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24 minutes ago, Jus Lukin said:

This goes back to the same priciples of harmonics though. The low notes are being played, but the fundamentals of those notes are unlikely to be sounding in any appreciable way. Even on my phone I can sense the low pitch, and while standing next to the piano in real life would undoubtably sound fuller and deeper, there's no way one would feel much if any sub-bass emanating from it. The bottom note on a piano rings and growls more than anything else.

I used to work for a piano hire company, and later for a primarily classical music venue, which is the home rehearsal space of the LSO, so I am well acquainted with the sound of a D-size Steinway in a great sounding room. It's pretty marvellous, and terms such as rich, clear, clean, warm all apply. Thunderous, booming, gut-shaking? They aren't really descriptions which suit the experience!

I'd be very happy to settle for "pretty marvellous, and terms such as rich, clear, clean, warm all applying." :) 

By all means seek to cut everything below 25Hz e.g. using a Thumpinator or other HPF to tighten up the low end, but the point here is that by cropping the fundamental low notes because a cab simply isn't designed to handle them aren't we losing something? And if a cab can handle 30 to 40Hz with ease (e.g. BB2) doesn't that offer something more to the 5 string bassist? (I appreciate this is a non point for 4 string bass players, which until very recently is pretty much what I have been).

I return to the situation where the B0 on the piano sounds so different to a B1 an octave above (fundamentals of 30 Hz and 60Hz as you've noted, resepetively), where there is no cropping going on. 

And let's be honest how many of us complain about a 'floppy' low B? Is that just down to a 34" scale instead of a 35" scale or is it in part 'cos our cabs have been cropping the low end?

Edited by Al Krow

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2 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

but the point here is that by cropping the fundamental low notes because a cab simple isn't designed to handle them aren't we losing something? And if a cab can handle 30 to 40Hz with ease (e.g. BB2) doesn't that offer something more to the 5 string bassist? (I appreciate this is a non point for 4 string bass players, which until very recently is pretty much what I have been).

No, and no. Simply because the vast proportion of the sound of a bass (5 string or otherwise) which we enjoy lies well above 30-40hz in the frequency spectrum. Have a listen to the following videos and let us know if you still think the liberal addition of this to your bass guitar sound is of benefit to you in any playing situation. Take note that they are sine waves, meaning these tones have pretty much zero harmonic content or overtones.

Note how, despite the volume of your speakers/headphones being set at a perfectly enjoyable and audible level for listening to other things (music, videos etc), these sine wave tones are relatively much more difficult to hear. “Why is that?” I hear you cry. I invite you to reread the thread and again take note of the several BCers who have attempted in vain to make clear the necessity of overtones relative to the fundamental in making notes audible. Especially the lowest notes.

Yes, as a 5 string bassist we are losing something by not playing through a rig which can handle 30hz at gig volume. We’re losing a portion of our sound which not only makes mixing us more difficult but at the same time fails to increase our ability to be heard.

 

 

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It's all a bit pointless from the perspective of backline, though - the 'large machinery' mentioned earlier in huge venues may well produce an awesome sound, but I'll bet a lot of money that the FOH engineer isn't going to be interested in someone's backline bass cab having a crack at sub bass.

It'll sound rubbish in the Dog & Duck, that's for sure...

I've always understood a 'floppy' B was the physical, tactile sensation of the guitar itself, removed from the actual reproduction via the cab...

Edited by Muzz
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All these great bass tones that we talk about... there's a high probability that they have been wiped out in a studio recording, same with live. Any uber lows are likely going to be coming from harmonic synthesisers anyway... (along with super big subs - running 30 hz at serious volumes is a surefire way to kill a speaker for sure).

Heard a great bass tone live? Probability the cab cant reproduce 30hz anyway... all it's been hpf along the chain. Alot of subs won't even go down to 30hz until you are into serious pro territory... and thats more about air movement and feel as opposed to what it can give you tonally. For example, big and low subs are usually the reserve of theatres as opposed to music.

