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Advanced Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 370
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 12:20 pm:   Edit Post

Whilst surfing the other night, I ran across this little essay in the forward to a product from AER, the German amp manufacturer. I've never seen amplifying a bass explained any better than this:

"Distortion-free, powerful low-bass reproduction in particular is constantly at odds with physics, human perception, and what cost accounting admits as being marketable. The following points have to be kept in mind:

"Much more energy is required to make really deep tones as audible as mid-range or treble tones. The goal is a balanced reproduction of the authentic tone of the instrument independently of resonanace and formants. This is where several problems can theoretically add up:

---Human hearing is much more sensitive to the mid-range than to the other ranges.

---The instrument does NOT display its individual spectrum at all uniformly. There are great differences in level, diffraction, and vibration period. There are cancellations and intensifications.

---Low-bass reproduction requires more energy and places considerably greater demands on both the materials and components. In particular when supplementary amplification is made by the means of the tone control (for example: +15db at 80hz corresponds to 5.6 times the voltage at that point).

"The 'bass' is a very demanding instrument as far as its tone is concerned. Its sound producing capabilities range over the entire audio spectrum. However, the distribution with respect to level is quite disproportional. Except in the case of the contrabass, there is little natural bass to be found, but a considerable amount of lower mid-range and mid-range, and little in the way of natural treble. Particularly when the sound is to be amplified, the spectrum of the instruments played ( double-bass, electric double-bass, passive electric bass-guitar, active electric bass-guitar, acoustic bass guitar) require an acoustic processing of the bass signal in order to acquire a tone that will be felt to be beautiful. As a rule, the bass and especially the treble range are considerable amplified in order to acquire a more balanced signal to be processed further by means of lavish tone controls.

"The chance co-ordination of tone pickups, preamplifiers, and power amplifiers, each with control facilities of variable quality of its own, quickly leads to boundaries consisting in a mediocre signal-to-noise ratio of the system as a whole, as well to an impaired dynamic range since the power amplifier, the power source, or the components too quickly reach the performance limit."

This is of course a considerable distillation of what goes on in the amp, and what designers face. We've often spoken here of your sound consisting of your entire signal chain. But I've never seen the challenges expressed so squarely in a short explanantion.

Thought you'd like it, and I'm very impressed that AER would give you this insight into how they designed the product represented in this Owner's Manual.

J o e y
Username: valvil

Post Number: 659
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 12:49 pm:   Edit Post

AER products are great. The store I used to work at carries them. They were very popular with upright players; pretty expensive stuff, but worth the money.

Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 1949
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 1:14 pm:   Edit Post

Hi Brother Joey,

well ...a real brother Joey text I should say.
I don't get every detailed word of it right but I get the drift.
Don't know the brand though I've seen similar texts on the Glockenklang site.
As you know ...they make amps too!

Paul the bad one

PS: Brother Joey how is Mrs Joey????
Advanced Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 371
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 9:39 pm:   Edit Post

My Belgian Brother (always to me, the GOOD Paul):

As I input this (around Midnight, Thursday), she's asleep. We had to go back to the hospital for 10 days at the end of January. The radiation which killed the lung cancer left a badly burned spot in her lung which slowly turned into radiation pneumonitis: Essentially a localised but serious radiation-induced pneumonia. After buckets of industrial strength antibiotics, they killed the infection, but she's had to breathe oxygen (100% in the hospital) and since she's been home, we've almost weaned her down to regular room air. She's now in the best shape she's been in since the end of her cancer treatment in early November. Since they wanted to get a complete diagnosis, she repeated a series of scans which showed the cancer is still gone.

She is part of a research study for the lung-cancer medication IRESSA, a pill which is an after-treatment follow-on to kill any cells which may try to return. It is cancer-specific as opposed to the broad-spectrum chemotherapy. Her fabulous oncologist, Dr. Denise Yardley at Tennesse Oncology, included her in this study, and we're tickled to do anything she asks us: After all, she saved my wife's life.

Now you see why I woldn't get too shook up waiting for ALEMBIC to finish my custom bass, if I could afford it. I've learned their are MUCH bigger fish to fry in this life.

How are things with you, and were you able to make satisfactory arrangements for your kid here in the States?

J o e y
Senior Member
Username: palembic

Post Number: 1950
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 10, 2005 - 11:14 pm:   Edit Post

Brother Joey,

it is GOOD to here from you on the misses side. Some of the people I frequently call in the US -after all ...we ARE becoming friends in this band of low frequency addicts- were trying to send you a mail privately or call privately to support you. "Did you got news from misses Joey" was a frequently heard question.

Anyway this news makes my day . It is nearly 08 o'clock in the morning when I type this and I have to leave in half an hour to the courthouse to close my own company and put down my books.
Well goes on and I am happy with that gift of life. Your testimony just confirmed that.

