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active or passive ? please help

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by geezer316, Mar 23, 2003.

  1. geezer316


    Jan 26, 2003
    now-adays all the guys i talk to regaurding basses say i should invest in an active bass,i own a japanese p/j bass ,mim j/bass and olp mm copy all in wich are passive,i owned a yamaha 765a active and did'nt like it so i sold it,here's my problem they all say active is the only way to go "once you get good"i just so happen to like the sound of the passive,all my hero's use passive,JACO,JP.JONES,GEEZER and all the others from that era,if they did it with a passive i belive i could to,whats your opinion?i spend 2 hrs a day on this site and value all the opinions given(i plan on getting a 62 re-issue jaco bass passive)should i give in and go for an active?
  2. BoiNtC


    Nov 25, 2002
    NYC, USA
    Well.. I have a passive MIA P-Bass, its good for a lotta things, but I recently played a friend's Marcus Miller Artist series.. and I love the active on that =) My next one will be an active probably just so I have variety :) I'm actually looking at the Jaco, because I wanted a fretless :) but if I get the Jaco I'll probably re-wire it with a J-Retro or something of that sort for an active sound because I like that.. I don't know how to explain it I guess smoother sound for slapping n stuff although I dunno how much slapping I'd do on a fretless I'd have to readjust from fretted to fretless first, but the thing about the J-Retro stuff, you could change back to passive with the flip of a switch
  3. There's nothing wrong with passive basses. Lots of pros still swear by them. I think it's good to have both; passive basses have a "woodier", more organic tone, while active basses have a more modern, "high-tech" tone. Maybe you could consider having an active bass with a switch to go passive mode.
  4. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Well, that is not true. Plenty of pros use fully passive basses as a primary axe. Also, while a lot of the high-end boutiques such as MTD and Sadowsky do have active electronics, they are designed to have warm, woody, traditional tones associated with passive instruments.

    You prefer passive basses, so I greatly encourage you to stick with them. I can't imagine that you'd ever lose an opportunity because you had passive and not active. I happen to have both active and passive basses in my collection, but I play the passive ones over half the time. In fact my band recorded a demo CD last weekend, and I chose my passive Fender RB5.

    If you ever get into a situation where a "modern" active tone is required and you can't get it from your current rig, feel free to ask for ideas... but I can't really imagine that happening.
  5. Nino Valenti

    Nino Valenti Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 2, 2001
    Staten Island NYC
    Builder: Valenti Basses
    To say active is the only way to go "once you get good" is very silly. :) If you lke passive, as do millions of other bassists, go with it.
  6. If you don't need or want it, then that settles it.

    If your curious, then try an outboard preamp like the Sadowsky. It will work with any passive bass and you don't have to mod the bass(es) you own. If you don't like or want it, return it or sell it.
  7. The only real advantage to active basses is the better tone shaping abilities at your finger tips. If you could care less about that, then there's no reason not to play passives.
  8. sdguyman


    Jan 31, 2003
    San Diego
    I have to say that what is said about Active is true that you can control the tone better. I personally have the G&L 2500, it has the Active/Passive switch and I choose to set it in passive more often then Active. I use active more to get a better slap StingRay tone, otherwise its passive.
  9. I'll just say this :

    I have been playing bass for about 4 years now, I've had three basses all of them with active pickups, and I have yet to remember they run on batteries! Every time something doesn't sound right I start to freak out, hoping it's nothing big and i won't have to take it to my local shop to get fixed. (They are so slow it's not even funny. Were talking at least a month's wait)

    To get to the point, I'm giving up on active basses, and going passive so there's no worries.

    This is just me so don't bass your decision on mine.
  10. I prefer passive basses... they sound a lot more "natural" for me... active basses have this "piercing" sound I don't like much.

    And alas, passive basses cost less and don't require any batteries to work ;)


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