Strong bass VS Natural sound, which side are you on? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 08-14-2014, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Smile Strong bass VS Natural sound, which side are you on?

As a popular music major student who is into R&B, Soul and Hip-hop, I'm definitely with team strong bass.

how about you? I've talked to some of my friends about it, they gave me different answers. I guess this really depends on individuals' preference and what kind of music they listen to mostly, right?

But to be honest, if I were to choose a speaker, I probably would like something in between. The speaker that has a good balance of everything would be the best choice.
You don't want too much exaggeration on bass neither. It can be tiring for ears.

What do you say?

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post #2 of 31 Old 08-14-2014, 06:29 PM
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Something inbetween is my preference. Not natural, but just a bit more bassy...I just bought a pair of Definitive Technology Mythos ST and hopefully, the bass they exhibit will satisfy me (just stereo, with no sub).
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post #3 of 31 Old 08-14-2014, 06:41 PM
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It depends on the material. Strong bass on some, natural sound for others. Strong bass on electronic music and action movies, but flat response for natural presentations, piano solos, string quartets, etc. The best thing to do is get a setup with as flat of a response as you can, and then EQ strong bass into it when you want it.
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post #4 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 05:10 AM
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I listen to music all the time: work, home, driving. For most (almost all) cases, I prefer less base (natural) performance. Because after exposed to high base background music for 20min, I got some tiny headache. I feel sick and cannot focus on my work.

I have a Jambox and a Bose SoundLink Mini, both sound great (really great). But I use Jambox for most of the time, because Bose offers too too much base.
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post #5 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 05:14 AM
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Rather have a well balanced speaker, and if I need bass use a subwoofer and bring it up a few dB
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post #6 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
Rather have a well balanced speaker, and if I need bass use a subwoofer and bring it up a few dB

This too was my immediate reaction to your question. I want flat response from my speakers (particularly the front stage be that 2 ch or as part of a surround setup). I want even bass response from quality subwoofers evenly distributed in the listening space. Good decay times, etc. I prefer sealed subwoofers for this reason. That said, I always run my subs 3-5dB hot. I like to feel the bass but I also like the "fullness" a little extra dB on the low end adds to what I am listening to. Does not matter what kind of music or TV or movies...
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post #7 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 05:35 AM
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Natural for sure. Boomy bass sounds crappy to me.
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post #8 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 05:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sospee View Post
I listen to music all the time: work, home, driving. For most (almost all) cases, I prefer less base (natural) performance. Because after exposed to high base background music for 20min, I got some tiny headache. I feel sick and cannot focus on my work.

I have a Jambox and a Bose SoundLink Mini, both sound great (really great). But I use Jambox for most of the time, because Bose offers too too much base.
It's BASS I do not know why, but that one just drives me nuts! (short drive)
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post #9 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 05:44 AM
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I would prefer to hear it as it's intended. If a song has minimal bass, then I don't want some artificially boosted low end that isn't there. But if I am playing something that does extend down, I want the horsepower there if I need it. I don't think there is one speaker that can do it all, unless you spend big bucks on true full range. So for me, 2.1 is great for music.
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post #10 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 06:08 AM
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I like extra bass with a flat response, but not boomy bass that just plays one note.

Too much is fatiguing, but too little is boring (less visceral).
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post #11 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 07:24 AM
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Depends on the speaker, I have heard some speaker that sound really good with natural bass. I have also heard speaker that doing good with a bass bumb. I have also heard bad speaker with natural bass and etc...
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post #12 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 08:22 AM
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I prefer clean strong but controlled bass. It is annoying when it is out of control and over powering everything else.
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post #13 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 11:04 AM
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I agree with everything Transmaniacon stated. I want to hear what the artist envisioned. I have some pretty large planar-magnetic panel speakers that I've run for years without a sub and have enjoyed them immensely. I just didn't realize that some artists intended certain musical nuances that those panels could never reproduce. Once I added a quality sub, I understood what and why some artists added such deep bass and at unexpected times. A whole new world opened up. Several pieces of music I had been listening to for years was dramatically changed, some giving unexpected power, while other pieces an even more forlorn atmosphere. One piece even had me literally jumping from utter shock when those notes slammed into the walls so hard they shook. It's also a lot of fun when people are over and you watch them jump from shock, especially those who know this piece of music.