It will be interesting if Al does get a 30hz cab... so then he'll searching for a way to hpf to clean up the muddier than mud tone he has suddenly found himself with.

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20 minutes ago, Muzz said:

It's all a bit pointless from the perspective of backline, though - the 'large machinery' mentioned earlier in huge venues may well produce an awesome sound...

I probably should have worded it better, but I actually meant big machines! A bus or dumper truck idling 20 or 30 feet away is more likely to massage the esophageal sphincter than music, even that which is producing it's low end from synths.

Great little name though- I might start calling the BTII and 1500w setup 'The Big Machinery!' xD

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It should be said also that many bass cabs which can’t get down to 30hz at volume aren’t that way because the manufacturer couldn’t be arsed. It’s a deliberate choice. The hardware is out there to be able to do it but pro musicians, mixing engineers and sound techs haven’t demanded it from their backline outside of very specific applications. I wonder why that is?

The Barefaced Big Baby and Big Twin range are amongst a small group of cabs out there which contain components capable on paper of going that low at volume but that small group of cabs tend to have been designed to be in the ballpark of Full Range Flat Response. Blatant evidence of this being that Barefaced’s FR800 PA speakers are by Alex Claber’s own admission basically Big Baby 2’s with inbuilt power amps and DSP.

BUT LETS NOT GET STARTED ON FRFR.

Edited by CameronJ

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The lowest notes on a piano are full of overtones and harmonics. Take the lid off when you next have the chance and compare the lowest note with the octave up. The overtones are distinctly different. You'll notice almost no 'heft'.

 

Someone will have a graph of individual note frequency responses!

 

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3 hours ago, Skol303 said:

PS: there's an urban myth that the actual brown-note frequency (at which you may poop yourself) is 7Hz; and another theory that playing 7Hz at sufficient dB can kill someone. Both theories are of course utter bovine manure, but kudos to anyone willing to experiment :) 

So the brown note is (very likely) a myth, but if anyone's feeling particularly mischevious, I am assured that the same effect can be achieved by pressing a certain nerve ending on the body.

I used to know a karate instructor who took a voracious interest in the Eastern philosophies around the martial arts (mainly, we suspect, as a means to further his similarly-enthusiastic-and-possibly-not-entirely-healthy interest in Asian ladies...), and his studies had led him to a lot of theories and teachings about pressure points.

Apparently he spent an afternoon with his brother (also a martial arts enthusiast) working through the points described in one book. Upon testing one point, his brother had told him to stop quite urgently, because he could suddenly feel his sphincters relaxing.

He steadfastly refused to tell us where it was...

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

I'd be very happy to settle for "pretty marvellous, and terms such as rich, clear, clean, warm all applying." :) 

By all means seek to cut everything below 25Hz e.g. using a Thumpinator or other HPF to tighten up the low end, but the point here is that by cropping the fundamental low notes because a cab simply isn't designed to handle them aren't we losing something? And if a cab can handle 30 to 40Hz with ease (e.g. BB2) doesn't that offer something more to the 5 string bassist? (I appreciate this is a non point for 4 string bass players, which until very recently is pretty much what I have been).

I return to the situation where the B0 on the piano sounds so different to a B1 an octave above (fundamentals of 30 Hz and 60Hz as you've noted, resepetively), where there is no cropping going on. 

And let's be honest how many of us complain about a 'floppy' low B? Is that just down to a 34" scale instead of a 35" scale or is it in part 'cos our cabs have been cropping the low end?

Don't worry about a cab 'handling a low B'. It's a phrase which pops up on the internet fairly regularly, but doesn't mean a lot. Can it produce a low B from a bass guitar? Can it produce 30hz? Can it be fed the signal without overloading in some way? At what volume? 'Handling' the note is very vague, particularly in relation to the bass guitar because there isn't as much 30hz going on with a low B string as we might imagine in the first place. The reason we hear it so well as a note has a lot to do with the harmonic series, so a great sounding low B is not evidence of lots of fundamental in the sound.

