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Bass & audiophiles

Gaz37

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Sep 23, 2014
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The other threads regarding bass got me thinking about many audiophiles' attitude towards bass.

You often read about the unenlightened being too bass obsessed & how "realism" & "accuracy" is more important
The "experts" also rhapsodise about how true hifi should sound as though the artist was performing in your listening room.

Now the last live performance I saw was Brit Floyd, whose sound system was first rate
Guess what though?
You could feel the bass in your chest & through the floor, it literally (almost) took your breath away.

So could it be concluded that in order to believe you have a live performance from your home system you do indeed need huge amounts of bass?
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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I think it's all proportional. if you had a room large enough, and a good hifi powerful enough, you could hope to play at concert levels and recreate the scale of that experience without having to whack-up the bass control or tweak the sub a couple of dBs higher than is truly neutral. But for most of us that's an impossibility. The problem with trying to mimic it in small scale by using bass-heavy speakers or by boosting the bass control is that the resulting imbalanced sound quickly becomes OTT when you're not playing heavy rock or EDM.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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Bass is incredibly important for me. It always has been. But it's not about the quantity but quality and how it affects the rest.

The low frequencies have a profound effect on the rest of the spectrum through harmonics. When done right bass can not only improve rhythm and enjoyment but also midrange clarity and imaging.

What is damaging for peoples perception of what neutral should be is they expect a straight line measurement. That's bass shy and bright. And it's down to how we perceive frequencies. But many will think this is the right and only way even when nature didn't build out auditory system like that.
 

jjbomber

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Dec 22, 2006
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Gaz37 said:
Now the last live performance I saw was Brit Floyd, whose sound system was first rate Guess what though? You could feel the bass in your chest & through the floor, it literally (almost) took your breath away.

So could it be concluded that in order to believe you have a live performance from your home system you do indeed need huge amounts of bass?
Only if you're listening to Brit Floyd!!!

There are plenty of live bands where the bass is there to enhance the sound not dominate it. They want to thicken the gravy, not change the taste. Raveneye are in Bristol next week with Skam; two great rock bands with subtle bass lines.

And tribute bands are identity theft!!! *biggrin*
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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Gaz37 said:
The other threads regarding bass got me thinking about many audiophiles' attitude towards bass.

You often read about the unenlightened being too bass obsessed & how "realism" & "accuracy" is more important
The "experts" also rhapsodise about how true hifi should sound as though the artist was performing in your listening room.

Now the last live performance I saw was Brit Floyd, whose sound system was first rate
Guess what though?
You could feel the bass in your chest & through the floor, it literally (almost) took your breath away.

So could it be concluded that in order to believe you have a live performance from your home system you do indeed need huge amounts of bass?
I assume 'Brit Floyd' don't usually play' in a semi-detached or flats?
 

Gaz37

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2014
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Being slightly argumentative here, I'm not genuinely suggesting we need Meyer line arrays in our living room.

If we are really striving to create reality isn't huge bass more of a factor than neutrality?

Who's been to a live (rock) gig & though "oh that's very neutral" more likely "f**k that's loud & the bass is likely to dislodge my aeorta" lol

More seriously, obviously everything has to be scaled down for home listening so chest caving bass isn't a realistic prospect however you have to admit that this is the crucial part missing from a live gig
 

Gaz37

Well-known member
Sep 23, 2014
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drummerman said:
Gaz37 said:
The other threads regarding bass got me thinking about many audiophiles' attitude towards bass.

You often read about the unenlightened being too bass obsessed & how "realism" & "accuracy" is more important
The "experts" also rhapsodise about how true hifi should sound as though the artist was performing in your listening room.

Now the last live performance I saw was Brit Floyd, whose sound system was first rate
Guess what though?
You could feel the bass in your chest & through the floor, it literally (almost) took your breath away.

So could it be concluded that in order to believe you have a live performance from your home system you do indeed need huge amounts of bass?
I assume 'Brit Floyd' don't usually play' in a semi-detached or flats?
Of course not but isn't the illusion of the artist playing in your room the holy grail of hifi?
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
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Vladimir said:
This is what will sound most pleasing in your room.
+1

Yes, but not to restrained in the highs so a guitar solo or female voice sounds to soft, not enough bite when eric clapton,david gilmour,jimi hendrix is doing what they are best at (relative to how good a person can hear the high frequency's)
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
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insider9 said:
Bass is incredibly important for me. It always has been. But it's not about the quantity but quality and how it affects the rest.

