What have you done to improve the Sense of Weight in your system? What technology or upgrade is most impactful?

joaovieira

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Feb 16, 2013
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Interesting. From what to what? Yeah
Peter, I had the SGM EVO and Aqua Formula non xHD dac. The sound was beautiful but there was something lacking. The bass wasn’t deep. The dynamics wasn’t what I have today.
And nothing so natural like the APL streamer and dac that replaced the server and the Aqua.
Finally got to know what my speakers are able to do, with it’s too 9” woofers.
 
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Duke LeJeune

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we are sensitive to when we do something that isolates the positive change in bass weight. our senses pick up on it right away and our feelings about the music improve.
Imo this is arguably predicted by the Fletcher-Munsen curves. Notice how the curves get closer together south of 100 Hz. So a 5 dB change at 30-40 Hz can be PERCEPTUALLY comparable to a 10 dB change at 1 kHz, at least at normal listening levels:

Equal-Loudness-Contours.png

The implication is that a LITTLE BIT of improvement in the bass region goes a LONG WAYS, perceptually... whether that improvement is one which adds weight or one which increases smoothness (which correlates with the subjective impression of "speed" in the bass region) or both.
 
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stehno

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I must say can't understand what is meant exactly by "sense of weight" in general - may be a mixture of slam, bass fullness and scale? Although I see the point of Mike definition I think it is an optimistic definition of weight - we can have a "sense of weight" even on systems that have no easiness.

I have found that cables can have a great effect in these aspects, but above all power is needed with most speakers to have a sense of weight. And surely strong resonances and bass nulls or peaks kill the proper sense of weight.

BTW, sometimes the concept of weight is used to refer to a negative aspect - for example, too bass heavy.
By weight there obviously are numerous definitions. A playback system generates a musical presentation that is perhaps more times than not out-of-balance implying overly lean, shallow, thin, etc. toward the higher frequencies. Even if we don't recognize it, it's still there.

Adding a sufficiently configured bottom end via reaonable or better speakers, subs, along with reasonable positioning will help add "weight" to give the impression the presentation is better balanced but it's still out-of-balance.

I've not read all the posts here but what seems nobody has mentioned is there's actually quite a large musical difference between two major bass categories. Maybe call it adequate bass verses musical bass. Adequate bass seems to be what most are familiar with because it's most common and is the result of lack of knowledge or only giving matters a token effort. I call it the "me too bass" since it's so common. Perhaps much much like the all too common "me too" or "hi-fi" sound.

But the real or ultimate "weighted" bass comes primarily from spending potentially countless hours of finding a superior or hopefully THE superior placement position for full-range speakers within a given room. It can also be acheived by painstaking dialing-in or fine-tuning subwoofers. Where the "me too" bass eventually runs into a musical brick wall, those "lucky" enough or perform serious due dilgience to continue their bass tuning pursuits can often times break thru that "me too" bass brick wall and find themselves now listening to a truly wonderful and musical bass few have heard except at a live performance. Faster, tighter, deeper, more pronounced, extremely well-defined, engulfing, engaging, etc, etc. This is the type of bass that provides the real "weight" of the entire presentation while fully balancing the entire presentation. In fact, it will seemingly change the way one hears the entire presentatioin. But just breaking thru that brick wall isn't or need not be the end game as continuing the fine-tuning process will continue to improve that musical bass even further. As usual, it seems there's never an end in sight for these pursuits.

Like Mike L. noted above, it's not just dialing in subwoofers and speaker placement as every positive change in a given playback system will or should also improve the bass region too. For example. Superior electrical and vibration mgmt methods have a tremendously positive impact on bass. But even so, one still not break thru the "me too bass" brick wall or cross over to the other side (musical bass side) without successfully addressing the speaker / subwoofer positioning and/or subwoofer dialing-in. Near as I can tell crossing over to the other side where truly musical bass is impossible to achieve without successfully addressing these 1 or 2 requirements. So to more fully answer the OP's question of which is most impactful, it is clearly speaker positioning and/or subwoofer tuning. Even more superior or musical bass postential is when true full-range speakers are place in a or THE superior position and no subwoofer is necessary. Or at least it can be achieved more easily without introducing the complexity of a subwoofer and it's placement and tuning.
 
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microstrip

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(...) The implication is that a LITTLE BIT of improvement in the bass region goes a LONG WAYS, perceptually... whether that improvement is one which adds weight or one which increases smoothness (which correlates with the subjective impression of "speed" in the bass region) or both.

Yes, but usually little bits of real improvement in the bass region are much more laborious or expensive than carrying improvements elsewhere.
 
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Tango

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Changing a cartridge or cable is the simplest weight gainer without Bonzo's expert talk on coherency, integration, seamlessness, linearity, etc, which likely end up changing the whole system.
 
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thedudeabides

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For me, well grounded, foundational defined bass that seamlessly blends with everything above and tonal saturation. My REL does quite well in that regard. One click on the x-over or volume is very audible and helps attain the above in my set up which has a "bottom - up" sound. A tad warm, easy on the ears, and very musical.
 
