Moderators, tone freaks, linguists, UNITE regarding sonic terminology. There seems to be a problem that runs through a lot of threads and postings on TalkBass (and I'm sure on similar websites) that has to do with the attempt to convey subjective impressions of "the sound" or tone of a bass system or part thereof in everyday language. Any of you guys had any history with an audio mag titled "The Absolute Sound"? The editor attempted to come to terms with the many barriers to making comparisons of the subjective perceptions of the "sounds" of various audio components or devices. He basically devised a detailed sonic vocabulary under stringent guidelines. He divided the audio frequency range into sub-ranges, each with its own label. He clearly defined adjectives to use to portray relevant qualities of all different areas of perceived sound. The ideal target held forward for component manufacturers was the "live sound" of acoustic instruments. [For the electric bass crowd, this "live sound" standard, does not apply that well, but there are widely known and respected references that could be used instead (a few examples: Fender Jazz Bass, SWR SM-900, Eden D-410XLT). ] What I want to put forth for your consideration is that someone (sorry, I don't have the time or resources or I would do it myself) or some small group of people could possibly take a sub-set of that vocabulary (a lot of stuff they used would not apply to bass systems) used in "The Absolute Sound" (hopefully some of you have old back issues that include it) and setup a sort of reference vocabulary in an online text dump that all those interested in could read and apply when we are attempting to review a new instrument or amp or cab, whatever or when we are asking for help or advice with a problem or inquiring about a particular sound we are after in a system we want to put together. Granted nothing can replace hearing any given piece of a bass system in a live music environment, but there are quite a few of us who are not in a large urban center like NYC or LA, that have limited opportunities to audition some bass equipment at a dealer's store, much less gigging with it in a club on a trial basis without having to purchase it first. So does this sound like something worthwhile or not? If so, who wants to step up and give it a shot? MAJOR CAVEAT: I am sure we would need to get permission from "The Absolute Sound" even if we used a sub-set of their stuff, so that would be the second hurdle. The other option would be to base our vocabulary on theirs loosely enough to avoid direct copyright infringement. I don't want to suggest anything that would start legal hassles. Once past that point, it would help if someone who has access to the vocabulary from "The Absolute Sound" would let us know. I don't know if it would already exist in some online source already or not (that would be great). The next best thing would be if someone who has access to it has a scanner and some OCR software to convert it to dumpable text so it could be edited electronically. If there are legal problems with the aforementioned approaches, the last resort would be to tackle it sort of from scratch. Do something similar to TAS, but on our own terms and with our own resources (more work involved). Personally, I believe that a lot of people here would benefit from something like this. I have been wishing for a magazine for bass players that would be similar to what TAS is for audiophiles (especially, the format it used to have), that just reviewed a lot of bass equipment. Well, I think we can be our own resources for something similar done on a voluntary basis for the love of the music (and its related gear). Thanks for your time.