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  • Low End Reproduction

    Al kinda hinted at this in his speaker thread.

    I was lucky enough to have last Wednesday night off from work allowing Heidi and me to to catch our sub guitar teacher Tomasso's jazz trio performing at the Bar Next Door on McDougal St. in Greenwich Village. The Bar Next Door's downstairs venue is very intimate setting; so intimate, in fact, that there's only inches to spare between the top of the double bass and the ceiling (usually you might just find a duo of sax and bass performing here!). Smalls looks downright cavernous by comparison! Needless to say, we had a very up close and personal view of among some great pieces, works by Jobim and Horace Silver.

    Songs aside, what really struck me was the sound of the double bass. Audiophiles often debate whether solid-state or tubes sound better in the lower frequencies. Are dynamic drivers, panels, horns or electrostatics better at reproducing the lowest octaves of music. Not that this is any surprise, but they all seem very wrong. Not only tonally, but to a large extent missing or blurring the pulse of the music that is ever-so obvious live. Solid-state sounds far too overdamped. Tubes on the other hand, just a bit rounded but on the whole, closer to the sound of the real instrument. Dynamics drivers perhaps a shade more realistic and having a greater sense of ease than panels.

    Anybody else care to share their experiences?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    A guy I went to high school with was a bass player. Not just any bass player, he ended up doing studio work around the country and in touring bands for some of the biggest singers of the day. He played electric and upright (a fair amount of studio work was jazz and female vocalists) and he considered the upright more of a purist instrument despite not as flexible as an electric. Used to listen to him a bit at local performances many years back.

    Upright is difficult to reproduce. Most speakers simply don't get the over/undertones right and miss much of the woody resonance. Doesn't matter of it's plucked or bowed. And it doesn't stop there, cello or D-45 12 are much the same, big bodied stringed instruments. Low notes on an upright should shudder when played with enthusiasm, in particular when bowed.

    IMO, to properly reproduce this takes a speaker that is flat to at least 30 Hz, efficient for the macro dynamics and able to do micro-dynamics to accurately catch the subtle tonalities which vary with the individual note and force with which that note is played. Each differently energizes the body.

    I've heard an upright done well by the big Magnapans driven by 300 watts of Mac but the image was a little larger than life. Horns not so much, the lowest frequencies don't seem to integrate quite right. Admittedly I have not heard most the Euro horns. Which leaves large dynamics. As with the horns, integration of the lowest tones can be an issue, and inefficient speakers need not apply. But done properly a dynamic will get more right than others, one that provides a better consolidated image rather than discontinuous sound from separate drivers. If you are hearing separate drivers, whatever other qualities the speaker may have, it's still a dud.

    As usual, I probably didn't quite express my thoughts all that well but you get the gist of it.

    Comment


    • #3
      It's also a far harder instrument to correctly Mike than people appreciate.

      An interesting overview on the situation. Perhaps Jonathan can jump in here and share some of his experiences!

      http://www.recordingmag.com/resource...etail/204.html
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Rust View Post
        A guy I went to high school with was a bass player. Not just any bass player, he ended up doing studio work around the country and in touring bands for some of the biggest singers of the day. He played electric and upright (a fair amount of studio work was jazz and female vocalists) and he considered the upright more of a purist instrument despite not as flexible as an electric. Used to listen to him a bit at local performances many years back.

        Upright is difficult to reproduce. Most speakers simply don't get the over/undertones right and miss much of the woody resonance. Doesn't matter of it's plucked or bowed. And it doesn't stop there, cello or D-45 12 are much the same, big bodied stringed instruments. Low notes on an upright should shudder when played with enthusiasm, in particular when bowed.

        IMO, to properly reproduce this takes a speaker that is flat to at least 30 Hz, efficient for the macro dynamics and able to do micro-dynamics to accurately catch the subtle tonalities which vary with the individual note and force with which that note is played. Each differently energizes the body.

