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Addicted to Bass?!

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

When I was a kid, about 30 years ago, I had an uncle we went to see, he lived far away and died young so I only ever saw him once.  He had some large wooden speakers, a large stack of hifi separates and while the adults talked about stuff in the kitchen he put some music on for me.

 

It is, to this day, the only time I remember hearing bass that seemed to transcend reality.  So hollow, transparent and light yet also deep and expanded, like it had fractured reality and I was astride parallel universes.

 

It wasn't loud, it wasn't boomy, it didn't make the room vibrate (that I recall).  I don't remember what the music was or what the equipment was.  I was a young kid.

 

I do recall the quality of the bass and ever since then I have actually shunned most equipment that had any degree of pronounced bass as it just paled in comparison to what I knew it should sound like.  So, as a teenager I preferred more pronounced treble and muted bass.  In my 20's I wanted clear midtones and a lighter treble.  In my 30's I wanted soundstage and transparency and extension.  Now, as I have just hit 40 I was reflecting on my journey through HiFi and have just started to arrive financially at a stage where I can afford to indulge in good quality stuff.

 

Now, I feel it is time to hunt for that bass again.  To try and relive that impression and have it on tap.  Any ideas where I can begin with this?

 

I have just ordered a pair of Ultrasone Edition 8 Limited's (the wood finished ones), a Woo Audio Firefly with upgraded tubes and am looking forwards to hearing the outcome when they arrive that I will pump ALAC files through.

 

Now, I know the Ultrasones are closed and the bass I am now hunting for is probably never going to arrive in a closed can, but I work offshore on ships and needed something portable, isolating and still high quality.

 

I was also thinking about adding a pair of electrostatic headphones to my collection for use at home, but they are notriously bass light and need serious monoblock headphone amps to shine.  But I guess my best description of the bass I am after is the kind of midtone sound you get from electrostatics through a valve setup but for much lower frequencies: and being for much lower frequencies it has a much more profound effect.

 

Do you know where I am coming from on this?

 

So...

 

Maybe that bass can only be had from large floorstanding full horn speakers.  Maybe I will never hear it again and it was as much about his positioning and the room's architecture, maybe it was a fluke or even an hallucination.

 

Anyone else ever experience that sort of a bass before?

 

Just by doing a little research and spending enough you can get most of the good stuff easily enough: good SN ratios, well rounded distinct tones, responsive dynamics, etc.  However, what I am talking about I feel goes beyond such discussions.  I guess I am talking about the holy grail of sound reproduction.

 

I'm sure I'm not the only one here who is on some kind of a quest for that sound or their own version of the perfect sound.

 

I'd sure like to hear some more stories of people with their own holy grail of sound.

post #2 of 12
I would suggest having a listen to some orthodynamic headphones. The quality of bass from my LCD2 and WA6SE is outstanding. This combination has given me the most natural sounding rig I've ever owned. I don't think I could afford that level of quality in a speaker setup.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Well, thanks for that lead.  I have read about these planar magnetic drives and can say that I would really like to give them a listening session.  The Audeze LCD3 sounds like an amazing headphone.  I wonder if my WA7 Firefly would drive them well enough...

 

They may have to go on the shopping list.

 

I wonder if a kind of hybrid headphone with planar magnetic bass, electrostatic mids and trebles would be feasible...  Hmmm...

post #4 of 12

The way you describe that bass makes me want to hear it... Sounds like a godly gift of music. LCD3s would be epic give a listen to. I will keep an eye on this forum. Sorry I could not help much, but that bass comment could not go without some type of comment!

 

 

cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

post #5 of 12

Now that I just entered my 60s I still love sound. Get what I can afford but LOVE good sound. My AR-14s are still the main speakers in my HT. Boston Acoustics for the center, surround, and sub. Sennheiser HD 420 LS phones are still favorites but I use amped  Monoprice 839s for quiet listening near a 32" HDTV. Keeps me smiling!

post #6 of 12
I think your audio reproduction exposure was "limited" in good bass up to that point in time. The first time you hear something like that will stick in your head. Was the same for me. I hunted and hunted with small speakers and subs (due to living spaces in my 20s) I never found it until I got some big fat speakers. (Side note, my significant other about killed me when I dragged them in HEHE, but now she loves them)

That kind of bass can only be experienced with speaker in my opinion. Big volume speakers. With 12" or bigger woofers. You milages may vary, but never heard full body bass from a pair of 6" or 8" drivers in slim speaker cabinets.
Edited by ev13wt - 2/9/13 at 10:43am
post #7 of 12

