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?
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.