Getting older - tone control is beneficial

The system I own I selected 10 years ago, at the dealer carefully comparing different brands, combinations etc. But over the years my hearing changed, I’m 60 years old now and I cannot enjoy all my records anymore. Especially the ones mixed bass light.
I looked at several options, new pre-amp to replace my nac202 with one with tone control, or fully replace 202 + 300 with i.e. Lyngdorf TDAI-3400.
Due to corona it is not easy to listen in the dealer shops, so I looked at cheaper options that are worth to take the risk (not to expensive).
My options:

  1. Schiit Loki at U$149…but out of stock for a while
  2. Nubert ATM Kompaktbox Aktives Tuning Modul at Euro 295

I bought the Nubert because it can adjust for bass only at the really low end, 40Hz and below.
In the meantime it arrived, connected it to the nac202 tape monitor, so I can include or exclude it it by switching the tape monitor on or off.

I keep the mid and treble flat, only increase the low bass and I’m really surprised with the sound quality result. Stage remains and it increases the very low end giving the sound more body again. With some bass heavy records, like Rammstein, Tindersticks I simply switch off the tape monitor, keeping the signal straight.

I hope this experience can help others.


There’s a thread about the huge benefit that hearing aids are providing many users on the forum.

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I think as we get older our critical listening faculties diminish. At 70, I suspect I could get a very nice Sony, Marantz or Pioneer receiver and be quite happy with the results (tone controls and all).


I’m not yet 70, but sincerely hope not, otherwise my hifi journey to the level of system I have reached and regard as the pinnacle to which I aspired and aimed for best part of 50 years will be all too short in its enjoyment. However, there are quite a few forum members older than 70 with, and I believe fully enjoying, very high level systems - so don’t write off age for full enjoyment of hifi, nor predetermine your own limitation. And for those unfortunate enough to suffer sufficient hearing deterioration to be an issue, whether in earlier or later years, as has been pointed out in the thread referenced by @Guinnless there are modern tools that for many could give a much extended lease of full high fidelity life.


That’s right, keep enjoying the system just like I do, every day.

Maybe at ten years the amp is due a service.

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Just thought this might be beneficial health info. I’m not a doctor, but the low tones frequency loss reminded me of a section in the book I’ve been reading.
Apologies if this is feels intrusive, it is not meant that way.

How about demoing a 282 for the 202. Could be all you need to do as a serviced 300 will love it.

Should be a step forward in everything you previously enjoyed.

There are test tones available on qobuz, using NBLs and a 500DR series system I can hear the 40Hz fairly well, though it’s not very loud at a reasonable volume setting for more midrange tones, the 30Hz is just about inaudible whatever the volume setting and the 20Hz is a funny flappy buzzing noise. At the other end 12kHz is OK but 14kHz is a struggle to make out and I wouldn’t spot it until it stopped if I didn’t know it was there. I’m 60 and have ridden motorcycles pretty much daily without using earplugs for the last 41 of them. I don’t think I need tone controls though, music doesn’t sound unbalanced.

And that may be the limitation of the speaker/room/sitting position combination (you can always test with REW+measuring microphone, then you’d know how much is due to your ears - though don’t forget that ears get less sensitive to low frequencies as sound level drops, so if you use these notes to test ears it would be best not done quietly.

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