Another HiFi thread – Amps without tone controls…

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  • Another HiFi thread – Amps without tone controls…
  • Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    It’s always puzzled me why high end amps don’t have base and treble controls.

    Surely even the most audiophile of people get the urge to tweak things a little as different types of music (and sources) require different settings?

    Or do you just listen to loads of amps before buying and find one that sound fine for main music type (but isn’t quite right for other stuff)?

    Torminalis
    Member

    I think it is because at that end of the market, if you require adjustments you will probably buy a dedicated EQ.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Or do you just listen to loads of amps before buying and find one that sound fine for main music type

    Yes.

    Grimy
    Member

    A bloody good question. Some don’t even have balance control. Sorry, I don’t live in a harmonically perfect box, I have a house with furnishings and such.

    Premier Icon mugsys_m8
    Subscriber

    Some don’t even have a volume control….

    Torminalis
    Member

    Some don’t even have a volume control….

    Again, seperation of concerns… all volume control will be deferred to the pre-amp, leaving the power amp/s to do their job.

    meesterbond
    Member

    I was told by my dealer (tongue in cheek, I think) when demoing one particular amp, that the designer / builder etc felt that the output was right, so it didn’t need them.

    Probably more to do with having ‘unnecessary’ components in the way of a clean circuit.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Mr Woppit – Member

    Or do you just listen to loads of amps before buying and find one that sound fine for main music type

    Yes.

    Actually muffin, that’s not quite right, on reflection.

    When I was building my system, I was looking for a series of quite definite qualities.

    Musicality, rhythmic stability, stereo imaging, depth imaging, transparency, clarity and detail.

    The differences between frequency outputs of various recordings were irrelevant.

    Hope that helps.

    It’s to do with the signal. When it has to travel through transistors (Treble and base) it picks up distortion. Very slight but none the less its there so high end amps remove that possibility by keeping the signal as short and pure as possible. Also applies to speaker cables. They should only be as long as needed, anything more and again, distortion

    Probably more to do with having ‘unnecessary’ components in the way of a clean circuit.

    ^ correctus mondus

    bokonon
    Member

    Musicality, rhythmic stability, stereo imaging, depth imaging, transparency, clarity and detail.

    Which is funny, because when I look at amplifiers I look at total harmonic distortion, slew rate, input sensitivity, phase response, crossover distortion, frequency response and power bandwidth – because these are real measurable parameters that allow me to compare one amplifier with another.

    patriotpro
    Member

    mugsys_m8 – Member
    Some don’t even have a volume control….

    Seriously??

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Musicality, rhythmic stability, stereo imaging, depth imaging, transparency, clarity and detail.

    Which is funny, because when I look at amplifiers I look at total harmonic distortion, slew rate, input sensitivity, phase response, crossover distortion, frequency response and power bandwidth – because these are real measurable parameters that allow me to compare one amplifier with another.

    Surely everyone just picks the one with the best LED display?

    elliptic
    Member

    mugsys_m8 – Member
    Some don’t even have a volume control….

    Seriously??

    See above. If you’re using separate pre-amp and power amp there’s no need for volume control on both.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    bokonon – Member

    Musicality, rhythmic stability, stereo imaging, depth imaging, transparency, clarity and detail.

    Which is funny, because when I look at amplifiers I look at total harmonic distortion, slew rate, input sensitivity, phase response, crossover distortion, frequency response and power bandwidth – because these are real measurable parameters that allow me to compare one amplifier with another.

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7EJLoxdoI-Q[/video]

    Torminalis
    Member

    Seriously??

    Only on power amps. Pre-amps will have the volume control.

    My power amps look like this:

    Not a button in sight. and it has beige LED’s. ๐Ÿ˜€

    patriotpro
    Member

    wwaswas – Member
    Musicality, rhythmic stability, stereo imaging, depth imaging, transparency, clarity and detail.

    Surely everyone just picks the one with the best LED display?

    Fair point, anything other than blue leds makes the sound quality superfluous surely ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    My Cambridge Audio amp has a blue LED!

    patriotpro
    Member

    the-muffin-man – Member
    My Cambridge Audio amp has a blue LED!

    And mine, even has a volume control! ๐Ÿ˜†

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    This is what we should all aspire to;

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Greeeeeeeennnnn….

    Premier Icon the-muffin-man
    Subscriber

    This is what we should all aspire to;

    That would have been my dream set-up in the 80s!

