Monday, October 20, 2014

How Low Bass? As Low As You Can Afford

Here's a discussion on how low bass should go.  Keith Yates (who did great investigations of deep bass and reviews of subwoofers a few years back) recommends 8 Hz.  Black Hawk Down has a 7 Hz pulse which people say makes your fight-or-flight instinct kick in.  Pretty much everyone in this discussion (except R.D. Clark after his heart surgery) loved deep bass, and the deeper the better.  Many suggest you should go as low as you can afford, it improves everything, etc.

I have no trouble reproducing 16Hz in my main living room system, or my bedroom system.  But the problem in the living room system is room modes and rattling.  There are in fact resonances around and below 20 Hz, perhaps those are volume modes (not the dimensional modes usually discussed), so when I equalize the bass for full output I get more annoying rattling.  And when I flatten out the worst mode around 45 Hz, the bass tends to sound anemic even if it goes deep, since most actually recorded bass is above 32 Hz.  Also, a kind of congested sound arises from boosting the bass to acoustic flatness below 32 Hz.

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