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Linn Owners

Where’s the bass?!

Gdp65

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This Xmas I went to a wonderful performance of the nutcracker at the ENO. As I revelled in the wonderful sound of live music, I couldn’t help but be amazed on how that bass drum resonated through the airwaves and filled the huge auditorium. Upon coming home and listening to my (technically advanced) eBay pricey exakt system the question arose: where’s the bass? Have we all been “sold a pup” with space optimisation? Have linn brainwashed our ears into believing the evil “room colouration” story?

Also recently I giggled at a Facebook post by the Chord company talking about “burning” in cables! And read amazed at the pricey “revolutionary” DAC’s they have to offer at ever escalating prices.

So now as I listen to my Bowers and Wilkins P5 headphones £60 from CEX, (which incidentally has no chance for room colouration, hopefully not in my head anyway) I got to thinking: is it all a bunch of gobbledygook and have we let technology for hard earned £ get in the way to basic live sounding hifi?

I understand you can tweak here and tweak there, but are the hifi companies (not just Linn) just selling us ideas to line their pockets?

Would really like to hear opinions.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

HansBertil

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“Where’s the bass?!”

Isn’t it one click away? Turn SO off. Or are we talking about even more bass?
 

 
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akamatsu

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Where's the bass?

It's in the source. A good quality source is the source of good quality bass.

Turn up the volume. It takes more sound pressure (dBs) to perceive bass than it does higher frequencies.

I have Space Optimisation set to all default values. Optimisation Preference slider is at 20/80 (default). All absorption sliders are at 0. I think one of the keys to getting good bass with SO on is to measure all room dimensions very accurately. This will ensure the correct frequencies are attenuated. Then, setting absorption values to 0 will take a deeper and narrower cut at the identified room mode frequencies. Increasing absorption takes a wider and shallower cut at the frequencies. I think that accurately targeting the problem frequencies with a narrower cut helps to preserve overall bass energy.

Your post inspired me to put on Madonna's "Ray of Light;" a rather bass heavy album. I wouldn't want there to be any more bass than there is on that album. All this while SO is doing it's magic.

P.S. And all this is a rather poor representation of live music. :D

 
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Nestor Turton

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Also recently I giggled at a Facebook post by the Chord company talking about “burning” in cables! And read amazed at the pricey “revolutionary” DAC’s they have to offer at ever escalating prices.
Not sure what it says on The Facebook (never used it), but these are two very different companies.

Chord Company based in Salisbury assembles boutique cables from reasonable well made leads to highly expensive ones that produce unusual effects. I am not a great fan of audiophile cables and use wires from Canare and Van Damme (Linn cables with Linn). 

Chord Electronics based in Maidstone designs and manufactures amplification and DACs. Compared with some exotic brands they are quite reasonably priced. The Chord DACs were among the first to use FPGAs rather than off the shelf DAC chips. The hardware architecture is similar to Linn’s Organik. The main difference is the FPGA Chord uses to create a reconstruction filter. The technology is interesting to me as my job before retiring involved FPGAs. The designer Rob Watts is very interesting to talk with and has answered many questions about how his algorithms work. Chord amplifiers, designed by John Franks, are also a bit different. I have a Chord Choral system and really like it, but cannot say it has exceptional bass as I use it with Harbeth speakers that are based on the BBC LS3/5A design for studio monitoring so my setup is probably bass shy.  

The advantage of Linn electronics for me is Space Optimisation as it lets me position speakers in my lounge in a way that is domestically acceptable. And, of course, there is the LP12. 

Whether any of this is value for money is debatable, but that is true for almost any commodity. People buy expensive cars when a small inexpensive car would do as well or if COVID ever goes away get the bus. Personally, if I were given a Ferrari then I’d sell it and use the money for something else. If I were given a next generation Linn Klimax DSM then I’d be absolutely delighted. I do not think these commodities are overpriced as having helped design and implement a secure computing network with FPGAs I have an appreciation of the costs, but whether we needed to go as far as we did when common off the shelf (COTS) commodities could have sufficed - however, I know our customer was delighted and did not want COTS. For me, it’s the same with audio. 

 
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Moomintroll

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I couldn’t help but be amazed on how that bass drum resonated through the airwaves and filled the huge auditorium.
This is likely to be a function of the size of the room allowing bass waves to fully develop and the force with which the drum is being struck. Interestingly, the pitch of a kettle drum is typically around 150Hz, so not that low, compared to the double bass low E at 41Hz.

