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lou24d53

I'm going to regret this, but, erm...what is meant by "Heft"...?

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I keep seeing this term "Heft"...generally followed by some means of sarcasm be it in written or in emoji form...I know I'm going to regret this, and I'm almost embarrassed to ask (!!), but in bass amp terms, what exactly is meant by it...or, in the words of Joe Miller in Philadelphia...can someone "explain this to me like I'm a 6 year old...!"...

 

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So I think of it as being:

"Full bodied" "punchy" tone

The opposite of anemic

Certainly not bland

It hits you in the gut and you know its there!

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It seems to be something that resonates with some, and not others.

It's not about volume. It's about dynamics. 

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Posted (edited)

I think of it as 'the colossal weight of a Trace Elliot cab'.

ie. mighty heavy & hernia-inducing! :(

*dons tin-hat* :ph34r:

 

Edited by Teebs
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Or....

You can hit a nail with a hammer.  You can hit the same nail with a sledge hammer.  Imagine what the nail feels.

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The word 'heft' refers to physical weight, particularly a good deal of it.

Sonicallly it is kind of a simile- actually a metaphor. Due to it's actual meaning of weight, one can assume it refers to something in the low end, either an emphasis at some point or very extended response. It could also be the response of the lows to touch, but that could be very damped and controlable or loose and ringing. Like any other term of this sort, it could mean lots of things to different people, the same as 'chewy' 'growly' 'sparkly'. They are almost hopelessly vague, and make no mistake, are no kind of technical term.

The reason that 'heft' gets the sarcasm is that it has been overused here no end, and already flagged up as evocative, but essentially meaningless beyond 'something nice down low'.

While I'm being pedantic and grumpy, the frequencies and response 'heft' probably refers to are dramatically affected by the space the sound is produced in. The frequency response and RT60 of the room could make one man's 'hefty' rig in one space quite the opposite in another.

It is a nice enough term, but not worth putting any stock into.

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5 minutes ago, Jus Lukin said:

While I'm being pedantic and grumpy, the frequencies and response 'heft' probably refers to are dramatically affected by the space the sound is produced in. The frequency response and RT60 of the room could make one man's 'hefty' rig in one space quite the opposite in another.

I disagree. My interpretation comes from years of using a variety of amps (and cabs) in a variety of difference spaces. I've learned that some heads have it, and others don't.

While it could be a specific characteristic of each amp, I've noticed it's broadly aligned to whether the amp is... no, I'm not going to say it 😄

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It's actually meaningless as is any phrase to describe a sound. At best it's a metaphor. We're all guilty of using certain words to try and describe something tonal but in reality is actually nonsense when you think about it. You could say for example "fat" "rich" or "heavy" which are equally meaningless yet somehow convey what we're taking about. As the tones we hear are totally subjective It's like trying to describe a colour to a blind person. 

 

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To me it’s a way of describing sound that you not only hear on stage but which you also feel. Doesn’t have to be bass heavy - the way I have amps set is anything but - but you feel the notes resonate within you. 

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8 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

I disagree. My interpretation comes from years of using a variety of amps (and cabs) in a variety of difference spaces. I've learned that some heads have it, and others don't.

😄

But the question is, what is 'it'?

We can't, but if we could say that heft was a 6db emphasis around 50hz from flat, then a room could easily have a dip greater than that and swallow the heft. If it is a very damped response (as in the amp as a system stops producing sound very quickly once no signal is applied) then a room with a reverb time of 1.5s at certain frequncies could render that damping very 'wet' instead!

But we just don't know the frequencies, amplitudes, and responses referred to, and moreover the sound in each persons mind is probably different.

I have a Barefaced Big Twin which could have heft as it goes pretty low and has quite a flat freq response, but my old 4x12 could also be hefty because it begins rolling off the lows from about 80hz but has a bump just above that and has the (stereo)typically damped response of a smaller, sealed cab.

Is it one or the other? Or both? And in either case, can the term be much use beyond 'something nice down there'?

