It comes with a balance knob?!?! I'll take it!

...said no one ever! I've been researching new gear and it hit me. Why, just why, do pieces have a balance knob? The only time in my life I can remember using said knob was to mess with the music and irritate my friends. You know, because it was cool to make every song sound like that classic Led Zep track. I think it was the 80's and on my Sanyo "boom box".

What is the point? To look retro? Do people actually use it and why?

Thought this might be fun to discuss and learn something new.


Room geometry & acoustics.

Balance control & loudness/tone controls are absolutely necessary.

Look at your birthday & Fletcher Munson curves if you do not agree.


@izjjzi Yes, a balance control can center a vocalist within the soundstage.  I do it all the time.  Sometimes, the vocals are panned to the left or right intentionally.  In these cases, centering the vocals will produce a lopsided sound stage.  Not only can you center most vocals, but I find that vocal transients coming at me from the left or right can sound harsh, but this harshness lessens or vanishes when the vocals and transients are centered.

Went for an Arcam a49 when I last splurged out 5 yrs back.

Was considering separate amp pre amp at the ttime but if I remember right balance controls werent typical for separate preamps.

As it happens my listening space isnt ideal and also I have a mild hearing deficiency in one ear.

Since both the ear and the most problematic parts of room acoustically are on the same side (my left) the balance control is necessary for me from time to time.

AS I commented i another post Im moving my tv out of the room as its placement was interfering with the soundstage so it maybe with that done I might find the balance control unnecessary-we shall see.

Even so good to have in case of need and if not needed it wont be engaged so no downside near as I can tell


Lately, I have been using a sort of balance control (dual mono block set up with sensitivity at each input) for a reason not so good. In short, the right speaker in my system has apparently suffered damage from my stupidity. Bottom line, it needs more volume to compensate for its injury. I know, I am ordering a new driver in the next few days. Just glad to have had a fix in the meantime.