As long as a sub produces what my speakers cannot, and do so without undermining those speakers, I'm a happy camper. After playing with some different crossover points, I have now settled in and use a very low crossover point (40 Hz). I don't mind subtle enhancements, a more rounded or textured bass guitar for example or a little more bite from the drums, but I don't want to know a sub is hooked up at all, until it pulls something out of the hat, like a 32-foot pipe organ.
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post #14 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 11:33 AM
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Loud, flabby bass sucks. Clean, controlled, and properly equalized to the room bass is what it's all about. As was said earlier, just reproduce what the artist intended. Don't want anything extra.
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post #15 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 11:39 AM
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i love what I have cause they can produce very little to very explosive bass all depending on the music. no sub required. it sounds very natural to me.
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post #16 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 01:28 PM
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A lot will depend on the volume you listen at as well.
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post #17 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stef2 View Post
Something inbetween is my preference. Not natural, but just a bit more bassy...I just bought a pair of Definitive Technology Mythos ST and hopefully, the bass they exhibit will satisfy me (just stereo, with no sub).
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
It depends on the material. Strong bass on some, natural sound for others. Strong bass on electronic music and action movies, but flat response for natural presentations, piano solos, string quartets, etc. The best thing to do is get a setup with as flat of a response as you can, and then EQ strong bass into it when you want it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
Rather have a well balanced speaker, and if I need bass use a subwoofer and bring it up a few dB
Quote:
Originally Posted by mde8965 View Post
This too was my immediate reaction to your question. I want flat response from my speakers (particularly the front stage be that 2 ch or as part of a surround setup). I want even bass response from quality subwoofers evenly distributed in the listening space. Good decay times, etc. I prefer sealed subwoofers for this reason. That said, I always run my subs 3-5dB hot. I like to feel the bass but I also like the "fullness" a little extra dB on the low end adds to what I am listening to. Does not matter what kind of music or TV or movies...
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcrox View Post
Natural for sure. Boomy bass sounds crappy to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcohen View Post
I like extra bass with a flat response, but not boomy bass that just plays one note.

Too much is fatiguing, but too little is boring (less visceral).
Quote:
Originally Posted by smbsocal View Post
I prefer clean strong but controlled bass. It is annoying when it is out of control and over powering everything else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsrussell View Post
I agree with everything Transmaniacon stated. I want to hear what the artist envisioned. I have some pretty large planar-magnetic panel speakers that I've run for years without a sub and have enjoyed them immensely. I just didn't realize that some artists intended certain musical nuances that those panels could never reproduce. Once I added a quality sub, I understood what and why some artists added such deep bass and at unexpected times. A whole new world opened up. Several pieces of music I had been listening to for years was dramatically changed, some giving unexpected power, while other pieces an even more forlorn atmosphere. One piece even had me literally jumping from utter shock when those notes slammed into the walls so hard they shook. It's also a lot of fun when people are over and you watch them jump from shock, especially those who know this piece of music.

As long as a sub produces what my speakers cannot, and do so without undermining those speakers, I'm a happy camper. After playing with some different crossover points, I have now settled in and use a very low crossover point (40 Hz). I don't mind subtle enhancements, a more rounded or textured bass guitar for example or a little more bite from the drums, but I don't want to know a sub is hooked up at all, until it pulls something out of the hat, like a 32-foot pipe organ.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayGuy View Post
Loud, flabby bass sucks. Clean, controlled, and properly equalized to the room bass is what it's all about. As was said earlier, just reproduce what the artist intended. Don't want anything extra.
Well, I pretty well quoted every post.

Bass is a personal preference as far as I am concern.
I'm an audiofile by hearth, but when in come to Bass!
I like it a db or 1.5 over.

