How much bass is enough?

How much bass is enough?
I want much more than flat
7% (30 votes)
I like a little more than flat
38% (162 votes)
I like it flat
45% (191 votes)
I prefer a little less bass than flat
7% (29 votes)
I hate bass
1% (3 votes)
No fish in my house
3% (12 votes)
Total votes: 427

Reader T. Bloom asks: "Do you tend towards bass frequency-response accuracy, or would you prefer either a little more or a little less bass than measures flat in your listening room?" In other words, how much bass is enough?

ArielG's picture

Jah, i rather preffer flat, but sometimes, I dream about having enough bass power to shake the whole building.

Jim G.'s picture

I want the string bass and tympani to sound like they are in the room. I want Keith Moon and John Entwhistle to sound like they are in the room, but with volume control. I like to have the room excited by the energy of the sound. If you have good bass you don't need as much overall volume. IMHO

Lance's picture

I can't think of very many things I like that are flat. Bass may be the only one.

wwenze's picture

In an ideal situation, flat would be the best, so that when the music asks for huge, thumpy bass, you get huge, thumpy bass; when it should be smooth-flowing musical, it gives you that. In reality, our systems do not have enough dynamics to react well to the sudden increase in bass demands, or the seperation is not good such that the bass covers up other sound, so it'd become a matter of personal choice. I like a little bit more bass for that required impact, if you really want to ask.

OvenMaster's picture

I like it flat, even though my speakers only have usable response down to 37Hz.

doug flatbass's picture

I have to say I like it flat because that is what a true audiophile must say. But sometimes, just sometimes, when no one is looking, I have been known to turn it up a smidge. Mostly with yer rock'n'roll.

BILL CRANE's picture

I prefer fast, clean, accurate bass that propagates well into the room. It must blend with the mains and be sonically invisible. My TBI Magellan VIII subs won’t tear down the house with booming bass (they don’t boom), but they have flat bass that actually sounds like music.

F.  Chasinovsky, Van Nuys, CA.'s picture

Bass is an important component of music. It should not be over-emphasized, nor stifled. Rather, bass ought to sound as it was recorded--as it was meant to be heard by the artist/engineer. Bottom line (no pun intended)? One must have the requisite equipment to produce bass as it was recorded. If that means your're listening to Zeppelin and your listening room foundation shakes, so be it. Conversely, if you're listening to chamber music and your floor still shakes, you ought to consider replacing your system piece by piece.

Bill Jones's picture

Most likely the speakers in the recording control room were not equalized to have flat bass, so the bass in my room shouldn't be flat either.

Phalgun's picture

I hate too much boom but a little more than flat for Rock and R&B sounds good. Jazz sounds great at flat.

martin's picture

anything else cannot be high fidelity.

Jim M's picture

Just a slight bump.

Thaddeus Jones's picture

i current have two sunfire subwoofers paired up with a pair of klipsch klf 20's set up in my listening room

Gary D.  Carson's picture

I believe that bass is the heartbeat of the music/song. Without it there can be no true seperation of harmonics.

Alex's picture

I like it much more than flat at low volumes, decreasing to flat at reference volume -- basically following equal loudness curves. So, that generally means my subs run hot.

Ed Roth's picture

My listening room is "live" 15x22 with a 15 foot cathedral ceiling.On some recordings the bass can be a bit overwhelming and at certain volume levels the low end can become quite incoherent.The room has great reinforcement if not pushed too hard though,so flat is good at my house.

Nate's picture

Being a drummer, I always enjoy "feeling" sound more than most. Accuracy is the key. If it is a sloppy wash of bass, I just assume do without.

pathfinder's picture

Bass is an inherent part of music. At low volume listening, human ears cannot perceive well both bass and treble because of the Fletcher-Munson effect. In the old days, this was to some extent controlled by a loudness compensation switch on the pre-amp. So bass must should be enhanced for low level listening. Also earphones listening can benefit from a slight boost in the bass region as it is very diificult to get an airtight seal when using these.

Iqbal Mustafa's picture

Flat on which system? satellite speakers at flat will roll off at 80Hz... Utopea Grande at flat will go down to 16Hz... This is a silly question, gimme a break

G.C.  Van Winkle's picture

if "flat" describes what is actually on the recording, than that is what I want. truthfully, accurate bass requires a willingness to "work the room" - positioning speakers, subwoofer(s), listening chair and adding bass traps until the bass really is "flat". it's not going to come that way out of the box no matter what components you buy...

eherdian's picture

flat according to my ear maybe... some recording have less bass.. and some too much bass, which one is flat?

ZhIHQYzKxGGJNsLgfOV's picture
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