, here and  there makes iffy and lousy sounding CD’s listenable and enjoyable. Another plus is as we all get older and our hearing starts suffering, tone controls can make all the difference in the world. 
At my age it becomes increasingly difficult to climb the stage and adjust sound to my liking.
The tone controls of my Sansui AU 7700 are very good...

I dont use them now because all my embeddings external controls are in place...

I use a filter control  tough...

Am i guilty?

😊


Yes you are mahgister.

Everyone actually has a type of tone control. It is called a volume control.
The frequency response of our heads changes with volume. The recording was mixed at a certain volume and if you want to hear what the engineer heard you have to match that volume. Recordings done at high volume will sound dull if you listen to them at low volume. Recording done at lower volumes will start sounding harsh if you crank them up. Try playing a string quartet at rock and roll levels and the sound will cut your throat. The trick is to fine the volume that sounds right to you. 
If you have a true hi end preamp tone controls are not needed.

I assume you are kidding. 
I’m in on tone controls after 30 foolish years of rejection. I’ve discovered to my great disappointment that my hearing above 10k has diminished. A boost at 10k plus brings the shimmer back. Luxman offers this in a very high quality manner. 
4425, get yourself an audiogram and a room control system and you can match your hearing loss exactly. Not kidding!
I must admit, I do sleep at night, though my preamp is set to "bypass" the tone controls.
Generally anything between the source and the amplifier will suck the life out of the music.
But if you have a thirst for a certain frequency( usually bass?), then have at it :-).
Generally anything between the source and the amplifier will suck the life out of the music.


I must differ.  There's no life sucking here. Even with less decent tone controls, they usually give more than they take. Like @4425 stated, above, the Luxman tone controls are superb. I don't hear any of the previous tone control issues, so I have to believe Luxman doesn't have a lock here, but that other makers can also do good things with tone controls. 
Generally anything between the source and the amplifier will suck the life out of the music.
Because the room acoustic come after the amplifier do you think that it will not interfer ?

And the electrical noise floor of the house is where? before the source or between the source and the amplifier or after the amplifier?

And the mechanical interference where are they? anywhere it seems...

And all this can suck the life out....

Then wait a minute, if the filter controls on My Sansui interfer to improve the perceived sound can it be good perhaps for me ears? It seems to me that it did not suck the life at all...😊

I think many  people really think that audio experience is reducible to "some kind" of pure virginal  electronic design created without sins ....Even at his optimal working, no electronic design can give a good audio experience by itself only...None....It need to be specifically embed....

Name it tone controls, filters controls, acoustical controls devices, mechanical vibrations or resonance controls, or electrical noise floor controls, we need many things to give life anew to the audio system then perhaps something between the source and the amplifier can be good....

Happy New year....