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Amp EQ -vs- Active Bass EQ

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Buzz, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Buzz


    Feb 3, 2004
    Metro Detroit
    I'm curious for those using a bass with active EQ. More often than not, do you rely on your active bass eq and keep your amp set flat? Is it overkill to get a bass with a powerful active pre amp and then get a head with a signature colored tone?

  2. danomite64


    Nov 16, 2004
    Tampa, Florida
    I have used a lot of active basses, and a lot of amps, and what I find I prefer is a Jazz-type bass with a 2 band preamp on the bass (Sadowski is my favorite so far), and an amp with a tube power section, set flat. I also prefer a passive bass to one with a 3-band, for whatever that's worth.
  3. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I have a Musicman Sterling 4 String with 3Band Electronics and a 3-way pickup switch.

    I use my amp to set an overall tone that sounds close to flat for the room. My bass knob becomes my manipulator for the rest of my tone. I rarely ever touch the mids or treble controls.

    So yes, the amp EQ is for the room. The bass EQ is for the bass. I'll leave it at that.
  4. vision

    vision It's all about the groove!

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Basses, La Bella Strings, and 64 Audio IEMs

    I use the amp to EQ for whichever room I'm playing in, and I'll change the bass EQ depending on the song I'm playing at what sound I'm going for. The point is that I should never have to change the amp eq all night.

    One other thing I'll use the amp eq for is to add more sizzle base on how new my strings are. I'm a new roundwound stainless steel type of guy, so if my strings are getting a bit dead I'll add that brightness back via the amp eq.
  5. v-12


    Mar 3, 2005
    FL Panhandle
    i use the eq on my bass to compliment the eq on my amp. All the controls are set at different frequencies, so i'll use the most appropriate knob on either if the room requires it. mostly i leave both it pretty much flat, except for the mids- i slightly boost the low mids on my bass (250) and boost alot of the upper mids on my amp (1800). The two combined are essential for me to acheive "my sound".
  6. simpy1


    Mar 31, 2005
    New Zealand
    My amp has a 12-band EQ which I love....three or four knobs on the amp wouldn't do it for me. But like others here I set the amp to what sounds best in the room with all controls set flat on my bass (3-band active).

    Then in heavy funk songs I can use the bass' EQ turn down the mids and up the bass, when I'm slapping I can up the treble, and when I'm playing newer funky stuff I up the mids. My Warwick also has a push-pull volume knob to put it in "slap mode" which is trble boost and mid scoop. Yummy.
  7. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    also, usually, i'll EQ on my bass for a nice sound to send to the house DI, and then use my amp to tune to the room.

    but if i'm not fighting the room and the soundman wants my rig to feed said room, i'll do all my EQ'ing from the rig.
  8. simpy1


    Mar 31, 2005
    New Zealand
    My amp has a DI out and I can choose to have it using the EQ or not, so I can have the best of both worlds (PA/my speakers) through my amp.
  9. Use the EQ on your bass to get your sound.
    Use the EQ on your amp to deliver it properly to the room you are playing.

  10. My amp is a big part of my sound, as well as my bass..I like my bass' original tone, but the right amp makes the sparks really fly...
  11. Yeah a lot of people are like that, especially with tube amps and such. Whatever works for you is the best way to do it.
  12. Buzz


    Feb 3, 2004
    Metro Detroit
    Thanks for all the input. My initial thoughts on this originally were an EB Bongo with that powerful 4 band eq running in to a Eden WT-550. (an amp with a powerful EQ) If you have a bass with that much on board tweaking do you really need an amp with that much eq power? (Even though a lot of users say they leave their Edens pretty flat.)

  13. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    I don't differentiate. If I'm going for a certain sound, I use whichever EQ is voiced the best to deliver that sound... both EQ's, if I feel like it.

    For tweaking on the fly I use onboard EQ simply because it's more convenient. But I play a passive bass fairly often, so in that case I tweak the amp (unless I'm just cutting highs).
  14. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

  15. I almost never use onboard EQ.

    However, my onboard volume control is what I mainly use for volume.
  16. atoni


    Jan 23, 2004
    Helsinki, Finland
    Endorsing Artist: Salo Guitars
    I always set my bass active eq flat, and make the eq adjustments with rig amp and house pa preamp/DI
  17. SuperSonic!!!


    Oct 26, 2005
    I find that the EQ on my bass is too un-subtle; one slight change and the bass sounds completely different. So, I leave it all flat on the bass and change the EQ on the amp.
  18. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC/JAM USA: Distributor of Ashdown amplification
    I agree with Fuzzbass on this. Us amp manufacturers are having a challenge these days. I say "us" because I'm very friendly with most of our competitors and we talk a lot.

    We are challenged because of the tremendous variables out there today in regards to the output of various on-board pres. Some are +/- 3db and some are +/- 18db!!

    A bassist will often take a bass with a powerful on-board pre, crank the volume and crank the tone controls and then wonder why the input of his amp is clipping. I have a 1984 Ken Smith I bought new. The active electronics in that bass sound downright passive by today's standards.

    Another issue with basses today is what sound engineers calls "fader creep"- the bassist thinks he doesn't hear enough bass so he turns it up. Now he doesn't hear enough definition so he turns up the mids. Now he doesn't hear enough tight thump so he turns up the low-mids. Wait, there isn't enough bass now so that get turned up again.

    The Bongo is a POWERFUL pre. With that bass I'd be prepared to not run the volume past 3/4's. Then take Fuzzbass idea- get your basic sound from eq'ing your amp and then tweak at the bass.
  19. Buzz


    Feb 3, 2004
    Metro Detroit

    This was very insightful. Thank you very much.


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