The low frequencies have a profound effect on the rest of the spectrum through harmonics. When done right bass can not only improve rhythm and enjoyment but also midrange clarity and imaging.

What is damaging for peoples perception of what neutral should be is they expect a straight line measurement. That's bass shy and bright. And it's down to how we perceive frequencies. But many will think this is the right and only way even when nature didn't build out auditory system like that.
Even when a speaker is neutral the bass is fare form it when play edm or some good live rock music, it's just a bit more neutral than krk rookit and most cerwin vegas, even some high end speakers is not neutral (100% neutral like the best studio monitors doesn't sound good)

https://www.stereophile.com/content/monitor-audio-platinum-pl300-ii-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/wharfedale-diamond-225-loudspeaker-measurements
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
955
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Gaz37 said:
Being slightly argumentative here, I'm not genuinely suggesting we need Meyer line arrays in our living room.

If we are really striving to create reality isn't huge bass more of a factor than neutrality?

Who's been to a live (rock) gig & though "oh that's very neutral" more likely "f**k that's loud & the bass is likely to dislodge my aeorta" lol

More seriously, obviously everything has to be scaled down for home listening so chest caving bass isn't a realistic prospect however you have to admit that this is the crucial part missing from a live gig
In the old days speakers where big (although you could get small speakers like the kef/roger bbc studio monitors) and had high sensitivity and great bass, not 3-4-5 inch woofers but 8 and above, now they have to have be in a wife friendly (waf) size (q acoustics 2010i, they are so cute ;-) )
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
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gasolin said:
insider9 said:
Bass is incredibly important for me. It always has been. But it's not about the quantity but quality and how it affects the rest.

The low frequencies have a profound effect on the rest of the spectrum through harmonics. When done right bass can not only improve rhythm and enjoyment but also midrange clarity and imaging.

What is damaging for peoples perception of what neutral should be is they expect a straight line measurement. That's bass shy and bright. And it's down to how we perceive frequencies. But many will think this is the right and only way even when nature didn't build out auditory system like that.
Even when a speaker is neutral the bass is fare form it when play edm or some good live rock music, it's just a bit more neutral than krk rookit and most cerwin vegas, even some high end speakers is not neutral (100% neutral like the best studio monitors doesn't sound good)

https://www.stereophile.com/content/monitor-audio-platinum-pl300-ii-loudspeaker-measurements

https://www.stereophile.com/content/wharfedale-diamond-225-loudspeaker-measurements
My point was understanding of many what is really neutral is ill-conceived. Many don't understand about acoustics and psychoacoustics and think a straight flat line is supposed to be some kind of pinnacle of achievement.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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insider9 said:
My point was understanding of many what is really neutral is ill-conceived. Many don't understand about acoustics and psychoacoustics and think a straight flat line is supposed to be some kind of pinnacle of achievement.
Agreed and in fact this harks back to the days when pretty much all amps / preamps had 'Loudness' or 'Contour' switches, which boosted the frequency extremes at low volume. Trouble is, the boost was variable depending on the position of the volume control, ranging from say +12dB at minimum to +2dB by about half way, then gradually to nothing. So quieter sources like records would be boosted less than louder sources such as CD players, because you needed to raise the volume control further to achieve the same loudness.
 

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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hard to have a straight flat line when alot of music is not recorded this way

neutral midrange, slightly higher bass let's say 2 db from 80-50hz and a top that is lowered by 2db

warm fullbodied sound with not to much top (did i hear anyone say tubeamp or class a amp?)
 

