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lou24d53

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

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, jrixn1 said:

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?

Hmmm, interesting. In theory a recording should be able to capture the sonic signature of heft and it still should be felt provided you have a faithful recording and sound system. 

In practice well sound engineered album tracks will, anyway, be a lot better than what any of us can produce in terms of recording a live performance. 

Edited by Al Krow

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, chris_b said:

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.

Nonsense. 

My Mesa M6 doesn't make me feel superior nor does my DG M900 make me feel inferior. 

I enjoy them both for what they are. 

It's not a subject I've spent any time discussing before today and, due to a lack of a bass to hand this week, improving my playing is a touch tricky... 😄 

Edited by Al Krow

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Posted (edited)

A ballerina dancing to Swan lake doesn't have heft.

A fat lass raving on the other hand......

 

(Snowflake disclaimer. Please note no swans, lakes, or fat lasses were harmed during the making of this comment) 

Edited by Newfoundfreedom
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Turns out to be a good question and one worth asking, Lou24d53.

It's one of those things that can't really be described but we all know it when we hear/feel it.

I liken it to acceleration in a car with a lot of torque. It may be the same rate of acceleration as a car with lots of high revving power but the thrust has a different quality to it.

In the same way, Heft isn't volume or loudness or bassiness (sic) - but it's related to all these things. I think it's a combination of the cab, the amp, the bass, the strings and the player.

All subjective opinion, of course, but i doubt anyone on here would disagree....😁

(retires to shelter and jams fingers in ears)

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7 minutes ago, Skinnyman said:

Turns out to be a good question and one worth asking, Lou24d53.

It's one of those things that can't really be described but we clearly not all know it when we hear/feel it.

I liken it to acceleration in a car with a lot of torque. It may be the same rate of acceleration as a car with lots of high revving power but the thrust has a different quality to it.

In the same way, Heft isn't volume or loudness or bassiness (sic) - but it's related to all these things. I think it's a combination of the cab, the amp, the bass, the strings and the player.

All subjective opinion, of course, but i doubt anyone on here would disagree....😁

(retires to shelter and jams fingers in ears)

Fixed 😁

Good description - do like the torque analogy.

Whereabouts is your shelter and is there room for more than one?

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13 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Whereabouts is your shelter and is there room for more than one?

Only if we kick Teebs out to take his chances on his own.

Which is fine with me..... 😁

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1 hour ago, wateroftyne said:

How many bass heads use Powersoft technology?

My apologies. I'm not aware of any bass heads using Powersoft amps. But they'd probably be awesome if they are out there.

I thought you were going to go with all amps under the class D banner... or are you going to go with ICEpower? Or TC's effort... or a combination of to suit the argument?

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4 minutes ago, EBS_freak said:

My apologies. I'm not aware of any bass heads using Powersoft amps. But they'd probably be awesome if they are out there.

I thought you were going to go with all amps under the class D banner... or are you going to go with ICEpower? Or TC's effort... or a combination of to suit the argument?

I'm not a fan of either... that I've tried so far.

I haven't used the Quilter, or the new generation used in the Mesa Subway etc. so obv. I can't comment on those.

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20 minutes ago, Skinnyman said:

Only if we kick Teebs out to take his chances on his own.

Which is fine with me..... 😁

Harsh! :(

Have barricaded myself into the shelter by nailing your Rickenbacker across the doorway :)

Takes 6" nails quite well - never thought of a Ricky as building materials before!

You live and learn! :D

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Analogy: An elephant kicking you in the chest rather than being kicked in the nuts by somebody wearing a stiletto... 

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4 minutes ago, TheGreek said:

Analogy: An elephant kicking you in the chest rather than being kicked in the nuts by somebody wearing a stiletto... 

A (wincingly) potent image Mr Greek! :S

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Posted (edited)

So another analogy to add Skinnyman's torque is that just as a painter or photographer can (rightly) seek a certain quality in the "light", similarly musicians can surely seek a certain timbre from their instruments? A Stradivarious will have a richer tone than a £500 violin. They can certainly both play the same notes at similar volumes. 

Heft is just one aspect and a label that many of us commonly apply to a certain quality of the sound that our amps and cabs deliver. 

Edited by Al Krow
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3 minutes ago, Teebs said:

Harsh! :(

Have barricaded myself into the shelter by nailing your Rickenbacker across the doorway :)

Takes 6" nails quite well - never thought of a Ricky as building materials before!

You live and learn! :D

Er, that's Ricky's, not mine.

Mine's here, in my hands, look

SMRIC.thumb.jpg.681e6eec1c6edb9163c037e2018a98f9.jpg.fc92346f5d4cd6b7e64341bcbd004b3e.jpg

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21 minutes ago, Skinnyman said:

Er, that's Ricky's, not mine.