B0 vs B1- back to the harmonic series. They are the same stack of frequencies, minus the lowest fundamental, but the balance of those frequencies is different. B0 has 30hz as the fundamental, 60 as the first harmonic, 120 as the second and so on. B1 has 60 as the fundamental, 120 as the first harmonic, 240 as the second and so on. The way these frequencies balance give our brains all the evidence they need to perceive notes an octave apart, even with lots of lower info missing.

And, once again, stringed instruments aren't strong on fundamentals, so even with a low B string, lots of power, and a cab which can reproduce 30hz satisfactorily, you'd have to do a lot of artificial boosting to get the 30hz content to be prominent against the higher frequencies which massively dominate the sound we hear.

High-pass filtering makes sense because while very quiet from an audibility perspective, low frequency information creates a very large signal compared to higher tones. So, unchecked (and massively simplified, as it's the best I can manage!) any 30hz content is barely, if at all audible against higher portions of the sound produced by the instrument, but creates a good dose of signal as compared to 60hz (which most cabs can present in some form, and is therefore where we hear most of the very deepest sound from a bass guitar). Being so quiet, that signal can be removed with little to no impact on the perceived sound or pitch, but will free up lots of headroom in the amp, reduce the signal sent to the voice coil (essentially reducing the 'wattage' of the signal running through the coil for the same perceived volume, reducing the chance of the coil heating up and potentially burning out) and stops the driver attempting to move to create very big waves which we don't hear much of and the speaker as a whole may not be capable of reproducing anyway. High passing even higher into the audible range can really help by tightening up the low end, making lower notes more clearly perceptible, and giving a sense of greater depth, without any mud and mush. It's rather counter-intuitive on that last point, but plays into how our ears and brains work to improve the audible experience. Despite the kind compliments earlier, I don't think this paragraph is that in-depth or even 100% accurate, but again, this stuff has been studied extensively by folks far cleverer than I. You will be able to find very thorough articles on the harmonic series, psycho-acoustics, and the relation of pitch to energy requirements if you care to spend waste some time on it! But generally speaking, high passing is a seemingly tiny action, which makes inordinate improvements in the efficiency of a system.

Edited by Jus Lukin
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13 minutes ago, EliasMooseblaster said:

So the brown note is (very likely) a myth, but if anyone's feeling particularly mischevious, I am assured that the same effect can be achieved by pressing a certain nerve ending on the body.

I used to know a karate instructor who took a voracious interest in the Eastern philosophies around the martial arts (mainly, we suspect, as a means to further his similarly-enthusiastic-and-possibly-not-entirely-healthy interest in Asian ladies...), and his studies had led him to a lot of theories and teachings about pressure points.

Apparently he spent an afternoon with his brother (also a martial arts enthusiast) working through the points described in one book. Upon testing one point, his brother had told him to stop quite urgently, because he could suddenly feel his sphincters relaxing.

He steadfastly refused to tell us where it was...

Crikey- imagine being the first guy to discover that! I guess there's a reason it's not widely reported. O.oxD

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

And yet a grand piano putting out 30Hz sounds anything but cr*ap.

The difference being the venue?

You're misunderstanding this Al.

Nobody is saying that a piano can't produce sound at 30Hz. It just won't be producing frequencies that low with the same amount of energy as say, 100Hz. Sound energy (or 'loudness') is not even across the frequency range unless produced under controlled conditions - and by that I mean a studio mix room at the very least. And speaker output certainly is not even across the frequency range.

Again, look at the frequency response of my room at home in the post above. It is unnaturally flat down to 30Hz (by 'unnatural' I mean that the room has been engineered to produce such a frequency response). But look what happens below 30Hz. The amount energy nosedives, despite my subwoofer being happily rated down to 22Hz.

