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Anyone going back to passive basses?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by kirkm24, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. kirkm24


    Jan 1, 2007
    Columbus, Ohio
    Over the past several years I've been using MusicMan basses (Stingrays, Bongos and Sterlings) and most recently I had a Carvin SB5000 bass. They all were great basses and I would have no problem playing them again but I have been playing a passive jazz bass lately and I just really like the tone for some reason. I recorded with it and it sounded so nice in the mix. I don't know if its the simplicity of it or what but I just am really enjoying using a passive Jazz Bass right now.

    Has anyone else recently made the switch from active back to passive? What was your reason for switching?
  2. Knavery


    Feb 24, 2004
    Denver, CO
    I just purchased a Fender American Jazz Standard to possibly replace my Lakland 55-02. But then I'll probably change my mind and keep them both. :)
  3. EricssonB


    Apr 5, 2011
    CoSpgs, CO.
    Power outage.
  4. snyderz

    snyderz Supporting Member

    Aug 20, 2000
    AZ mountains
    I've owned dozens of basses, at least half of them active. Now down to 6. All passive.
  5. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

    I may pull the active guts out of my T-Bird pro and replace them with passive circuitry.
  6. Tunaman


    Dec 26, 2004
    i just push a button with my reflex !
  7. Rob L

    Rob L Supporting Member

    Oct 29, 2006
    Chilly ND
    I did the switch several years ago to p basses. I love the simplicity and when you dig in they get more aggresive it seems. Sits in with the band perfectly. I like that my tone is very easy to dial in and no issues. I was an active guy for 20+ years.

    I recently (really in the past month) have been liking my new acive basses(Spectors). There is no way my go to p basses will leave me but it is a nice change up for now. I do know what you mean though it is nice to play a nice passive bass!!
  8. RaginRog

    RaginRog Last guy you want to see is Employee Relations guy

    Nov 29, 2009
    Formerly Staten Island
    Kirk, I made the switch a couple of years ago. I've had 4 Ernie Balls (Stingrays, Bongo, Sterling) at one time, then Jazz basses with active preamps, but here lately I've slowly sold the actives and have been sticking to my 3 passive Jazz basses. The tone knob and 2 pickup configuration works just fine for me, especially in a live setting.
  9. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 Groove it

    Oct 31, 2006
    I'm passive about 90% of the time. I like passive basses better because it seems like you can 'hear' them more. There's less 'stuff' between your fingers and the speakers.
  10. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru.......... Supporting Member

    Tone! I think the only active bass brand I would own these days is Alembic (or Wal), they do things differently than virtually all other active preamp basses.

    The only active bass I own is my Rick Turner and that is because piezo pickups need an impedance matching buffer preamp.

    I have had people come up to me in music stores and ask what kind of preamp is in my Martin Keith basses. Just great pickups and a clever, passive wiring scheme.

  11. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    Not only have I gone passive, I've also gone 4 string. In played an active 5 for a long time. I decided to go passive - and 4 string - for a year to see if I really NEEDED an active 5 string or not. Turns out a passive 4 string (love the Geddy Lee neck) with a D-tuner is all I really need.

    I still look at active basses - 4 and 5 string - but I know I have all I really need.
  12. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Love passive basses and the natural tone of the pickups without the scoop or bias of a pre-amp. Or having a bypass switch on the bass, or using an external pre-amp you can bypass is my preference.
  13. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    My main bass is active, but it has an active bypass switch and a passive tone control, so I often play it passive because it sounds so good.
  14. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I played Stingrays exclusively for over 20 years, but about 10 years ago I bought an American P Bass on clearance (store went out of business). Well, I took it to a gig and damn if I didn't feel "Reborn"! I just loved the girth, the organic tone, the utter no nonsense of the thing. It became my #1 and about 2 years later, I had the courage to sell the Stingray. At times I miss it but I would not choose it over the passive bass. And, look mom, no batteries!
  15. miles'tone


    Feb 26, 2008
    Wales, U.K
    Yep did the same thing a while back. Went from a Stingray to a P-bass and bought a Sansamp BDDI that I can stomp on if I need any 'active-ness'. That Sansamp just eats that pre that was in my 2 band Stingray. (ok it's on the floor but that doesn't bother me) Way more versatile too.

    The reason I went back to passive (Fender) basses was simply I yearned for the more organic tone. The Stingray was nice but as I could only have one bass back then I found it lacking, dare I say it, soul.
  16. here are my "soul sisters," both passive:


    however, for straight up rock gigs, I still use this bad boy:

  17. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    I sometimes use a Sadowsky outboard preamp on both P and J basses if I want some active influence (especially the Jazz), but both sound great totally passive.
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  19. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
  20. mantaraya


    Apr 10, 2007
    I made it. Had A Ray and a Sterling (EBMM no the cheapy ones) as you. Then i got a Fender MIA Deluxe, which at the end, i found like nothing special, and the final conversion came with the Jazz 62. Couldn't been happier. To each one their own, and although i would consider getting a Sterling/Ray for specific purposes (slap/more aggressive in your face sound) at sometime, i couldn't got myself going with one of them as my main bass. The 62 gets my love. You are not alone. I just think, these 2 basses had a real compressed sound i couldn't dial a natural sound of my liking. Of course some people loves them. And they are terrific well made. But my ears and my hands don't listen to the craftsmanship argument.