bassgroove. thanks for sharing that awesome personal story. love it ! I've had similar experiences and chases later trying to reproduce. Regarding some posts suggesting orthos/planars as a way to get the bass you detailed in a heaphone. I tend to disagree because I feel I've heard the bass you heard and you mentioned hollow and light. These are not qualities of planar bass that i've heard. The bass you describe is indeed perfect because it is light and extended. It's a kind of contradiction but it's not because i've heard the same 'contradiction' in reality. And I'm sorry to say it is very hard to get even out of stereo speakers and you hit the nail on the head when you supected it was a fact of just the right room acoustics/speaker position etc. It's that magical blend of variables which you may or may never be able to recreate again. My enitre search for my own guitar tone over the years has been precisely to have what i've always called a 'full hollow' midrange. So the same kind of quality but with respect to midrange and not bass and in a different application (tube guitar amps) but I also relate to that quality of bass in stereos/ headphones. I feel the closest i've come in a pair of vintage grados believe it or not. Except they don't 'extend' all the way but the overall quality of the bass is light yet impactful (full/hollow). And they don't make the driver anymore unfortunately and grado seems to have gone for a more full/muddy bass humped sound so I guess it's a moot point to suggest you investigate that route although it may be worth your trouble if you've never heard a grado to try some cheap sr60's or maybe find a local store and audition the more pricey RS line, and see what you hear. But generally, I would say you're likely to have a harder time recreating that quality in headphones compared to stereos. So to that end i'd suggest you check out some old dynaco a25's. They came with different drivers over the years and i've owned all the variations, they sound a bit different, some came with scandanavian scanspeak, seas and a very few with american made drivers but the box design is unique and called aperiodic. it's not quite acoustic suspension and not ported either. basically it is a rectangle opening that is covered with insulation and the drivers are of course designed around it.

 

http://www.classicspeakerpages.net/IP.Board/index.php?showtopic=3915


Edited by thelostMIDrange - 2/9/13 at 1:29pm
post #8 of 12

+1 to the vintage Grados. If you can get your hands on some pinks, I think you'd be tickled pink with the tone of the bass..

Really, you are just looking for lots of accurate bass extension with no bass "enhancement".. Basically, just a nice flat bass response. At least, that's what I have come to really enjoy and I think that is what you are describing.

post #9 of 12

my vote goes for some orthos

try the audeze or hifimans

ive tried the he500 and he600 and they come incredibly close to a $50k home theatre setup with B&H diamonds

post #10 of 12

did i miss something? was he asking for a home theatre sound in headphones? If so, disregard my advice......

post #11 of 12

 

 

Quote:
bassgroove. thanks for sharing that awesome personal story. love it ! I've had similar experiences and chases later trying to reproduce. Regarding some posts suggesting orthos/planars as a way to get the bass you detailed in a heaphone. I tend to disagree because I feel I've heard the bass you heard and you mentioned hollow and light. These are not qualities of planar bass that i've heard. The bass you describe is indeed perfect because it is light and extended. It's a kind of contradiction but it's not because i've heard the same 'contradiction' in reality. And I'm sorry to say it is very hard to get even out of stereo speakers and you hit the nail on the head when you supected it was a fact of just the right room acoustics/speaker position etc. It's that magical blend of variables which you may or may never be able to recreate again. My enitre search for my own guitar tone over the years has been precisely to have what i've always called a 'full hollow' midrange. So the same kind of quality but with respect to midrange and not bass and in a different application (tube guitar amps) but I also relate to that quality of bass in stereos/ headphones. I feel the closest i've come in a pair of vintage grados believe it or not. Except they don't 'extend' all the way but the overall quality of the bass is light yet impactful (full/hollow). And they don't make the driver anymore unfortunately and grado seems to have gone for a more full/muddy bass humped sound so I guess it's a moot point to suggest you investigate that route although it may be worth your trouble if you've never heard a grado to try some cheap sr60's or maybe find a local store and audition the more pricey RS line, and see what you hear. But generally, I would say you're likely to have a harder time recreating that quality in headphones compared to stereos. So to that end i'd suggest you check out some old dynaco a25's. They came with different drivers over the years and i've owned all the variations, they sound a bit different, some came with scandanavian scanspeak, seas and a very few with american made drivers but the box design is unique and called aperiodic. it's not quite acoustic suspension and not ported either. basically it is a rectangle opening that is covered with insulation and the drivers are of course designed around it.

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by thelostMIDrange View Post

did i miss something? was he asking for a home theatre sound in headphones? If so, disregard my advice......

I hope you won't be offended, but it would help a lot if you used some double spaces or paragraphs in your long posts. They are very difficult to read as a WOT (Wall Of Text). Just an FYI so your information will have a greater possibility of being read by others and a good way to avoid the dreaded tl;dr moniker. wink.gif


Edited by bareyb - 2/9/13 at 5:57pm
post #12 of 12

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bareyb View Post

I hope you won't be offended, but it would help a lot if you used some double spaces or paragraphs in your long posts. They are very difficult to read as a WOT (Wall Of Text). Just an FYI so your information will have a greater possibility of being read by others and a good way to avoid the dreaded tl;dr moniker. wink.gif

 

Hey bareyb, I don’t think you will offend thelostMIDrange as he has thick skin. However, asking him to write with correct punctuation and grammar is like asking Nietzsche not to rant and rave when he makes a philosophical argument.

 

It is my experience that his insight and experience warrants the extra time and frustration. His contributions to this community excuse his poor adherence to punctuation, grammar and his creation of massive WOT. I sure most will agree with me on this one.

 

If it makes you feel any better I have the same complaint about the Dali Llama. I have a really hard time understanding the Dali Llama when he speaks. His holiness’ Engrish sucks. However, I would never miss an opportunity to hear the spiritual leader speak! His brilliance excuses his poor Engrish, right?

 

I assure you thelostMIDrange is more than capable just uninterested.

 

Keep Calm and Carry On!

 

 

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