Anybody else not want an "on steroids" bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by birminghambass, Mar 30, 2014.

  1. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I see many many many of this: "it's like a (insert generic bass) on steroids! " I happen to be one who prefers medium output pickups, low mass bridges, and passive electronics. With this setup I can achieve just about any tone I could possibly need, I play county and rock in one group, heavy rock and metal with another. I've tried the "on steroids" upgrades before, I felt it severely limited what I could do on any particular bass. Just curious what others thought...
  2. I prefer active electronics, but mostly for versatility. I buy basses I like, not to customize. Better to get a known entity for me. Might eventually replace a preamp, but that's probably it. And even then, just a Bart, nothing boutique or crazy.
  3. In the past I've been more interested in amplification on steroids. Now I want amplification on steroids that weighs feathers. LOL!

    For better or worse, the sound I get is what I sound like; I can affect the signal, but no matter what I plug into what, it sounds like me. That's often for the worse in my estimation. ;)
  4. cnltb


    May 28, 2005
    I am very happy without steroids.
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  6. bobicidal

    bobicidal Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2013
    San Jose, CA

    I like the option of active to change my tone to suit the mood, song, room, etc. That said a passive P or Jazz I can also play all night but I have less options.

    Depending on your pre and/or pedals, it may not matter, IMO
  7. meatwad

    meatwad Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2008
    Smallville, USA
    The only passive bass I own is my bone stock Precision, and it sounds as muscular as anything else I own.
  8. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Banned

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    No juicing for me. Passive bass through tube amp. If I need adrenaline, with the tube amp I can crank up the gain.
  9. Steroids made my life a living hell, one I wouldn't wish on my guitar, or anyone else's.
  10. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Yeah, it's all what a friend of mine refers to as "kid stuff."

    I call it contagious gear-forum bubba virus.

    People are constantly wasting time and money on purely notional "upgrades" usually for more clank and output, yet they still haven't gotten the basic instrument's build bugs worked out -- bad nut, bad saddles, every adjustment and alignment cockeyed, etc., etc.

    Stuff that actually matters (a poorly fitted nut will prevent the instrument from even playing in tune, for example) just isn't sexy to people like this. They need to BUY something to know they're alive, then strip a bunch of threads on their instrument and burn solder holes in the finish putting the misbegotten thing in.

    They mod the instrument into splinters, but they never take care of its basic problems.

  11. I think that's a human thing and not limited to instruments. Because of the industry I'm in, we have an inside joke that says "It is the duty of those that know to save those that don't from those that think they do".
  12. bassbenj


    Aug 11, 2009
    Sure, Bongo, Sure. Go tell Roger Sadowsky or Vinny Fodera that their "Fenders on steroids" are just "kid stiff" because they don't know how to install a nut or bent metal junk bridge.
  13. dabbler


    Aug 17, 2007
    Bowie, MD
    Different strokes for different folks. Remember, other musicians described Jamerson's bass as "unplayable". Whatever made them say that, it didn't stop him from giving Motown a solid bottom end for many hits. Gear has its place, but what matters most is that it suits the player, who knows how to "make it do what it do".

    I have a lot of instruments (variety is the spice of my bass playing life), but my faves are passive. I love then all, though, and I appreciate the many styles and configurations, and those whose faves are different from mine. Diversity is a good thing!
  14. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    It's a thankless job, though.
  15. pacojas

    pacojas "FYYA BUN"

    Oct 11, 2009
    my most basic and least expensive bass is my favorite!:bassist:
  16. AaronVonRock


    Feb 22, 2013
    I'm happy with a stock, 4-string, passive bass. If I need some extra juice, I have a few pedals that can make it gnarly.
  17. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    Someone asked me which was my favorite bass. My answer?

    "Whichever's closest." ;)
  18. I would say my Korean thumb bass is perfect the way it is. I do own a p bass that I was in love with till I desired a fret less neck and thought it was a grate idea to pull them off my neck my self. That's how I learned the hard way to
    Eave stuff alone.
  19. topo morto

    topo morto

    Mar 22, 2010
    You need the steroids someplace - be it in the bass, in pedals, or in the amp.

    I tend to play straight to PA.

    I much prefer passive bass + pedals to an active bass, but if I don't have any pedals I am glad of the little bit of tweakability that the active circuit can give.
  20. Humbled

    Humbled Supporting Member

    If my bass has a substance abuse problem I'll get it help if it asks.
  21. djasterix


    Jan 1, 2012
    Lima, Peru
    I only play actives, that's what I like and serves my music. I also have some pedals to archive different sounds and effects, because I need them for the proyects I'm in. But I also like a lot of tones I hear from other players, even two of my favorite players use passive basses direct to tube amps.

    Diversity is the word... Nothing is better or worse, tones are just different, just like.... People... :)