Should I keep my Treble tone setting to "0dB" or bump it a little bit ? - AVS Forum
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Audio Theory, Setup, and Chat > Should I keep my Treble tone setting to "0dB" or bump it a little bit ?
dazkyl's Avatar dazkyl 10:20 AM 12-25-2012
So I'm done setting my system and the only thing I'm still confused about is what should I set the treble tone setting in my receiver. It sounded good with "+4dB", but some folks told me that running bass and treble tone settings more than "0dB" is not good because the receiver is working harder this way. Also with treble and bass tone settings more than "0dB" does not give sound as the producer intended to give. I'm trying to run my AVR as cool as possible but it also runs cool with "+4dB" treble tone setting and it also sounds better as I can hear sound from my fronts better and more alive.

mogorf's Avatar mogorf 03:48 PM 12-25-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post

So I'm done setting my system and the only thing I'm still confused about is what should I set the treble tone setting in my receiver. It sounded good with "+4dB", but some folks told me that running bass and treble tone settings more than "0dB" is not good because the receiver is working harder this way. Also with treble and bass tone settings more than "0dB" does not give sound as the producer intended to give. I'm trying to run my AVR as cool as possible but it also runs cool with "+4dB" treble tone setting and it also sounds better as I can hear sound from my fronts better and more alive.

Flat is the way to go, "some folks" were right. BTW, what AVR do you have? Does it have room correction software? Audyssey, MCACC, YPAO? Did you do the setup with the test microphone?
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 03:52 PM 12-25-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post

So I'm done setting my system and the only thing I'm still confused about is what should I set the treble tone setting in my receiver. It sounded good with "+4dB", but some folks told me that running bass and treble tone settings more than "0dB" is not good because the receiver is working harder this way. Also with treble and bass tone settings more than "0dB" does not give sound as the producer intended to give. I'm trying to run my AVR as cool as possible but it also runs cool with "+4dB" treble tone setting and it also sounds better as I can hear sound from my fronts better and more alive.

Political correctness about tone controls gives me a headache. First and foremost you should set whatever controls in your system you choose to in ways that sound good to you.

For example my AVR may look from the outside like all controls are centered, but if you flog though the menus you will find that some equalizer settings are strictly non-zero.
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 12:03 PM 12-27-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazkyl View Post

It sounded good with "+4dB"...
Then that's where you should leave it. Your system has only one purpose: to make you happy. So choose the settings based on your personal preference.
MitchFlorida's Avatar MitchFlorida 01:38 PM 05-11-2013
Real Audiophiles do NOT use tone controls. That is like photoshopping the Mona Lisa or other artwork.

You can adjust the volume, but DO NOT fiddle with the tone controls. That is a tip off that you don't know fine audio.
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 02:18 PM 05-11-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchFlorida View Post

Real Audiophiles do NOT use tone controls.
Then how do you undo what the room is adding to the sound?
sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 02:27 PM 05-11-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchFlorida View Post

Real Audiophiles do NOT use tone controls.

That is a tip off that you don't know fine audio.

Yeah? Are you a "Real Audiophile"?
mogorf's Avatar mogorf 02:37 PM 05-11-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Then how do you undo what the room is adding to the sound?

Hi Sanjay, how can tone controls undo what the room is adding to the sound? Rooms are much more problematic than what simple tone controls can control. Let's clarify, as long as the OP is talking about 20th century bass and treble controls IMHO there is no hope to do anything with what the room is adding. Physical room treatments and electronic room correction may be the way to go in this 13th year of the 21st century, eh? smile.gif
MitchFlorida's Avatar MitchFlorida 02:41 PM 05-11-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Then how do you undo what the room is adding to the sound?


I am mainly talking about the jokers who change the tone settings with every different audio track. If you can set and forget it for a room that is fine, but not constant tweaking for every different CD. That shows that you aren't a knowledgeable audiophile.
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 02:55 PM 05-11-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Hi Sanjay, how can tone controls undo what the room is adding to the sound?
Never heard rooms make the sound bright or dull or thin? Careful turn of the bass and/or treble knob can undo that and restore the tonal balance.
mogorf's Avatar mogorf 03:00 PM 05-11-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdurani View Post

Never heard rooms make the sound bright or dull or thin? Careful turn of the bass and/or treble knob can undo that and restore the tonal balance.

