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Why so much bass?


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Poormanq45 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 4:37 PM / IP Logged  

I've always wondered this about most people with stereo systems. 

Why is it that most of the people with car stereo systems have a disproportionate amount of bass?  I mean, there bass is usually atleast 20dB higher then their Mids and Highs!  IMO, when I hear a car drive by with a crap load of bass and no mids/highs, I wonder what the point is.

Now, I have heard vehicles that have their sound level pretty well equalized across the entire frequency.  IMO, those vehicles sound the best.  When they drive by you, you can actually hear what the song is saying, and not just bass.  Now don't get me wrong, the bass is still there, but they brought the level of their mids/highs up to match it.

My question is:  Why are people so concerned with bass and yet they seem to have very little concern with the rest of the frequency range?

Now, I can understand having the bass 3~6db higher then the rest of the frequencies because of the inefficiency of the human to hear low frequencies causes them to seem quieter then a mid/high frequency at the same dB.

I'd like to hear your opinions on this subject please.  Oh, and let's try not to turn this into a political "anti-boom law" thread.. again

Thank you

-Brien

Ravendarat 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 4:49 PM / IP Logged  
My take on this comes down to dollars. Its not that hard or that expensive to be able to hit 130db off an SPL meter, but to match the highs to that level of sound is expensive and hard. To really be able to keep up to some of these systems you are either looking at multiple sets of large driver based speaker sets in the front like for example 2 sets of 6 1/2 inch components running off a large amount of power working off an amp with a good deal of head room. Then you must be able to install these speakers in ideal positions. To any of us who install we just say "well thats easy, Ill either buy a high end set of 6 1/2's at my cost anyways or Ill buy a couple sets of mid line speakers and build kicks and door pods". See its easy for us because we have the knowleadge to build these things and the perks that come from working at and/or owning a shop allow us to afford them. I think thats one reason why You dont see as many systems matched up. Second is that some people simply have different preferences. Some people, primarily younger people, just like having the sh*t rattled outta there brains and thats fine if thats what they want. Third is that some people insist on driving around with their stereo playing at 140 db and iff thats what they choose to do then its gonna be real damn hard, regardless of budget, to match up speakers that can keep up and balance that out. And my last point is that you must remeber that Bass carries much further than what your mids and highs do, so If you are basing this on the cars you hear drive by then you have to take into account that most of the music just isnt carrying itself to your position.
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Steven Kephart 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 4:50 PM / IP Logged  

My answer, because it's fun.  I personally don't like the 145dB plus systems.  Those things just hurt.  But having about 130 now and then is kind of fun.  However for actual quality listening I always turn the bass WAY down. 

Have you ever sat in a vehicle with those types of capabilities?  That might answer your question for you.  Now I agree that they should work on their front stage first.  My best friends system was like how you describe, all bass with blown front speakers.  I would refuse to ride with him with the stereo on because it sounded so bad.  But then I don't balk at people who do enjoy a little massage with their music. Why so much bass? -- posted image.

Steven Kephart

Adire Audio

Poormanq45 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 5:01 PM / IP Logged  

First of all, I'd like to say WOW!  I was aiming this thread towards the resident experts and two of you replied within 20 minutes.  Thank you.

Ravendarat wrote:
And my last point is that you must remeber that Bass carries much further than what your mids and highs do, so If you are basing this on the cars you hear drive by then you have to take into account that most of the music just isnt carrying itself to your position.
Yeah, that might be part of the reason, but even when sitting in some of these "bass head's" car the mids and highs are drowned out. 

Low frequency = long wave length = longer distance, high frequency = short wave length = shorter distance.

I completely understand about the cost of mid and high frequency drivers.

IIRC, the guy that had the well balanced system had to use Two sets of horn loaded tweeters for the highs and 8in or 10in drivers for the mid-range.

Steven Kephart wrote:
Have you ever sat in a vehicle with those types of capabilities?  That might answer your question for you. 

Yep, an old friend of mine had a Cerwin Vega 18inch stroker powered by a big arse Zapco amp in the back of his Diamante.  That thing pounded the crap out of you if you got within 10~20 feet of itWhy so much bass? -- posted image., but unfortunately his mids and highs were really drowned out :(

Again, thank you for the responses.  Hmm, it would be nice to have some of the "regular" members who have these two types of systems to chime in here

auex 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 5:15 PM / IP Logged  
My answer, Why ask why when how is so much more fun?
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Alpine Guy 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 5:30 PM / IP Logged  
Alot of the people i have installed for have either just wanted nice speakers and no subs, , , or big subs, and factory speakers.  Its rare to find someone interested in car audio to tackle all aspects for the sound field.  I personally start will sick speakers, cd player, speaker amp....then subs and amp.  Thats how i have always built my systems, , bass sounds like ass if there's no music to set the groove.....people just don't understand that unless they actually here a system like mine, , , but they never get the chance to hear my kind of system, because no one else has an all around system, so the trend just goes on and on, and people keep building crappy systems.
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ty 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 5:56 PM / IP Logged  
because people want bass, then when they have it they want sq in the front stage.  When beginners start out that is all they think about is bass, they just want somehting loud.  Then when they learn more they upgrade components etc..., that's what I did anyway.  I am just barely getting a mid amp and better components for my front stage.  It is all a learning experience, IMO.
stevdart 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 6:55 PM / IP Logged  

I'm definitely no SPL guy and I'm only a wannabe SQ guy...but to be fair about making judgements of someone's system that you can hear when their car is beside you or passing by.....most of the time you can't tell what the sound really is like inside their car.  You only hear the bass because of the nature of the low freq sound waves travelling farther and staying louder for a greater distance.

Makes me wonder sometimes when I'm zoning in my car to some great music what people in the other cars think of me because all they hear is the bass.......

("look at that [insert adjective] guy, wonder what he's on?")

supradude 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 6:58 PM / IP Logged  
I can't say why. It's a fact that most people put a lot of emphasis on bass in their vehicle. It doesn't matter about anything else, just get the biggest and baddest subs and amps and boom till you see smoke. Then after a couple of years they usually just quit completely or start trying to get some type of eveness in their system. I guess thats just how it's supposed to be!
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Poormanq45 
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Posted: March 08, 2005 at 7:04 PM / IP Logged  
Hmm, I understand what you're saying Stevdart, but I've sat in alot of these "bass" vehicles and they're not really any better on the inside then the outside.
Now, I've also heard system that sounded great when you were in the car, AND sounded good outside the car. I'm talking the full frequency range being heard from outside the vehicle, along with the bass. And nothing really seemed to overpower each other.
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