        I've heard an upright done well by the big Magnapans driven by 300 watts of Mac but the image was a little larger than life. Horns not so much, the lowest frequencies don't seem to integrate quite right. Admittedly I have not heard most the Euro horns. Which leaves large dynamics. As with the horns, integration of the lowest tones can be an issue, and inefficient speakers need not apply. But done properly a dynamic will get more right than others, one that provides a better consolidated image rather than discontinuous sound from separate drivers. If you are hearing separate drivers, whatever other qualities the speaker may have, it's still a dud.

        As usual, I probably didn't quite express my thoughts all that well but you get the gist of it.
        No that was great! I share much of the same sentiments. It is always striking to me that we expect systems to reproduce large scale music when we can't get the sound of solo instruments as simple as a guitar or double bass right first. And we just don't appreciate how much is lost at the mike end. I've heard engineers give estimates that 20% of the music is lost at the very beginning with the mikes. That's huge.
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post

          No that was great! I share much of the same sentiments. It is always striking to me that we expect systems to reproduce large scale music when we can't get the sound of solo instruments as simple as a guitar or double bass right first. And we just don't appreciate how much is lost at the mike end. I've heard engineers give estimates that 20% of the music is lost at the very beginning with the mikes. That's huge.
          Playing devil's advocate----- Kinda makes it pointless to invest heavily in gear when you can't retrieve what ain't there.
          Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

          Comment


          • #6
            For sale: New electronic gizmo that retrieves the 20% that was lost at the microphone. The information was really there all along, it was just folded into a digital file and hidden until the new gizmo could decode it.
            Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post

              Playing devil's advocate----- Kinda makes it pointless to invest heavily in gear when you can't retrieve what ain't there.
              Conversely to save as much of what's left!
              Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
              Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
              ________________________________________

              -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
              -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
              -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
              -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
              -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
              -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
              -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
              -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
              -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
              -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

              Comment


              • Johnny Vinyl
                Johnny Vinyl commented
                Editing a comment
                Haha! Nice retort!

              • JCOConnell
                JCOConnell commented
                Editing a comment
                +1

            • #8
              I think you've hit on something important. As a recording engineer (for me at least) the hardest thing to record is the acoustic bass (followed by voice). But bass is the hardest. As mentioned above, capturing those harmonics is a B. Firstly, the mic has to be able to capture it and that is hard. Most mics don't. Heck, most mics don't capture many things including cymbals. Listen to any recording and you'll hear the cymbals sound synthetic. So the mic is key followed by positioning of the mic or mics to get the correct sound coming off the bass in that room. Then isolating it naturally from other instruments in the recording is another problem as mentioned in the article cited above. And I've recorded bass maybe 3 - 4 times sort of correctly. And then as Myles pointed out reproducing it (if it is there at all to reproduce) is another layer. What speaker/amp/etc., combo does it best I don't know. Quad 57s have the most accurate sound of any speaker I've heard but they don't go deep enough and aren't dynamic enough to reproduce the bass properly. But when I do approximate the sound of the bass on an analog tape as in the Roebke and Colby tapes, you can hear a difference, such as the space and air and some of the harmonics and woody sound. But I've never gotten it totally right. Very rough to do in my opinion.
              JLH

              Comment


              • #9
                Interesting comments Jonathan. I thought the traditional "tough to record" instrument was the piano, partly due to range, and partly due to the harmonics, but you are probably right- most acoustic bass sounds too closely miked compared to the real thing in a club-I hear the tension on the instrument in a way that I never hear sitting in the audience. I have more experience with piano- the harmonics are amazing if it is a good instrument and it is set up correctly (my old Bosendorfer used to sing in the high registers, but required hours of "voicing" by a seasoned pro, and that magic seemed to fade after a couple weeks. It was a very old piano). Crazy, though, when you think about some of the older, simple jazz recordings- Way Out West or Hoodoo Man Blues--I know for certain the latter was done very simply, and suspect the same was true of the Sonny Rollins record. Probably tube mikes? Dunno. There's as much art as science to doing this--
                regards,

