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Title: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Mike Henderson on January 22, 2021, 09:22:12 am
Any of you DJ's here ever tried any Bass Enhancers and can give your feedback on them please?

Many years ago I had owned a couple of the dbx 120 Subharmonics units. I can;t remember which of the models [120a, 120x, 120xp or the 120x-ds] i had owned. I am now seeing there is a 510 model too. I have also been told that units like the BBE models help give the bass a nice tone.

Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Steve-White on January 22, 2021, 11:17:31 am
Not to come in and crap up your thread sir.  I've messed around with a few in demo rooms and a couple of club installs that had dbx units years ago.  In the grand scheme of things, no hauling anything but what ya need and over time evolving the PA's themselves - I don't use them and won't use them.

A good PA (Playback System) stands on it's own merit and that's been my approach.  That being stated, I'm a bit more that a single entity DJ show - now the DJ systems are a part of the overall operation.  Processing I have used was back in the vinyl days Phase Linear auto correlators which provided ~4db dynamic range expansion.  When setup correctly they sounded pretty good for vinyl.  Also use compressors for talk-overs or ducking to make clean announcements without completely muting music program.

In dance music the LF energy is there - it takes a system that can pump it out there night after night - in the end it's the cost of amps and subs.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Mike Henderson on January 22, 2021, 11:27:17 am
Not to come in and crap up your thread sir.  I've messed around with a few in demo rooms and a couple of club installs that had dbx units years ago.  In the grand scheme of things, no hauling anything but what ya need and over time evolving the PA's themselves - I don't use them and won't use them.

A good PA (Playback System) stands on it's own merit and that's been my approach.  That being stated, I'm a bit more that a single entity DJ show - now the DJ systems are a part of the overall operation.  Processing I have used was back in the vinyl days Phase Linear auto correlators which provided ~4db dynamic range expansion.  When setup correctly they sounded pretty good for vinyl.  Also use compressors for talk-overs or ducking to make clean announcements without completely muting music program.

In dance music the LF energy is there - it takes a system that can pump it out there night after night - in the end it's the cost of amps and subs.

Yeah when I had used them back then it was with a vinyl system.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Steve-White on January 22, 2021, 12:05:09 pm
Yeah when I had used them back then it was with a vinyl system.

i have a couple of dbx DriveRack PA2's in the studio and den music systems that are playback systems and messed around with the sub synth in the den a little and ended up defeating it.  The den system had 4 x JBL 2245's in a pair if MD7 enclosures, so no lack of bottom end capability.  For music during the day it's on MC DirecTV which has limited bandwidth from processing which is why I started playing around in the first place.  If I want to rock, just play a CD.

Good question you pose - I'll keep a watch on the thread just for curiosity on what others are doing these days.  With all the powered stuff out there with built in processing I would suspect not much usage.  However, I've seen setups that were way over the top for signal manipulation and there are probably a few of those out there.  :)
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Dennis Wiggins on January 22, 2021, 01:00:50 pm
Read the previous post: "On The Turning Away" (from unpowered speakers)

-Dennis
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Mike Henderson on January 22, 2021, 01:22:17 pm
Good question you pose - I'll keep a watch on the thread just for curiosity on what others are doing these days.  With all the powered stuff out there with built in processing I would suspect not much usage.  However, I've seen setups that were way over the top for signal manipulation and there are probably a few of those out there.  :)

Yeah seems most folks opt to use the included Subharmonics in Powered Speakers or Digital Processors these days instead of Hardware. At any rate though, if memory serves those DBX units were used to lower the bass frequency and not enhance? I think the BBE units might have been used more for enhancing but I never used one of those.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: John L Nobile on January 22, 2021, 01:40:26 pm
Yeah seems most folks opt to use the included Subharmonics in Powered Speakers or Digital Processors these days instead of Hardware. At any rate though, if memory serves those DBX units were used to lower the bass frequency and not enhance? I think the BBE units might have been used more for enhancing but I never used one of those.

I used to have a BBE unit in the 90's. The bass enhance was useless. It just muddied things up.

I always thought of those DBX 120's as something to add bass that wasn't there. That was an issue with older recordings but there's a TON of low end on modern trax. If you need more bass in the mix, turn up the subs or the bass instruments. I would think that using one of these FX to add more bass that you can get with a system might damage your speakers.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Mike Henderson on January 22, 2021, 04:17:07 pm
I used to have a BBE unit in the 90's. The bass enhance was useless. It just muddied things up.

I always thought of those DBX 120's as something to add bass that wasn't there. That was an issue with older recordings but there's a TON of low end on modern trax. If you need more bass in the mix, turn up the subs or the bass instruments. I would think that using one of these FX to add more bass that you can get with a system might damage your speakers.

I am not seeking to add more bass on my system or get deeper bass, got lots of it. Was just curious about enhancers and what they do. Actually it was speaker cabinet builder who had told me short while back that the BBE and Aural Exciters adds better tonal tonal quality to bass.