Hmm, are those tone controls so "intelligent"? Do they work on a "one size fits all/any rooms" basis? Careful turn of the knobs reminds me of how to dial a phone number on a telephone back in the 80's! Old story, indeed. eek.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif
sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 06:46 PM 05-11-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchFlorida View Post

That shows that you aren't a knowledgeable audiophile.

Maybe it shows that you are a more discerning audiophile. Eh? What say?
MitchFlorida's Avatar MitchFlorida 07:03 PM 05-11-2013
Sometimes I do turn down the subwoofer volume, but not the tone. Some tracks have incredibly high bass response and it would distress both me and my neighbors if I didn't.

There is a big difference between turning down the subwoofer volume and adjusting the bass tone.
Gizmologist's Avatar Gizmologist 10:37 PM 05-11-2013
You DO realize I hope that the tone controls are not linear and the mere presence of any tone control or EQ in the audio chain means that there is already some coloration of the audio. Blithely advising anyone to leave the tone controls flat because that is what YOU do is rather nonsensical. You have no idea the room acoustics, the OPs hearing stats, the type of music he likes, etc. The term 'flat' really a nonsensical term as it depends on the FR of all the components in the system including the electronis and the room acoustics.

In short, the only sensible approach is 'Each to his own'.
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 11:04 PM 05-11-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Hmm, are those tone controls so "intelligent"?
No, they work on the assumption that the user is intelligent. If the only thing you know to do with tone controls is ruin the tonal balance of your system, then you should not be touching them. Leave that to people who understand how to use them.
Yosh70's Avatar Yosh70 12:45 AM 05-12-2013
Wouldn't adjusting the tone controls be defeating the purpose of Audssey/MCACC/ARC/YPAO?

I think the biggest obstacle to overcome is actually listening to a proper audio track after the receiver applies EQ.
After years of listening to movies/music a certain way, the change that the room correction software makes is sometimes disappointing and not pleasant to the ears.

Usually it is spot on and a 2-3 week trial should be required before making any further changes.
Unfortunately that is not the case for many as some dont have the patience,

Just sayin....
sdurani's Avatar sdurani 02:50 AM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosh70 View Post

Wouldn't adjusting the tone controls be defeating the purpose of Audssey/MCACC/ARC/YPAO?
Not in my experience. Most room correction systems are designed to address problems in the frequency response (peaks & dips). By comparison, tone controls are used to adjust the tonal balance of the overall sound (bright, warm, neutral). Rather than defeating the purpose, one complements the other. Use automated room correction to address peaks & dips, then adjust to taste using tone controls (no automated system is going to know what you like).
MitchFlorida's Avatar MitchFlorida 04:32 AM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

the mere presence of any tone control or EQ in the audio chain means that there is already some coloration of the audio. .


My receiver has a Tone Direct setting means that there is no coloration of the audio. To color the audio is like adjusting the colors and shades of the Mona Lisa or Rembrandt .. you do not touch those.

Now I had a situation yesterday that I did have to turn down the Subwoofer volume, otherwise the neighbor would have complained. But that is a completely different matter,
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 05:09 AM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchFlorida View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

the mere presence of any tone control or EQ in the audio chain means that there is already some coloration of the audio. .


My receiver has a Tone Direct setting means that there is no coloration of the audio.

I think you mean to say that ".. receiver has a Tone Direct setting means that there is no coloration of the audio through the receiver." which I agree with.

However your entire audio system includes other influences that do color the audio. They include:

(1) The studio, microphones and techniques used to make the original recording.
(2) Audio production of the recording through the creation of the finished recording
(3) Possible coloration by the media that the recording was delivered to you on
(4) Coloration by the player during playback
(5) Loudspeakers
(6) Room

Some of these influences are small such as (4) if you are using a good digital player.

Others like (1), (2), (5) and (6) can be huge
Quote:
To color the audio is like adjusting the colors and shades of the Mona Lisa or Rembrandt .. you do not touch those.

There are a number of big differences between a painting and a recording.

One huge difference is the fact that we can look directly on the painting and see it as it is. We have no way to do something comparable to recordings.