It should sound clear and not take over the mids or hight, if that make sence to
you.

Ray
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post #18 of 31 Old 08-15-2014, 10:21 PM
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I like things au naturel!

I don't listen to much heavy bass electronic music so I use my sub at a very low level to more accurately produce an upright bass (which goes very low) - my reference.
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post #19 of 31 Old 08-16-2014, 02:20 PM
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For music that has a lot of bass, I don't change my system at all from audyssey/antimode preset. But with music where I would like to have more bass (because I know there is but it's not coming up with my volumes), I'm using the audyssey low volume adjuster (forgot the name) set at -10dB. I have svs sb12-nsd and I live in an apartment so I can't play music really loud.

I love bass but hate when it is out of control.
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post #20 of 31 Old 08-16-2014, 09:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadyJ View Post
It depends on the material. Strong bass on some, natural sound for others. Strong bass on electronic music and action movies, but flat response for natural presentations, piano solos, string quartets, etc. The best thing to do is get a setup with as flat of a response as you can, and then EQ strong bass into it when you want it.
+1

And for me, it can even be mood dependent.

So I agree with the OP who started the thread. It's an individual preference thing
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post #21 of 31 Old 08-16-2014, 09:59 PM
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Oh, and I don't quite agree with the comments about what the artists intended. Artists often don't mix their music (well, except for maybe electronic). Audio engineers do. So you aren't necessarily getting the artists's vision. You are getting what a producer determined was the best mix.
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post #22 of 31 Old 08-20-2014, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sospee View Post
I listen to music all the time: work, home, driving. For most (almost all) cases, I prefer less base (natural) performance. Because after exposed to high base background music for 20min, I got some tiny headache. I feel sick and cannot focus on my work.

I have a Jambox and a Bose SoundLink Mini, both sound great (really great). But I use Jambox for most of the time, because Bose offers too too much base.
I have a question: when I use Bose Soundlink Mini as background music (Bluetooth music from my iPhone), I work or cook or read at home. The heavy base from Bose will cause a little bit headache. Is this normal? Or it's just me?

Thanks!
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post #23 of 31 Old 08-20-2014, 08:27 AM
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There is reason to believe what some might be considering "strong bass" is actually the most natural. Some bass boost sounds neutral due to the physics of loudspeakers and hearing.
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post #24 of 31 Old 08-20-2014, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbottom View Post
Rather have a well balanced speaker, and if I need bass use a subwoofer and bring it up a few dB
Pretty much what I agree with.
For speakers I wanted expansive midrange and highs that seemed just right. I was honestly disappointed in my speaker's bass impact. Currently building a DIY 15" sub.
For headphones I was again delighted in the overall sound of my Sennheiser 598, but disappointed in the bass impact. However you can fiddle with EQ a bit to give certain genres more bass. (ie. hip-hop)

I will be honest, I grew up always cranking up the bass as high as I could get without distortion. I was much less eclectic then!
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post #25 of 31 Old 08-20-2014, 09:09 AM
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There is reason to believe what some might be considering "strong bass" is actually the most natural. Some bass boost sounds neutral due to the physics of loudspeakers and hearing.
+1

Setting your own house curve for your primary listening volume starts to make a lot of sense when one considers Equal Loudness Contours. That's why I have also had trouble understanding why some people are obsessed with a linear, flat frequency response. While a smooth frequency response is important, some degree of bass boost and treble boost may be better, depending on the listening volume.
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post #26 of 31 Old 08-27-2014, 03:45 PM
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Oh, and I don't quite agree with the comments about what the artists intended. Artists often don't mix their music (well, except for maybe electronic). Audio engineers do. So you aren't necessarily getting the artists's vision. You are getting what a producer determined was the best mix.
Yeah, I'm pretty late in responding.