Personally I think the old school way to put an Eq separately on the bass is as good as anything but question is, does it really make any difference than from having an Eq between the Mixer and Crossover?
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Mike Caldwell on January 22, 2021, 05:16:33 pm
I am not seeking to add more bass on my system or get deeper bass, got lots of it. Was just curious about enhancers and what they do. Actually it was speaker cabinet builder who had told me short while back that the BBE and Aural Exciters adds better tonal tonal quality to bass.

Personally I think the old school way to put an Eq separately on the bass is as good as anything but question is, does it really make any difference than from having an Eq between the Mixer and Crossover?

You can't get deeper bass from a speaker that can't reproduce deeper bass in the first place.
Your average off shelf decent single 18 is only going down to a useful 40hz give or take a little,
if your bass enhancer box tells it to do 20hz while rocking out things are going to break after a while.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Helge A Bentsen on January 22, 2021, 06:12:16 pm
DBX 120A as an fx insert was fun, but it put stress on the drivers.
If you want to rock it and not kill your subs, look at the Waves MaxxBCL.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: David Morison on January 23, 2021, 08:38:43 am
You can't get deeper bass from a speaker that can't reproduce deeper bass in the first place.
Your average off shelf decent single 18 is only going down to a useful 40hz give or take a little,
if your bass enhancer box tells it to do 20hz while rocking out things are going to break after a while.

Or, for modern active speakers, the sub's own driver protection HPF will cut enough of it that there's little point using it anyway.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Mike Caldwell on January 23, 2021, 09:17:31 am
Or, for modern active speakers, the sub's own driver protection HPF will cut enough of it that there's little point using it anyway.

Good point.
Regardless how powered every speaker needs a proper HPF in place.

Though with enough crazy stupid EQ ect. the effects of a HPF can be negated to some degree.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Tim McCulloch on January 24, 2021, 11:52:35 am
The original dbx "Professional Disco Boom Box" was the 500.  This one work similar to an octave divider (proprietary system, I think there was a patent on part of it) with additional processing.  The 120 series were digital processors and I'm not sure how dbx achieved their result with those.

I used a 500 (still own it, somewhere in my pile of gear at the shop) as a subgroup insert for bass drum and toms (saved a bunch of badly tuned kick drums and "fake bass guitar" when a bassist's instrument was left at another venue).  On a whole mix or applied to an entire pass band?  NO.  This will end up being far too much for program material that has "contemporary" amounts of <80Hz info already.  For vinyl LPs of 1970s and 1980s it's a nearly universal solution, but for mixed origin media it's likely to be unsatisfactory as "global" processing.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: MikeHarris on January 24, 2021, 01:21:23 pm
the best bass enhancer was the Power TF9100.  it had a cool 2.1 output
They also made the best DJ mixers 30 years or so ago.  .Comel from France.  Always wondered what happened to them.
still have a spiral bound catalog of their line
i recall selling a TF9100 to Tom Lord Alge for use in studio
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Ed Taylor on January 26, 2021, 01:54:23 pm
I am not seeking to add more bass on my system or get deeper bass, got lots of it. Was just curious about enhancers and what they do. Actually it was speaker cabinet builder who had told me short while back that the BBE and Aural Exciters adds better tonal tonal quality to bass.

Personally I think the old school way to put an Eq separately on the bass is as good as anything but question is, does it really make any difference than from having an Eq between the Mixer and Crossover?

first off...plus 1 on what Mike Caldwell just posted...those old doublers..were usually going to either exceed a lot of cheap dj rigs capability, or just add mud to the signal...that said, and to your original question... I had enjoyed having an aural exciter in my rack back when my own small club band was playing...made the vocals better, was actually noticable all around..but I'm sure it comes down to what we're ultimately sending signal too...years back (and many mobile djs today still) still just run cheap analog mixers..$120 blue yamaha mixers..so they are coming at their powered mackie or qsc etc with a 3 band eq..."mo bass!!"
then they cry cause their little powered sub just doesn't seem to punch like the big club boys say...but put an eq in front...find the sweet spots where your sub can work..and you'd think you have a new rig!  I love showing my daughter and couple other djs and band guys even the simple interface on my ipad against the behringer xair..cause it's easy for them to see.drag their finger to hear the massive change when they move freqs below what a box can do, or take gain so high that they are overdriving the signal, etc..but slide that dot to , say, 70 for a small compact sub..and all of a sudden...bass!!!  where it might have been fading at 55 ...when you get closer to 65-70..the rig comes alive..and that's what matters.
Title: Re: Has any DJ here tried any Bass Enhancers?
Post by: Tracy Garner on January 27, 2021, 11:57:06 am
Any of you DJ's here ever tried any Bass Enhancers and can give your feedback on them please?

Many years ago I had owned a couple of the dbx 120 Subharmonics units. I can;t remember which of the models [120a, 120x, 120xp or the 120x-ds] i had owned. I am now seeing there is a 510 model too. I have also been told that units like the BBE models help give the bass a nice tone.

Big reggae systems, Go Go Bands, house and dance music - vinyl, CDs, and now MP3 experience.

Use this scale of 1 to 10 for worst to best

Bass enhancer will make a 1 system sound like a 5 at best.
Bass enhancer will make a 6 system sound like a 5 at best.
Bass enhancer will make a 10 system sound like a 5 at best.