Do some audiophiles really prefer flat frequency response?

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Extremesam, Jun 11, 2018.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Eastern NC
    I will give you a bit of mine. Last thing I am tweaking, pretty sure it’s this loft floor, been getting better as I mess with “treatments”

    Edit: but if the final fix with this set up is some knob twisting then I will hook the tone controls back up with more gooder pots.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. Ds2000

    Ds2000 All About every cool stereo component. Subscriber

    New York City
    I’m expecting a Relentless preamp at some point.
  3. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

    San Francisco Peninsula
    But are they on the floor?
  4. E-Stat

    E-Stat Addicted Member

    Nor mine. Meters on a preamp? WTF? My preamp clips at 18V. The power amps need 2V for full output. "Gee Wally, don't those look swell? "

    If I had a spare $30k, I would opt for a REF6 and REF3 Phono for both performance and aesthetics. Cheesy backlighting not available.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    OMGCat! and musichal like this.
  5. Alobar

    Alobar Pulling out of the Last Chance Texaco.. Subscriber

    SE Alaska
    This thread is starting to remind me of some long winded discussion of what makes the perfect martini or something.

    The classical fans here make sense wanting to go out for total accuracy as they go to concert halls and being they have a very specific reference point they would surly want to bring that experience home so total flat FR would be the goal.

    Me, I am not so much a classical music fan, but I do enjoy other genre's and those probably are less critical for accuracy. So I listen the way 'I' like it!

    That said I am currently running my Kenwood pre with no bass or treble and bypassed. I do have a little PEQ dialed in for my 45 YO JBL's and I run a touch of loudness when the wife is in the room and I am keeping it low. Otherwise that goes off as well. It is what I like.

    Really it should be completely in the eye of the beholder as to what is right IMO. I think everyone should just enjoy their frequency response (and everything else in life) the way they want! No right way or wrong way so long as the goal is enjoyment of the music.
  6. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

    What I love about D'Agostino link and their photographs is the gradual deterioration in the 'signature' they have used on the dials of their various products.

    It must have been scanned at some stage (like a CEO's signature file) at a crap resolution and resized many times as time went on. Look at the horizontal deterioration in the cross of the 't'.

    bodge 06.JPG

    bodge 03.JPG

    The inability to centre screen printing and an indicator LED/IR sensor hole as pictured above. Any DIY'er or ChiFi amp-in-a-can can do better than that!

    They only had to stick one serial number plate on and they couldn't even get that straight? Come on!

    bodge 02.JPG

    Detail is important when you are charging like a wounded bull.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018 at 6:43 PM


    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. jrtrent

    jrtrent Super Member

    The OP talked about tone controls and equalization. J. Gordon Holt also talked about missing tone controls ("They aroused a deep nostalgia for the days when preamps all had tone controls.") and the use of equalization ("equalization to correct the sound has, with equal consistency, introduced a measured rise through the 300Hz to 1kHz range"). The correction needs to come before the speakers because different sources can require different changes ("If a 'flat' speaker needs a 2dB pull-down at 10kHz with analog sources, it usually needs about 4dB with CDs.")
  8. Tom Bombadil

    Tom Bombadil AK Member

    Madison, Wisconsin
    I also addressed this in an earlier post. Tone controls, a la "bass" and "treble", are crude hammers. They affect a wide range of frequencies, which can lead to having way over accentuated peaks. I don't know how one could use them to improve the overall sound of a high quality system. If one has a low bass deficiency and turns up the bass control, they are very likely to now have a peak in the mid-bass which would ruin the overall balance. Likewise for trying to correct a high frequency roll off and creating a peak in the upper midrange.

    All of this along with, as 4-2-7 noted, introducing more filters into the music path.

