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The Dynaco Tube Audio Forum

Dedicated to the restoration and preservation of all original Dynaco tube audio equipment - Customer support for Tubes4hifi VTA tube amp and preamp kits and all Dynakitparts.com products


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Drummerboy2
Graywulf
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25 posters

    tone controls? yes - or no ?

    avatar
    rjpjnk


    Posts : 262
    Join date : 2018-07-18

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by rjpjnk Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:20 am

    Yes! Give me tone controls.

    To me, well designed tone controls are definitely welcome. I wish there were some way to add them to the SP12 13/14 circuits, but I hear there is not enough gain with the current tubes to do so. If this changes I will definitely buy the upgrade!

    The key is that the controls must be totally defeatable. A simple switch would be perfect.
    Graywulf
    Graywulf


    Posts : 3
    Join date : 2019-04-11
    Location : Wellington, NZ

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by Graywulf Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:26 am

    No.

    First off a quick 'Hello' as I'm a new member, now awaiting a pair of M-125's from Bob, and getting an SP-14 from Roy (hopefully).

    Last amp I purchased with any tone control was the 'evergreen' Arcam A60 in the very early 1980's, which I admit I kept for around 15yrs. Then I became a tube convert, and have never used a tone control since. Tube rolling seems to satisfy any 'tone alterations' I need.
    Peter W.
    Peter W.


    Posts : 1352
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by Peter W. Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:42 am

    Graywulf wrote:No.

    First off a quick 'Hello' as I'm a new member, now awaiting a pair of M-125's from Bob, and getting an SP-14 from Roy (hopefully).

    Last amp I purchased with any tone control was the 'evergreen' Arcam A60 in the very early 1980's, which I admit I kept for around 15yrs. Then I became a tube convert, and have never used a tone control since. Tube rolling seems to satisfy any 'tone alterations' I need.

    At present behind my seat is a Dynaco ST35/PAS3X combination into AR Athena speakers. The volume control averages around the 9:00 position, and my office is 11 x 17. I do not use the tone controls much, but I do use the Loudness Control 100% of the time in order to get a balanced sound. On rare occasion, when I am 'cranking' and the VC goes past 11:00, the Loudness comes off.

    Horses for courses.
    avatar
    Drummerboy2


    Posts : 9
    Join date : 2019-04-28

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by Drummerboy2 Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:40 pm

    tubes4hifi wrote:hey, that was fun, let's answer another question that comes up almost everyday.
    Do you want tone controls?   I don't know, you tell me!
    Do I recommend tone controls?  NO!     Do I use tone controls?  YES!   Confusing?   YES!

    OK, so if you think you want tone controls, the answer is yes, you probably do want tone controls.
    I perfectly understand that not everyone has perfect ears, perfect speakers, perfect room setup.
    I understand there is probably more poorly recorded music, than music that is recorded perfectly!!

    So what you need to know is that tone controls will always compromise sound quality.
    This is because using a circuit with tone controls means you need to have a minimum of 3X as much gain as you do without them.
    A high quality tone control circuit needs 20db of gain to overcome the losses of tone controls.
    Tone controls work two ways, by cutting gain (usually thru filters which just filter those tones to ground) or in worst cases
    by using negative feedback to reduce gain on those tones.
    To boost bass and treble (more likely than reducing it) those extreme frequencies need more gain, more amplification, which can lead to more noise,
    worse signal to noise ratio, more distortion, and usually all the other frequencies (the critical midrange) are subjected to negative feedback.

    These are the things we deal with in order to make the music sound better to our own ears, using our own speakers, our own rooms, our own recordings.
    We do need tone controls to overcome all these short comings, but we have to accept that the compromises involved are not as bad as the results.
    Are they better?   They can be, or maybe not, that again, is a subjective question that only you can answer for yourself.

    Oh, so maybe you'd like my OPINION, rather than the facts as presented above?
    Sure!   Do I like tone controls?  NO!   Do I recommend tone controls?  NO!   Do I use tone controls?   YES!   Sometimes, but I only use them when needed,
    as necessary, and when I am prepared to accept all those limitations to overcome my own personal set of limitations involving my own ears, my own speakers,
    my own listening room, my own recordings, some of which are awful, some have no bass, some have way too much bass, some are tinny, some are hollow.

    Hey, here's an idea for you.   Need more bass?   Get a subwoofer, you can dial in as much boost as you want or need.   And guess what,
    then you don't need a bass control on your preamp!!!   You don't need extra gain, extra noise, poorer circuit design.    What a concept!!!
    So . . . . need more treble?   Gee, let's think about that for a moment.   Maybe I could add an extra tweeter, a more efficient tweeter, one with it's own gain control. . . .

    Hey, here's an idea for you.   Make sure your listening room is at least somewhat enhanced to actually sound better.  
    Do some research, read some books, buy some room treatments.  
    Go all in !!!   Buy a digital DSP EQ system for $10,000 and have it shape and perfect everything to your ears and your room!   Really???   No, I think NOT!!!

    The bottom line - music is for enjoyment, and that is subjective, so do your own thing!!!
    And MY recommendations?   Get the very best speakers you can afford, get your room setup correctly, buy better music, and THEN,
    either buy an SP14 (and a PH16 for phono) or buy an SP9 with tone controls, and then . . . . enjoy the music!!   Simple!!