’troll

 
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Moomintroll

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I wouldn't want there to be any more bass than there is on that album.
I’m with Akamatsu on this. I’m listening to a stream of Eric Bibb’s “Dear America” as I type and at a very moderate 50 on the DSM and wouldn’t want any more bass. If I disable SO, the bass becomes incredibly heavy, oppressive and tuneless. And I thought this was what it should sound like before SO. Follow the tune, not the sound.

’troll

 
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Fallguy

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I also like to properly position my speakers and have my space optimized. But I don't want to do without space optimization. If, for example, you have a nasty mode at your listening position, there is little you can do physically to counteract it.

 

dikki

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I have always told myself when I upgrade that I should be able to hear the difference. By now I might have reached a point where I don't hear that much difference anymore. Not enough for the price at least. 

About bass, I can tell you a funny story (well, I think it's funny). I changed the room setup drastically at one point. Before that, SO had to take care of an empty space of almost 2 meters behind the speakers. Something SO was not really meant to do, so it took a while to setup. Read: add a lot of bass. When I changed the room however, suddenly there was a wall 30 cm behind both speakers. I kept the settings, because I was waiting for de dealer to set that up. I noticed there was a bit too much bass. Then my neighbour was asking hey, what are you doing in there? Is there a war going on?!? It put a whole new perspective for me to the meaning of thunderous. 

 
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Pennypacker

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I also want to add that bass is not always in the music as one likes to perceive it.. 

Play the following tracks for simple test IMHO: Daft Punk - Get Lucky and/or Eagles - Hotel California live. I can “feel”  the kicks in my living room with the Keltiks. SO is dialled in at the moment.

 

akamatsu

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I also want to add that bass is not always in the music as one likes to perceive it.. 

Play the following tracks for simple test IMHO: Daft Punk - Get Lucky and/or Eagles - Hotel California live. I can “feel”  the kicks in my living room with the Keltiks. SO is dialled in at the moment.
If I find that my system lacks bass, I just put on a different recording and there it is. I'll have to break out the Daft Punk album today. :rockin:

 

fredbatch

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Here’s a few other bass belting Keiltik thrivers I enjoy. SO or room taming of some kind highly recommended.

  • Blue Orchid (High Contrast Mix) - White Stripes
  • It Hurts Me Too - Keb Mo’
  • Tin Pan Alley - Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Simple Mind - Otis Taylor
  • Rollin’ Tumblin’ Remix - R.L. Burnside
  • Brush with the Blues - Jeff Beck
  • Walk on Water - Little Axe
  • Sabali - Rokia Traore
  • Going’ Down South - The Juke Joint Highball
  • Oriental Bass - Renaud Garcia-Fons
  • Jumper On The Line - The Mystix
  • Humdinger (Live) - J.J. Cale
 
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Pedro2

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I do not own Linn speakers or sub but I do appreciate my Akurate’s application of Space - I’ve reverted to using v1 as it only affects the sub and you can dial in settings that have bigger impact. I now have my sub volume at a reasonable settings - before with version 2, the sub gain was very low. With Space turned off, the sound is awful - masses of boomy, mushy bass.

I do appreciate, however, that some may find using speakers full range without a sub, may sound better with Space turned off.

 

Sound Hound

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As Akamatsu said in post 4....

It's in the source. A good quality source is the source of good quality bass.
Turn up the volume. It takes more sound pressure (dBs) to perceive bass than it does higher frequencies.

A surprising number of "hi-fi enthusiasts" on here openly admit they never listen at live levels ! I'm not suggesting you (the OP) are one such person, but if you do not (listen at live levels) your enjoyment of your system will fall short, not least for the reason Akamatsu pointed out. Think back - "Loudness" buttons used to be commonplace on consumer "Hi-Fi" - they were there for precisely the reason Akamatsu alludes to !

While I'm here, WTF has happened to this forum? - None of my (many) bookmarks work anymore. I thought there was a site outage, but no - it's working - but not from my bookmarks !
 
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Sound Hound

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Of course, there's one vital piece of information missing - that being on what particular Linn Exakt system is Gdp65 expecting to hear this bass ?
Hopefully not on unsupported (by a sub) 109's !!