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stehno

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These 2 middle-of-the-road in-room recordings of 80's pop music might better illustrate the weighted bass or balanced presentation that's acquired primarily from speaker placement and subwoofer tuning.
 

sbo6

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What have you done to improve the Sense of Weight in your system? What technology or upgrade is most impactful?​

Other than improving the the listening room, what have you guys done? Thanks in advance
Late to the party but here goes:
First, a sense of weight is contingent upon multiple factors: 1) speaker design 2) room size and speaker / SS locations 3) component choices including cables 4) subwoofers (or not) 5) particular musical tracks.

In no particular order:

5) Musical tracks: Listen to Leonard Cohen sing, "By The Rivers Dark" and you'll get a sense of weight on almost any system with full range speakers. Listen to Alison Kraus and the opposite is mostly true. Singers and recordings matter if you're after weight (in some cases excess weight).

3) Components: Weight is an area where component choices and their interaction will have a significant role. Some DACs, amps, preamps and even cables will have a warmer signature and lend themselves to more weight. Sometimes that comes with compromising speed and detail, sometimes not with high quality equipment. So choosing components and the way they sound together can provide weight, sometimes too much I find in many systems.

1) Speaker design: Similar to #3 some designers voice their speakers to (overly?) exude a sense of weight, that in your face mid bass that many people feel tugs at their heartstrings. Often coupled with tube amps and some folks are in heaven.

2) Room / locations: Another way to improve a sense of weight is to adjust your speakers' and sweet spot position. In general the closer to boundaries the more weight you'll achieve, but again often at the cost of clarity and accuracy. Everything is a tradeoff.

4) Subwoofers are IMO one of the greatest tuning devices for any system. When employed properly they can yield even, tuneful, accurate bass and can significantly affect the sense of weight. A few tips: a) Don't position them near the mains unless in a large room as you further exacerbate room modes b) less is more - while the added heft can be addictive, it's commonly not natural sounding and a little dab'll do ya. c) 2 is better than 1 sub - less effort with more subs = effortless, more = smoother bass and you can run them stereo if that works best in your room.

Additional comments - For full range speakers, physical speaker weight has little to do with a sense of weight, other than to say a bigger speaker with bigger mid - bass / bass drivers made of typical materials (they're almost all made of wood or a wood composite) = lots of physical weight and can deliver acoustic weight depending on the variables above. Listen to a pair of Giyas which are relatively light yet they can deliver plenty of acoustic weight.

Personal thoughts - I find most humans want and love more bass and more mid - bass (the weight you asked about). But after many years of listening I don't seek it as much as many as it's artificial when overly applied. Sure, it sounds cool on an occasional song (see Leonard Cohen above) but it simply doesn't sound real. Some major speaker designers literally bank on customers' addictions to mid - bass grandeur and design mid - bass / bass freq. "humps" into their designs - and they're selling like hotcakes. But when you hear a well - balanced speaker and system on a great recording you worry less about weight, bass heft / slam and focus on that elusive creature - sonic accuracy. YMMV. Enjoy!
 
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thedudeabides

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Way too many options to say that is IT. In the end, it's all about synergy. As we all know, too much compromises dimensionality, transparency, speed, etc. Too little makes the sound too thin with no depth, boring, tiring, unnatural, etc.
 
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Blackmorec

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Other than improving the the listening room, what have you guys done? Thanks in advance
Several areas that bring the desired improvements:
Mains supply…..adding Doepke’s differential switch and Gigawatt’s 16A MCBs to my dedicated 230V lines, along with a super clean, low impedance ground
Speaker footers……adding SPODs to my Magico S1 MkIIs
Network quality……upgrading and optimizing my network with better LPSs, cables and vibration control
Music player SW…..upgrading from InnuOS 1.0 to 2.0

With all this taken care of I get bass you can feel as well as hear, with beautiful spacial resolution and a seemingly endless palette of super accurate timbral, textural and acoustic and phase detail. You can hear bass waves traversing the performance venue with beautiful directional decay, often behind the listener. The bass has real physical impact, which seems to be a function of bass linearity, improved source, general power supply capabilities, data stream processing and the physical interface between speakers and floor.
 

the sound of Tao

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Several areas that bring the desired improvements:
Mains supply…..adding Doepke’s differential switch and Gigawatt’s 16A MCBs to my dedicated 230V lines, along with a super clean, low impedance ground
Speaker footers……adding SPODs to my Magico S1 MkIIs
Network quality……upgrading and optimizing my network with better LPSs, cables and vibration control
Music player SW…..upgrading from InnuOS 1.0 to 2.0

With all this taken care of I get bass you can feel as well as hear, with beautiful spacial resolution and a seemingly endless palette of super accurate timbral, textural and acoustic and phase detail. You can hear bass waves traversing the performance venue with beautiful directional decay, often behind the listener. The bass has real physical impact, which seems to be a function of bass linearity, improved source, general power supply capabilities, data stream processing and the physical interface between speakers and floor.
All from 2 x 7 inch woofers…
 
