Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

? about frequency range...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Kronos, Feb 10, 2006.


  1. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    If my cabinets have a frequency response of 42Hz to 16kHz, and a low B is 31 Hz, how is it that I'm able to still hear and feel the low B?

    I'm confuzzled. :meh:
     
  2. Plain Old Me

    Plain Old Me

    Dec 14, 2004
    The range is + or - 3 DB. You simply do not get the same volume from the lower or higher notes. However, you can compensate with EQ. Also, ratings are taken in different ways. I find, for instance, that my Bergantino 610 (rated at 45 Hz) has a very very loud low B.
     
  3. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks...that makes sense.
     
  4. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    AFAIK it is not uncommon for the frequency range of a speaker to be specified at the -10 dB points. This is an area where gear makers seem almost unified in opposition to providing useful specs. The last time I ever saw a response curve for a bass cab was in older Carvin catalogs.

    But in any event, the ends of the response curve are not brick walls. Response occurs outside the specified range, but at a lower level. The good news is that bass speakers sound good without flat response down to the lowest fundamental.
     
  5. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Or any response to the fundamental. It's not unusual in the lower registers for the 2nd and 3rd harmonics to be as loud or even louder than the fundamental.
    That would be very good even in a $5k hi-fi speaker. With a bass cab you'll be lucky if the quoted figure is better than -10dB at either end.
     
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    Maybe that's why bass charts are written an octave above where they are played :D
     
  7. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    That's correct. If you hit your low B and recorded the result on a spectrum analyser, you'll see that 62Hz is almost twice as strong as 31Hz. The same goes for any note on any string.

    The human ear is a wonderful thing. Andy from Acme explained it very well to another TB'er during a phone call. The speaker on your phone does pretty much nothing below 400Hz. Yet when you speak to Andy on the phone, you can still tell he's got a deep voice! Your ear has a marvalous ability to fill in the gaps without you even realising it.

    Besides, ask any decent PA engineer about 31Hz and they usually tell that frequencies that low are more about "feeling" it rather than "hearing" it. I had a conversation with a very well known recording engineer once who point blank refuses to even bother with frequencies below 40Hz in both the recording and mix-down process. His approach it to leave them as they are and let the people with capable subs worry about tweaking things so low.
     
  8. Link to P-Bass Quarter Pounder Low E

    The above link is a spectral analysis of open E (41 Hz) on a MIM P-bass with a Duncan QP installed. Note the intensity of the 2nd harmonic being slightly stronger than the fundamental.

    The poster asked about his 31 Hz low B... he is most likely hearing the 62 Hz 2nd harmonic. I've found most folks have not heard/felt a low fundamental, and mistake the harmonics for "big bass."

    There is a whole world below the 2nd harmonic, but commercial cabs will not produce it.
     
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    BassMax has built an entire line of products based on this fact.
     
  10. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    holy crap....

    I had no idea it would be this complex!

    And here, I thought that since I had pretty big ears that I had more attenuated low end hearing! :D

    Keep it going! I'm enjoying learning something new...

    *edit-

    Wasn't there a link somewhere that I could actually hear the fundamental frequencies? I would like to test my hearing to see actually what frequencies I can hear....
     
  11. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Probably not. Your computer speakers, or even home audio speakers, wouldn't be able to reproduce it ;)
     
  12. Kronos

    Kronos

    Dec 28, 2005
    Philadelphia, PA
    I do have headphones that have a frequency responce of 10Hz up to 25,000kHz...as long as that's not a fallacy, I could reproduce the sounds...
     
  13. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    PM sent.
     
  14. I had a conversation with a couple friends yesterday. One has worked sound for several national tours, been a music professor at a university and worked for Peavey for several years. The other one is a retired touring rock musician turned amp tech with degrees in music and electronics. They both were complaining about technical specs in amplification put out by many manufacturers that seem really good on paper, but the equipment sounds like garbage. We also discussed Andy Lewis' spoof on "The Switch". It reminded me of how a statistic prof summed up his field for me many years ago: "Figures don't lie, but liars figure."
     
  15. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    To paraphrase, there are lies, damnable lies, and manufacturers specs. Think about that the next time you see anything with an 'A weighted' signal to noise ratio, keeping in mind that 'A weighting' filters out better than half the audible bandwith, including all the bass.
     
  16. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Get this. I got a set of musicians earplugs made up by an audiologist a few years ago. While I was there I enquired about a proper hearing test. Their proceedure is to put you in a booth wearing headphones. They play you a series of sine waves in no particular order, starting with no volume and gradually turning the sound up. When you hear the tone, you press a button. Apparently they only measure down to 200Hz, which is fine if you're a senior citizen looking to get hearing aids, but it wasn't going to tell me the whole story as a musician.