    I use a SAE 2800 Parametric EQ that I fully upgraded. It works very well with my VTA-120 and other tube gear. Not all rooms are created equal and you will need some sort of room correction and Tone Controls are needed. Its best to have separate Left and Right tone controls.
    tubes4hifi
    tubes4hifi
    Admin


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    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by tubes4hifi Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:42 pm

    here's an EZ solution if you need to add tone controls
    https://jdslabs.com/product/subjective3/
    Peter W.
    Peter W.


    Posts : 1352
    Join date : 2016-08-07
    Location : Melrose Park, PA

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by Peter W. Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:34 pm

    https://img.canuckaudiomart.com/uploads/large/2008529-rare-vintage-dynaco-se10-graphic-equalizer.jpg

    I keep one of these for those few times that the on-board controls are not enough. However, given that equalization is, after all, a form of added distortion, adding the complications of tubes is probably not necessary.
    avatar
    rjpjnk


    Posts : 262
    Join date : 2018-07-18

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Loki tone controls

    Post by rjpjnk Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:59 pm

    tubes4hifi wrote:here's an EZ solution if you need to add tone controls
    https://jdslabs.com/product/subjective3/

    Along the same lines, this Loki works very well. I have one. The input impedance is 50K from the factory, but it was trivial to increase it to 225K by changing two resistors. I did that so I could use it in the tape loop of a PAS 3X. I assume that at 225K it would be okay after my PH12 but I haven't tried it yet because I haven't felt the need to EQ anything.

    Anyway, a very nice EQ, and completely out of the system when the bypass switch is closed (other than impedance loading).

    https://www.schiit.com/products/loki

    StereoGaryo likes this post

    avatar
    New2Tubez


    Posts : 147
    Join date : 2018-03-20
    Location : NY

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by New2Tubez Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:29 am

    I just rebuilt a PAT4 preamp. It's got tone controls and I'm loving it. My speakers are in a temporary location and not near walls. Bass was lacking a little bit. They're also smaller Klipsch RB5's. To me, things just sound better now.
    lorne
    lorne


    Posts : 14
    Join date : 2015-01-10
    Location : Sendai, Japan

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    Post by lorne Fri Jul 08, 2022 1:24 pm

    This is an ancient thread, but I'd like to take a bite: negative on tone controls.

    I've never been satisfied with tone controls on any device. Over the years, when dialling around to hopefully improve the sound, I have always remained unimpressed. Inevitably, I've zeroed the knobs back to null and accepted that flat was as good as it was going to get with what I had at the time.  

    Audio can be like an addiction. It's rather natural for mammals to always want more and more. This timeless predilection keeps the audio-jewellery and snake oil industry pumping out BS and product to make money. Years ago, by the same token, integrated amps and preamps were frequently festooned with knobs to fiddle with — the knob wars. Some manufacturers reassured us that at centre position the tone control was out of circuit, such as what came in the PAS-3 pre-amp. I never used the control features on mine. I intended to delete the stuff, but never got around to it.  

    A few years ago, I did what I should have done a couple of decades before on my Melos tube pre-amp. I pulled the hood, looked it over and ordered some parts. I took out the R-stepped attenuators that were there to act as 'tone' controls. In their place, I installed two Alps-127 series', 'single' log volume pots and reordered the wiring. Now I can precisely balance each side as to how I hear the sound in my room. A brilliant result, and I don't miss the tone controls.

    I've been so encouraged that I'm tempted to do the same on my fall-back '70's Pioneer SA-8900 integrated amp that I refurbished some years ago. I've long suspected that it could be better without all the knob candy on its handsome aluminum bezel.

    I encourage everyone try this. For some enthusiasts, deleting tone controls may seem as unpalatable as abandoning a perfectly good airframe, albeit with a parachute. Years ago, I built a series of so-called "passive preamps" — simple devices using wire and Rs in concert with twinned pots. They were just simple attenuators, but they worked very well for just the cost of a sandwich and cup of coffee. I got used to the idea.
    Tubes4ever
    Tubes4ever


    Posts : 156
    Join date : 2015-07-14
    Location : Star, Idaho

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by Tubes4ever Sat Jul 09, 2022 9:33 pm

    Give me tone controls along with a loudness button. To me systems without tone controls sound like an AM radio. Dull. Always have.

    StereoGaryo and Dale Stevens like this post

    DavidR
    DavidR


    Posts : 155
    Join date : 2017-08-10
    Location : MetroWest, MA

    tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 Empty Re: tone controls? yes - or no ?

    Post by DavidR Wed Jul 20, 2022 3:51 pm

    I almost never use tone controls.
    Can't remember the last time I did.
    lorne
    lorne


    Posts : 14
    Join date : 2015-01-10
    Location : Sendai, Japan

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    Post by lorne Wed Jul 20, 2022 5:59 pm

    DavidR wrote:I almost never use tone controls. Can't remember the last time I did.

    If you have any, you could delete them as well as the balance pot and install twin log volume pots.  tone controls?  yes - or no ? - Page 2 1f44c

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