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Blackmorec

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I should mention that my set up is designed for one person to listen optimally so it‘s set up near field, so I get a good 6dB boost on the distance. In near field I dont need to move huge amounts of air to get excellent, very relaxed SPLs, and SAM gives me the linear frequency extension. This means I can get excellent deep bass without overpressurizing my room
 
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Kal Rubinson

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Late to the party but here goes:
First, a sense of weight is contingent upon multiple factors: 1) speaker design 2) room size and speaker / SS locations 3) component choices including cables 4) subwoofers (or not) 5) particular musical tracks.
Way too many options to say that is IT. In the end, it's all about synergy.
Agreed. OTOH, if I want more "weight" for a particular recording or situation, it is easy to dial in with DSP adjustment. ;)
 

defride

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For me and from a fidelity point of view weight has little to do with bottom end thunder or midbass fullness and such

I see weight as a requirement across the frequency spectrum, related to energy. A cymbal strike without appropriate weight is two dimensional and splashy. To deliver a representation of a cymbal being struck in acoustic space it needs to deliver the weight of that note no different to a bass note. With adequate resolution and weight notes come across with an energy that closer approximates live whatever the instrument.

I noticed improvements in this area through amplification most recently
 
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K3RMIT

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Any given setup must achieve a given weight on many music genres and recordings.
live un amped venues help but still your room is not a given venue so I think it does not complete a sound for all music.
Im not a fan of point source rooms in my view live music is not beamed nor is it recorded as such. in a given point source I agree there is more body and perhaps certain types of details. These yield more they are here where less yields we are there. has anyone had a band or player in there room ? I have I don’t recommend it.
if your room can accommodate seating at say 8 to 20 feet , there is a world of sounds to help level the sound and weight.
 

LenWhite

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- EMM DV2 DAC w/integrated volume control
- JL Audio F212v2 & CR-1 crossover
- Ansuz Mainz8 DTC power distributor
- Ansuz C2 power cords
 

Tim Link

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This thread inspired me with recollections of getting weight just right using an active crossover with adjustable gain for the various drivers on speakers I've owned over the years. Recently I haven't been paying as much attention to the issue of weight, being consumed with getting off axis response above 300Hz smoothed out and listening to the effect of that. For the last 15 years or so it's been use of a digital speaker management system that allows me to adjust the weight of the sound. Above 300 Hz I can pretty much just measure using REW. Below that I resort to a number of methods - listening to pulse tones, looking at measurements, playing steady tones and moving around the room, and of course listening to music. Lately things have gotten very nice in terms of ironing out major lumpiness in the bass, but the overall weight wasn't quite right. I'd turn down the bass and it would get too thin sounding. Turn it up one notch and it sounded better, but just a bit too heavy, making the whole sound a little too dark. I was content enough with that, assuming it was just inherent to the speaker layout and relatively narrow dispersion - until last night. What I learned (again) last night is that the 1dB volume jumps on the pre-amp are way too course to get close enough to the right setting. Turns out I needed to turn down the bass about 0.4 dB, which I did by using the level control on the crossover instead of the pre-amp.

It's pretty amazing and surprising what a perceptual change that creates - getting the weight closer to perfect with a - 0.4 dB adjustment. I've all at once got a rather different speaker that is more dynamic and detailed sounding to me across the spectrum. That pesky darkness is gone without resulting in thinness. I also tried a -0.5 dB, and it's similar but I'm sure the -0.4dB is better. I've long suspected that all the cable and other component change outs that create noticeable differences are 90% due to subtle frequency response changes. It doesn't take much at all if the effect is over a few octaves.
 

analogsa

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suspected that all the cable and other component change outs that create noticeable differences are 90% due to subtle frequency response changes. It doesn't take much at all if the effect is over a few octav


It is extremely unlikely for cables to have any measurable effects on frequency response within the audible range. The only possible exception is a badly mismatched passive pre and high capacitance interconnect.
Ditto for all components with the exception of a phono pre or a nos dac. And of course a high output impedance tube amp. 0.4db variation for "normal", well functioning components is just out of the question.

For some not very clear reason active systems tend to lack weight ime.
 
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Tim Link

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It is extremely unlikely for cables to have any measurable effects on frequency response within the audible range. The only possible exception is a badly mismatched passive pre and high capacitance interconnect.
Ditto for all components with the exception of a phono pre or a nos dac. And of course a high output impedance tube amp. 0.4db variation for "normal", well functioning components is just out of the question.

For some not very clear reason active systems tend to lack weight ime.
I agree there shouldn't be any 0.1dB effect from cables or other devices interconnecting with each other if they're compatible and built to standard specifications. That being said, I don't know what all goes on with some of the designs that are out there. I read people's reports of what they are perceiving and it sounds incredibly familiar to how I would describe my own perceptions from very slight frequency response adjustments.
As for active systems apparently lacking weight, I wonder if that's something to do with the mind set and preferences of those who design active systems, or maybe a lack of distortion from the bass? Without a passive crossover the amp should have tighter control of the woofer, which might sound leaner.
 

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