to base or not to base.

i posted a thread about listening levels & this kinda floats along with it.

it appears that most people have different ideas of what good bass response is & what it should be for instance i have heard much talk about the bass response in the B&W line being great & as having a full bass presentation but when i got a pair of B&W'S home i found them to be the exact oposite with a bass response that was weak & thin.

im not singeling out B&W nor am i saying anything bad about them but i am using them as an example as i just had a pair & the sound is fresh in my mind & no matter how i set them up they couldnt give up any bass.

ok here's another thought,we hear all the time about music being presented the way it was recorded or the goal to achive is to get as close to live music as can be had,are bass players invisable & durring a live show cant their notes be heard as well as the other instruments? with the exception of the rolling stones ive seen plenty of bands where i can clearly hear & feel the bass player now shouldnt rigs be able to produce the same bass that ocured in the concert,i cant see a band putting on a show where they had a good strong & clear bass then going into the studio & all of a sudden cutting the bass in half so the bass has to be on the recording i would think.

to me music seems lifeless without at the very least a decent bass response & it takes on an allmost a m radio type tone & over & over again i hear guys rigs in their homes & at dealers where they think they have excellent bass response & to me it sounds like all upper bass instead of a full bass response.

ive asked questions like this to others in the hobby & dealers too & most of the time i get the same response about being a bass head or somthing along them lines,isnt bass part of the music & shouldnt a full range speaker be able to reproduce a decent bass response down to atleast like 30hz on its own without the use of a sub?

is it just me or are there several different definetions of what a good bass response is,im not looking for quotes from a spec sheet or anything but if a speaker system is specked out as having a bass response of 40 hz how can it ever produce any real bass,dosent sub bass start at below 20hz?

im curious as to what other guys idea of good bass is & how they prefer it to be presented in their rigs.

OK's my opinion. I admit it. I like bass. Regarding your question, "how they prefer it to be presented in their rigs", this is my preference. Whereever the music goes (regarding bass) I want my speakers and electronics to track along. If the music goes way down deep, that is what I want to hear. If the music has excessive bass, then I want to hear excessive bass. I don't want my system limitations to change the musical expression on the source material.

However, I am a stickler on accurate bass reproduction. It must be fast and accurate. I hate bass hangover and loud one note bass reproduction, boom box kind of bass.

When I listen to a piece of music, it gives me great satisfaction when all the musical information, (bass, midrange and highs) are reproduced accurately. If the performing artist screwed it up or got it just right, I'll be the judge.

Utlimately, there is no right or wrong, it's what sound good to you.
Thats why subwoofers were invented. It is not realistic to have great bass and subsonic frequencies/harmonics without a sub unless you want to spend many thousands of dollars. It takes large cones or long cone excursions to produce long waves. My floorstanders were good to 35 Hz (-3 dB) but I really heard the music when I got a sub and crossed over at 40 Hz and it plays cleanly to 18 Hz. That's my solution.
I find that people get it all messed up... for me good base (bass) is a synergy thing between speakers and amps. The Atma-Sphere amps in my system have at least as much to do with good bass as do the drivers. By good bass I mean something textural (lots of detail and nuance) as well as good lower end octave. Not just a window shatteringly low singular note response. I think the physics of the room volume and acoustics have the ultimate veto though in it all, in that, if your room isn't big enough to create the sine wave, you'll never going to hear it. Bigjoe, I agree that a great classical recording would be a disaster without great lower octave information IMHO. Our emotional response would pale to that of a recreation of a performance with great bass. That said I would like to make the point though that I look more for a balance across the audio spectrum and it becomes more about PRAT than kettle drums in the final analysis. Happy listening!
Most "Bass" is above 30 Hz. Most Pro sound subwoofers are rated only to 30 Hz. The bass you hear at a live pop concert is not very low, but there is a lot of it.

The small drivers used in home audio systems can reproduce low bass, but not at the kind of volume you like. If you turn up the volume the low bass will go missing, or worse, distort the upper bass. If you really want to sound like a pop band you need to get a huge speaker with several 15 or 18 inch drivers just like the ones that the bands use.
i think we can all agree that bass must be accurate & not boomy or slow,where i enjoy a full bass the most is in the lower to medium listening ranges where i do most of my listening.

my speaker system will go down to 20hz & they have excellent bass thats full without being boomy or slow & my passive sub is set to take over from 20hz to 10hz,even though most of what comes from the sub is inaudible to me it makes a dramatic difference when combigned with the rest of the rig & makes for a wider sound stage & adds alot of depth to the music.

i understand that most bass is at 30hz or above but there is still bass well below 30hz,to me a full bass response is equally as important as the mids & highs so im left wondering why so many owners & manufacturers alike make a consience choice to let this information slip away & gear more twords upper bass & mids.

im left wondering why so many owners & manufacturers alike make a consience choice to let this information slip away
I can give a few reasons.
It's difficult to design a full-range passive spkr and the result is invariably very expensive.
It's also very bulky -- to go down to 30Hz & below (i.e. you're best using large drivers, transmission lines, etc)
It's often very difficult to drive full-range spkrs well, so amplification becomes an issue.
It's best to biamp -- but how many a'philes will consent to having 4 channels of amplification.
It's also difficult to reap the benefits of a full-range spkr at both moderate volume and higher volumes: in order to perceive bass at lower volumes you need to equalise it carefully (boost the spl and make sure you're not creating phase anomalies) because we're less sensitive to lower freq at lower spls. If you play that same spkr loud, the bass will be perceived as overwhelming (because our ears, at higher spls now, are more sensitive to the lower register).

A trade off/compromise, etc, I suppose! But I too like to be able to go down to the 20's...