A second difference is that we generally treat paintings like they are the entity that we want to have reproduced. Many listeners don't want to hear the recording nearly as much as they want to hear the original performance. I know of nobody who looks at the Mona Lisa and expects to see a living, breathing person.
Bigus's Avatar Bigus 05:39 AM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchFlorida View Post

Real Audiophiles do NOT use tone controls. That is like photoshopping the Mona Lisa or other artwork.

You can adjust the volume, but DO NOT fiddle with the tone controls. That is a tip off that you don't know fine audio.

I actually find the opposite to be closer to the truth. That is, people who make statements such as the above tend to be audio snobs who only think they know fine audio but are far from it. Very 20th century view of audio. On the other hand, someone a bit more educated and sophisticated, who actually understands what is happening, knows that eq is a vital component of any high performing audio system. Tone controls are just the simplest form of eq, and often work quite well. Research has shown that most people prefer a slightly downward sloping frequency response. Guess what can help you achieve that, even after careful crossover setup and automated room correction has been done?
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 06:38 AM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MitchFlorida View Post

Real Audiophiles do NOT use tone controls. That is like photoshopping the Mona Lisa or other artwork.

You can adjust the volume, but DO NOT fiddle with the tone controls. That is a tip off that you don't know fine audio.

I actually find the opposite to be closer to the truth. That is, people who make statements such as the above tend to be audio snobs who only think they know fine audio but are far from it. Very 20th century view of audio. On the other hand, someone a bit more educated and sophisticated, who actually understands what is happening, knows that eq is a vital component of any high performing audio system. Tone controls are just the simplest form of eq, and often work quite well. Research has shown that most people prefer a slightly downward sloping frequency response. Guess what can help you achieve that, even after careful crossover setup and automated room correction has been done?

I agree. One important point is that basic bass and treble controls are generally so limited that they may be of little use in many real world situations.

I admit it - most of the systems I listen to seriously have at the least a 5 or 6 band graphic equalizer, many have 30 band graphic equalizers, and some have 5 or 6 band parametric equalizers. In many ways the parametrics are to me the best of all. Several systems have cascaded equalizers, each addresses a specific situation. That's a long way from simple bass and treble controls!

Once you have a system optimized for typical recordings with a appropriate equalization, using simple bass and treble controls, or bass/midrange/treble controls to tune things up a bit for individual recordings, can work out.
MitchFlorida's Avatar MitchFlorida 07:40 AM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigus View Post

Research has shown that most people prefer a slightly downward sloping frequency response. Guess what can help you achieve that, even after careful crossover setup and automated room correction has been done?


If people really prefer a "slightly downward sloping frequency response", send that information to all of the Recording Engineers in the industry so that they can put that into the finished product. I am not going to look over their shoulders and second-guess their judgement. Frankly, the recording engineers are much more knowledgeable about what the artist intended.

My receiver doesn't even have an EQ, just some Bass and Treble controls. Fortunately there is an over-ride called Tone Direct which completely disables the tone controls. Do you really want to adjust a 6 band equalizer every time you put on a new CD on your system?
BIslander's Avatar BIslander 09:31 AM 05-12-2013
MitchFlorida - You have yet to address the two issues others have raised here. (1) The use of tone controls to offset colorations introduced elsewhere in the chain. (2) Personal preferences. Why do you object to others setting their systems to produce sound they like? Turning down the volume on the subwoofer also changes playback from what was mixed. Why is that OK while making a tone adjustment is not?
PrimeJunta's Avatar PrimeJunta 09:56 AM 05-12-2013
If I may raise one point that hasn't yet been raised.

I find that it takes a certain amount of time for me to adapt to the sound of whatever system I'm listening to. That means that I easily tweak myself into a state of hopeless confusion. This applies to tone controls as much as speaker placement and such. I don't even have the knowledge or skills to do room treatment or correction at this point, so the only thing I'm going on is my own perception of how things sound.

Instead, I find it helpful – once the extremely obvious problems have been sorted out anyway – to just listen to to the system for a while, say a few hours, and only then make any adjustments if there's something that bothers me about it. In other words, resist the temptation of constant tweaking; instead, listen for a good long while between adjustments and make a note of what you changed in case it made things worse and you want to go back.

As to the OP's question, I concur with the folks saying that if +4 dB treble sounds better to you, then I can't think of any good reason not to apply that.
arnyk's Avatar arnyk 10:57 AM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by PrimeJunta View Post

If I may raise one point that hasn't yet been raised.

