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Active vs. Passive

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bloodstein, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. Bloodstein


    Jun 20, 2004
    I'm new to the bass and I'm wondering what the difference is between the active and passive inputs in my amp? How do I figure out if I've got an active or passive bass?
  2. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    simple enough rule to follow... if it's got a battery it's active
  3. The active input has a pad that dampens the input signal so it doesnt overload the amp (I think! I'm goin by what I've picked up here on the rockin TB). If your bass has onboard EQ, or a battery on it, it is active.
  4. Bloodstein


    Jun 20, 2004
    Ok, this is the amp I have:


    It's got active and passive input and an EQ. I'm not sure what difference plugging my bass guitar (which I think is not active cuz it hasn't got a battery...or EQ on it) would make on either input cuz it sounds the same to me. If it has a dampening pad, wouldn't my effects change the sound? Oh yeah, which brings me to another question...if I use effects with my bass guitar, wouldn't that effectively turn my bass guitar into an active bass?

    Also, there are these two switches:
    a) "Bright" switch
    b) Compressor switch

    What are these supposed to do??
  5. The compressor switch is designed to stop the signal from the pre amp (in your amp) distorting. I've got a laney similar to this with the saem switch and I leave it off cos when the compressor makes a difference it has a click to it which i don't like! (basically a compressor squesses the signal from the pre amp... if you imagine the signal wave the amplitude gets less when the compressor is kicked in)

    The bright switch boosts the high end a bit to gig you more definition in the high end sounds
  6. Step 1/ Plug a lead into your bass.
    Step 2/ Put the other end of the lead on your tongue.

    Warning: Don't use this active/passive bass test if you have a bad heart or are easily offended. :bag:
  7. Nick man

    Nick man

    Apr 7, 2002
    Tampa Bay
    I used to own that amp. Its pretty cool from what I remember.

    Plug you bass into the passive input. Adjust the tone settings however they sound best. If you want more trebble push in the bright switch.

    If you are playing at high volumes you might want to use the compressor to protect your amp. It will decrease volume, but if you dont use it you might destroy the amp and get no sound.

  8. McHack


    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    I dunno, if the bass has an active pre-amp,,, but passive pups,,, (like my Lakland) I use the Passive input & have had NO problems.
  9. venturawest


    Apr 29, 2004
    if your bass has no panel on the back that needs to be unscrewed to replace a 9V battery, it's in all likelihood a passive bass. use the passive input on your amp.

    look on the back of your instrument. is there a plastic covering with some screws holding it in place? if there is, unscrew them, take off the panel, and look for a battery. if it has a battery, then it's got an active preamp (most likely, very few basses have true active pickups) and you should use the active input.

    compressor: smart idea. prevents you from overloading the sound and overdriving the amp too much. it's a good idea to use it.

    brightness: adds a tremendous treble and high mid to your sound, thus adding a "bright" or "sharp" quality to it. you're better off just leaving that off and using your 8-band EQ to tailor your sound.

    hope that helps, vw.
  10. Bloodstein


    Jun 20, 2004
    wow.....i feel enlightened :bassist:

    I played around with the switches....and yea, I kindda see what you guys are saying...thx guys...