There is something to be said for tone controls, but they need to be done correctly, or they will make a sonic impact on the music. My Luxman 590 AX II has them for bass and treble and they are done very well. It even has a loudness control to be used at low listening levels, boosting bass and high frequencies. Very transparent, but when I’m using the Luxman, I listen direct as my system doesn’t much need tone controls and I almost never listen at low levels.
There was a time in our HiFi history that the ability to electronically control music’s tone was necessary. Necessary because the entire chain of electronics and loudspeakers were bad enough to warrant their intrusion.
Sure, many bemoan the lack of bass and treble controls, even full band graphic equalizers, but for the most part, we neither miss them nor need them.
And that’s the point. Our equipment’s gotten so much better as to obviate the need for tone controls.
The crutches of the past don’t apply to the equipment of today.
Yet fond memories of their power linger on.