1. Welcome to TalkBass, the Premier Bass Player Community and Information Source. We've been uniting the Low End Since 1998!

    We're glad you've found us. Register a 100% Free Account to post and unlock tons of features.

Weak active bass output

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by basehed, Apr 5, 2014.


  1. basehed

    basehed

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA, USA
    What are normal output levels for an active bass? I bought an active Cort bass and it's weaker than I thought. Don't know if this is a cheap brand, a broken preamp or my other basses just have very strong signal. I have my multimeter in hand and oscilloscope. Thanks!
     
  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2010
    Location:
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
    How is the battery? Is there a trim-pot?
     
  3. ctmullins

    ctmullins Registered thumper Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Location:
    MS Gulf Coast
    There is no standard. It depends on the design of the preamp, as well as the output of the pickup that's driving it.

    Try bypassing the preamp if possible, to see how the output compares. Also, hopefully obvious, but make sure the battery is fresh.

    How close are the pickups to the strings? You might try raising them if you have room.
     
  4. basehed

    basehed

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA, USA
    Trim pot is wide open. Battery is fresh. It is an active pickup with three wires.
     
  5. Register to disable this ad
  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps
    Just like passives, actives have differing output levels, too. I would caution against judging the tone of actives based solely on output, as it's not the only thing. Having said that, Cort is known as sort of a budget brand, and active pickups/preamps always seem to be one area that budget brands skimp on.
     
  7. basehed

    basehed

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2013
    Location:
    Central Coast, CA, USA
    It does have a bartolini p/u and a three band preamp with a 'hyperboost' slap switch. It may just require a little more volume help from my amp. Don't active basses typically have higher output than passives?
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps
    Oh, sounds like you got a little more deluxe package ;) But it's been my experience that there's as much variation in volumes of active pickups as passive. EMG actives are usually pretty hot, while basses I've played with Barts on them tend to have less output than EMG's. They're more like the output of basses with your standard passive P and J pickups on them.

    Sometimes you can make up for it with your amp, sometimes you can't. The Fender active pickups that came with my 95 Precision Lyte aren't very hot either, and they had the extra bonus of sounding really bad at any volume, and no amount of gaining up the amp could make up for it. It's really a decision you have to make for yourself. A lot of people like Barts but they're not my thing. Might not be yours, either. But they are good pickups that a lot of folks like, so before you go dropping money on a set of EMG's ;) you should give them a fair shake without bumming over their lack of output.
     

Share This Page