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Passive or Active Mode


SteveC

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I've been playing my basses in passive (actually, I guess it's bypass with the Bartolini because I don't have any tone control, just volume and pickup blend) mode and they sound really good. The Avalon U5 is doing it's job. Kinda makes me want to dump the fancy active preamps and go right into my Avalon all the time.

 

What do you guys think/do?

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I learned a lot about my warwick while recording my bands most recent cd. I tried a lot of combinations. One o the things I learned was the difference in sound from my bass passive, and my bass with that high quality bartolini preamp added to the mix. What I can say is that the bartolini added increased treble bite and twink, i noticed an added heft in low mids and bass frequencyas well. With passive however their was still bite and growl, it was just focused in a lower frequency, the high mids. This is due to the wenge and bubinga used in the bass i believe. One other interesting feature was that the bass had more punch and a more coherent sound passive. I have recently been running my bass passive :D . What I am saying is you really have to know your instrument if you want to make the decision of playing it passive. I would suggest recording at home both passive and active to see which one you prefer. Or if this is not an option just a/b the sound and concentrate on the inherent qualities of each sound. If you feel you are losing bottomby going passive, but like the tone...remember amps have controls for a reason.
Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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I forgot to mention this.

Before my experience, I truly though the active sound was better, not because it truly souonded better, because of the bias I had in my head which went something like this.

"active is more expensive, it must be better, maybe I should get a more expensive onboard eq, eew....they put a passive option on"

Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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To be honest, the only time I use "active" is if I need a little something and can't or don't feel like tweaking knobs on my rig.

"He is to music what Stevie Wonder is to photography." getz76

 

I have nothing nice to say so . . .

 

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I've actually been on a big "passive" kick for about the last year. An onboard pre is very handy if you gig a lot and need the ability to adapt you tone to different rooms. Of course, if you're a knob twiddler, it's a must have. ;) There are so many quality amps/heads/preamps and cabs out there these days that it is no longer necessary to have active electronics just to be able to cut through your own muddy rig! :D
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I love active live, I have better luck with passive when I record. Both have their place.

You can stop now -jeremyc

STOP QUOTING EVERY THING I SAY!!! -Bass_god_offspring

lug, you should add that statement to you signature.-Tenstrum

I'm not sure any argument can top lug's. - Sweet Willie

 

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well, i guess that this means you should just experiment and see which gives you your fix. It's like trying to figure out if ou like tomatoes by asking your friends whether they like them or not. All you'll end up with is a handful of tomatoes and an active bass with a passive option
Hiram Bullock thinks I like the band volume too soft (but he plays guitar). Joe Sample thinks I like it way too loud (but he plays piano). -Marcus Miller
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For the type of music that I play, Rock, I think active sounds best. If I were playing Blues or Jazz, I'd go passive. Just my preferences...

Tenstrum

 

"Paranoid? Probably. But just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't an invisible demon about to eat your face."

Harry Dresden, Storm Front

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Originally posted by Dr. Sweet Willie:

...I feel like I don't even need an EQ on an amp! Scary, ain't it?!

Me too. But I ain't scared. ;)

 

I now have those mini-switches installed on my bass so I can bypass the preamp, switch the pickups and change the mid eq frequency.

 

The OBP-3 appears to sound identical when set flat as it does when bypassed. However, my bass has active pickups so there's no change in impedance loading.

 

With running so many effects as well as using long leads, I feel there's far too much potential for signal degradation if I used passive pickups without a preamp.

 

But if you're happy with using a single short-ish high quality lead and having no more onboard EQ than a simple tone control, then I believe you will get a punchier clearer sound from a pure passive setup. Especially when running into a preamp as fine as the Avalon.

 

I wouldn't chuck the preamp though - just use the bypass switch. And if you must, add a passive tone control.

 

Alex

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I don't know that I will go out and dump my active basses or replace the Bartolini preamps with something passive, I was just curious what others were doing.

 

I started using my "bypass" because I was having some "issues" with my preamp in one bass. It sounded good.

 

I kinda wish that I had a passive tone control for when I bypass the preamp. Volume and blend is good, and I suppose the Avalon is plenty of tone control when in that mode, too.

 

I still like the active mode for a more "modern" tone.

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I've never owned an active bass. I'm not really much of a knob tweaker. My Warwick is a passive model... has volume w/ a single coil pull pot and a tone control. (Did I say that right?). I can get nice low muddy sounds and nice low-mid growly sounds with that set up running into a transparent amp.

 

I need to get my Ibanez out and figure out what the knobs do I guess. I've never really sat down and figured it all out.

 

I've only recently learned how to pay attention to my own tone. Before I was lucky enough to buy gear that works well together.

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Well, my main basses have active PUs, but no active EQ.

And no bypass capability.

For me, it's the best set-up, as I get the active punch with a minimum of twiddling.

 

My last bass with an active EQ, I twiddled with a lot. Too much. I am happier now (although I sometimes miss that bass for other reasons.)

 

Easy.

 

Peace,

 

wraub

 

I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.

 

 

 

 

 

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