1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

American Passive Fender Jazz - does it cut through live?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Jamco, Jul 30, 2007.

  1. Jamco


    Jul 7, 2007
    Hey guys,

    I'm thinking about buying an American Series Fender Jazz (Passive) and was wondering if passive basses cut it in a live situation. It will be my first time gigging properly and I've had some people tell me that an active bass will help the sound to cut through in a live situation. Is this true or does my ability to 'cut through' a guitarist and a drummer depend on the wattage of my head/size of my cabinet etc?


  2. Yep, they've been proving they can cut through live and in the studio for decades now.
  3. Jamco


    Jul 7, 2007
    But what about musicians like Flea and Marcus Miller preferring to use active bass - in both the cases of these musicians active fenders?
  4. What about guys like Geddy Lee who stick to passive Js and cut through just as well? I think it's less of a passive/active issue as it is a pickup and electronic issue. Flea cuts through because he uses humbuckers near the bridge. Both players like active circuits because they help add a touch of sizzle to their treble. It's also convenient to have the pre inside your bass if you're using different amps all the time.

    However, remember that preamps can be onboard or rack/pedal. You can have a passive bass and get a good preamp to get a lot of equalization possibilities and tone coloring. Some healthy low and high mids are the key. That'll definitely help you sit well and cut through the mix. My 2 cents.
  5. El-Bob


    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    there are alot of things that effect whether or not you will cut through, from playing style to pups to amps & heads, etc. an active will not necessarily cut through better than a passive, for example: steve harris plays a passive p-bass, and cuts through in iron maiden better than tom araya cuts through in slayer with his active basses.
  6. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    My Geddy Lee cuts through just fine IMO.
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Remember too that all basses go through a preamp and usually some sort of EQ on their way to your speakers and the PA speakers. The only difference with an active bass is it has a preamp and EQ onboard the bass, for tone shaping, but that won't make it "cut through" any better (necessarily) than using a passive bass and simply turning up the preamp you plug the bass into, and shaping its EQ to best advantage there.
  8. christle


    Jan 26, 2002
    Winnipeg, MB
    Both of my basses are passive (Precision and Jazz) and they cut through amazingly well. I put them through a Tech 21 SansAMP PBDDI (the pre-amp) before going to the board. I have also have had active basses that cut through fine and others that didn't. It really is a matter of finding a good bass and getting your sound.
  9. afroman


    Aug 31, 2000
    Austin, TX
    they cut and fit the mix perfectlly as long as you dont go doing that crappy smiley-face EQ thing. Hate that!:rollno:

  10. This man knows what's up!

    A nice solid mid range (more low mids though) is what I rely on to really cut through.
  11. Jamco


    Jul 7, 2007
    Cheers guys for the advice

    I'm also thinking in purchasing a GK 700 RB head too - would an additional preamp help? I don't really understand seperate preamps vs preamps inbuilt into heads etc?
  12. The J-Bass, the GK...you're on your way!
  13. Heads are consisted of a preamp (equalization) + power amp (volume and wattage). Generally, you'll buy a head that sounds good (pre) and is the right wattage for your application (power).

    If you've got your eyes set on the 700 RB, it's probably because you like the way it sounds. There's not really a need to buy another preamp. It's almost like buying a 2nd head. Sure, it's more flexible, but likely overkill.

    Exceptions? A preamp like the Tech21 Sansamp Bass Driver DI is also a sort of overdrive pedal, so it's often used to warm up or add grind to a bass tone.
  14. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    No...you don't need a seperate preamp. The GK has a good sounding preamp, all bass amps have a preamp. The preamp section of an amp is where the gain and EQ settings reside. The only non-preamp control on an amp is the master volume.

    Some people prefer seperate components (seperate preamp and power amp) because its provides greater flexability. But for most people, its simpler just to get a regular head.

    BTW, a passive Fender Jazz with a GK amp will cut thorugh a mix quite nicely, especially with the right speaker cab.
  15. Paulitics


    Apr 12, 2007
    San Diego, CA
    I agree with what everyone has said and would just like to add that if you have a decent cab, the combination of a GK700 and a passive american jazz will cut through the mix extremely well. You will be able to get lots of punchy mids which really help you be heard.
  16. louieeadg

    louieeadg uncle petey?

    Jun 13, 2007
    outer banks, nc
    Tim Cummerford, Geddy Lee, & Jaco never had any problems cutting through with their passive J's...
  17. Jamco


    Jul 7, 2007
    Hey, thanks for the response. When you mean decent cab what kind of size are we talking about -I want punch without needing to see a back specialist!

    also apologies that this is becoming a kind of 'catch all' thread!
  18. Double Agent

    Double Agent Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2006
    Lakeland, FL
    Well, since you asked, ...

    Hmmmm......punch....no chiropractors....good companion to GK700RB.....

    GK Neo 212

  19. HMZ


    Dec 21, 2003
    Not true Flea has been using a passive Fender Jazz. I think its a 62
    if I remember correctly.
  20. Jamco


    Jul 7, 2007
    that cab looks sweet - any other possible alternatives?

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.