About Joost my son. The info-brochures of different schools in the US are coming in but we know already now that we are too late for a start in september. IFF it will be realised it has to be next year in september.
It has to do with money too. After all it IS expensive. The courses ...well can choose in what system you go. The info of for instance a Rhode Island school gave price "per course" you take for 6 or 12 months.
The toughest thing to realise is the Visa for 6 months or 12 months: US embassy wants the garanty that you will be able to provide in your own needs for life need the 'live-money' for a year US practically/theoretically in advance. OK ...Joos is a hard-working kid and can always do some jobs (for instance he has the full international license for life-saver in swimming pools and he does this as a job also here in Belgium aside his studies). It is soemthing else to study and NOT to have you parents there to assist. SO ...a job in the US will only partially do it.

Anyway ...I got also a LOT of reactions from our club-members and Joost is on mailing-terms with some of our brothers in his chase for info.
The "Paper Chase"?? No ...not yet.

My regards to misses Joey and give her a hug from me.


PS1: about those amp-thing: I remember you saying once is a thread (long time ago,back in the dark ages of this club) that working with a Power Amp (with a preamp) with enough headroom DRAMATICALLY change the bass sound. Thoase words made me buy mine. You were right. Though I have to sell mine now simply for weight reasons. The Dynacord L-1000 -brilliant amp, in the US they are sols under Electrovoice- weights 20K's!!! I aqm looking for a second hand 9K one. The QSC PLX 2402 would do the thing.

PS2: ...make that 2 hugs ...and from all of us ...that will do the thing for a while I Guess!
Advanced Member
Username: bob

Post Number: 378
Registered: 11-2002
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 12:07 am:   Edit Post


What a small world, or maybe tight group of friends.

I had just read your post here, and Paul asking about "Mrs Joey" just prior.

Going back to late December, I had been away from the club for a while, was several days into trying to catch up when I stumbled onto your "Life is GOOD" post. I was too late to join in at that point, but couldn't do anything else but spend the next hour or so writing an email to you, which then of course bounced because your address was out of date (and still is, so either update it or mail me sometime, eh?).

Anyway, one of the things I said in that mail was,

"If it feels right to you, perhaps someday you might share with us her name. Though you've always referred to her here with the utmost respect, love, admiration, and perhaps even deference, she is much more than Mrs. Wilson."

And I remembered that you finally did! So I went off searching (painfully slow, as always), then Paul responded before I got back, which is a little strange in itself because we spoke on the phone earlier in my day but he's hopefully had a good sleep since then (big day starting for him).

Anyway, I found it. So to slightly rephrase another line from the email, "Give Miz Betty a big kiss for me, right this moment" - I assume by now you must know how to do this without waking her, just prompting a sleepy little smile (shoot, you're probably also asleep by now, so that applies to whenever you first read this, got it?).

Like you say Joey, some things matter and some things don't. It's really pretty simple, but we all seem to forget that until someone knocks us up'side the head.

My best to you both.

Advanced Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 373
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, March 11, 2005 - 10:29 pm:   Edit Post

Uncle Bob and Good Paul:

I forswore email after SpyBotting/Nortoning, etc., for the numpteenth time after contracting spamitis . . . but you can reach me at

God Bless You Both !

Paul, I went through bankruptcy several years ago, and I thought it would kill me. It didn't. My life is proof that when one door closes, another door ALWAYS opens. Believe that you're getting old problems buried so that you can move on with your life.

It's also amazing to me how much more powerful amps become as they become so much lighter. You really have to be some kind of 'vintage' nut to carry around 100 kilo power amps any more.

Bob, she sleeps like an Indian Scout, so I couldn't sneak up on her asleep if my life depended on it! And I WON'T get a sleepy little smile!!

She's more than Mrs. Wilson, alright. Through all of the ups and downs of my rollercoaster life, even in the worst times, I could always pick up the bass and escape for a little while.

For the duration of her treatment, I was so slobberknocked by it all that my basses felt like 2x4s in my hands. My hands did NOT recognize them as instruments, my brain was locked out of playing ANYTHING, and no amount of coaxing or cajoling would free that part of me.

This was utterly dumbfounding to me, as this had NEVER happened before. The strap was heavy on my shoulder, my left hand refused to recognize the neck, and my right hand could not recognize the different string diameters. They all felt the same size! It only came back to me at Christmas (about a month after her treatment ended) back home in Florida, playing old country and gospel tunes with my inlaws around the tree.

I must be back though, I've got my eye on an old used Yamaha BB . . . .

J o e y
Intermediate Member
Username: bigbadbill

Post Number: 164
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Saturday, March 12, 2005 - 9:33 am:   Edit Post

Joey, all the best to you and Betty; as you say, some things ARE more important...

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