Variable loudness contour control - which model?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by KEW, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. KEW Audioholic Ninja

    KEW
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,590
    Likes Received:
    1,664
    Location:
    Jowjah
    I have always believed that a properly executed loudness control is a great thing. Using modern gear, I find the sound quality lacking until the spl is at 75dB or better.
    On my vintage amp, I feel the loudness contour is overblown at normal settings, but works very well if I engage muting (which is a -20dB switch, not a total mute) and turn up the volume to compensate. Naturally, the efficiency of the speakers also plays a role in this.
    Accordingly, I have always thought the variable loudness control, such as Yamaha uses for much of their stereo gear was a good way to go. I believe McIntosh and Denon may also offer a similar variable loudness control on at least some of their equipment at some point in time. Are there others?
    My real interest in this post is to get suggestions for a unit which has this feature. I have a good separate amp I could pair with a preamplifier or preamplifier section of a receiver, so that may be a good option. I would also consider used. When I look at used Yamahas, many have lots of pressure pad buttons, and I wonder how prone these are to getting dirty contacts?
    Thanks in advance for you comments on this.
    KEW,
  2. GranteedEV Audioholic Ninja

    GranteedEV
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2009
    Messages:
    4,933
    Likes Received:
    2,352
    Location:
    Calgary, Canada
    • Like Like x 1
  3. KEW Audioholic Ninja

    KEW
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,590
    Likes Received:
    1,664
    Location:
    Jowjah
    Can anyone tell me some Denons that have this feature? I guess I'm looking for stereo components - preamp or either an integrated amp or receiver which has preamp outputs.
    TIA

    Grant,
    If I were to go with a miniDSP (and they incorporate this function) would that preclude using the miniDSP for other functions or can it handle sub crossover duties at the same time?
    KEW,
  4. jostenmeat Audioholic Spartan

    jostenmeat
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    6,789
    Likes Received:
    3,052
    If the miniDSP can do what you ask, even if not quite as well as some other things, that would be a great buy for the ease of measuring and EQing.

    If by Denon, you mean receivers? Well as far as HT receivers are concerned, I've never had the pleasure of trying any of the techs, and among them there is the Audyssey EQ, but I would perhaps look towards Dolby Volume as the deciding factor if only because I'm pretty sure M Code said it was the better tech of the two.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. KEW Audioholic Ninja

    KEW
    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    Messages:
    4,590
    Likes Received:
    1,664
    Location:
    Jowjah
    Thanks JM.

    On the Denon, I was hoping someone may have been familiar with their products over the years and know which models have the Variable Loudness control. I'm not sure if it was a brief foray, or of they maintained it across several models.

    Info has been pretty spotty from my internet searches, but Denon did have a Variable Loudness control in their gear for a period. If you look at the smaller knobs along the bottom, there is bass, treble, balance, and variable loudness:

    [​IMG]

    I have read in a single post on Audiokarma that the Denon did not implement this as well as McIntosh and Yamaha. If anyone has familiarity with their system, please share your experience.
    KEW,
  6. jeannot Audioholic

    jeannot
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    Ontario
    My favorite integrated amp is my Yamaha A-960. It does have a variable loudness control that works absolutely beautifully. I just love it, and you're right to go after this.

    The Yamaha variable loudness circuit is a simple set of passive components. 4 resistors, 4 capacitors, a stereo potentiometer. In case you ready to go "all the way" with this, here is the schematic. If you know a technician, it's likely he can put one of these together in a 2 cuin box in no time.

    Interesting side note: the A-960 was so close to the Carver patent with its X power supply, that it triggered a lawsuit, hence the A-960II

    Attached Files:

    • Like Like x 1

Share This Page

  • rbhsound.com
  • BlueJeansCable.com
  • Emotiva.com
  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis
  • CEDIA