What the bloody heck is "mid-bass"? [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-07-2004, 03:45 AM
I always love the goofy adjectives and language that my fellow audio-enthusiasts come-up with.
I realize "mid-bass" isn't a new moniker, I have old Stereophile magazines from the early 90's that use it, I suppose that was the first time I came across the term. But I have no idea exactly what "mid-bass" is as it is most commonly used.
So what frequency range are we referring to when we say mid-bass? I'm thinking it's probably something around 60Hz to 110 Hz or something?
Maybe a bit higher? Is there a "high-bass" as well?
Where does "bass" end and "mid-bass" begin...
What other names are there in the musical spectrum? :)

Resident Loser
06-07-2004, 05:17 AM
...I have found helpful for various things. It was originally published in Stereo Review mag some time ago:


If you apply the same rules as you would to a steak, e.g. rare, medium or well-done, you can sorta' reason out low, mid and upper in each of the three "main" frequency ranges of lows, mids and highs. Just like steak, you can further divide it into upper lows or lower mids, etc., i.e. medium-rare. It all depends on you POV...is it a B flat or an A sharp?

Just don't confuse the stated freq ranges for woofers, mid-ranges and tweeters with lows, mids and highs of the audible frequency range as they are not exactly interchangeable...there is, and can be in practice, overlaps that may cloud the issue.

jimHJJ(...your numbers seem about right...now that that's as clear as mud...)

06-07-2004, 05:30 AM
Interesting link, I've seen that before....of course, this begs the question, if 10,000 kHz is the highest any musical instrument will go, why do speakers often reach up to 18-20 kHz?
To hear the cool sound Han Solo's blaster makes?

Resident Loser
06-07-2004, 06:42 AM
...says it all, "fundamental frequencies"...

The upper limit of 18-20kHz includes the harmonics and overtones which provide our ears info re: the type of instrument producing it's unique sound.

There are what is referred to as fundamental waveforms(square, sawtooth, sine, etc.). The apparent character or envelope is shaped by the instrument producing them and further contributes specific harmonic frequencies allowing identification of them. Obviously, there are things such as attack and decay, but the fundamentals and upper harmonics are the most salient features. You can pluck it or you can bow it, but a violin still "fundamentally" sounds like a violin.

Additionally, access to these upper frequencies is what provides for the "air" and such to the sound we preceive in our audio reproduction systems.

jimHJJ(...you can get into the math involved and other related aspects of sound by doing some surfing...most of it can be quite informative...)

06-07-2004, 01:06 PM
Mid-bass level and character I believe heavily influences the tonality of sound. It's the range that gives "body" to the sound. Too little mid-bas, the sound is light. Too much mid-bass, then the sound is "heavy" and even boomy (along with reinforcements in the room). Getting the right amount for your ears is as important as getting the right balance of sugar in tea, or salt in soup.

I think frequencies around 150 Hz (maybe 80-250 Hz) is where your mid-bass is. I would call ~38-80 Hz. bass, and anything lower deep-bass...

"...if 10,000 kHz is the highest any musical instrument will go..."
Actually the fundamentals go as high as only 5000 Hz. When I was young my physics teacher had claimed that frequency response up to 5000 Hz. is enough to reproduce music. He was wrong of course -)

06-07-2004, 01:29 PM
Great, so I've seen some $7000 dollar speakers that cut off at 18kHz...I always assumed the would be missing something, transients or whatever.
80-250 is a pretty big chunk of the spectrum, I could see that...anybody else agree?

06-07-2004, 02:04 PM
It's really simple - most speakers don't have real bass so you compensate by pumping up slightly the middle bass to make it sound like you're getting deep bass. ~80-150hz is probably the area.