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Active vs passive

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by greitzer, Jul 31, 2004.

  1. I checked the newbie threads and found an "active vs. passive" thread, but it didn't answer the question I have. What do these words mean? What is an "active" bass and what is a "passive" bass. Thanks in advance.
  2. quallabone


    Aug 2, 2003
    Use the search button. This has been killed numerous times before.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
  5. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Jeff's post explains the technical differences very nicely. Some people have preferences.

    Today I prefer passive in general. In the past I've preferred active. You get a different sound out of the two, largely because on on-board active tone controls, but honestly you can probably do what the on-board tone controls are doing on your amp, so what else is there? Buffering for pickup blend so that there aren't any funny pickup interferences is nice.... Unless you like those funny pickup interferences...

    It really depends on the bass. There's no way I'd want to get rid of the Prefix Plus on my Tacoma, but I wouldn't want an active circuit on my Jazz Bass. But that's just my opinion, it's more important to have a true understanding of what all the knobs do and how to work with that than to obsess about whether there's a battery in there.
  6. ive come to a liking of basses that are switchable between active and passive....also really helpful if the battery runs out halfway through a gig and you dont have a backup...real helpful
  7. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    If you can get the sound you want with a passive bass, do that. The simpler your gear is the less trouble you will have with it.