Discussion in 'Preamps' started by neogeosnk, Sep 26, 2017.
Hm. another Schiit product release? And it's not RMAF yet? Hmm..
The first time I noticed the Quad Tilt Control, was when I saw a used Quad pre-amp on a dealer's shelves, back in the early 70s. I don't know the model number. It was medium and light gray with bright orange buttons, which struck me as looking toy-like. I didn't feel that it was actually toy-like because I had read about the Quad ESL (this was before 57 was added to the name) and felt Quad was a serious company. That store had their biggest room set up with double stacked Quad ESLs in steel frames which they let me listen to. They wouldn't let me play the Rock records I had brought with me. It was string quartets or nothing. They did sound great with their records while I was standing in the narrow sweet spot.
I just skimmed the page that @Thad E Ginathom linked to. It said "As tone controls are rare and as the tilt control is a special type of tone control, it is very rare. The only piece of hi-fi that held one that I know of was the lovely Quad 34.". As a casual observer of Quad pre-amps in the press, I saw some form of Tilt Control on all of them except maybe the earliest ones. Like Thad, I never could get my head around their Tilt Controls. It seemed like something I would have to try myself, but that opportunity never arose.
What I did find interesting about the Tilt Controls was the dozens of times that I read things in mags like "The only really useful tone controls I have used are the Quad Tilt Controls ..." popping up when the subject of tone controls (or the lack of tone controls) came up. I am still kind of interested in playing around with one of these, but not enough to pursue that. Maybe something for @schiit to consider, if they are really that good.
I've actually got a Quad preamp with Tilt Control. Not my own purchase -- that was well before my time -- but a hand-me-down from my parents after they stopped using their stereo system. (Now they use a Bose clock radio for all their audio and think it sounds better than their old speaker system. Which it might, considering the room was absolutely not set up properly and the speakers were pointed straight at the back of a couch three feet away. ) I've never actually used the tilt control, TBH...I didn't (and still don't) quite understand what it does, and I so rarely use speakers that I never bothered unpacking it & its corresponding Quad power amp after my last move. I might have to dig it out and play with it a bit.
OK, curiosity got the better of me, and I actually dug the thing out and started messing with it instead of waiting till morning. A few minutes of Internet research turns up that it's a Quad 44, and looks almost exactly like this one whose picture I found on the internet, though in worse condition (apologies for not photographing mine, but my photgraphy skills are terrible even when I'm not half asleep):
So, how it works...the see-saw looking knob in the middle is the tilt, which I think has something to do with the paddle-looking thing along the outside of that knob on the middle-right which is (I think) the slope, which has three settings, 10K, 7K, and 5K, in addition to C which turns off the tilt EQ. Basically the slope determines how extreme the tilt will be, I think? Basically, as far as my sleep-addled ears can tell, the tilt skews the bass up and the treble down or vice versa, depending on the setting, and the slope changes how extreme the change is, from "sounds OK but not exactly subtle" on the lowest setting to "ranging from extreme basshead to Grado-hater's nightmare" on the highest. That might not actually be an accurate representation of what the slope paddle does...all the documentation on the tilt I can find is for the Quad 34, which doesn't have the slope control. I'm not entirely sure what the filter knob does, other than make everything sound terrible when set too high, or why it has "5", "15" and "25" settings, or why those are on opposite sides of the knob, leaving most of the knob's range unlabelled.
It's certainly interesting...I'm not sure I'd exactly term it useful, given that it's not exactly a granular control scheme...as far as I can tell, all it'll do is skew the sound towards either bass or treble, and you control which it is and how extreme the skew. I think. I'm not sure, and I'll have to do more research when it's not the middle of the night. You can get a V-shaped signature by combining a tilt to treble with the bass lift (and you can make it sound like you're underwater by turning it to full bass tilt and full bass lift). I guess it takes the guessing out of EQ, given that it's basically a one-knob solution to make things more bassy or treble-y.
Thanks for staying up late and giving some details on that, @nithhoggr !
Looks like it was probably the Quad 33 that I was looking at in the Hi-Fi shop. Similar but a bit different with the tone controls. My memory must have mixed up Slope with Tilt, no Tilt on the Quad 33.
The magazine praise I read for the Tilt/Slope tone controls never mentioned a particular pre-amp, but I think Tilt was always mentioned. If you feel like messing with it some more later, I'd be interested in any further impressions - if you have any. If nothing else, that Quad configuration seems unique.