Very true, cel, especially for artists that aren't well established. That being said, much of it is a collaborative effort, while sometimes it's totally controlled by the artist. I'm sure Alan Parsons and Roger Waters had some … er … disagreements when Alan engineered "Dark Side of the Moon". Or when Alan was doing one of his first couple gigs with the Beetles. Many of the artist I listen to are well establish (okay, old) and either do the producing and engineering themselves or call most of the shots. I also cannot see a conductor not having his say in classical music. I'm sure some of the behind-the-scene antics get a bit heated .
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post #27 of 31 Old 08-27-2014, 09:35 PM
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I like bass to be natural sounding as too much bass can hinder the sound of upper frequencies. It's like the idiots who sit in their cars with the subs just pounding away at ungodly levels. First off I'm trying to enjoy my music and not god awful rap music. But I worry about the kids in those cars because they must be brutalizing their inner ears and how can they hear any music with just the Boom Boom Boom blasting. I have 12 subwoofers in my main HT system and each calibrated to give me the tight bass I can hear and bass I can feel for explosions. All tight and controlled.
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post #28 of 31 Old 09-01-2014, 10:40 AM
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There is Bass and then there is bass, the two not necessarily being the same.

Someone once said that - Bass and Sex are two things that young men desire to excess.

There are generally cheap speakers out there that SEEM to have a lot of bass, but what seems is not always what is. Most of the bass you think you hear, is not really that deep, it tends to center around the Bass Presence Range at about 100hz. So, it is actually possible to create the illusion of bass, while not actually having significant bass depth.

Which bring up the fact that deeper bass is not necessarily louder bass. The two are unrelated. If you audition a complete brand and series of speakers, as you go from the smallest bookshelf up to the largest floorstanding speaker, you can clearly hear the bass getting deeper, but the tonal characteristics and the loudness stay the same.

Now, very likely the larger floorstanding model is going to have more impact because it is pushing considerably more air. It is the difference between a puff of air and a wall of air at the same velocity. A wall of air has more tactile impact.

Next, if I have speakers with clean tight bass, and I want more intensity, I can always turn the bass up. But there is no way to get the excessive overbearing one-note bass of a bad speaker under control. If you turn the bass down on such a speaker, it is just bad with less bass.

If you are drunk and stoned, and you want to dance, it doesn't matter what music is playing as long as it has the beat. However, if you actually want to listen to the music, simply having all beat is not enough. You need some clarity, you need some quality, you need things like sound stage.

So, for me, there can be no choice but clean tight speakers. Like I said, if I want more bass, I turn up the bass control. You can turn up more good, but once you have bad, there is no way to turn that off.

Now, I think we need to make a distinction between what kind of bass we want and when we want it. In a club, heavy bass is fine. However, at home, that same intensity of bass is not going to work well. At least, not if you actually want to hear the music and the lyrics.

What I want at home even shift with my mood and my purpose. For an action movie, I want to be kicked in the chest with every explosion. For a Drama, I want to hear the dialog which does not include bass. Sometimes I want casual background music, other times I want to sit and listen.

But you have to start with a base of quality, and that means clean tight bass which you can then modify to your taste and to the moment.

I can always turn good up higher, but I can never turn bad down enough.

For what it is worth.
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post #29 of 31 Old 09-01-2014, 12:37 PM
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Hmm...I have an email showing my previous post and the OP's post mentioning this is a marketing question for a new product....guess the mods decided to change the OP's direction somewhat. The 3" portable bluetooth speaker the OP is doing marketing research for wouldn't have much to do with bass as the question implies....unless in a very small space perhaps.
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post #30 of 31 Old 09-01-2014, 01:08 PM
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The volume of my subs is based on what type of music I'm listening to. However, I usually don't like it to be obvious there is a subwoofer playing but there are always exceptions, such as electronic music.
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1: Sony DVP-S7000 | Denon DVD-2900 | Laptop > Emotiva XDA-2 > Emotiva Control Freak > Crown XLS2000 > Focal 826V | Def Tech BP2000 | (2) DIY 15" Subs
2: Computer > Parasound Zdac > Emotiva Control Freak > Acurus A150 > Focal 706V | Def Tech SM450 | Velodyne F-1000B Sub
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