Author Topic: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??  (Read 2140 times)

Offline bzor

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ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« on: February 17, 2012, 11:11:16 AM »
personally i've always played a passive bass.. i wanna see some opinions of what you guys think!

thanks
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Offline Redbutton

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ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 05:44:37 PM »
I prefer active electronics. I'm constantly fiddling with my treble knob depending on the song, and I like to cut or boost as needed. Can't boost with passive unless you go to the amp.



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Offline paulie

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ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 06:58:15 PM »
I gave the active option a go on my G&L for a while, but have gone back to passive mode. Seems a bit more "organic" sounding to me and also seems to suit the mix in the band a bit better. Besides, I don't trust batteries.

paulie

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Offline TobiasMan

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ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 07:29:09 PM »
Two of my basses are passive and two are active.

Passive basses only allow cutting the EQ (my Fender and my NXT), while my Tobias and MTD active basses allow for more, "on bass, on the fly" flexibility.  I don't tend to adjust the tone knobs a lot once set, but will sometimes tweak up the mids to cut through a bit more on some songs.

Active basses require batteries (one or two 9v, depending on the preamp circuit) and I find that they generally last about 40 to 60 hours before needing to be changed.  On most active basses, you need to unplug the cord when you aren't playing them as the plug being in the jack often turns on the preamp and will drain the batteries even when you aren't playing.

Personal choice.  They are different, but I like/use both.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 07:29:42 PM by TobiasMan »
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Offline jmcgliss

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ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2012, 12:49:23 PM »
My passive Lakland JO is now more versatile with the addition of a Villex mid-boost control. It's still has natural passive operation, with bypass and three mid positions, for fine-tuning the tone, or full-on mids with an apparent volume boost.

My only active basses are Lakland 5-strings for church duty, where a wide variation in tone shaping is needed from song-to-song.
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Offline Bassmann1968

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ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2012, 02:54:15 PM »
With proper electronics a battery is not a problem.
I change the battery after 350 hours on my ESH basses.
When one of them distorted after one year I wondered why
because I had forgotten that there is a battery inside.
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Offline bzor

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ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 03:23:00 PM »
Quote
Originally posted by paulie

I gave the active option a go on my G&L for a while, but have gone back to passive mode. Seems a bit more "organic" sounding to me and also seems to suit the mix in the band a bit better. Besides, I don't trust batteries.

paulie

WT800B/WT330/D212XLT4/D210XST4/EX112 4ohm/Fender PBass Special/Squier PBass Special/Squier VM Fretless Jazz w. Nordies/G&L 2000 Tribute


ya i agree. i've played both and really just like the natural tone of the instrument. your not having to rely on a battery to save your tone instead using your natural or more "organic" sound of the instrument its self. i agreee with you paulie 100% :)
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Offline swspiers

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Re: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 08:49:43 AM »
I didn't hear that much of a difference between active and passive until I got an active with a variable mid-sweep.  I can literally set and foget my amp now, and have the ability to change tone without altering volume.

Nothing wrong with passive, but active can be very, very handy.

Offline vince a

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Re: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2012, 04:53:21 PM »
I rarely play my active 5 string, but just went for an Audere JZ3 jazz bass preamp for my passive Lakland 5 string . . . I'll let you know if I like it or trash it!
WARNING:This post may contain items including, but not limited to, sarcasm, irony, and hyperbole intended to bring humor to this discussion. Those of you who are overly sensitive or who have no sense of humor are better off ignoring this post.
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Offline Bass Mayhem

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Re: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2012, 12:43:13 PM »
I prefer passive, like the EMG:s. Wait! EMG passive? Well, you HAVE a battery or two, you have internal preamps, but it acts just like a passive without the buzzzzzzzzz and s**t. My P-bass is entirely passive, but has a very active passive filter(!). I installed the Stellartone Tonestyler, a switch to turn with 16 steps rolling of the top end while leaving the mids unharmed all the way down. Well, at the cutoff point you get a noticable mid hump colouring the tone in a nice manner, but hey - that's passive. I prefer not to have a lot of knobs to twibble around with, just volume/balance - volume - tone. I have a secret dream of having an all passive bass without any controls at all, just one pickup in the sweet spot...
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Offline Powermetalbassist

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Re: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 11:28:33 AM »
I've mostly played passive, but currently I have 1989 Ibanez RD707 (Passive), and a 1990 Ibanez RD727 (Active). Personally I think I prefer the RD707 (passive) sound better. If I could find a descent sounding (look is somewhat important too...a close #2) early 90's or late 80's RD that was passive I'd likely give up the 727(Active).
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Offline JTE

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Re: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2012, 05:05:38 PM »
Either way.  Active/passive is pretty far down the list of what I consider when buying a new bass.  I pick up the bass and play it.  Does it sound great?  Then if it does, I ask does it feel comfortable- or can I adjust out or adapt to  the things I don't like about the feel?

Color, name, where or when it was made, active/passive are just distractions.

My tool box has two passive Fenders (a VS '62 Precision and a Sting) as well as five active basses (fretted and fretless Lakland 4-94, Lakland Skyline 55-01, and a mongrel fretlss P/J bass).  The passive Fenders do things the Laklands don't.  The Laklands do things the Fenders don't.   But I didn't buy or avoid buying anything because it was either active or passive.

However- battery life is a red herring.  If you use a good battery (that is, a DuraCell or their commercial Pro Cell) you don't have to worry about battery life.  I unplug my basses when not using them (but they stay plugged in at gigs during breaks- that 45 minutes a night isn't material) and I change batteries once a year.  Have  been since my first active bass, a StinRay I got in 1979.

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Offline Paulinderwick

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Re: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2012, 12:56:46 PM »
Started passive with a cheapie then got a Fender Precision Lyte - great sound but active only, watch those batteries, then I acquired a regular jazz with a Sadowsky installed - I was a serious fan of active until... bought a 67/8 Fender Jazz, all original and sold the active basses - back to passive for me.  What does it prove?  If you like how your bass sounds it really doesn't matter what it is...
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Offline Bass Mayhem

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Re: ACTIVE OR PASSIVE SOUND??
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2012, 09:47:02 AM »
Well, I kinda have changed my mind a bit. Just a bit. With my new(ish) Lakland the EQ actually adds some spice and character to the tone. The somewhat sluggish pots stays where I turn them, no risk of changing the setting by mistake. (Well, smaller risk...) I have never had a bass with MM pups before, even if they are switchable they sound different from the Jazz bass. With the EQ on the Lakland I can get the same tone as the acoustic tone of the instrument, just stronger. I like that. Mid set at 250 Hz, boosted a bit, high boosted a tad, low set flat, maybe a little bit cut: then you have the natural tone of the bass. Active is good AND passive is good.
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