The output of a grand piano will follow the same principle. The energy of the frequencies produced by a piano when a note is struck is not uniform from 20Hz - 20kHz. The point being that the energy at 30Hz is just once part of the overall sound; and moreso that upper harmonics contribute a lot more to how we perceive the sound, partly because they tend to contain more energy (when produced by the majority of instruments) and also because our ears are more attuned to noticing them.

Not sure how many ways this same point can be restated, but I'm trying my best here! And some of this acoustics stuff does seem counter-intuitive, granted :) 

2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

By all means seek to cut everything below 25Hz e.g. using a Thumpinator or other HPF to tighten up the low end, but the point here is that by cropping the fundamental low notes because a cab simply isn't designed to handle them aren't we losing something?

This is also where I think you're grasping the wrong end of the stick. High-pass filters don't completely 'chop off' the low frequencies; I think you know this. They attenuate or more simply reduce them. So there is still some energy down there, but ideally it is controlled and appropriate to the context of the band/ song/ room, etc.

Ultimately, I think you seem to be someone who deals in absolutes and yet you'll struggle to find any when dealing with acoustics, which are far more, well, "mushy" :) 

Edited by Skol303
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2 hours ago, CameronJ said:

Yes, as a 5 string bassist we are losing something by not playing through a rig which can handle 30hz at gig volume. We’re losing a portion of our sound which not only makes mixing us more difficult but at the same time fails to increase our ability to be heard.

^ Brilliantly put.

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55 minutes ago, Jus Lukin said:

High-pass filtering makes sense because while very quiet from an audibility perspective, low frequency information creates a very large signal compared to higher tones... Being so quiet, that signal can be removed with little to no impact on the perceived sound or pitch, but will free up lots of headroom in the amp, reduce the signal sent to the voice coil (essentially reducing the 'wattage' of the signal running through the coil for the same perceived volume, reducing the chance of the coil heating up and potentially burning out) and stops the driver attempting to move to create very big waves which we don't hear much of and the speaker as a whole may not be capable of reproducing anyway.

^ Also spot on. You guys have nailed it.

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3 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

All these great bass tones that we talk about... there's a high probability that they have been wiped out in a studio recording, same with live. Any uber lows are likely going to be coming from harmonic synthesisers anyway... (along with super big subs - running 30 hz at serious volumes is a surefire way to kill a speaker for sure).

Heard a great bass tone live? Probability the cab cant reproduce 30hz anyway... all it's been hpf along the chain. Alot of subs won't even go down to 30hz until you are into serious pro territory... and thats more about air movement and feel as opposed to what it can give you tonally. For example, big and low subs are usually the reserve of theatres as opposed to music.

It will be interesting if Al does get a 30hz cab... so then he'll searching for a way to hpf to clean up the muddier than mud tone he has suddenly found himself with.

So are you saying that playing a 5 string through a Barefaced BB2 is going to result in a "muddier than mud tone" , because it can handle and will faithfully output notes in 30Hz to 40Hz range?

If that is the case then, yes, 5 string players should ALL avoid the Barefaced BB2, but also the Barefaced One10 and Barefaced Two10s (which also have a 30Hz low end) 'cos they are clearly all going to require a massive amount of HPF'ing to be usable, and stick to cabs that crop these lower frequencies and only kick-in properly at 40Hz+

Somehow, that doesn't quite stack up?

...right enough theory. Time to get my faithful Markbass combo and trusty Ibby SR1800 loaded plus a lead (with no pedals, no hpf, and no compression!) into the back of the car ready for tonight's pub gig (and same again tomorrow night) and try to make sure that I am playing tight, remember all the bass notes and in the right order, and am at the right volume with my drummer. Sadly both my bands and our audiences seem to lack the same passion we have for all matters bass tone. Their loss xD

 

Edited by Al Krow

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The point is if you put a lot of energy at 30hz into a bass guitar backline cab which is capable of reproducing it, you will get mud. If you took a top-of-the-line PA sub to your gig at the Dog & Duck and bunged a lot of 30Hz sub bass out, it'll sound like mud, even though it costs thousands of pounds.

