1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

Noob Bass Preamp Question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by BassNoobasaurus, Apr 10, 2014.


  1. BassNoobasaurus

    BassNoobasaurus

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Hey all,
    So I got a new bass with an active preamp (uses 9v battery). My bass's controls are Master volume, Mids, Treble, Bass, blend. My question is simply, is it harmful to keep the volume all the way up?
    (I have been keeping volume all the way up, everything else at middle position with bass slightly boosted)
    Thank you
    -Noob
     
  2. Selta

    Selta

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere Far Beyond
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: EBMM
    Not at all :). Why would it be? The only time I'd think it'd be a possible issue is if you're driving too much into the preamp of your head/rack, but most cases you'd just hit to -10db pad there to ease that.
     
  3. gregmon79

    gregmon79 Effectheadaholic Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2012
    Location:
    Chicagoland area
    What amp are you using?? You should be fine bumping the volume to the max. But depending on the amp you will want to watch your onboard EQ, the bass treble and mid. You will learn, depending on the amp, that less is usually more. If your amp is sensitive to active electronics it will clip if all your knobs are maxed usually. So that will make a difference. I have an active Ibanez ATK 300 and I used to max everything. But when I got a newer amp I had to learn how to back stuff down so I didnt clip my head. Now I run mt EQ flat with just a little treble and bass bumped up a bit.
     
  4. BassNoobasaurus

    BassNoobasaurus

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Well I should mention that I recently found a Warwick Thumb Bass and BC300 combo at a garage sale and bought them (for what I later discovered was a steal). It sounds awesome through the combo, but when I plug it into a DI box, I get a lot of hiss. To fix this, I lowered the box's preamp, and turned the Bass's master volume up to compensate. After, I was left with a nice noiseless sound.
    I just wanted to make sure keeping the Volume at 100% wouldn't damage the electronics in the bass, or damage the DI box itself (Presonus USB).
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. line6man

    line6man

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    Full volume is unity gain, not a boost. (Technically there is still a loss, due to the parallel resistance of the pot, but it's close to unity gain.)
     
  7. BassNoobasaurus

    BassNoobasaurus

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Thank you for the responses, although I am not really sure what line6man means. I consulted google and read some articles, but I am not completely sure how to interpret the explanations and apply it to my situation.

    Is there any way someone could dumb this down in a way that a small child could understand? :D
     
  8. Selta

    Selta

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere Far Beyond
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: EBMM
    Basically, on the preamp you descibed you have:
    Bass, Mid, Trebel, which can likely go from like -10dB to + 10dB at a specific frequency, with center being no boost or cut (+0dB).
    Volume knob, which when maxed out, is not boost or cut. Any turning down is attenuation of the signal.So you can go from off (-infinity) to +0dB, but you cannot go to say +10 dB).
    Balance (aka blend) - goes from neck to bridge pickup, with center usually being 50/50 split between the two pickups.
     
  9. BassNoobasaurus

    BassNoobasaurus

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Thank you Selta!
    So turning the Volume up doesn't actually use the preamp, only the Bass/Mid/Treble controls use the preamp, is that accurate?
     
  10. Selta

    Selta

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2002
    Location:
    Somewhere Far Beyond
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: EBMM
    Without knowing the specific preamp I can't say 100% for sure, but most likely the volume pot is not part of the actual preamp. However, if the battery dies, you'll still lose output as the signal usually flows:
    Pickups -> Balance Pot -> Volume Pot -> Preamp EQ stages -> output jack

    Unless it has an active/passive switch, which would then remove the preamp stage from the flow, and somewhere there'd likely be a passive tone pot.
     
  11. line6man

    line6man

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2008
    Location:
    Close to Los Angeles, CA
    Unity gain means that there is no boost and no cut. The signal that goes in is the signal that goes out. Though, as I said, there is a slight loss due to the resistance of the pot.
     
  12. BassNoobasaurus

    BassNoobasaurus

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Thank you for the responses :)
     
  13. Growlmonkee

    Growlmonkee

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2013
    Location:
    Florida, U.S.
    The preamp runs at full power at all times, the volume pot cuts down the full signal when lowered, so you won't hurt the preamp, or even drive it harder at full volume, one side affect to active preamp/full volume is that depending on the preamp it might put out too hot of a signal to your amp, mixing board, etc., making for a bad sound, if it sounds good, it isn't a problem at all.
     

Share This Page