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transparent tone

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Aenema, Dec 3, 2003.


  1. Aenema

    Aenema

    Apr 18, 2001
    Michigan
    i guess im confused about this term... this is used sooo much on talkbass so im just curious about everyones definition. to me it use to mean a scooped mid range. basically saying when recorded the bass is transparent. instead of seeing thru glass you can kinda hear thru it. if that makes sense... almost like its there but to a lotta people who dont have a musical ear its so clear or transparent that its not. now lately ive seen some talk that seems to be the opposite. where transparent means a flat eq with no "colored" tone. colored meaning changing your eq so your bass has a totally different tone from its natural tone. did i lose anyone yet? cause i think i lost myself... so whats your definition transparent?
     
  2. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    I dont know about transparent tone. Ive never heard that. I have used the term transparent to describe equipment like an amp or a speaker that is very true to passing a signal with minimal effect on it. For example I would say that my countryman direct box is transparent... A sansamp DI is not. Solid state amps can be while tube amps mostly are not. Something like that.
     
  3. Aenema

    Aenema

    Apr 18, 2001
    Michigan
    i meant amp or speakers, sorry i didnt mention that. lotta people always describe speakers as being transparent. so its keeping true to the basses natural tone. simply put that is.....
     
  4. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    I suppose "transparency" is getting out what you put in. "Colouration" is the opposite.

    I have not heard a truly transparent bass amp (and definitely not a transparent bass cabinet!). But a bass rig doesn't have to be that, and people trying to find a "transparent" bass rig are doomed to fail, unless they spend tens of thousands of dollars on audiophile equipment. And then chances are that it would suck at being a bass rig.

    That said, how transparent you think something is depends on what you've heard before. Playing bass through my studio preamp and monitors made me realise, how hopelessly coloured all bass equipment I've tried to date is. Before getting that studio equipment, I actually thought my EBS combo was transparent. Not so. Audiophiles would probably think that my Samson Servo power amp (for my monitors) is hopelessly coloured, and I suppose they'd be right. But it's transparent enough for me. :D
     
  5. Aenema

    Aenema

    Apr 18, 2001
    Michigan
    my swr owners manual confused me. it stated the aural enhancer creates a transparent tone, similar to your typical slap bass tone which is scooped mids and boosted bass and treble. thats where i got my definition from. im just trying to learn the ins and outs of amps. i know how to dial many different tones i just would like to understand why this or why that. thank ya much guys. :D
     
  6. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Ahh, I see. That is simply SWR's definition of transparent. Most of us define transparent as uncolored, as metron and Oysterman mentioned above.
     
  7. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I agree, transparent to me means uncolored, the output signal is as much like the original input signal as possible, and stuff like that.

    Rarely, though, do any of us get to hear what our instrument's signal sounds like right at the output jack, so it's not always easy to truly judge transparency. But it's not difficult to make preamp or power amp electronics very transparent, although the resulting tone might actually be disappointing if there's no EQ or processing somewhere in the signal chain. It's hard to make a loudspeaker system transparent, especially in various room settings.
     
  8. TRIPSTER

    TRIPSTER

    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    When certain companies talk about transparent tone/sound, I often get this image in my head some pro studio having a pair of 410 bass cabs of some sort as the main reference system. It probably won't ever happen. KnowwhatImean? :)
     
  9. willsellout

    willsellout Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2002
    Astoria, Oregon
    what about brands like
    accugroove and glockenklang..where they claim "what you put in is what you get out"?
    A lot of them are described as transperent. I just interpret it like this"
    It's a cleaner sound..a lot of people use transperent and sterile in the same terms..dunno..its a good question.

    DAn
     
  10. You may have noticed the SWR sound or the Eden sound or the SVT sound ect.... Theese are amps that color the bass to make them sound a certain way in live battle conditions.They have their signature sound.

    Other amps like the Clarus, Walter Woods, and Glockenklang where the coloration is more sublte allow the true nature of your bass to shine through, I guess it is a matter of taste. I tend to go for a variety of amps for different applications.
    I have an Ashdown , Glockenklang, and an Aguilar along with an Swr single 10 60 watt combo. You can guess which one gets the most work . The SWR combo...I happen to be doing low volume gigs right now.
    Mark
     
  11. IMO, a Countryman Type 85 DI for passive basses is awfully close.
     
  12. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Its all I use for recording. Worth every penny...
     
  13. Oysterman

    Oysterman

    Mar 30, 2000
    Sweden
    Though the Countryman is not an amplifier. It's good though. Too bad I have no use for mine anymore. :meh:

    Yeah, that's the thing - you can buy the most transparent amplifier available and get close to a reference quality, but there really is no such thing as a transparent bass cab. Which more or less makes the ultra-high fidelty amp useless, no?

    The best advice I could give is to just look past all the dumb buzzwords, and buy things you like the sound of.
     
  14. metron

    metron Fluffy does not agree

    Sep 12, 2003
    Lakewood Colorado
    Yeah but it fits the term transparent very well. I have found a lot of uses for mine. I use it to run into my tape deck. I can record my practicing and the same setup works as a headphone amp because I can listen through the headphone monitor on my tape deck. All that is needed is a 1/4" to RCA cable. The countryman is my favorite (non-bass) piece of gear! :cool:
     
  15. RAM

    RAM

    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    The problem I have with companies such as Glockenklang, is that while their sound is seemingly "uncolored", try playing your bass through a couple of their 15" cabs...then try playing the exact same bass through their 4x10. If you don't notice a difference in tone, you're deaf!

    I can't really "define" in words what transparency is, but I do think it falls on a continuum. For example, I think of Ampeg as less "transparent" than EBS. Ampeg seems to have it's own "tone", where EBS seems to allow for my basses to shine through more on their own. I still need to eq the EBS to boost weak frequencies or cut annoying ones, depending on the bass and the environment.
     
  16. TRIPSTER

    TRIPSTER

    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    It's the same thing with speakers period. Even Studio monitors. Your problem should be with all amp companies. Not just Glock.
     
  17. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    you glock shill, you :D
     
  18. TRIPSTER

    TRIPSTER

    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA

    Tell 'em 'bout EA Mikey!:D
     
  19. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    Clinician: EA, Zon, Boomerang, TI. Author "The Art of Solo Bass"
    :D
     
  20. TRIPSTER

    TRIPSTER

    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    :D Indeed! Hope you are well and had a good holiday. See you at NAMM? Hope so!