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active is quieter than passive

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by WholeGrainBass, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. WholeGrainBass


    Aug 15, 2011
    I just recently got my new Hartke LH500 head and hooked my 97 Ibanez sr1200 up to it. I plugged it into the active input and noticed it was rather quiet. The volume knob was full throttle on the bass. I plugged it into the passive input and was much louder than the active input. Yes the Ibanez has active inputs. Why is this?
  2. I believe the amp's active input is attenuated, to account for an active bass' hotter output. This way a passive bass and active will be close to the same volume.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    It's working right. That's the function of an active input...to quiet down the signal from a too-loud active bass if it's overdriving the gain at any setting. Personally though, I think active inputs are useless. I've never seen a bass completely overdrive the gain on any amp ever unless it was by choice. I use active basses all the time with loud EMG pickups and the times I've used the active input on any amp is 0.
  4. B-string

    B-string Supporting Member

    Yep supposed to be that way. If you have an active bass that overloads the input of the amp, you use the active input instead.
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  6. WholeGrainBass


    Aug 15, 2011
    oh ok good. i was worried either the bass or my new amp was messed up
  7. Stephent28

    Stephent28 Supporting Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    C470, CO
    Active inputs are usually padded.
  8. WholeGrainBass


    Aug 15, 2011
    how would i know the bass is overloading the input of the amp?
  9. arai


    Jul 16, 2007
    It would sound distorted. Some active basses are quieter there some passive basses too.
  10. My p bass with 1/4 pounders in it is the hottest bass I've ever used and it's
    Passive. My ray with the 3 band eq is pretty hot and same with the 18v preamp on my schecter but neither touches that p bass

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