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Aguilar Active PreAmp---w/passive tone ????

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mrboogle, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. mrboogle


    Feb 3, 2003
    I've read that the aguilar onboard preamps (dont remember if it was one or both of'em) are active yet are able to have passive treble and bass controls. I've also seen this setup in of those Flea model Modulus basses.

    Could somebody explain to me how this can be/works?

    And does it come standard on the preamp or is it something you have to get extra?

    Ofcourse, if you've played through one before let me know what you thought, I'm looking for something to funk up my spector and bring it to life. I love the ballsy sound of all passive, just not to slap with.
  2. mrboogle


    Feb 3, 2003
    C'mon, where are all you aggie fans out there??? Somebodys gota know what I'm talking about!?!
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Hi mrboogle, IMO there's no such thing as a "passive sound" or an "active sound". Either one can be tweaked, and there's no magic associated with it. Electronically speaking, an "active" tone control means it's in the feedback path of an amplifier. You can have a passive tone control that's wired exactly the same way as an active tone control, the only difference is that it's on one side or the other of the preamp, instead of in the feedback path (this is especially common with Baxandall type tone controls, which is probably what the Aguilar uses). In practice, it's relatively easy to "cut" unwanted frequencies using either the active or passive method, but it's considerably more difficult to "boost" signals with a passive tone control, and that's why people use actives, 'cause boosting the highs and lows is relatively easy that way. But as with any other EQ, you can never add anything that wasn't there in the first place, in other words in the final analysis it all comes down to what's being delivered by your pickups. There is no inherent electronic advantage to passive tone controls (they're not necessarily better or quieter or anything like that, it all depends on how they're being used). However if you like to wire your own guitars and amps, passive circuits are about as simple as it gets, so hence they're favored in some circles. Personally I like active preamps, for the simple reason that they usually have low impedance outputs, and can therefore drive very long cables without picking up excessive hum and noise.
  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    As nonsqtr says, you can't add eq in a passive circuit. All you can do is remove it, usually with a tone control. To add anything - bass/treble/mids, you need to bring a preamp into the circuit.

    What you might be thinking of is the Villex pickup system, which as well as a tone control has a mid control. Again, all you can do is cut but it gives you great flexibility for a passive bass. Those are available as an option on the Flea bass, and the bass player review of the Flea J5 talked about them.
  5. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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