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After abit of advice

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tom-1602, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Tom-1602


    Feb 6, 2016
    Hi guys,

    Just a quick question really I have been looking at getting a new bass as the one I'm using now (a cheap starter Peavey) has started falling to bits and has become unreliable. I have been looking at spending a bit of money and getting a MM Sub ray 4 but I'm put off by the idea of it being active (as stupid as it sounds haha) does it actually make a difference and is there any alternative to the Sub Ray that is passive? Or are most more expensive basses active?

    Thanks In advance
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  2. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    There are lots of good basses to choose from both active and passive. What is drawing you to this certain bass given that it's active and you'd prefer passive? I'm guessing it's not the sound.
    Hi-End Basses likes this.
  3. Tom-1602


    Feb 6, 2016
    More the look to be fair mate, as you can tell I'm abit of a newb at bass and haven't really explored different parts and tones obviously being restricted to using a pretty cheap bass I've usually just got by playing very basic (literally just plugging in turning the volume up and playing)but now I'm starting to play in different bands etc and Im eager to learn to become a better bassist overall
  4. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I used to be an active bass enthusiast, and I wouldn't mind having this one.
    However, I've discovered this and I no longer have to search for that perfect sound we all seek.
  5. Tom-1602


    Feb 6, 2016
    What's the actual difference between active and passive? With active do you get more versatility tone wise? And how often would you have to change a battery in an active bass?
  6. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Fair enough. I'd spend some time lurking here to come up with at least three options to go find and compare. The Sub Ray isn't afaik considered an expensive bass, so I'm guessing this is a significant/important purchase on your next step of the bass journey. The community is here to help avoid a costly mistake.

    Where are you located and what it your budget?
  7. DigitalMan

    DigitalMan Wikipedia often mistakes my opinions for fact Supporting Member

    Nov 30, 2011
    Active allows you to both boost and cut frequencies with the onboard tone controls. Passive only allows you to cut frequencies. Some folks feel passive has a more organic tone while active is a little more "in your face" so to speak. Battery replacement is infrequent. Some people do it twice a year and some even less than that.

    Some active basses have an active/passive option as well.
    Oldschool94 likes this.
  8. Tom-1602


    Feb 6, 2016
    I'm in the UK looking to spend about 200 to 350, just looking for a good 'intemediate' bass that's going to be reliable I guess
  9. Tom-1602


    Feb 6, 2016
    Thanks for this, it's one of them things I've heard people discuss but never fully understood
  10. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I used to like that when I plugged in an active bass it sounded louder, more powerful than a passive bass, but...

    If you do go active buy yourself a good lithium battery and one of these.
  11. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    Lots of folks have poor notions about active basses that come from either playing actives with cheap electronics or ones that have a purposefully baked-in sound that they assume is stereotypical for all actives. There is no "active bass sound," and anyone who has spent time with a high-end bass with a quality preamp that has an active/passive option can tell you that they can sound identical between the active and passive modes when you don't engage the EQ. There are lots of passive basses that are far more up front and aggressive with their tones than actives as well. For example, most bright or "on steroids" Jazz basses were far more in-your-face in both tone and volume than my Elricks that had the more subtle Bartolini NTMB preamps.

    Also, an active bass nearly always means an active preamp and passive pickups. Lots of people who don't know better will say active pickups when they mean an active preamp. There are basses with active pickups of course, but they are far less common and brands are usually known for them (Spector, etc.)

    Unless something is wrong with the preamp, battery changing only needs to happen once or twice a year, and can technically last much longer in some cases. I change mine when doing setups about twice a year just to be safe, even though they don't need to be changed.
    ReiPsaeg, Hi-End Basses and jd56hawk like this.
  12. angst178


    Oct 22, 2009
    I tried 2 Sub basses today. If you have a heavy attack it will overdrive the peramp. Not a good sound.
    Okstatefan likes this.
  13. Cuzzie

    Cuzzie Supporting Member

    Jan 1, 2016
    @Tom-1602 Active/passive aside you need a bass you get on with.
    Try a load out in music stores to see which you get a feel for and do it both sat down and standing to see how it's balanced.
    With that price range you can net some decent second hand bases.
    I picked up a year old mint condition Fender Cabronita P bass at the top of your range.
    I'm in the UK and Gumtree and preloved are good sites
    wintremute likes this.
  14. Active means you have a pre-amp in your bass, you can turn bass, treble (most also have mids) up. With a passive bass you can only cut. Usually when you use an active bass you push the -15dB button on your amp so you don't slam the pre-amp in your head into clipping/distortion. Cheers.
  15. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Welcome to TalkBass @Tom-1602 !!!

    One more question. .....and I hope is hasn't been asked and I missed it.

    What are your tone goals? Maybe you could point out a song or a bass player you like the sound of. That will help us narrow down choices in your budget.
  16. Sub Rays are quality basses, especially considering the price. Go to Guitar Center and try one out, I have never been to one that doesn't have a Sub in stock. These basses are generally used for very specific styles, so I would definitely play before you buy.
  17. Hi-End Basses

    Hi-End Basses

    Apr 20, 2015
    A very good question.
  18. Hi-End Basses

    Hi-End Basses

    Apr 20, 2015
    I think it's important to have the Bass that you like, and it should be an investment. You may find that you like having an onboard preamp. Enjoy it!
  19. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    You have to change the battery every single time you set your bass back in its stand without unplugging it.
    Otherwise they last a long long time.

    I also don't like using batteries. I worry about them leaking and corroding things.
    Just not worth it for me. I'm fine with passives.
  20. Hi-End Basses

    Hi-End Basses

    Apr 20, 2015
    Why don't you go on the company's website, and look at your options. You may find what you want in a passive model.

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