I find that it takes a certain amount of time for me to adapt to the sound of whatever system I'm listening to. That means that I easily tweak myself into a state of hopeless confusion.

Been there, done that! ;-)
Quote:
This applies to tone controls as much as speaker placement and such. I don't even have the knowledge or skills to do room treatment or correction at this point, so the only thing I'm going on is my own perception of how things sound.

Instead, I find it helpful – once the extremely obvious problems have been sorted out anyway – to just listen to to the system for a while, say a few hours, and only then make any adjustments if there's something that bothers me about it. In other words, resist the temptation of constant tweaking; instead, listen for a good long while between adjustments and make a note of what you changed in case it made things worse and you want to go back.

As to the OP's question, I concur with the folks saying that if +4 dB treble sounds better to you, then I can't think of any good reason not to apply that.

Agreed.
Gizmologist's Avatar Gizmologist 01:29 PM 05-12-2013
We each choose different speakers because we each enjoy a particular characteristic of the speaker including the assembly materials and techniques, the crossover points, etc. Then add in room acoustics and environment (temperature and humdity affect the speakers and the transmission of various frequencies through the air to your ears, your body's own daily changes in 'performance' as well as personal preferences do not allow for any flat 'rules' on the use of tone controls.

As I mentioned earlier, the design of the electronics -even with "tone direct" controls- still incorporates "coloration" to some extent. The proof of this is simply to listen to the various opinions about the warmth, clarity etc of an amp or a CD player, speakers, etc.

As far as the comparison to a painting, remember that very carefully regulated temp and humidity controls as well as specific color temperatures and angles / positions of lighting are used to preserve the original color shading and perceptions by the public as well as to physically preserve the artwork.

Look at all the vitriolic threads about speaker and power cables, lifters, power line filters, ICs all claiming to alter the reproduced audio and many here are rabid proponents of that. Then when the concept of using legitimate and proven effect tone controls is broached, all of a sudden any electronic altering of the signal is off limits. Seems rather ironic to me.

Those that are vehemently against using tone or manual EQ controls would do well to understand that on a recording console, NO CHANNEL is ever left "flat"; each individual mic channel has a minimum of 3 EQ controls and as many as 6. These are adjusted at the whim of the engineer, producer and in the final mix, the performer. 3 different folks with 3 different acoustic sensibilities.
sivadselim's Avatar sivadselim 02:15 PM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmologist View Post

As far as the comparison to a painting, remember that very carefully regulated temp and humidity controls as well as specific color temperatures and angles / positions of lighting are used to preserve the original color shading and perceptions by the public as well as to physically preserve the artwork.

Don't forget the lighting, the distance from which it is viewed, etc.. And whether you need corrective lenses to even see it at all!
mogorf's Avatar mogorf 02:30 PM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivadselim View Post

Don't forget the lighting, the distance from which it is viewed, etc.. And whether you need corrective lenses to even see it at all!

Talking about the Mona Lisa, has any one here ever saw the painting itself, has anyone ever been to Paris at the Louvre?

OK, here's my picture taken at the Louvre with camera above my head due to the crowds blocking view:

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

That was the best I could do! smile.gif
MitchFlorida's Avatar MitchFlorida 02:43 PM 05-12-2013
The whole reason I got into this debate is that I just bought a completely new audio system with new receiver, speakers and subwoofer.

Of course you have to adjust the channel levels depending on their location compared to the listener. But I found myself going one step further, and becoming the Assistant Recording Engineer for each CD, sometime each track, adjust the treble and bass to "correct" the bad sound engineering of the original. Sometimes I found the original was too bright, sometimes not enough treble or bass etc. Then I gave it up and thought, maybe the Artist wanted the soound to be bright, or muddy , or whatever. Now I just sit back and relax, let the recording engineer do all the work. And if I dont like his finished product, I have access to 100,000s of others on mog or spotify anyway.
nodnerb's Avatar nodnerb 02:52 PM 05-12-2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by mogorf View Post

Talking about the Mona Lisa, has any one here ever saw the painting itself, has anyone ever been to Paris at the Louvre?

OK, here's my picture taken at the Louvre with camera above my head due to the crowds blocking view:

LEAD Technologies Inc. V1.01

That was the best I could do! smile.gif

I would adjust the hue just a bit.
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