Well, I'm happy to have brought some serious hifi history to a thread! Certainly I regard Quad as one of the great names of British hifi history, but I can't claim much listening experience. When first encountered, this would have been part of my friend's dad's equipment. The fact that he ran a pro studio (mostly spoken word) from his home made it even more so that one did not mess with a friend's dad's audio. I think I heard the amplification from the Quad when it shifted to friend's brother. But in those days, I guess I just listened to music without bothering too much about what it came out of. Which just might have been a good idea! More recently, I did see, a few years back, Quad equipment in use by a guy with ex-cinema-driver DIY speakers. He really believed in low watts into high efficiency. I make no comment on that theory, but hey, his system sounded great!
I usually get to see the friend when I go to UK, but have not seen the bro in a while. Maybe I'll make an effort to go visit the Quad next time I', there!
Of course it's easy for me to get caught up in the idea and potential of the Loki. The truth is that I know from past experience some headphones have great potential with EQ and others will sound like ass. The hd800, pm-3 and several of the MrSpeakers headphones have the ability to EQ several notches up the ladder of audio nirvana with almost no negative side effects.
The 650 doesn't EQ all that well. But then again it doesn't need a lot of repair to begin with. Trying to fix the wooley sound of the bass is just a no go. I always ended up clipping and distortion when trying to EQ the 650 bass to perfection. Maybe the Loki will be different. Hopefully it will be better. Digital EQ sometimes makes me want to stick a rusty ice pick through my ear.
I know it is early days but has anyone considered how this will play with Mike's new gadget?
I am eagerly awaiting the gadget but my headphones of choice are the HD800 and the TH900 and the new Loki just seems perfect for those.
@Robert777 I asked that very question. The response that I got was that they will play together just fine.
Interesting...comparing that preamp's controls to mine, it looks like I got the filter and slope controls backwards...it's the filter that changes how extreme the tilt is, and the slope whose function eluded me. (I have to say, Quad could've done a better job with control layout and labelling.) I looked up a scan of a Quad 44 manual...interestingly, it seems like the tone controls (especially the tilt) are more intended for correcting for the room and/or recording being too bright or warm, and not for correcting for tranducers. (Which would explain a little of my confusion, given that I was routing the signal from the 44 through a headphone amp and through headphones, so room correction didn't occur to me.) Here's an explanation of tilt (which implies that the filter control shouldn't make a difference other than needing to be on, though I swear the tilt effect was more extreme on lower filter settings), and here's the page on slope (which basically attenuates the sound past a certain point to reduce distortion, which also explains why I was baffled by it considering it's probably not really necessary for modern recordings from modern sources).
I'll certainly post more impressions later...unfortunately, my girlfriend is using my desk for work for the evening, so I doubt I'll get much listening time in tonight. I'll need to give some thought as to recordings I find too bright or too dark, since that's what the tilt control seems like it'd be useful for.
Maybe Don Cheadle could answer all these questions about the "quad"?
Anybody remember these?
Cello (Mark Levinson) Audio Palette, tone control for the well-heeled audiophile. With knobs, of course.
All I see is a Photobucket error image.
Odd, it's working on my end. I'm walking out the door, will investigate tomorrow.
from Jason's post on HF: "we did a proof of concept board about the size of a Jotunheim with 6 bands."
If the image is part of a large file of images, Fucktobucket will charge you to display on third party sites. And it's a lot. You see it. We get blocked.,
Loki is a decent fix for me. I never liked the trade offs of pushing the speakers against the wall to get bass reinforced. Some older soul and R&B sounds better I think when I turn the 2K knob counter clockwise just a bit. Particularly Betty Harris. Currently enjoying Chuck Berry with a large bass boost and a tad more 2K. This thing is a lot of fun. Don't care if I'm using it right or whatever.
CD - Bifrost Multibit - Loki - Saga - emotiva a300 - blumenstein Tritons
yes I need to get a better amp.
I have used mics with software(s) etc. I have everything set as best as I can get it with my speakers in my too many cubic feet not so grand room. But they were designed not to excite a lot of bass standing waves in the average room. The model ended up being used in mastering studios because of this. I could use just a touch more bass. Dingus is on it's way. See what happens. Thanks to @Perot for your post.
try imgur, still free
Looks like you could only use the Fulla 2 as an amp only (bypassing the DAC) when you go fixed line-out to Loki, then from Loki to front analog-in.
From http://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-2 - FAQ:
"1/8” stereo analog input (so you can use it as just an amp, bypassing the DAC"
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