It's got nothing to do with Barefaced.

Edited by Muzz

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43 minutes ago, Muzz said:

The point is if you put a lot of energy at 30hz into a bass guitar backline cab which is capable of reproducing it, you will get mud. If you took a top-of-the-line PA sub to your gig at the Dog & Duck and bunged a lot of 30Hz sub bass out, it'll sound like mud, even though it costs thousands of pounds.

It's got nothing to do with Barefaced.

No disagreement on that. No one is advocating a wall of sound at 30Hz to 40Hz!! Apologies if that is what folk have been misunderstanding my saying.

It's really quite simple: if a cab can handle and output 30Hz to 40Hz is that a good thing or a bad thing for a 5 string bass player so that we can let the fundamentals of the low B, C and D ring out and add to the harmonic mix? 

If it's a bad thing because it simply adds "mud", then avoid BF cabs (and all other cabs that are voiced to handle this range), as they have an inherent design "flaw".

If on the other hand it's a good thing to be able to clearly hear the 30Hz to 40Hz notes then it's a plus point and something, as a prospective 5 string bass player, to make me think again about getting a BF cab.

It's either one or the other - it can't be both a good thing and a bad thing at the same time?

 

Edited by Al Krow

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You're asking the wrong questions.

Someone pointed out earlier than the BF cabs have a very wide response range, greater than many out there...FRFR was mentioned.

The cab will put out what you put into it. If you EQ a lot of sub bass, you will find that's a bad thing for a bass backline cab in a band scenario. That has got nothing to do with Barefaced.

I'd like to know what car you drive, because if it's capable of more than 60mph then by your reasoning it should have been avoided, because driving at 60mph in a car park will mean bad things will happen.

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I continue to watch this thread with interest - I have three or four questions/points-

1) Whilst understanding that speaker response has a big role how much does the amp voicing play? So my LM3 has a bass control centred on 40 hz - there are two filters (which I've tried but never use). However a Little Marcus of the same power has its bass control centred on 65 hz - presumably to his spec and bass type - I'm curious to try one if these if only to hear the difference - but the LM3 seems to work great with my Musicman basses

2) the three band Stingray has a filter - to cut boomy bass sounds - some people prefer the 2 band because they like the fatter bass response - others think parts of that response can be boomy. Presumably this built in filter does part of what a thumpinator does??Would the 2 band be helped by a speaker with 30 hz reproduction though?

3) when my 5 strings have new strings they have a piano like sound - in fact you sometimes hear people wax lyrical about basses with such sounds - so why would this turn to mud unless to somehow scramble it with either too much onboard Bass EQ, too much amp Bass EQ, or a muddy sounding speaker? Just curious and I'm sure I've got the physics all wrong with this but it's sort of from a practical rather than theoretical viewpoint.

4) is all this 'mud' issue more to do with people trying to use passive basses with little EQ control for low frequencies and ending up with ill defined mud unless they boost the mids? 

As I say just curious but the subjects seem inter-related to me.

 

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8 hours ago, Muzz said:

You're asking the wrong questions. Someone pointed out earlier than the BF cabs have a very wide response range, greater than many out there...FRFR was mentioned. The cab will put out what you put into it. If you EQ a lot of sub bass, you will find that's a bad thing for a bass backline cab in a band scenario. That has got nothing to do with Barefaced.

I'd like to know what car you drive, because if it's capable of more than 60mph then by your reasoning it should have been avoided, because driving at 60mph in a car park will mean bad things will happen.

Not sure I follow your logic entirely here or that the question I raised is the wrong one. 

If you play a low B, C or D through a Barefaced cab won't it automatically deliver the fundamentals of these notes in the 30Hz to 40Hz range because it is voiced to do so, whereas my VK cab won't (because it isn't voiced to do so)?

