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Active and Passive Acoustic bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by fdiaz05, Nov 14, 2002.


  1. fdiaz05

    fdiaz05

    Oct 24, 2002
    i was at a music store yesterday buying some new strings for my 5 string and i noticed a couple of acoustic basses there. I've been looking to get one so i played this one nice looking small scale Hohner. It was an active bass but had high action and bad strings so i guess i didn't like it. Then i played this passive Dean acoustic bass with a nice set of strings and low action. I liked the way the Dean felt but it was a little bigger. I had my eye set on the Hohner cuz of the look more. But had i bought it and changed the strings and lowerd the action would that make a big difference. I mean i liked how they both felt when i played them. Does active really mean better??
     
  2. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    First off, why do you want an acoustic/electric bass? They generally have a horrible tone. If you happen to find one with somewhat acceptable tone, they still pale in comparison to a hearty solid chunk-o-wood. Don't do it....
     
  3. fdiaz05

    fdiaz05

    Oct 24, 2002
    i jam quite a bit of acoustic as well as electric. but i always drown out the guitar. and when i turn it down theres not enough sound
     
  4. fdiaz05

    fdiaz05

    Oct 24, 2002
    thank you! but still can anyone answer my question of does active always mean better? and had i changed strings and action on the hohner would that really change my perspective on me liking that bass
     
  5. fdiaz05

    fdiaz05

    Oct 24, 2002
    uh.......thank you i think....but what i meant was that both of these basses had knobs and volume control. the dean had tone and volume. the hohner had a few other and also required a battery to operate. I am planning on using it in a band setting with an amp. like i said i liked the passive dean but the smaller hohner had a nice black finish but it also had a bad bad set of string and high action making it harder to play. so i'm kinda torn. i dunno if i should buy the hohner and change the string and action hoping it'll be better than the Dean which already sounded nice and felt nice
     
  6. fdiaz05

    fdiaz05

    Oct 24, 2002
    yea it's the same. now would string and action lowering cause me to change my mind on an acoustic bass. does it make a biiiig difference?
     
  7. I have had many ABG's from Martins,Tacoma,and Taylors,and presently have a 6 string ABG by Fumi Nozawa. All have needed active systems in order to combat live playing conditions. I have found some of the Raven labs products to be useful in bringing to life the qualities of the ABG.
     
  8. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    Okay...first of all, A/E's are neither inferior nor superior to solid bodies....just different. My main perfornamce basses are a fretted Godin A4 and fretless Godin A5...both acoustic electrics. I do a great deal of studio work (in addition to my solo work) and have several solid bodies (incl. a pristine 67 p bass), but since I strated bringing my Godins to sessions more and more producers and engineers are requesting that bass and its tone. I am able to do all the things my various active and passive solid bodies do with my Godin, incl. slapping and tapping when called for...and it has a certain "je nais se quoi" which solids simply cannot get. And for a deep, growly full bass tone it cannot be beat.

    I also have a Dean Perfomer Plus, which I use mainly for traveling...writing in hotel rooms on tour and such. They are fine basses (tho no comparison to the Godin). It has a 32" scale which I find quite comfy (and easy to take as a carry-on on airlines), and a small body size (smaller in fact than a dreadnaught sized gtr). This gives it a somewhat diminished "unplugged" sound with more tonal prominence in the 2nd harmonic than the fundamental (which makes it punchy, even for the smallish volume). All in all a fun little bass...and quite well made.

    But...I am curious to the active/passive bit concerning A/E's. I have had a Hohner, which was also fun to play, but really had some construction probs (action, truss rod) and horrible electronics.
    Most A/E's,m or ABGs come with piezo bridge PUs, which are USUALLY active by design. Very few makers are installing passive piezo systems as piezos have incredibly high output impedences and require some sort of active buffer, and it is much easier to install even a cheap on board preamp (as in the case of Hohner and others...for that matter the standard Shadow preamp in the Dean, was IMHO unacceptable. I replaced it with a Highlander system) then to require the buyer to get an additional outboard preamp. Many URB players use passive piezos coupled with high quality outboard pres, but I have not seen too many ABGs equipped like this.
    The Dean and Hohner are both equipped with active piezo systems. IMHO the Dean is a better bass, but still has a less than desirable preamp. It is actually very easy, and not too expensive to swap that out for something better such as Fishman, Highlander or L.R. Baggs system.

    Max
     
  9. fdiaz05

    fdiaz05

    Oct 24, 2002
    EY EY this is my post and I'll be the one to say thank you....THANK YOU MAX:D
     
  10. maxvalentino

    maxvalentino Endorsing Artist Godin Guitars/ Thomastik-Infeld

    ...you are both welcome.

    Max
     
  11. yes it probably would unless the bass was just horrible the shop may set it up a little for you if you showed a lot of interest in buying it.

    good luck