    Torminalis
    Member

    Dream system:

    Bigger house first.

    Mr Woppit
    Member

    Heard this gear at the Penta Show in 2009.

    It was one of the rooms I went in for a brief smirk and ๐Ÿ™„ before retreating to the NAIM room for sheer audio pleasure. Matron.

    grievoustim
    Member

    My (very modest) Cambridge audio amp (blue LEDs) has a bypass button so you can take the tone controls out the circuit

    I use it – but I’m not sure I can actually perceive any difference

    Torminalis
    Member

    TBH I have never heard one on that scale, I too am just a sucker for the blue lights.

    Heard s smaller 1200wpc(!!) installation at a mates house though and it was astonishing.

    mudshark
    Member

    I can turn off the display on my old Naim preamp for a very noticeable improvement in sound quality. Honest. Tee hee I even have a separate power supply for the display :).

    patriotpro
    Member

    the-muffin-man – Member

    This is what we should all aspire to;

    That would have been my dream set-up in the 80s!

    Too true – Denon was another brand that was the shizzy back then.

    Remember inheriting my sister’s Alba, it played in mono but had ‘Hi-Fi’ on the front – how can that be legal??!

    winston_dog
    Member

    If you have to ask then it is pointless trying to explain. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Bimbler
    Member

    My Cambridge Audio amp has a blue LED!

    I remember when I saw my first blue led in a hifi shop (think it was Tag Mclaren gear in the mid/late 90’s – since bought a DAC-20) I was like woah, I live in the future or something

    joolsburger
    Member

    Many people buy an amp with tone controls and then set the controls to what they find enjoyable and then mostly leave them alone after that. Same as a TV picture control I suppose.

    My amp has no tone controls as I bought one that had a sound I liked from the off so I didn’t need them they would just degrade the signal quality.

    It’s quite hard to explain but once you have heard a really, really good hifi doing it’s thing you’d understand. My hifi is set up for me and sounds the way I like. That’s why audiofools buying bespoke systems and aren’t too bothered about spending grands on it. We are the single speeders of the music world.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    This is what we should all aspire to;

    Do we need a “show us your 90s hifi” thread?

    I had a huge Aiwa MIDI stack until I was burgled and I replaced it with separates. The illustrious Z-D7000M looked like this,

    … only in focus and without the crappy LG DVD stuck in the middle of it.

    Torminalis – I have the same pair of power only amps plus the little 3 input control box sat next to my home cinema amp. All I need now is a nice pair of speakers to go with them so I have a good listening to music whilst playing games setup.

    Torminalis
    Member

    ah, the Meridian 101. Awesome bit of kit, I have one the same.

    If you ever fancy selling, you can find my email in profile.

    nah nah mate, that’s a piece of shit. I’d get rid if I were you. I know someone who specialises in dumping them…

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

    TurnerGuy
    Member

    Tone controls add to the processing of the signal and can impart distortion, rather than the processing and tone control itself being unwanted.

    Nowadays it is preferable to do tone control type duties in the digital domain to avoid the distortion.

    patriotpro
    Member

    winston_dog – Member
    If you have to ask then it is pointless trying to explain

    I’m thinking of going in to an audio-phile shop to ask about their range of monaural high-fidelity systems just to see what they say…

    Torminalis
    Member

    I’m thinking of going in to an audio-phile shop to ask about their range of monaural high-fidelity systems just to see what they say

    and they will probably be very pleased to sell you a pair of them.

    Premier Icon richmtb
    Subscriber

    Mid 90’s HiFi you say

    Pretty sure I bought by Audiolab 8000S in ’97

    Still use it every day

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Probably more to do with having ‘unnecessary’ components in the way of a clean circuit.

    Hmmn.

    You can have bypassable tone controls that don’t degrade anything.

    Along with getting rid of headphone outputs and sometimes balance controls, it’s a shameful excuse to charge the punter more for less.

    Just like a lot of high end bikes, tbh.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    Just like a lot of high end bikes, tbh.

    although, to be fair they tend not to remove one crank arm and the back wheel on high end bikes and claim it’s for your own benefit.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    I ALWAYS have to buy my own handlebar tassles.

    And Surly not putting a decent rack & guards on the LHT?
    ‘Cos people like to spec their own’ – no they bloody don’t they just want ones that work properly.

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