Bass- at what frequency does it change from sounding like a string to just a low tone?

I have two subs and speakers I like. I have little experience  comparing them to anything  else. As the frequency of a given note goes lower, at some point in my system it stops sounding like an instrument making the sound and instead it just sounds like the sound. I’m not crazy about this, but maybe that’s how it is for everyone?


I believe the correct question and answer is at what frequency is it NO LONGER a musical note produced by an instrument (Not synthesized). I must bring up my own speaker design as an example of what should be heard. I can clearly get down to somewhere around 45 to 50 Hz without any indication of straining on my 20 year old design using 8 drivers. I do own a sub of my own design but it delivers ONLY the nonsense that the Movie makers like to promote and I seldom even turn on the amp for the sub. All instruments capable of producing such lows have their own unique tonal qualities and resonances. You shouldn't even have to pick out just one instrument. If I were forced to choose one and only one It would be the Chinese drums and even then I have found only one sample that even comes close to qualifying for the title of best/lowest bass. I would suggest that if your speakers aren't producing that beautify unique sound of an actual instrument then there is a serious deficiency in your system at some point.

I have found many better examples of a double bass rendering lows but these are seldom even played.

That first one actually give a graphic of what you are hearing. This is similar to what I watch using the AP 'DecibelX' while listening.

Some Chinese' Drums


If yo jump in here at abut 52 minute point you will catch a lot of 52 HZ and nearby harmonics and I even saw the graph dip down to about 45 Hz at a few points.


A Lot of Electronic Bass tossed in just for fun


At the level of equipment I use, what matters most to me is if I can discern actual notes instead of just low rumbles and thumps. One of my go to sound tracks for bass is One od Emmylou Harris's more obscure albums called "Thirteen". She does her version of Bruce Springsteen's "My Father's House" which has a synthesizer doing a pretty convincing imitation of a pipe organ.

Speaking of thumpers, I'm glad to see that the Hip hop car thumper bass craze has mostly subsided.