Why do so many people have problems with bass?

I mean such obsession with bass. Does not your systems play bass?  Is it the quality of the bass?

Maybe my system does a really good job and I don't perceive any problems, or maybe I don't know I have a problem.

What is so challenging for systems to produce quality bass?

Is it that they don't hear enough thud?? What hertz range we talking about? It's a pretty wide range.


Here’s a good explanation with diagrams by B&K who makes measurement microphones (their professional and consumer high end mic division was taken over by DPA several years ago. They rank right up there with Schoeps microphones).


I am perfectly content with the bass response from my Vandersteen Treo’s and the positioning in my listening room. I have also listened quite a bit to friends with Vandersteen Quatro Wood and Model 7’s that sound fantastic but in my setting I don’t feel like I am missing anything. It’s all about what we hear and enjoy and I am often amazed at how great my system sounds. 

I think some people  add Subwoofers to a system and don’t get them dialed up properly which is not always an easy task and what you get is boomy overbearing bass.
I added a pair of subwoofers to my office system with stand mount speakers and until I got the subs tuned in and blending in with the monitors the bass response was boomy and awful. There are some people out there (probably not on this thread) that want the bass to dominate the music but not me. I tuned in the subs to blend in with the monitors perfectly for my ear and they disappear in with the monitors while producing a great sounding bass response.

And I agree with what others have said that while it does come down to personal preference some folks just don’t know what proper bass is supposed to sound like.


Why do so many people have problems with bass?

Geez guys. Imagine having bought your 1st high end system and then coming back to the dealer and asking him/her, "Why am I having trouble getting bass from my system?" And the salesman giving you the theory of bass, the theory of reproducing bass, theory of the making of a bass instrument, the wavelength of the bass note and on and on he goes with all theoretical factors and theories OF bass but never really answering the question posed.

Would those theories OF bass make you feel better about the bass shy system you just spent a lot of $$$ on? Or would you like a straight answer to the question. The wave length of a certain bass note is the same today as it was in 1900. It hasn’t changed. Nor have the rooms makeup changed very much either except larger rooms. But my 60 yrs of music listening has shown me that the bass response of the typical speaker has changed a lot, starting in the 1980’s. Before that I got good bass from every speaker I had in every room I put it without a subwoofer. But today, subs are almost required to get proper bass unless you spend lots of $$$ on speakers


@engineears while I agree with some of what you say, I disagree in principle and fact with a lot of it.

Bass nodes, the high and low peak are totally predictable. There are even simple tools on the web to help. Those nodes are always a function of the distance of walls from each other. How deep those hills and valleys are is impacted by speaker position. This is also fairly simple to understand, predictable, and again there are simple tools to help understand.

You also ignore some simple rules and simple solutions. A simple rule and solution is never use one sub. Always use two of more. More subs in the right spots, smaller hills and valleys. Simple rule, if your main speakers are in bad spots for bass out of necessity, then don't let them play that bass if you have that option. Let the subs do all the bass work. Your mains may be happier as well. Simple solutions, you can buy subs with room correction built in. You can also use external devices to control this.

@asvjerry - Deep bass in that song, but not really deep. Bass guitar does not have much below 40Hz, and very little below 35Hz. You were not wrong @daledeee1. Piano can go lower, but not used much, and electronic music can. Some orchestra instruments can but will not account for much of the music.


I learned to love my Bass listening to Lesh and the Dead In the 70's live- I saw the "Wall of Sound" maybe 10 times and you could hear a drumstick break 50 yards away. The watts was  like 50, 000 and the system itself was famously built in the first place because the Bass needed a 40' standing wave to operate properly. For home use after owning many homes and many systems of only moderate means (SoCal); I could never get the real Bass I wanted to deliver and finally just sort of gave up. I Use a couple of Harbeth 30.1's now and I always must remind myself not to go get some Subwoofers- Tho I shop.