Tone Controls, what do they do

B

Bill Gobby

Enthusiast
Silly question I'm sure, but are Tone Controls just a Volume control for certain frequencies or a bit more than that?
Ottguit
 
mtrycrafts

mtrycrafts

Audioholic Slumlord
Silly question I'm sure, but are Tone Controls just a Volume control for certain frequencies or a bit more than that?
Ottguit
In essence, yes. But there are several types that others may explain better.
If it is a tone control, not an eq, it is centered around a single frequency and boosts or reduces the center frequency and frequencies above and below at lesser amounts resembling a sine wave.

EQs are centered around a number of frequencies. Some are fixed frequencies others can be selected to needed frequencies.
 
M

markw

Audioholic Overlord
Your basic bass and treble controls gradually (or quickly) boost or cut the bottom or top of the frequency range from a certain (hinge) point depend on how far you turn them.

As for equalizers, which are glorified tone controls, they operate over more ranges than the low and high end. Each control controls a specified section of the audio spectrum.

Just like salt and pepper, they can either enhance your experience or totally ruin it if you overdo it.
 
Seth=L

Seth=L

Audioholic Overlord
I prefer my steak unseasoned and my tone controls unadjusted.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Silly question I'm sure, but are Tone Controls just a Volume control for certain frequencies or a bit more than that?
Ottguit
For nigh in 60 years the vast majority of tone controls have used the Baxandall curves



PJ Baxandall was a British engineer who developed this tone control circuit way back in the tube era.

This is a modern version of his circuit in the feedback loop of an opamp.

 
M

markw

Audioholic Overlord
I prefer my steak unseasoned and my tone controls unadjusted.
I actually prefer a bit of salt on my steak but rarely ever use tone controls. Too much of either ruins an otherwise pleasurable experience.
 
M

Mark of Cenla

Full Audioholic
Two of my systems are set to bypass the tone controls, and two others are using the auto EQ in the AVR's. So for me use of tone controls depends on the system. Peace and goodwill.
 
M

markw

Audioholic Overlord
Gents, this thread was started on what tone controls do, not what one's personal philosophy about them is.

Let's not turn this into a debate.
 
3db

3db

Audioholic Overlord
Gents, this thread was started on what tone controls do, not what one's personal philosophy about them is.

Let's not turn this into a debate.
Are you sure? :p I think we should open this point for debate :D


Seriously I agree.. Lets keep personal opinions/feelings of tone controls out of this thread.
 
ATLAudio

ATLAudio

Senior Audioholic
I think aversion to tone controls for some folks is rooted in a sort of metro style appeal to nature. Metro because there's nothing natural about an amplifier, but saying that is also an appeal to nature...

Ok, I give up, I'm just saying that if I demoed two integrates at the same price, and liked the one with tone controls better, then I'd get it no matter if I intended on using them.

Case in point, growing up my Dad had a Carver C-2 and he took pride in all of the tone controls being dead center. I took pride in boosting the bass tone knobs so I could play my rap CDs, but I digress...
 
B

Bill Gobby

Enthusiast
I think aversion to tone controls for some folks is rooted in a sort of metro style appeal to nature. Metro because there's nothing natural about an amplifier, but saying that is also an appeal to nature...



Thanks to all for the replies on tone controls, but as far as Amps not being Natural it's untrue, :) because on my Yammie AX596Integrated it says "Natural sound" right there on the front :)

Bet seriously thanks for all the helpful replies.
Ottguit
 
ATLAudio

ATLAudio

Senior Audioholic
Bill, as you know it only counts if you are using organic certified integrated or separates... :)
 
highfigh

highfigh

Audioholic Overlord
Silly question I'm sure, but are Tone Controls just a Volume control for certain frequencies or a bit more than that?
Ottguit
Depends on the design- some can boost the level, some only attenuate. Old guitar amplifiers are a good example of controls that attenuate- when the controls of a Tweed Fender amplifier are turned up to 12 (yes, they really go to 12), that's the most you can get from that part of the tone control circuit and in the case of a Tweed Fender Bassman, which has controls for Bass, Middle, Treble, Volume and Presence, maxing the Bass, Middle and Treble controls gives the flattest frequency response.

Some people don't want any controls, some only want passive and some don't care. If they don't screw up the sound, they're OK. Some manufacturers put a Bypass switch on their equipment, to please those who demand them.
 

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