What's up with lousy bass on classic rock recordings?

Few examples: ACDC Back In Black, Van Halen 1, Boston (1), WHO's Next, Def Leopard Pyromania. 

The low end is almost non-existent. Digital and vinyl. 

It's not my system, I listen to a lot of jazz, other classics like Janis Ian Breaking Silence - bass is rich, full, has slam when appropriate.

Compression? Or were the low frequencies never there? Pretty disappointing. 


It all depended on the recordings. Tying all classic rock into one lump won't do it justice. Prime example Tommy Bolin's Private eyes and Teaser, both vinyl from the mid seventies, if you can find better bass anywhere, in any genre, or any period, I would like to know about it.

However the majority of BIG classic rock bands used very average recording methods back then since their name alone was enough to sell records. I find the lesser known bands went much further out of their way to hire better technicians  to get a better quality sound in hope of being discovered. And it is a good thing for me since most of my collection is off the mainstream bands.

@baylinor @itsjustme @relayer101 @overthemoon @gosta 

Thanks. All interesting and meaningful comments.

Quick comment, I have LA Woman on vinyl, I was really surprised how good the SQ is too - bass is great - it's a lot of fun listening to that one cranked.

:-) Yep.  Listen to the remastered MQA on a great DAC. IMpressive.


OTOH so many awesome albums are terrible.


Pink Floyd does a good job.  Much Moody Blues. The Who is mediocre to OK.  Beatles mediocre.Rush downright bad (so sad).

Many of the acoustic versions created by various Grunge bands qre excellent, whereas their studio versions are high energy but have about 3 dB dynamic range. Groll admits it in one of his documentaries but thinks that energy is the point... and he's the artist so i defer to him

Back in the day, when rock was just rock, not "Classic" rock, I had no problems with bass.  Had those huge Cerwin Vega speakers with 15" woofs(bright orange surrounds) and horn tweeters.  My university dorm mates sure heard bass.😋

Lawrence From MI