Do you adjust your balance control at all?

Stereophile's picture
Last week we picked on tone controls, so this week, we'll put the spotlight on the balance knob. Do you use it in your system? Is it at any setting other than dead center?
Do you adjust your balance control at all?
Not at all
70% (272 votes)
Once in a while
19% (74 votes)
Quite a bit
5% (21 votes)
It is always set off to one side
6% (24 votes)
Total votes: 391
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Comments
Robert's picture

I find that the balance needs to be adjusted for each recording to obtain a full and centered soundstage. My preference is for dual mono volume controls rather than a single balance control.

Shane's picture

Could you give us a reason why they even include them in the first place? It would be nice to know.

Bubba in SF's picture

The balance control is set at 12 o'clock. If I had right and left pots failing or mismatched then I would use my balance control. I don't use tone controls either. If the room set up is off then the way to correct the sound is through physical adjustment of the speakers. Keep the right and left levels the same and don't screw with the tone which tends to make your imaging go away anyway.

MARK BRYSTON's picture

DOES ANY COMMENT I LIST REALLY MATTER

Keith's picture

The channel seperation on my Conrad-Johnson preamp is perfect. I never adjust the balance control. I don't need too.

B.  N.  Dere's picture

No balance control on my tube amp. It does OK.

Joe Hartmann's picture

I do not have a balance control on my Audio Research LS 15

lc's picture

only if the record is grossly mismastered.

John b's picture

have a Kenwood VR 509 reciever with no balance control

Paul J.  Stiles's picture

Only when the overall sonic image is consistently off to one side in a way that distracts me from the musical event. When this happens, it takes just a small adjustment to make things fine.

Oliver's picture

I never used it with my former equipment. My actual preamp has no balance knob, only a knob: left channel, both channels, right channel, to give me the possibility to crosscheck the signal. This is fine for new bought equipment.

Harold B.  Roberts's picture

Not at all. my Audabile Illa has sererat left and right volume controlls

Stephen Curling's picture

I have a couch arm very close to the right speaker, which attenuates the sound some, so I lowered the ouput of the left speaker to match.

Mitchell L.'s picture

Why wouldn't I use a balance control- it's there for a reason, and if I need to use it, isn't it really odd not to, especially, if the recording will be skewed otherwise? Oh, and getting back to the tone control issue- why do so many people have such a big issue with a tone control when it's on a pre-amp, but think nothing of adjusting a tweeter level control on the back of any number of quality speakers? Not using or providing for a balance control, or tone controls, is something of a dogma within certain spheres. Music direct? Come on- you 'direct' music goes through miles of cable, control panels, etc., until it reaches the storgae medium. What's an extra ince of signal path going to do-

Gordon's picture

I am blessed with the ability/approval to set up my speakers as I see/hear fit!!!

Ron Bouquet's picture

My preamp doesn't have one. If it had one, I wouldn't use it. A balance-control will only adjust the amplitudes of one or both channels, not the phase-distortion caused by the diference in path length between you and the speakers. When it's not possible to sit right between the speakers you have to re-position the speakers, not adjust the balance-control!

Bulldogbreed's picture

Both recordings and rooms sometimes need balancing. I wouldn't buy a preamp without a balance control.

Todd R's picture

What balance control?

Anonymous's picture

I never use the balance control at all. If I felt the need to, I would move my furniture instead. - Pete Montgomery

Javier Santiago-Lucerna's picture

Now that you come with it, I've never experimented with it, so perhaps I should start, since my listening seat is not on axis.

Al Marcy's picture

I have two volume controls. One in each channel.

Mike Healey's picture

The only reason I use the balance control (on the downstairs stereo that sounds like a kazoo). Is to confirm that I connected the speakers properly and to ensure that each speaker sounds as good (or bad) as the other. To be honest, I wouldn't miss it if it wasn't there.

Gerald Neily's picture

I'm glad the control is there. I used to need it, but then I rearranged the furniture so that I don't need it anymore.

Timothy O.  Driskel's picture

Why, Does one of your speakers sit back 11 feet because the room is L shaped!

Ted in Atlanta's picture

I have no balance control.

GM's picture

I sit in the listening spot which is dead center but in a very asymetrical room. Use a SPL meter and test tones built into my Lexicon DC1 pre/pro.

Dan Landen's picture

Naw, gotta run both equally so the amp gets equal wear & tear on both channels!

will power's picture

No balance control

Chris from Michigan's picture

I love my music dead center. If there is a center issue, I always adjust speaker placement. It makes the phase changes I need to believe the center image.

Chris L.'s picture

Though I do use the L + R out from L input switch on my old MX110.

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