Active bass with passive tone?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Alvaro Martín Gómez A., May 27, 2007.

  1. Alvaro Martín Gómez A.

    Alvaro Martín Gómez A. TalkBass' resident Bongo + cowbell player

    Hi everybody.

    My first active bass was a Washburn Axxess (XS-5? I still don't know anything about this instrument) that had two EMG Jazz pickups and could work in active/passive mode thanks to a push/pull switch. The bass used a 9V battery and the difference could definitely be heard when switching modes. As far as I understand, all active basses have at least 3 EQ controls: Lows, mids and highs, which won't work in passive mode (if the bass has that option, of course). But I've just remembered that the Axxess had just a standard tone knob (No 3-band EQ). Is that possible? I mean, was it really an active bass? Just curious. Thank you in advance for your input.
  2. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    Hey Alvaro,
    An active preamp can be set up many different ways. You are, no doubt, familiar with the 3band EBMM setup, and even the 4band bongo. But remember that the original rays were 2band, which treble/bass boost/cut.
    Many popular basses out now have 2band boost only preamps, so I wouldn't be surprised if your long lost Washburn only had one tone nob.
  3. I have a Westone Fretless Thunder III which has a rather peculiar active bass/mids boost/cut knob and a passive treble cut control which works in passive mode, so it's not unheard-of.


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