Interesting experience with my roomates reciever
Aug 20, 2002 at 12:35 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

dohminator

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I've moved into an apartment with a friend of mine. He has a pretty decent sound setup. The thing that grabs my attention is the 1/4" in headphone plug. Finally I can plug my W100s in without using a 1/4" to mini converter.

He has a pioneer dvd player with a pioneer reciever. He has a decent setup. So I plug my headphones in to the reciever. And I start listening to Incubus. And I thought to myself, "this sounds like utter crap." The sound coming out of the reciever was muttled and distorted. Along with a noticeable hiss. I also had not gotten the speakers turned off, which created another problem since it was 4 in the morning.

So I figured out how to turn the speakers off, then I went to work figuring out how to fix this God awful sound. I'm looking over the buttons, and I'm not finding anything to fix the problem. By some off chance though, I decided to push the "loudness" button. Well this solved the problem immediatley. Incubus was coming through crystal clear, and with no hiss. No distortion at all.

My assumption is that the loudness button was a disguised bass boost. The bass was over exaggerated with it turned on. Why would anyone want to turn this on though. Don't they know they are screwing with the sound.

I know the reason. It is because he wants booming powerful bass. It is the same reason he spent $400 on the sub.

Also the reason they probably call it the "loudness" button, is because the added bass makes it seem louder without actually increasing the overall volume.

Has anyone else experienced the same thing?
 
Aug 20, 2002 at 12:53 PM Post #2 of 10

BenG

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A "loudness" button is designed to crudely boost both the highs and lows to compensate for our ears lower sensitivity at lower volumes. I think it's a more usefull feature than "Bass Boost" or "Mega Bass" on a receiver, but that's not saying much.

But I have known people who left the loudness on at any level. I've actually convinced them to turn it off at average levels, but to each his/her own in the end.
 
Aug 20, 2002 at 12:56 PM Post #3 of 10

dohminator

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It is just that they don't need to be boosted.

Well that would be a more useful feature, but it muddled the music all to hell.
 
Aug 20, 2002 at 1:07 PM Post #4 of 10

BenG

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I would have to be listening at a VERY low-level to even consider using a loudness button. I would just rather see it out of the signal path and front panel, since it would get little use from me. Simple is better in electronics, cosmetically and sonically.
 
Aug 20, 2002 at 7:32 PM Post #5 of 10

Zanth

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BenG Quote:

Simple is better in electronics, cosmetically and sonically.


Well now the former is obviously subjective but the latter could be objective. Owning the Shanling CD T-100 of course would qualify it as not as good, according to you, as it is anything but cosmetically simple...to many including myself, I find it magnificent, a work of art as it were. Simple cosmetics is not objectively better. In fact, it would be nice if more manufacturers would put more effort into the design of the chassis. It is hard enough to sell the high cost of much in audio to the wife, let alone something ugly and expensive. This is of course an opinion, which is subjective.

As for sonics, a simple path is usually better, but not always, but it is truly closer to an objective point than a subjective point.
 
Aug 23, 2002 at 1:02 AM Post #7 of 10

Zanth

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Thanks!

I think it sounds as good as it looks, which is even better
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Aug 23, 2002 at 1:33 PM Post #8 of 10

Anders

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The ears sensitivity to audio frequencies differ according to the sound level. At low sound levels, the ear as less sensitive to low frequncies (and also high frequencies) than at higher sound pressures. The idea is to compensate for this with a loudness compensation when listening at low volume.
In practice this does often not work well. Speakers differ in sensitivity and the sensitivity of the speaker may not be matched to the loudness compensation. In the best case, it can sound better with loudness on at low levels. Some use it to boost the bass at high volumes but that indicates either inadequate bass response in the system or bad taste.
Another drawback is that additional curcuitry is introduced and this degrades the sound quality. High-end amps have no loudness button and tone controls for this reason.
 
Aug 23, 2002 at 6:19 PM Post #9 of 10

elambo

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Quote:

Originally posted by Anders
Another drawback is that additional curcuitry is introduced and this degrades the sound quality.


Quite true, and do you think the manufacturers have high-quality circuitry in mind when designing these loudness buttons? I highly doubt it. Yet another reason why you would be hearing hiss and distortion and, well, just generally 'crap.' Run all this through the headphone jack and you could have some serious ear-Olestra.
 
Aug 23, 2002 at 6:48 PM Post #10 of 10

bubbaj

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I have an old Yamaha stereo amp that I bought back in the 70s. It has an adjustable loudness control with I think 10 settings. I found it very useful over the years. One could make subtle adjustments.
bj
 

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