Ultimate test of bass - Lana del Rey's A&W

I've been listening a lot to the excellent new Album from Lana del Rey.  One track really stands out, and that's A&W

Besides its brilliance, the bass in the last two minutes of it is quite staggering.  I mean, even at low volumes whenever I play it I'm half expecting my neighbours to be hammering on my front door.


What type of bass are you talking about? Strings? Electronic? James Blake will also do the trick but I like hearing every note of a bass guitar or upright. 

Thanks for the tip. Serious bass in that track. Don’t miss her cd Lust for life. Fine songs and nice electronic and electric bass in most songs. And don’t miss Billie Eilish!

Electronic bass goes very deep so you need a really good and well-balanced system to be able to follow the notes clearly. Otherwise it’s just a dark boomy mess.

For some other great bass & a great album too, check out on Qobuz the expanded, 2019 remix of The Band's first album (brown cover just called The Band). The whole thing is great & much of it sounds excellent but the bass drum & bass guitar on the "Up on Cripple Creek" is outstanding! Big, tight, loud & may push many systems probably beyond where they want to go happily up loud. Levon Helm's kit is right there in front of you surrounded by some very nice subtle guitar & keyboard work & almost spooky vocal harmonies that also show some great width & depth. 

My system w/ big horns & a good tube amp really shines w/ music like this which is why I have it. So fun!

Service:  Quobuz

Album:  Wood

Arrist:  Brian Bromberg

1st track

My reference for bass management...

The acoustic jazz album "Soular Energy" by The Ray Brown Trio " is phenomenal. Especially the track  Take the "A" Train.


@jonwolfpell - The Band's first album was 'Music From Big Pink' - 'The Band' with the brown cover was their 2nd album. 

What album would that be from Lana del ray?  I thought blue banisters was her latest. Maybe I’ll have to google again. What song? Thanks in advance.

With apologies to the OP, electronically created low frequencies are not, IMO, a good test of bass. Unless one's idea of a test of bass is constant very low frequencies.

But since it is an artificially created sound, there is no way to 'test' if one's system is reproducing it accurately. There is no 'natural' referent to compare it to, so other than one's system just reproducing a very low frequency, how is this a test of how accurately it is being reproduced?

A great test of bass on one's system, IMO, is the double basses in orchestras. They regularly play down to 32 hz, yet, on a good system one can hear the bows on the strings, hear that the sound is coming from instruments made of wood, hear that they are to the far right of the soundstage, hear that the sound is coming from multiple instruments. If these things can't be heard on a system, then the system is not good at reproducing bass, no matter how low the system can play.

An acoustic bass in jazz, is also great, even though they are not usually played at their lowest frequencies, but they are good to hear how well one's system is able to reproduce the attack/decay of plucked strings. 

A concert bass drum is another good test. One should be able to hear it is being struck with a mallet, not just the low rumble it producing. Also, it should be able to be heard that it is coming from the back of the orchestra in the soundstage.


@rickderuyter - this just came out in the last week or so. I think A&W is my favorite on there...

Listening to A&W right now awesome bass. Awolnation Run or Hedegaard Ratchets  is also great for test ....https://youtu.be/nHM0wC9HcM8

Try Jean Victor Arthur Guillou's pipe organ arrangement of "Gnomus" from Mussorgsky’s "Pictures At An Exhibition" if you want to test out the bass on your system.

Took some balls for her to step out like that. From mellow melodic to intense out of nowhere.  It’s like a new style that I think works really well.

Try Flight of the Cosmic Hippo by Bela Fleck and the Flectones or Hey Now by London Grammar.

I wonder if Lana uses loops and pro-tools for her recordings?


Happy Listening!

I tend to like Lana Del Rey, but if A&W is the best track on the album - maybe not my taste. Sounds a lot like Billie Eilish to me (at least I'd put them in the same category). Cool of her to make something unusual. Try Maggie Rogers' Alaska from Heard it in a Past Life album to see how well the subs produce bass and how well the room handles those resonances.

Excellent suggestions as above. I will second;

Erykah Badu - Rimshot

Brian Bromberg - Wood and Wood II.


Happy Listening!

@durangoat thanks for that referral....something about hearing an actual instrument that makes the results in your room so much more satisfying;  no offense to the OP as I sometimes enjoy electronic music but it is mostly overdone for my ears and becomes annoying very quickly....I am going to let Brian keep playing! ; )