If that statement is correct then the question follows as to whether producing notes in this frequency range is a good or bad thing? If it's a bad thing then 5 string players should avoid BF cabs and the opposite if it's a good thing. 

Or let's put it another way:

Are the fundamental frequencies of the low B, C and D effectively 'brown' notes which we should avoid or do they potentially add something to the harmonic mix and a fuller sound from the low B of a 5 string?

(If that question has already been answered with clarity earlier in the thread and I missed it, my apologies).

 

Edited by Al Krow

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I don't play in bands but from my experience when I play  bass on it's own it tends to sound just the way i like it. Particularly through headphones.

However, when I record it and start adding guitars and drums it seems to disappear. This is when eq and compression comes in. You don't want your bass to sound same frequencies as other instruments. 

Tried adding a little overdrive?

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@Al KrowThis link is very simple in explaining what each frequency does, read and hold the info

http://www.brightonsoundsystem.co.uk/pa-hire/frequency-in-music-and-human-hearing/

I really did not want to get into anatomy, but this is a reasonable short description of the complexities of the human ear and how it works as an organ.

http://www.dspguide.com/ch22/1.htm

Now in relation to what people have been saying about psychoacoustics and your brain hearing one thing and making up the rest, if we look at another sense of sight. firstly the image your eye sees is actually upside down and all that you see is not there, your brain processes, flips the image and fills in a lot of what you see for you. Simply put there are 3 colour rods in the eye located centrally red, yello, green - the brain merges these things much as you do painting to give a palette of all colours, in addition your periphery of the eye sees in black and white, yet your whole vision is in colour-the brain fills it in.

Now back to hearing, keep in mind how everything is processed in the body, keep in mind the simple links above, and keep in mind some of the excellent responses on sound physics and acoustics etc. Especially the posts where the frequencies isolated you are fixated about are generated and what they sound like. Put it all together and see the big picture of how Sound sounds and how sound feels, and if you still can’t see the wood for the trees, then there is probably little point in continuing the discussion on this thread. We can get back to bass tone and tone shaping in general within the context of getting a good useable sound with presence either by EQ alone, or adding effects, which is primarily what the thread was about.

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5 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Not sure I follow your logic entirely here or that the question I raised is the wrong one. 

If you play a low B, C or D through a Barefaced cab won't it automatically deliver the fundamentals of these notes in the 30Hz to 40Hz range because it is voiced to do so, whereas my VK cab won't (because it isn't voiced to do so)?

If that statement is correct then the question follows as to whether producing notes in this frequency range is a good or bad thing? If it's a bad thing then 5 string players should avoid BF cabs and the opposite if it's a good thing. 

Or let's put it another way:

Are the fundamental frequencies of the low B, C and D effectively 'brown' notes which we should avoid or do they potentially add something to the harmonic mix and a fuller sound from the low B of a 5 string?

(If that question has already been answered with clarity earlier in the thread and I missed it, my apologies).

 

According to the specs the Barefaced cab in question is capable of producing the fundamentals that you are referring too. But as @Skol303 and @Jus Lukin have already said, the sound that a speaker outputs is not linear across its quoted frequency range. In other words while there will be some of that 30Hz frequency in the sound, if you play an open B string through the BF cab, that part of the sound spectrum is much quieter than the higher harmonics and therefore we do not hear it so well. But it is still there. In order to hear the fundamentals clearly you have deliberately EQ it to sound that way. And for most of us that is not something that we want. Plus you'll almost certainly need a club sized PA to crack it up to any significant volume.

And as @Muzz says, that has nothing to do with Barefaced. Or any other cab capable of handling 30-40Hz. NOTHING WHATSOEVER. A speaker will put out what you feed into it - within the limits of its own inherent abilities and voicing.

Most guys prefer to attenuate these super lows as it reduces mud - which in turn increases clarity - of the lower notes. But if you feel that this will have a detrimental affect on your own sound then don't do it. 

