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Re: is tradtion holding us back wood wise?

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:04 am
by Greg Robinson
Hi Jeff,

No, you're not being contradictory, and I agree with the comments everyone has made, I just wanted to point out that if you are looking for better low-end response, wood choice would not be the first place I would look, but rather your reproduction equipment (pickups, preamp, power amp and speakers), as these dominate the results.
To give you a bit of further insight into the "impracticality" side of it, for instance a tube amp with output transformer, for each octave lower of bandwidth, the size and weight of it needs to be approximately doubled, and given that this is already one of the largest, heaviest and most expensive components in a tube amp, it can quite quickly become impractical.
Solid state amps don't completely escape this issue either, as larger coupling capacitors are needed to maintain the increased low-register bandwidth, although not nearly so much as tube amps.

Chuck R showed a great example of achieving better low-end speaker response, but again, there are trade offs. Tuned and ported speaker cabinets trade a "faked" low end response for efficiency, so you have to pump in more power for the same volume (although this is across the whole range, not just bass).

Low impedance active pickups will have better low-end frequency response than traditional high impedance ones.

Your comment about some equipment performing better than others despite displaying the same specifications is probably explained by the fact that there are a number of different measurement systems to produce these figures, and they are not directly comparable. It doesn't help that most manufacturers do not publish which measurement system they have used to derive their specifications, and some will even create their own testing regimens. Some systems are also less "honest" than others. We've all seen the little computer speakers that claim "2000W" from two tiny 2" speakers that are powered by USB. Sure, if you increase the power supply and keep it in a liquid nitrogen bath and replace the speakers and use better spec'd parts in the same circuit maybe you could get 1000W, and there are two channels, so that means it's 2000W right? Right.

I can still hear those low frequencies too, and I also love them. All I'm saying is you can't always expect all equipment to keep up with it.

Re: is tradtion holding us back wood wise?

PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:02 pm
by Jeff Brooks
Thanks Greg.
Along the thought of the lower impedance pickups producing more bass response: Would it be correct to say that these pickups would sound "warmer"? And if so, and without any tone correction, would that perhaps create a muddy environment? Also, would the same hold true with the pot impedance (higher is brighter)?

Re: is tradtion holding us back wood wise?

PostPosted: Sat Nov 03, 2012 5:13 am
by Greg Robinson
Jeff, low impedance pickups are easier to design to have a wider bandwidth than high impedance pickups. Fewer turns on the coil means lower inductance (which creates a high pass filter) and lower capacitance (which creates a low pass filter). The trade off is lower output, so usually these are active pickups. A lot of "active" pickups are actually just high impedance pickups with a buffer to provide the low output impedance. EMG's are one example of high impedance active pickups. This does not apply so much to bass pickups, more of the active examples are actually low impedance pickups.
Anyway, the point is low impedance pickups without equalization will have a flatter frequency response, which is generally attractive for basses, less so for guitars.