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What is the frequency of low E on a 4 string?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Matthew West, Sep 29, 2000.

  1. With all of the constant talk about frequency response, I thought it might be interesting to see if anyone knows what the fundamental frequency (not counting overtones) of the low E string is.
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    41 Hertz (I think)
    Low B is 31 Hertz (I do remember that)
    Pbassmanca and BassmanPaul like this.
  3. cb56


    Jul 2, 2000
    Central Illinois
    I've seen more complete charts out there but this will get the job done.


    The lowest "E" (164.841)they are showing is 2 octaves above low "E" on the bass. Divide that by 4 and you get. (41.21025) Low "E" on the bass.

    In other words,Yeah what JMX said
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  4. Doug


    Apr 5, 2000
    Buffalo, N.Y.
    How does string gauge effect that? Or doesn't it?
    Will a .105 be different from a .100?
  5. A Low E is a Low E is a Low E,the only difference another
    gauge string would make is what overtones are more pronounced.
    StyleOverShow likes this.
  6. Quzumm


    Sep 25, 2000
    Trondheim, Norway
    Does this mean that a cabinet with a frequency response at 41 Hz is needed to get a low E to sound as good as the rest of the bass? Many cabinets doesn't have a frequency response that is so low...???
  7. Not necessarily. We don't hear those fundamental tones all that well anyway, the human ear has this tendency to hear the harmonics and mentally fill in what the fundamental should be. That's why you can hear even a low B on a decent recording played through a relatively crappy car radio.
    Pbassmanca and RSBBass like this.
  8. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    I basically agree with Michaeln about the "psychoacoustics": much of what people hear with low bass is harmonic content. However, yes, to get a strong fundamental, you would like the cabinet to have a good low frequency extension. This does not mean that you always need it to be flat down to 41 Hz. One can compensate with EQ and lots of power. I have an 18" Carvin that will generate a big low E, but I do have to dump a lot of power into it. Another case in point (although I don't have experience with one, just info. from factory specs.) is the Ampeg SVT 810 cabinet. It's flat down to about 60 Hz. (which is about a B above low E). Yet, because of its size and power handling, it can generate prodigious volume at low E if enough power is applied.

    Personally, there are situations in which I really want a strong fundamental, which is why I'm scoping out cabinets again. I'm also mindful of possibly getting a 5-string someday, which means I'm looking for cabinets that do well down to around 30 Hz. Ampeg's SVT 215 , SWR's Big Ben, and some others seem to have good specifications.

    Pbassmanca likes this.
  9. lawnpatio


    Jun 27, 2000
    You say you have a Carvin 18? Would it be possible to play with just that or would you need to hook it up with some 10s for a more complete sound?

  10. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    You can use the 18 alone if you don't like/need higher frequency stuff. It might do well with a Jamey Jamerson (Motown) bass sound, where there is very little treble. I'm sure some (older) rock styles are similar. However, if you like to hear much in the way of overtones and/or do slap style, then the Carvin 18 isn't enough to give you a full range or "punchy" transient response. I use it in a stack with a Carvin 2x10 (+horn). The two combined give a well-rounded sound that's good for most any style.
    - Mike
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  11. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    You can go with a bi-amp system, use a 410 for the upper frequencies, and use a powered 15" sub woofer. Get an amp with an adjustable crossover then you can split the load, keep the very low freqs out of the smaller speakers (410), and push the 15" crossed somewhere from 100z, depends on the cab's roll-off and the sub's roll-on.
    With the adjustable crossover frequency and adjustable level, you can match most any 15" sub to any 410 cab.

    Have a look into bi-amp systems. Best if you can afford a calibrated microphone to set it up, or get a tech to measure and show you how to match them.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  12. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Holy crap. Almost a 17 year old thread. Most participants haven't been around in years. Impressive necro, @Bubble
    Pbassmanca, rtav, bobyoung53 and 2 others like this.
  13. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Nothing impressive about it in my book! I just wasted the time reading through the damn thing!! :rollno:

    A total of 23 posts and this has to be one of them!! :(
    bobyoung53 and S-Bigbottom like this.
  14. Bubble


    Apr 17, 2013
    No time wasted when you learn bi-amping. I'm finding most of the power is used to make sound about 300hz and down. By the time you get up to 3khz and up, only 15 to 20% of the rms power is used by the tweeter. I'll have to find a power distribution chart to remember for sure, but I use a low crossover at 150 to 300hz for the smaller speakers (stereo at 300hz cause it's dainty). Those 410's will be much more reliable when you push the lows onto a 15" sub that can much easier handle it. At least on the lower priced stuff I see those how to replace a blown driver videos on YouTube.
    I'm just starting into this officially on a bass amp, I have used that on stereos with great results.
    It's a lot better than just trying to run both the 410 and 15 on one amp with no crossover.
    seamonkey likes this.
  15. NoteChart_FretFreq.
  16. Ampslut


    May 15, 2017
    Fundamental E and B are at frequencies that you pretty much feel and can only hear in a anechoic chamber or a good set of headphones. When you play a low E the pitch you actually hear is 82 hz which is one octave higher or the 1st harmonic. And with low B 62 hz (or so). Reproducing those fundamentals is the domain of subwoofers, pipe organs and some very large or inefficient bass cabs. There was a time when I was all crazy about reproducing those fundamentals. I bi-amped a EV S181 sub with a Hartke 4.5XL with a QSC USA 1320. It looked and sounded cool by itself but was pretty much a waste of time and energy to set it up for a gig. All that low frequency rumble caused more problems than it solved especially with a boomy room.
    40Hz likes this.
  17. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    You can not look only at the fundamental, the total harmonics of the lower frequency notes may be larger than the fundamental itself.
    Pbassmanca, Munjibunga and Ampslut like this.
  18. Al Kraft

    Al Kraft Supporting Member

    May 2, 2016
    Northern Virginia
    IME many of the better cab builders actually capitalize on that in their cab designs, and to my ear it works out much better than overly focusing/perseverating on producing the the fundamental.
    40Hz likes this.
  19. Play some gentle constant voltage sines through your rigs. You will hear the response totally tank below 60hz unless you have some super big cab. When you turn them up you will hear distortion in the harmonic overtone same tone as the octave above.

    Don't be fooled into hearing 40hz, your brain is good at that. It's how the SVT sounds so strong on a low E with roughly nil 40Hz coming out.
    40Hz likes this.
  20. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa, Product Support-Genz Benz
    Certainly works out better than focusing only on the low end extension at the cost of the rest of the performance parameters.
    40Hz and Al Kraft like this.

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