OK, so here's a little test you can do at home with the gear you already own as a little practical experience may help to explain what this thread seemingly cannot. It's not particularly scientific or absolute but should hopefully give you an indication of why the fundamentals in question are not overly sonically useful;

Take your Mark Bass combo and eq it as follows; Bass at maximum, low and high mids and treble at minimum. The mid scoop (VPF?) Should be at minimum too. You can also try running the vintage speaker emulator (VLE?) at maximum as that also reduces the higher end. 

With the bass eq centred at 40Hz and boosted as much as possible (usually around 12db) and everything else cut as much as possible you have a crude approximation of the fundamentals in question.

Next set up a patch on your Zoom B3n using the parametric eq to boost at 30Hz with a narrow Q. Boost this to the same degree as the bass eq on the amp, around 12db. Plug this into the front end of the combo.

Next plug in a 5 string bass through the Zoom. If it's passive roll the tone control right off. Better still use an active bass and completely cut the treble (and mids if you have them) on the on board pre-amp. Experiment with the bass eq by starting at the centre position and boosting (but not cutting it).  

Now play the lowest notes on the B string. How does it sound?

Now try turning the combo up so the sound is of a comparable volume to that which you gig at. This will require running the master volume much higher to get these lower tones to the same perceivable volume, if indeed it is possible with that particular combo. Assuming that the combo, and indeed the contents of your colon, do not liquify in the process, ask yourself if the sound you are hearing will make you and your band sound better if you were to add it to your existing tone. If you think that it will then start looking into expanding your bass rig to include a sub or 2.

But most importantly of all, report back here with your findings.

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Some excellent points above, thank you (which I have now had a bit of time to properly digest, not having had a gig to rush off to!) 

I think the key one addressing my Q is this (and which a couple of others (Skol 303) also went into in their posts above, too).

18 hours ago, Jus Lukin said:

Don't worry about a cab 'handling a low B'. It's a phrase which pops up on the internet fairly regularly, but doesn't mean a lot. Can it produce a low B from a bass guitar? Can it produce 30hz? Can it be fed the signal without overloading in some way? At what volume? 'Handling' the note is very vague, particularly in relation to the bass guitar because there isn't as much 30hz going on with a low B string as we might imagine in the first place. The reason we hear it so well as a note has a lot to do with the harmonic series, so a great sounding low B is not evidence of lots of fundamental in the sound.

B0 vs B1- back to the harmonic series. They are the same stack of frequencies, minus the lowest fundamental, but the balance of those frequencies is different. B0 has 30hz as the fundamental, 60 as the first harmonic, 120 as the second and so on. B1 has 60 as the fundamental, 120 as the first harmonic, 240 as the second and so on. The way these frequencies balance give our brains all the evidence they need to perceive notes an octave apart, even with lots of lower info missing.

And, once again, stringed instruments aren't strong on fundamentals, so even with a low B string, lots of power, and a cab which can reproduce 30hz satisfactorily, you'd have to do a lot of artificial boosting to get the 30hz content to be prominent against the higher frequencies which massively dominate the sound we hear.

Tying into this, I've also just come across mention of 'waterfall charts' which suggests that the first harmonic is far more important than the fundamental. Does anyone have these to hand?

Btw - I've not ever been suggesting we significantly boost the 30Hz to 40Hz sound range (going to Osiris's and Muzz points - we all know this will likely muddy the tone, particularly combined with resonance in small venues), rather just to make sure that we aren't cropping the fundamental frequencies / allowing them to 'breathe' so that we have a fuller / underpinned tone.

But if the fundamental is just a few % of the harmonics in terms of the energy it is carrying then this becomes a 'not material' point and whether a cab can produce 30Hz without cutting the low B strings fundamental notes becomes much less of an issue either way. My Vanderkley 210 can therefore rest easy...

 

Edited by Al Krow

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