In another thread, there has been discussion of the tone controls, the intention of engineers, etc. This prompted me to ask a question that’s been on my mind for a long time.
In my system, most acoustic recordings (classical, folk, jazz) sound fine, as do some pop tracks. In many pop or rock songs, however, there is way too much bass. With an album I was listening to last night, if I turned the volume up enough to hear the singers, it was really unpleasant to listen; if I turned down the volume so the bass was tolerable, the singers were at such a low level that no details could be heard.
If recording engineers know what they are doing, why do they put in so much bass? Do they think that most people will listen on bass-shy cheap speakers or headphones, so they dial up the bass?
Or do other people not have this problem, that is, it’s my room/system? But if so, why does acoustic music and some pop music sound OK? On a Beethoven symphony, for instance, at a place where the cellos and basses are prominent when I am in a concert hall, I get the same effect at home, balanced the same way as when I hear it live.
My speakers are closer to the back wall than is ideal, which may be contributing to the problem. I have bass traps on the wall, and these do help; if I remove them, with all types of music the presentation gets muddier and details are obscured. But it’s not enough to deal with the bass overload on some songs. The area where I sit to listen is small, but it is acoustically open to the rest of the ground floor of the house so I don’t that that standing nodes are the issue. (And with the recordings in question, there is too much bass throughout, not just a couple of frequencies that pop out.)
Any suggestions, short of buying a larger house?