I have always held the Tela
To Tom, (and anyone else who's interested)

I have always held the Telarc Holst Suites in High regard - it's a spectacular recording, not only the bass drum but the entire group sounds beautifully transparent and realistic.  As you say, the bass drum has dynamic impact without taking over the sound completely.  It sounds so realistic that my dog responded in a manner which is usually reserved for thunder storms - I've never seen him do that before with a record.  I couldn't find the Army band record you mentioned; I did pull out the U.S. Marine band recording released in 1963 which describes itself as the first recording made by this band and while it is well recorded for its day, it doesn't have a very realistic sounding bass response at all.  There is all sorts of hype on the cover about Dynagroove and I think they were focussing on brilliance rather than solid bass.  It also has an annoying mono reverb after the last note of each selection.  I wanted to listen to the March from Berlioz's
 "Damnation of Faust" on Mercury but I can't find the CD, (not unusual around here), and I never had the vinyl Living Presence recording of it.  All I could find was a 2 LP compilation called "The Heart of the March) and I'm sure none of the Fine Family had anything to do with this.  Most of the selections are seriously distorted, particularly the Berlioz.  The one cut on this set that I thought very highly of as a kid was "Old Comrades" and happily I still find it the best recorded march in the album.  One recording on Mercury which has an impressive bass drum is the Prokofiev "Scythian Suite".  I've often pulled it out if I want to impress a friend with bass drum realism.  

In my experience, one of the finest military band records out there is "Salute to the Services" by the Concert Arts Symphonic Band on Capitol conducted by Felix Slatkin, (surprising because Felix Slatkin is better known as the 1st violinist in the Hollywood String Quartet).  The band is so well recorded with flawless tranparancy;  the winds are never over-powered by the brass and percussion and this inspite of the fact that the forces on this recording are huge, including eleven percussionists, six tubas, twenty clarinets, eight trumpets, etc.


On Thursday, February 20, 2014 7:06:04 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
I agree that describing sounds is an inexact thing. Say what you will about audiophile writers like 
>J. Gordon Holt, Harry Pearson and some of the current bunch at Stereophile mag, they have come up 
>with a language (mainly invented by Holt and enhanced/evolved by Pearson) that describes sounds 
>heard and the behavior of audio equipment in transmitting sound.
>Regarding bass, "boomy" is a very common term, and what it seems to mean is "too much upper bass 
>(around the 150-200hz region) for the liking of the person calling it boomy." Bose seems to get this 
>reaction from a lot of people, both those not used to much bass with their music (due to 
>tiny-speaker computer listening, or just consuming music via a laptop or tablet, or being accustomed 
>to TV speakers) and those who want deep bass but hear too much higher bass with the Bose speakers.
>David, what do you think of the bass drum on the Fennell Telarc recording of the Holst Suites? 
>That's usually a strong "acid test". Also, do you have that album made in Washington DC in the 80s 
>by, I think, the US Air Force Band? It's famous among audiophiles, in fact I just had it played for 
>me by one of the better-known LP advocates on a system that costs more than my house and cars 
>combined. I thought, lots of bass drum but I'm not sure the music calls for that much bass drum. So 
>is it musical or is it a woofer reality test by design? If I recall correctly, the record was cut by 
>Stan Ricker, who knows his bass.
>One thing I do hear with modern recordings, especially those using no-transformer recording chains, 
>is that deep bass is sharper, more precise and more focused if it's recorded well. I assume the 
>reason is no phase shifts from transformers. Some people really don't like that because it 
>definitely sounds different. LP fans often lodge a complaint about digital bass that I think points 
>to a similar situation -- all LP cutters have to sum some portion of strong bass energy to the 
>center in order to make records trackable. A system with strong bass response and really 
>quick-reacting speakers in a decent room won't be "bass is non-directional" to careful listeners. So 
>someone who grew up with an LP and was accustomed to its sound may not have had the double basses as 
>clearly deliniated to the right, or the electric bass in a Beatles recording actually panned 
>off-center like it often was in the later years (and in fact if they grew up on the Capitol USA 
>records, they didn't hear the bass as it sounded on the approved UK masters). In some rooms, bass 
>that is centered and slightly high-passed, as is the case with many LPs, may work better because it 
>creates fewer frequency bumps around the sides of the speakers. Something precisely placed and of 
>the frequencies and balances of the master tape may create a boom around or behind a speaker, or 
>might sit wrong in the room, or in some other way not sound "right", and the LP fan tends to blame 
>this on "digital" without looking at the differences in the media and the playback systems.
>-- Tom Fine
>----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "DAVID BURNHAM" <[log in to unmask]>
>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2014 3:52 AM
>Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Computer desktop power speakers recommendation
>> There is often a problem communicating with listeners who try to describe what they're hearing in 
>> non-audio subjective terms - warm, cold, dry, wet, tight, wooly, wooden, etc. and terms which are 
>> more appropriate like boomy, resonant, sizzly, thin, etc.
>> When I use the term "boomy", it usually means a strong bass of a specific frequency - like the 
>> sound you hear when a car pulls up beside you with strong sub-woofers. Perhaps when the Bose Wave 
>> was introduced they still had some work to do to perfect the concept. After listening to the demo 
>> CD which is included with the Bose Wave, and which includes the double bass solo I mentioned 
>> previously which sounded convincingly like there was a double bass in the room, we listened to the 
>> entire "Nutcracker Ballet" by Tchaikovsky. If you know the music of Tchaikovsky, you know that he 
>> makes a lot of use of descending scales; the Pathétique Symphony is full of them and the tune of 
>> one of the waltzes towards the end of Nutcracker is nothing but a descending scale. I listened 
>> particularly to these passages to see if the bass range was even and it was very much so.
>> A number of years ago, I purchased a CD on the Reference label of military band music and was 
>> really disturbed by the bass drum. This instrument should have no definite pitch at all but on 
>> this recording there was a very strong specific pitch and it made it sound like you had your head 
>> in the bass drum. I wrote a letter to the company pointing this out and comparing it to some of 
>> the fine Mercury recordings, (no pun intended), where the bass drum sounds as it should. I got a 
>> letter back from the company telling me that I could not communicate directly with the recording 
>> producer/engineer but that she had passed my message on to him, (a Doctor something or another, 
>> I've forgotten his name), who explained that I obviously am an inexperienced listener with 
>> inferior equipment. There was no point in pursuing the conversation any further.
>> db
>> On Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:58:16 PM, Paul Stamler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Back when the Bose was introduced, my late mother bought one. After two
>>>days she sent it back; she said the bass sounded too boomy.