Mine's here, in my hands, look

SMRIC.thumb.jpg.681e6eec1c6edb9163c037e2018a98f9.jpg.fc92346f5d4cd6b7e64341bcbd004b3e.jpg

Oh...erm...thats a bit awkward :sorry:

Sorry Ricky -  it'll sand out in no time - bit of wet & dry, blast with the old orbital sander - jobs a good 'un! :i-m_so_happy:

. On the bright side, I've reduced its heft :)

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1 hour ago, Skinnyman said:

I liken it to acceleration in a car with a lot of torque. It may be the same rate of acceleration as a car with lots of high revving power but the thrust has a different quality to it.

 

Heft - heft is very much like making love to a beautiful woman. You've got to feel it in your gentleman's region. Breathe softly and gently. And give every inch of it your loving thrust. And make sure you've got a nice wet sponge.

Swiss Toni

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

Nonsense.

If it doesn't apply to you then fine. I wasn't calling out anyone in particular. You should read some of the posts here and on Talkbass. It's usually tied in with vintage, valve and big gear being "better".

 

 

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10 minutes ago, chris_b said:

If it doesn't apply to you then fine. I wasn't calling out anyone in particular. You should read some of the posts here and on Talkbass. It's usually tied in with vintage, valve and big gear being "better".

They’re not necessarily always better. Depends on the gear in question, innit? 

But guaranteed to be older (vintage) and heavier (valve / big gear) 😄 

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For me, I always equate heft to a balance of:

-  the ability of an amplifier and speaker set up to deliver lots of low/sub bass with tonnes of headroom without the sound farting out or without the amp requiring loads of compression to generate a loud signal; and

- a half joking description of amps which are very very loud and also very very heavy (i.e. my Trace Elliot V6 is very heavy but has lots of heft). 

The second part of the description means that the whole description is almost garbage, but is helpful in formulating seemingly knowledgeable but almost useless tonal descriptions.

'There is so much 'heft' on tap that I am concerned that the sound is a bit 'muddy'. However, even when I run my amp 'flat' there is still an abundance of 'heft', but when I do that I need to boost the gain a bit so that I can get the 'grit'  I need.

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5 hours 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.

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 😄

I agree, you cannot get heft from a valve amp. Stick with Class D. 😇

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Posted (edited)

Heft is a subjective term, not something inherent in the equipment (fnar) otherwise there would be a heft pot on amps. Until someone comes up with a definitive answer backed up with physics it's subjective, like me saying my amp has floral notes and fruity undertones, this may be the case for me but be experienced totally differently by someone else.

Edited by Frank Blank
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1 hour ago, Frank Blank said:

Heft is a subjective term, not something inherent in the equipment (fnar) otherwise there would be a heft pot on amps. Until someone comes up with a definitive answer backed up with physics it's subjective, like me saying my amp has floral notes and fruity undertones, this may be the case for me but be experienced totally differently by someone else.

This description has an element of truth to the broadly interpreted description of heft IMO.

When I try to translate the term heft into an amp design, I think it's in part a combination of texture and voicing combined with the particular tastes of the individual user. This is why some players will say (for the same amp) that it has "heft" while other players will say it doesn't. Everything needs to be taken in the context of the player's entire rig, speakers, instrument, pick-up system/set-up, playing style and the music style that the rig is being used with. It's much more complicated than a simple black and white description IMO.

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Heft as a word is about weight, originally about lifting things to test their weight. Hefting a spear or stone before throwing it. 

We don't have good words to describe sound, so we do it by analogy, and heft as a shorthand for a weighty sound is as good as anything but of course it means different things to different people.

In Basschat terms it has become a running joke (h**t) after a long running debate about switch mode (class D) amps. Basically along the line of 'my old amp is better than class D, it has more heft'. With no definition of heft, or what a weighty tone actually is it is an unchallengeable assertion. Also interesting (to me anyway) it has been applied to amplifiers rather than speakers even though speakers probably affect/contribute to tone way more than amps. 

Heft is obviously a 'good thing' that we all want. People who have just bought a lightweight modern amp are quick to say it has heft and valve heads will always assert only valves or anything weighing above a sack of potatoes has heft. No-one has ever complained about too much heft :)  I'd love to know what it is. If I knew that I could design it into a speaker system and feel the love. The truth is that it is completely subjective and it means different things to different people. 

 

 

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Heft = listening to a whacking big thunderstorm in the garden

Not Heft = listening to the same wacking big thunderstorm in the front room

😊

 

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