Since CDs were invented up until last year, I had always listened to music that had some EQ to it. My portable system had a 5 band EQ. I always had the left most band (bass) all the way up, the second and fouth bands 1/4 the way up, the center band neither up or down, and the right band (treble) half way up. My walkmans always had Mega-bass. The string bass/bass guitar always had a very forward, noticable sound. This is how I expected music to sound. Last year, I bought my first "real" system: A yamaha 596 receiver, Paradigm monitor 7 mains, cc-370 center, mini-monitor rears and pdr-10 sub. Having read how tone controls are a bad thing on this forum, I tried listening without gains to the bass/treble. Everything sounded very "clean", but lifeless in the bass and bright in the treble. The bass control was set at 50hz and just seemed to muddy up the sound if turned up. Recently, I tried two new receivers to upgrade from the entry level Yamaha (and to get rid of the brightness): the Maranatz 8200 and Denon 3802. The Marantz (returned due to design flaws) sounded wonderful, very detailed. The Denon sounds great too: maybe a little less detail in the treble, but more detail in the sub 100hz bass. But the mid-high bass in all receivers still sounded far in the background from what I was used to. The denon and Marantz bass control seemed to fill in a small range: maybe from 80-120 hz. Do most popular rock CDs master the sound this way? Is un-EQed bass guitar usually noticably softer than its lead guitar counterpart? There are groups that have a more forward bass mastering (Many jazz recordings, Lenny Kravitz, Jimi hendrix), but it seems like most rock recordings have the bass no where near the volume of the guitar, drums... Sometimes it seems close to inaudible! So, am I right with this? Is this the way the recordings were made to sound? Or Is this poor cd mastering? Or is it my speakers or maybe me!