Warm,Warmer, Warmiest....

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by farmerdude, Aug 22, 2001.

  1. Everyone uses this term "warm". Are we all on the same page here? Is it by osmosis that we all have a clear understanding of this word that plagues the sound forums? What may be "warm" to one may be "mud" to another.....etc. So here it goes, lets here your definition of "warm".
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    I really don't know how to describe it (in English).
    To me, a good modern sound is warm. Most vintage sounds are on the muddy side for me.
    When I think really warm tone, I think of this example, the bass sound on Erykah Badu's Baduizm live album.
    "Phat" yet defined with still very good audible highs might sum it up (for me). Oh, not too much mids too.

    Oh, and isn't it "warmest"?!? :D
  3. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves

    Jul 16, 2001
    chicago, il
    Warm is subtle harmonic fuzziness around the edges
    Warm makes the highs less shrill
    Warm makes the lows round and rich
    Warm makes the mids an ocean of solidity, not a swamp of impenetrability
    Warm is responsiveness to attack
    Warm is often vintage
    Warm is almost always tube

  4. I was just trying to be goofy. (too much free time at work..)
  5. I always thought that was the exact opposite of what the term meant. A warm sound is a P Bass through an old SVT. I think Mr. Grieves got it right.
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    And that's why there's some truth in the first post. Tastes are different. And my warm may be cold and sterile for you - and yours might be muffled and muddy for me.
    When I read the post right, he wanted to hear our personal definitions of warmth. And I gave mine. Simple as that.
  7. Mr. Grieves

    Mr. Grieves

    Jul 16, 2001
    chicago, il
    Warm is SVTs, not bunnies.

    I was trying to be goofy as well, but my "poetic" post is what I think when I think about warm, albeit in a non-goofy fashion. Hopefully. Non-goofy, that is.

    Having said that, a Sans Amp BDDI can sound pretty freakin' warm, too.
  8. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Warm to me is when you can not just hear the bass but also feel it very well, a very smooth and 'thick' sound without being muddy or undefined.
    I basically agree with JMX, but I've realized that 'warm' is often used in the sense of 'vintage tube sound'. But when I think of the Blues Brothers soundtrack e.g., this is not exactly what I call warm, too much rumble and distortion for my definition of warm (but I still like it!!) - maybe it's just another 'warm' ;)

    Maybe I just give you the opposite of what is warm IMO: harsh and throaty sound with little low end and lots of unpleasant mids, as it is produced by cheap amps and crappy cabs. I guess most of us have gone through this, hate it and thats why everyone is searching for 'warm sound' - in the one or other meaning.

    Just my 0.2$
  9. Zirc


    May 13, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Warm is the sound my carvin 5 string makes when hooked up to my ampeg B2R playing through 2 ampeg 1x15s with the bass at 7.5 out of 10.

    Warm is also one out of 2 seasons my state FL has. The other one being hot :).
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    No offense to anyone here, but the main thing this post says to me is that terms like warm, punchy, etc. are virtually useless in online conversations. If we all understood the same thing by them, that would be one thing, but we clearly don't. For instance, of the choices above, I agree more with JMX than with Mr. Grieves. But which side is "right" in any objective sense? Neither, of course.
  11. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    Very true!
    To point this out (by giving another 'contrary definition') was the main reason for my to reply to this thread....

  12. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    Like melted butter, smooth and nothing thats harsh on the ear. Vibrant and solid at the same with a thick fatness that you hear and feel but cant put your finger on and a round prescence.
  13. VicDamone


    Jun 25, 2000
    I gotta agree with Mr. Lindsey. Alot of these terms are very subjective. When I bought my SVT in the 70s nobody described it as being warm, big and heavy, but never warm.

    In those days you could compair tubed (Marantz, McIntosh) vs solid state (Cerwin-Vega, Crown, Ampzilla) and you would come away describing the soft clipping, limited bandwidth tubed gear as swave, and warm compaired to the edgy hard clipping full bandwidth SS amps.

    With tubed amps sounding more like solid state and the refinement of some Mosfet devices (Nelson Pass) that sound way better than any tube, the gap is slowly disappearing. Yet a tubed amps ability to clip softly is unique and what I belive what most folks term as being warm.
  14. P-bass, Flatwounds, Ampeg B-15 Portaflex
  15. Bass Guitar

    Bass Guitar Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2001
    Lying on a sheepskin rug in front of a blazing fireplace with my wife under a blanket sipping expensive red wine in a wooden cabin while there is a blizzard outside... that is my definition of warm. When I hear a bass tone, and it makes me feel like that, the tone is "warm". ;)
  16. Persuader


    Feb 7, 2001
    P p/u and flat wounds thru an ampeg SB12 is warm to me. Barbed wire on a fence post is warm too.....if you're wailin on it with a 14 lb maul!
  17. Ampeg B15, turned up to just a hint of distortion.
    I think of this tube tone also as "greasy"; there's just no other way to describe it.
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I agree completely that terms like this are completely subjective and therefore useless in any discussion like this. This is one of two reasons I don't visit amps very often, as to me the only way to make a decision is to try the things out and no amount of talk can make up for this.

    If anyone needs any evidence, they only need look at the thread where somebody is asking for a warm sounding solid state amp - several people mention a GK amp as agood example, but then a load of other people say it's the coldest they've heard!! All a waste of time!! :rolleyes:

    The other reason I don't come round to amps because of discussions like this, is that I like the sound of my bass. In fact I chose it because it was the best tone I've ever heard. So all I want from an amp is something that reliably reproduces that sound with no distortion or colouration.

    If I didn't like the sound of my bass I could understand buying something to improve it, but then I probably wouldn't have bought it in the first place!!

    So all these discussions about how amps sound are irrelevant to me - I want to hear the sound of my bass, not the sound of an amp!! :rolleyes:
  19. Thanks for visiting, Bruce. I "mostly" agree with you....except...

    unless you're playing through a neutral sounding preamp, one not meant for bass or any other instrument, through a colorless poweramp, thru a flat-sounding cab, isn't your sound going to be colored and altered somewhat? My feeling is that, like it or not, our signal is being altered thru the chain, we just have to choose gear the does this to our liking.

    That's just how I see it....
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well, that's why I use an eden amp with all the settings flat, plus Euphonic Audio cabs - these are the closest I have found to "neutral" and just reflecting the sound of the bass rather than anything in the rig.

    A lot of double bass players strive for this as well, which is why they make fun of this forum over there! ;)