26 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

While it could be a specific characteristic of each amp, I've noticed it's broadly aligned to whether the amp is... no, I'm not going to say it 

😄

Valve or Handbox? 😁

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43 minutes ago, wateroftyne said:

whether the amp is... no, I'm not going to say it 😄

I think all users of Powersoft strongly disagree with you :P

 

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1 hour ago, lou24d53 said:

I keep seeing this term "Heft"...generally followed by some means of sarcasm be it in written or in emoji form...I know I'm going to regret this, and I'm almost embarrassed to ask (!!), but in bass amp terms, what exactly is meant by it...or, in the words of Joe Miller in Philadelphia...can someone "explain this to me like I'm a 6 year old...!"...

 

I tend to see it as an expression of Testicular Fortitude in a bass sound...failing that I am reduced to using strange noises like "oomph" as an equivalent

:biggrin:

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2 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

I think all users of Powersoft strongly disagree with you :P

 

How many bass heads use Powersoft technology?

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Ok, I think I've got it and I think it's pretty much what I imagined it to be before I ask...so, next question...

If say I'd just purchased a Quilter BB800...which I have...and I decided to pair this with, say a Barefaced Super Twin...which I am currently mulling over...one would imagine that pairing capable of rather considerable Heft......or would that offer considerable Oooomph (Umph!) instead......or is "Heft" greater or lesser than or equal to "Oooomph / Umph"...?!

It's all too confusing, I think we need a chart to define such terms. 

 

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9 minutes ago, lou24d53 said:

Ok, I think I've got it and I think it's pretty much what I imagined it to be before I ask...so, next question...

If say I'd just purchased a Quilter BB800...which I have...and I decided to pair this with, say a Barefaced Super Twin...which I am currently mulling over...one would imagine that pairing capable of rather considerable Heft......or would that offer considerable Oooomph (Umph!) instead......or is "Heft" greater or lesser than or equal to "Oooomph / Umph"...?!

It's all too confusing, I think we need a chart to define such terms. 

 

You will find that you won't lack any of the aforementioned words when using the Quilter, I have a few good amps to choose from, and the Quilter is up there with any of them when delivering oomph, heft, the brown note, b**l*cks or whatever else you want to call it, especially through a Barefaced. It will do it through anything else I've connected mine to as well, so don't let that stop you from looking at other cabs.

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Posted (edited)

My Mesa M6 has 'heft' in spades. I wouldn't describe my DG M900 as having it. 

I think @Lozz196 summarised it very well above.

Sonically, for me it is do with the resonance, combination and dynamics of frequencies the amp is producing. 

The Mesa is more tonally complex and manages to have a powerful low end whilst not losing the rest of the frequency range. The DG is cleaner sounding without the microtubes engaged, and whilst more complex with it engaged, as with many dirt pedals loses a little low end. 

Edited by Al Krow

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Heft is a description of bass "sound" that makes those, who think they have it, feel superior.

Having it or not is largely an argument had by those who would better spend their time improving their playing.

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1 minute ago, chris_b said:

Having it or not is largely an argument had by those who would better spend their time improving their playing.

Tell me more?

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Can "heft" be captured in a recording, or does it only exist in a live scenario?
If the former, any good examples of recordings with and without heft?

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1 hour ago, Lozz196 said:

To me it’s a way of describing sound that you not only hear on stage but which you also feel.

...the Legendary Brown Note! ;)

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34 minutes ago, mangotango said:

I tend to see it as an expression of Testicular Fortitude in a bass sound...failing that I am reduced to using strange noises like "oomph" as an equivalent

:biggrin:

^ This is exactly how I would describe it. Nailed!  😁

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I have no idea what it means, pretty much like the 70s when I used to read HiFi mags and they described a particular system as sounding, boxy, nasal, lugubrious, wooly....etc.  Guess I'm a simple soul, with me to paraphrase like wine, if it tastes alright it must be good.

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