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What is Hi fi and Vintage

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by a e i o u, Mar 2, 2004.


  1. When I think of a "Hi Fi" sound i think of video game type tone or maybe a synth keyboard. When i think of vintage tone I think of the tone of tube amp growl with a low of midrange no it, something with a lot of growl. Am i right or wrong?
     
  2. 'Hi-fi' is an abbreviation for high fidelity. In the context of bass amps, it means undistorted and accurate tone with more high frequency content than a typical bass sound. 'Vintage' can mean so many things, it's not funny, but I think your definition is the most common among bass players.
     
  3. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    When I think Hi-Fi, yes I think hi fidelity...as in produced bass coming through a high end stereo system, as opposed to the live sound out of oh, say a "vintage" amp and cab. :)

    Hi-Fi to me is a very tight, defined bass with scooped mids...like what so many here do not like (scooped mids that is).
     
  4. Then what about "vintage hi-fi?" :D
     
  5. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI

    It's something on a 33 1/3 LP?
     
  6. With quarter inch thick vinyl, brother!
     
  7. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    For those of you who are too young to know...

    Those are albums (large vinyl disks with grooves in them that a needle rode in)...what we used to listen to before CD's. :bassist:
     
  8. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001

    :confused: I listened to cassetes before CD's. (I still do, too - on a vintage Hi-Fi no less!) Before that I listened to record albums...

    As far as bass amps go, I always think "vintage tone" = a good tube amp and "Hi-Fi tone" = a good solid state amp.
     
  9. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Ah yes...I forgot...cassettes. 8 track?

    I agree...SS amps tend to have a more hi-fi sound to them...and tubes remind me of old classic (vintage?) Ampeg tone.
     
  10. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Vintage hi-fi is marketing trying to get as many buzzwords attached to their product as possible :rolleyes:
     
  11. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    And just how old do you think I am? :mad:

    ;) (j/k)
     
  12. I have tried to point out to you before that "Hi-Fidelity" would imply a complete representation of the sound spectrum. The reason you like to "scoop" your mid-range is that your cabinet has a pronounced hump in the mid-range (as many do to make them sound louder) and you are trying to achieve a "flatter", more "hi-fi" sound. Hi-Fidelity does not equal scooped mids. :D
     
  13. Sundogue

    Sundogue

    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    It does not imply it to me. I see what you mean about representing the full range of the sound spectrum...but the bass itself does not represent that. I stand corrected...rather than "scooped" I should have said "flat"...but definitely not pronounced mids.
     
  14. hi-fi = full range studio monitor type sound usually coming from a 2 or 3 way speaker system.

    Vintage = 4x15's or 8x10's or 4x12's with a tube head type sound. (tubes are optional)
     
  15. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    I think the point is that hi-fi would ideally mean that whatever signal is sent to the speakers is reproduced exactly as sent, with no addition or subtraction of any frequencies. Naturally, this never truly happens, but that's the goal.

    It's not critical that the bass may not put out all the frequencies from 20 Hz to 20 kHz; what's critical is that the frequencies it does put out--or rather, what the amplifier puts out--are amplified accurately.
     
  16. IMO, a hi-fi bass rig is one that sounds the same as the bass does when played through a Countryman Type 85 DI, or similar. No coloration, and nothing except the sound of the bass itself.

    This is opposite end of the spectrum from tube grind, distortion, speakers-exceeding-xmax, etc, etc.
     
  17. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    For mine, A Hi-Fi cab is something you could play a CD through and it will still sound nice and musical. To do that, it needs to be reasonably flat and be able to reproduce a broad range of frequencies accurately. Example, Acme.

    The opposite of Hi-Fi is something with a deliberate shaping of the frequency curve to achieve a particular sound. To me, Ampeg 8x10's sealed cabs are an example of the vintage way if doing this, and Eden XLT's are the morern day version. Play a CD through either of those and you'll be reaching for the earplugs pretty quickly. Both work well for their intended use though..............
     
  18. OK - name artists that are Hi Fi

    OK - name artists that are Vintage
     
  19. seanm

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

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Hi Fi: Leland Sklar
    Vintage: Leland Sklar

    Ok, that was a bit facetious. And this next statement is going to sound stupid, but bare with me. I think most people do not buy hi fi amps to get a hi fi sound. They buy it so they can get "their" sound. If you buy an Ampeg you are going to get the "Ampeg" sound. If you buy an SWR, you are going to get an "SWR" sound. Now there is nothing wrong with this, but what if you do not want an Ampeg sound? Or only want it some of the time? If you buy a hi fi amp, it will not colour your sound unless you want it to. That dosen't mean you can't slam a tube pedal or a distortion pedal in front of it. It just gives you more choice.

    When I played guitar, I owned a tube amp. I no longer want the hassle associated with a tube amp but I want the warm sound. I finally choose the iAmp 500 because it can give a very warm tube like sound. As close as I am going to get without a tube amp anyway. Because you will never get the perfect Ampeg sound without an Ampeg amp. You can get close, you will even fool most people, but it will never be perfect.

    Others can help guide you, but in the end, only *you* can decide what sounds best to you.
     
  20. Why do people equate high fidelity with scooped mids? Hi-fi is about accurate reproduction of the input signal. In fact, most 'hi-fi' home setups are very mid scooped, or rather boosted in the low end and high end (a la the Loudness control). Sit down and listen to a very high end audiophile-type system or high quality studio monitoring system and tell me that bass guitar doesn't have a lot of midrange energy in it. A true hi-fi representation of most basses with roundwound strings would have more midrange than a lot of players would be comfortable with. The Acme cabs are probably the closest to truly hi-fi bass cabs I've heard and I wouldn't consider them to be mid scooped in the least.

    Also, why do people think that tubes can't be hi-fi? Some of the most high-fidelity amplifiers on earth are tube amps. I'm working on the final design and implementation of a very high end audiophile-type system (I'm still skeptical about expensive cables though ;)) that uses tube amps for the midrange and high end and uses solid state for the low end. It's by far the most accurate audio system I've ever heard in my life.

    check it out: www.aurumacoustics.com