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Active sound out of a passive bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jellybass, Dec 22, 2004.

  1. jellybass

    jellybass Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    Hey, I'm looking for help. I want to find a passive bass that has the same presence as an active bass. I have an active now which I love the sound from, however I am more of a fan of passive basses than active and want to find the best possible passive bass to achieve an active sound (or as close as possible). Anyone have any thoughts?
  2. bassarch


    Jul 24, 2001
  3. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    What don't you like about active basses?
  4. jellybass

    jellybass Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    The only thing I don't like about active basses is the fact that the battery dies and alters the sound. Is that a big deal? No, but I like to dial in my sound and keep it without having to worry and the battery aspect causes me to worry.
  5. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    I have never worried about the battery.
  6. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    I change the battery twice a year, whether it needs it or not. If the battery starts to play out, you will notice distortion first, even before you would notice any tone changes. When it distorts, change the battery - but I never wait that long.
  7. DaveB


    Mar 29, 2000
    Toronto Ontario
    I change my batteries twice a year and I have never had a failure. But there is an good option for you (still requires a batterythough). Get an outboard like an Aguiliar DB924 or the equaully good Sadowsky. I used to use the Aggie before I got rid of my passive basses and it was terrific. And if the battery dies(mine never did) unplug it and finish the night as passive.,
  8. jellybass

    jellybass Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    What kind of basses are you using that the battery needs to be changed twice a year? I get maybe 12-15 hours out of my batteries at a time. I change them about once a month.
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Turn up the volume on your amp. Play with the EQ on your amp. Get a stomp box EQ like those from Sadowsky.
  10. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    :confused: There's something wrong, then. I've had dozens of active basses, and the only time the batteries didn't last at least 6 months (up to a year) was a case where there was a problem with the output jack and it was draining the battery even when the bass was unplugged.

  11. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    definitely something wrong if you're draining batteries that fast. Active bass batteries even on a regularly gigged instrument should me 6 months or more.
  12. mrbungle


    Nov 13, 2000
    tampere, finland
    Any bass with short enough lead (i'm talking about like 10cm). If you are playing live that might be a problem, though :)
  13. KPJ


    Oct 2, 2001
    Methuen, MA USA
    You're not leaving the bass plugged in, are you?
  14. jellybass

    jellybass Guest

    Nov 8, 2004
    The bass I am using is a Yamaha BB1500A. If anyone has any idea why I am getting such short battery life out of it then I'd love to hear it. The bass delivers great tone and I'd like to keep it. The thing about the BB1500A is that the battery is in constant use when my cord is plugged in, however I take great care ton insure that I unplug the cord from the bass every time I play.
  15. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    That was my first thought.
  16. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    G&L L2500 (no more than twice a year)
    Alembic Orion (no more than twice a year)
    Carvin LB75 (no more than twice a year)

    I found out on the Alembic that I have to replace the battery every three-four weeks or so. It was totally dead after that, even if I hadn't plugged it in during that time. I sent the Alembic's guts back to California and they replaced the input jack and returned it to me. No problem since then.
  17. You can also buy an active bass with a true passive bypass. Then if the battery dies you can run the bass passive until you get a chance to replace the battery. Most of my active basses (like my Lakland 55-94 and Sadowsky Metro) have this option.
  18. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002

    I made sure to have this feature wired into my fretless when I dropped SDs and an OBP-3 into it last Christmas.
  19. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    My dingwall sounds at least as loud as most actives I think.
  20. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Then keep it!
    Check the jack. It's probably shorted, so that the electronics are always on.
    The other easy trick is to take out the battery, when not playing. IIRC, Yam's use an unscrewed battery hatch, which makes it easy to remove battery 'in action'. And without any 'plop' in the amp, too.