                Comment


                • #10
                  Way out West was definitely recorded using tube mikes. I think I have more than several old jazz recordings with really good sounding acoustic bass. To try and compare everything you hear live with the best you can hear it recorded is currently a dirt road. We should be happy we capture and reproduce as much as we do.
                  Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    Thanks for the above two comments. Way Out West was recorded by a genius, Ray DuNann, and yes using tube mics. He was beyond anyone and may still be. Surely ran circles around Rudy Van Gelder. Ever hear Rudy's piano sound? Not good. I remember Chick Corea mentioning it to me and how bad the sound was of the piano with Rudy. May have been the piano itself as well. That doesn't minimize what Rudy did for Blue Note and other labels. But we're speaking of a high standard in this thread. Piano is hard to do as well but if you find the right mics or the right stereo mic, well that is 95% of it. Most mics don't work well on piano and you hear clanking and harshness most of the time. Or the way the piano is mic'd as well with the wrong distance or too close or pointed funny ways to try and catch every detail. But piano to me is 3 times as easy as acoustic bass. I still haven't figured it out yet.
                    JLH

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Originally posted by mep View Post
                      Way out West was definitely recorded using tube mikes. I think I have more than several old jazz recordings with really good sounding acoustic bass. To try and compare everything you hear live with the best you can hear it recorded is currently a dirt road. We should be happy we capture and reproduce as much as we do.
                      Reportedly among them Tele U-47s and AKG C-12 mikes. Interestingly no mike preamps and simple mixing board created that trademark Contemporary "sound." They were also recorded dry and a plate reverb unit was placed between the tape deck and lathe; unfortunately, this wasn't followed on the reissues ergo some of these OJCs are very dry sounding.

                      Howard Holzer was also a big contributor to Contemporary ergo HAECO amplifiers for the cutting lathes (Holzer Audio Engineering Company). One of Bernie's lathes is set up with an old, updated pair of HAECOs.

                      http://www.soundfountain.com/contemp...temporary.html
                      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                      ________________________________________

                      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                      -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                      Comment


                      • #13
                        I have been on record for years as saying that Way Out West was recorded so well that most modern recording engineers should hang their heads in shame when they hear what was laid down in 1957. Some people on other forums actually wanted to argue with me that there was nothing special about how Way Out West sounds. Of course they only listen to CD and the biggest mouth had a desktop stereo system that consisted of his McIntosh laptop and a small pair of powered speakers that sat on top of his computer desk. Go Figure.
                        Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                        Comment


                        • MylesBAstor
                          MylesBAstor commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Guess the adage ignorance is bliss applies here.

                      • #14
                        Originally posted by jonathanhorwich View Post
                        Thanks for the above two comments. Way Out West was recorded by a genius, Ray DuNann, and yes using tube mics. He was beyond anyone and may still be. Surely ran circles around Rudy Van Gelder. Ever hear Rudy's piano sound? Not good. I remember Chick Corea mentioning it to me and how bad the sound was of the piano with Rudy. May have been the piano itself as well. That doesn't minimize what Rudy did for Blue Note and other labels. But we're speaking of a high standard in this thread. Piano is hard to do as well but if you find the right mics or the right stereo mic, well that is 95% of it. Most mics don't work well on piano and you hear clanking and harshness most of the time. Or the way the piano is mic'd as well with the wrong distance or too close or pointed funny ways to try and catch every detail. But piano to me is 3 times as easy as acoustic bass. I still haven't figured it out yet.
                        I love both but think DuNann is highly underrated!

                        A great interview with Roy and a must watch for any jazz lover, audiophile or record collector. And WOW is mentioned in the interview!

                        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                        ________________________________________

                        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                        -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
                        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

                        Comment

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