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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MajorFubar said:
insider9 said:
My point was understanding of many what is really neutral is ill-conceived. Many don't understand about acoustics and psychoacoustics and think a straight flat line is supposed to be some kind of pinnacle of achievement.
Agreed and in fact this harks back to the days when pretty much all amps / preamps had 'Loudness' or 'Contour' switches, which boosted the frequency extremes at low volume. Trouble is, the boost was variable depending on the position of the volume control, ranging from say +12dB at minimum to +2dB by about half way, then gradually to nothing. So quieter sources like records would be boosted less than louder sources such as CD players, because you needed to raise the volume control further for any given loudness level.
My moom had a pair of Beovox S45 (down to 38hz) in a corner with at Philips 22AH305 amp, bass + 14 db 50hz (same as my nad 3020i also 50hz not those 100hz or higher) and loudness 11db 50hz, loudness activated,bass all the way UP

Oh boy it could play bass, it was insane that both amp and speakers could handle that much bass 11-12 o'clock on the amp with out distortion, try that with a pair of dali zenor 3 and a 50 watt amp and se if they can handle it
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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gasolin said:
Vladimir said:
This is what will sound most pleasing in your room.
+1

Yes, but not to restrained in the highs so a guitar solo or female voice sounds to soft, not enough bite when eric clapton,david gilmour,jimi hendrix is doing what they are best at (relative to how good a person can hear the high frequency's)
It's a gentle slope that gives neutral but full enveloping sound.
 

MajorFubar

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Mar 3, 2010
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gasolin said:
Oh boy it could play bass, it was insane that both amp and speakers could handle that much bass 11-12 o'clock on the amp with out distortion, try that with a pair of dali zenor 3 and a 50 watt amp and se if they can handle it
You can spend all day whipping a cow and you'll never make it go 'baaa'. If you want a something that goes 'baaa', buy a sheep, but it's no good complaining that cows are rubbish because they don't go 'baaa'.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
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I like bass as long as it’s not overkill bass as I do not want a mobile disco in my living room or I would buy my self some disco speakers instead but bass to me should sound natural not coloured .

A drum kit should sound like a drum kit and the bass guitar should sound like a bass guitar I am after the correct amount of bass for any instruments or vocals .
 

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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what?

My point was just that in the old days hifi was something diffrent compared to 2017/2018

Even a 20-30 year old hifi can sound better than most do today, guess my nad 3020i beats the new nad C316BEE V2 *crazy*

Who would have thought that ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PCkvCPvDXk

Right top corner

 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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Old NAD sound muddy and bloated. But with pop/rock/dance music it can be fun and entertaining. It's not for critical listening but to dance like no one is watching. It's a house party machine.
 

BigH

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Dec 29, 2012
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Yes but live is not like studio.

I often find the singer is almost shouting at live concerts the mix is all different. Also it depends on the venue, small, medium large, outdoors, totally different effects. Further it depends where you are in the audience, how far from the speakers etc. So is live an accurate way of judging the bass, I find studio albums a lot more balanced. I'm not into excessive bass. Audiophile is about accurate sound not excess in one area.
 

gasolin

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Mar 17, 2013
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BigH said:
Yes but live is not like studio.

I often find the singer is almost shouting at live concerts the mix is all different. Also it depends on the venue, small, medium large, outdoors, totally different effects. Further it depends where you are in the audience, how far from the speakers etc. So is live an accurate way of judging the bass, I find studio albums a lot more balanced. I'm not into excessive bass. Audiophile is about accurate sound not excess in one area.
Some sound enginer or what ever they are called,those how adjust the sound at live concerts, often sound as id they are half deaf after many years working with music.

Audiophile is about accurate sound not excess in one area. Studio monitor should be able to let the sound enginer adjust the sound as the musician want whether its neutral or boomy,party sound they want or silent or loud

Studio Monitors is also about giving the listener the feeling that what they hear is how the musician want it to sound
 

Gaz37

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Sep 23, 2014
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I have to agree that some concert sound engineers must be deaf.
I saw Alice Cooper a few years ago & the sound could only be described as noise. It got to the point where I genuinely couldn't tell what was being played or hear different instruments.
 

plastic penguin

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Apr 28, 2008
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Obv bass, as with any other frequency, is important. I tend to buy components that work best in my living room, regardless of what amps and speakers I've owned in the past and present.

I like bass to be well defined and layered, as opposed to relicating a concert sound - if the chest starts thumping I know it'll be out of proportion to how I'm aquainted with a home sound.
 

MajorFubar

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gasolin said:
what?

My point was just that in the old days hifi was something diffrent compared to 2017/2018
Sorry I wasn't really intending to confuse. The point I was making is the Dali speakers and the old B&O S45's are poles apart in their design philosophy, and the fact that the Dali's won't ever sound like the B&O's isn't a weakness or a compromise, it's deliberate.
 

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