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-10 db switch

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by soleil4716, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. soleil4716


    Mar 11, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    Is there any problem if I do not use the attenuation switch (-10 db) of the amp when using an active bass? I am using an Ibanez SR500 with SWR Working Pro 12. It sounds better (and obviously louder) if the -10 db switch is not used. There is no clipping in the amp at the gain level (12 o clock) I'm using it and no distortion.

    Will this cause any problem for the amp in the long run?

  2. johnk_10

    johnk_10 vintage bass nut Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 16, 2008
    Thousand Oaks, CA
    John K Custom Basses
    if its not distorted, then it is fine to use it that way.
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No problems whatsoever. I have never used an active pad when using an active bass and I never will. I think they're completely useless.
  4. panaran


    Dec 1, 2008
    agree with JimmyM. The only time I used the active pad was when I was in the dorms in college. To me, the sound was more pure when i had to play it at pretty low volumes. Other than that screw it.
  5. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    I disagree. With some really hot basses your input section won't stop clipping until you engage the -10db. Rare but happens...
  6. soleil4716


    Mar 11, 2009
    Dallas, TX
    Thanks for all the replies. Sounds like I'm fine as long as there is no clipping or distortion.
  7. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Gold Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2007
    Toronto Ontario Canada
    Bingo! If you ever do get distortion just turn the bass down until it goes away. I too don't use that switch.

  8. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I also never use the padded input, or switch. Just turn the gain down, and it always sounds better.
  9. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    The 'active' pad or input really has nothing to do with whether the bass is active or not (amp companies should stop using that labeling). It's a simple pad that, on rare occasions, can be useful if you have a bass with an extremely hot output that overdrives the pre even at low gain levels. It can also be helpful if you have a very strong right hand touch, which will also sent a very hot signal to the amp. Some active inputs have a different input impedance, but active basses aren't really impacted by that one way or the other anyway.

    I have only had to use the active input (or the pad switch, depending on the amp design) on rare occasions, once with a passive bass that had MASSIVE output, and also with the very hot output of the Rob Allen basses with piezo pickups.

    In general, to the OP, you shouldn't use it unless you hear distortion in the preamp at low input gain settings, since the pad puts some additional circuity (a capacitor) between your bass and your amp.

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