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Active/Passive-Someone tell me something

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by dsmith, Sep 15, 2001.


  1. dsmith

    dsmith

    Mar 29, 2001
    Mt. Vernon, KY
    Ok, here goes. Last night while playing at a gig, the owner of the place ask us if we would let another band play on our amps. He needs another band to play while we are not available, and was sort of auditioning them. We had no problem with this, and since I run sound off stage, I thought it would give me a chance to see how things sounded out front. We have a terrible time getting a good sound out front, but our stage sound is killer!! (I do run a wireless, but don't get out front very much because of the crowd.)

    Here is the problem, I have an active bass, and he had a passive. I plugged him into the passive input on my Hartke 5000, his sound was awsome coming through the mains, and I knew it was much better than mine. After tweaking the sound for the band, I felt much better about our sound going back up on stage. I came out front, and everything was just terrible. My bass could not be heard, my rythem player could not be heard, and I can't seem to get it fixed. Why would active pickups in any bass be harder to mix through the mains, my eq on my head is pre-xlr out, so his eq setting was the same as mine, its just that his bass made all the difference in the world. On stage, through my head and cabinet, they sounded nearly the same, I actually had to turn down the volume on stage though, his did have a little more thump.

    Any help would be appreciated!!
     
  2. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Hello D!

    First what bass do you have (not in profile) and what did he have? Do you play softly and did he belt the living daylights out of his?

    When was the last time you replaced the battery? Do you play with the volume on full?

    Today a mate came around with his Mim Jazz for a jam. When I plugged in My Warwick the output was slightly lower. It was a little lower not much.

    I have subscribed to this thread so see you later!
     
  3. dsmith

    dsmith

    Mar 29, 2001
    Mt. Vernon, KY
    The bass is a schecter, with emg hz's. I play hard, both of us played with our fingers, no picks. I had to actually turn the volume on stage down to let him play. He was playing a MIM fender, factory pickups. I have plenty volume out front, its just mud compared to others I have heard. Tonight I'm going over a little early to see if I can get things sounding better. If I don't find out why I cant get the sound out front to sound like it does on stage, I'm gonna find another bass to play next week. I'm not a sound man, but I have to do what I can. We have some very nice equipment, we just need a sound guru!!
     
  4. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    I dont know enough about EMG's but it sounds wrong. Is the battery ok ? Are the pickups adjusted properly?

    Try setting your amp eq flat then adding some mids.

    Hope this helps, keep the thread going until you fix the problem there are some amp guru's here (not me).
     
  5. dsmith

    dsmith

    Mar 29, 2001
    Mt. Vernon, KY
    I think some research on either the amp or pickups will tell me why, but I had a pretty good sound last night, punchy and clear. But only after I plugged into the passive input on the amp. Why the active input colors the sound so much, I have no idea, but thats exactly what it did. The Schecter line with emg hz's may or not be have active pups, it does require a 9v battery, but does it control the pickups, or the eq and circuitry? Either way, my sound was much better FOH, and I did have to turn down my stage volume to compensate. Main volume went from 5 to 2!! Someone here may be able to explain all of this to me.
     
  6. CS

    CS

    Dec 11, 1999
    UK
    Now we are talking, the 'active' input is attentuated to compensate for the higher output. After a lot of trial and error with various basses and amps this is my method. I always use the passive input unless it distorts. My Stingray and Warwick both sound 'better' in the passive socket. BTW I have recently installed Alembic pu's in th e THumb and whilst they are hotter than the OE MEC's i used the passive input this morning.

    All active systems are not the same, I had a Status 3000 with a 18v preamp and that would distort just about everything I plugged it into. Ok slight exaggeration but you get the point.

    Glad you are sorted and see you around the boards.
     
  7. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I also always use the passive input on my amps, whether playing a passsive or an active bass.