    The thread title is asking about audiophiles using tone controls. Usually an "audiophile" will have higher quality speakers / systems. It is hard for me to imagine how a higher end system's sound would be improved via the use of tone controls, unless, maybe, at low volume levels.
    musichal and Ds2000 like this.
  9. tom67

    tom67 Active Member

    Palm Beach Gardens FL
    Never use the tone controls....back in the pre-subwoofer days, I did use the loudness control then found on most receivers, and then only for rock music. I always sensed that bass controls push the bass up into the vocal range and that clarity suffered.
  10. Djcoolray

    Djcoolray Addicted Member

    A rocks throw from JBLM !!!!
    That depends on the quality of the EQ......just like everything else.

    As far as listening to music goes, if it doesn’t lite your fire......your just another brick in the wall !!
  11. UncleBingo

    UncleBingo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    The plural of "Vinyl" is "Records" : )
    sqlsavior and Denten like this.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. Beatnik

    Beatnik What's this ?

    To be considered an Audiophile, it seems to have nothing to do with your actual ear, but the amount of cash you've spent to hear your music ?
    Nixxuz likes this.
  13. Quadman2

    Quadman2 Super Member


    That, my friend is yet for another thread, that I think exists, and it really stirred up the troops.:rolleyes:

    I admit to doing a bit of colouring with a pre-amp slope, but not much. For me the certain record or type of genre tends to get a nod this way, but just slightly. For the rock, the bass may get it, the guitar some upper, and the mids get a good work out if listening to vocals.

    A good system with all parts pretty well of the same calibre need not much of a tweak, but there are the few times as already mentioned from me and others who have chimed in.

    As some have suggested, the beauty of sound is found in the individual ear, not what others say or what the readings show. IMHO

    Audiovet and Beatnik like this.
  14. Beatnik

    Beatnik What's this ?


    A hi-fi enthusiast.
    stish, musichal and 62caddy like this.
  15. just dave

    just dave vintage rules!

    Oak Forest ILL.
    Looks like it's ready for some turn of century deep sea diving.
    musichal and restorer-john like this.
  16. triode17

    triode17 Well-Known Member

    I agree with you here. I only boost or cut about 3 dB either way. The rest can be done with proper volume. I used to be a professional recording engineer and you have to mix down at the appropriate level. If its hard rock, it should be mixed loud and played back loud. If its a soft ballad, it should be mixed at a lower level and played as such.
    sdw54 and Bill Ferris like this.


    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. ev13wt

    ev13wt Super Member

    It is simple. More bass and more highs sounds better. But... :)

    You are used to hearing it like that, artificially boosted. The brain is awesome.

    Try listening to music one entire week without any eq adjustment when listening really loud, and only a tiiiny bit of bass and high boost (3dB) when listening quietly.

    That gives your brain time to adjust. Suddenly though, you will hear much more of the music. Probably from day 3 on.

    Have fun!
  18. restorer-john

    restorer-john Addicted Member

    That's a great post. :)
    ev13wt likes this.
  19. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Norman OK
    I agree with the brain thing - I've stated previously that it is the best filter I have at hand. Periodically, I will go through a period of a few days, or even a couple weeks, or more, never cranking up the volume. Low Level Listening (LLL), I've seen it dubbed. Better for recalibration than listening loud, imo. I'm talking unrealistically low, nowhere near the levels at a live event. I rarely want to listen at realistic levels - the paradigm for many audiophiles. And I certainly don't want to replicate levels usually heard at a rock concert; really not even the levels of a classical one, either. Not usually on the latter, and not at all for the former.

    Anyway, I've found that LLL (without eq) leads me toward an apparent (as possibly/probably opposed to actual) increase in listening acuity. Whether real, imagined, or a psychoacoustic effect - not sure. But I am soon following bass lines, and other instruments, too, clearly - and when I turn volume back up a bit, I'm golden, So LLL works as a reset for me.

    stish, pyoung272, ev13wt and 4 others like this.
  20. StimpyWan

    StimpyWan AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Blue Ridge Mountains!
    Now, if I had a Cello Audio Palette Preamp, I might consider tone controls! :)

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018 at 8:01 PM
    stish and Ds2000 like this.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page