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anyone play their sadowskys passive live?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 513rocks.com, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. 513rocks.com


    Sep 22, 2004
    Mason, Ohio
    i had a gig tonight and just for kicks thought id play the second set passive. i couldnt believe how awesome a tone i had. the guys in the band noticed and said i had the best sound ive ever had. it was pretty sweet. when i use the preamp, i always have it paned toward the bridge pick up and boost the lows at about 60-75% and the highs around 20-40%. if i pan towards the neck pickup its just to meaty. in passive mode i seemed to have more available tones. i was just wondering if you guys use your sadowsky passive? i think i might...
  2. marc40a


    Mar 20, 2002
    Boston MA
    That's a tough call because you're talking about some generous EQ boosting in active mode vs. passive. I think a better test for the active/passive comparison might be to run it flat active then passive.

    Everyone's got their own sound but IMHO, you were EQ'ing too much. With any type EQ, the rule of thumb that I go by is the 'less is more' rule.

    That said, the bass that I gig the most with is active and run flat. The bass (a G&L L2K) has massive humbuckers and I find that active mode gives me more definition.

    For my Jazz bass, I'm currently going the other direction. I'm working a traditional, passive, single coil J into the fold - it just needs some finishing work done on the nut and a run-through on the grounding and it should be good to go this week. I'm thinking that it will probably replace my J that's equipped w/ Sadowky PU's and a Bart circuit. I gave that bass a good run playing it out regularly for the past year but I'm still not convinced that an active circuit is what I want in a J bass.

    We'll see how that works out within a few months.
  3. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    I never use my Sadowsky passive. IMO, the bass looses a big part of the Sadowsky sound when the preamp is bypassed. Another reason is that I don't have a tone pot now. I'll probably try it passive when I get the tone pot installed.
  4. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I'm sorry, but I think active electronics are a joke. When you boost them, the bass sounds overly excited and false, and when you leave them flat, you might as well run passive. I guess it's OK if you want a really nasty tone for distortion, but I listen back to recordings I did with my active basses and wonder what the hell I was thinking.
  5. 513rocks.com


    Sep 22, 2004
    Mason, Ohio
    thats kinda what i thought also and probably the reason i came up with this thread. playing tonight passive, i had the sadowsky tone all the way, but it was just more versitle. i was changing my tone song by song with the tone and blend. when plaing active id have to change my bass and treble settings whenever i pan more neck pup. i never touch my amps eq after i set it either. where in active mode i always feel like i need to if i touch my pan knob.
    im probably just thinking too much. its better to not think so much and just let your ears do the thinking. i just though it might make some good talkbass chat....
  6. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner Mo's Shop & MBD - Tech Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings
    !!!! you're a strange cat, Jimmy!!!! :eyebrow: :) but I respect your point of view!
    BTW, have you ever tried recording with a Sadowsky? Just out of curiousity....
    I had tons of low and hi end basses, but since I've got my Sadowsky it has always sounded so good that I sold all the others. Blend control most of the time centered, treble flat, bass boost 10/15% (one of the best preamp, for studio for sure) and I use the passive tone according the sound i need for the song. A little compression and flat on the mixing board, engineers very happy IMO, IME ...... :D
  7. Pennydreadful

    Pennydreadful Goin out West

    Jun 13, 2005
    Arlington, Texas
    For me, it's passive all the way. I've honestly never played an active bass that I would consider buying.
  8. 513rocks.com


    Sep 22, 2004
    Mason, Ohio
    our sound guy was the only person who didnt dig my passive sound. he noticed and said he likes it better when i play active. i have got many complements from every sound guy since i bought the sadowsky. and on the other side of the coin, soundguys hated me when i played my flea basses. ive been told beer cans have better tone.
  9. jacove


    Apr 12, 2003
    Aalborg, Denmark
    I also did run my sadowsky passive...passive mode always give me a more true, organic and dynamic bass sound IMHO. I find that I don't loose as much interest in this sound as much as when I run active, if that makes any sense....I only use active when the room required some bass support...I don't consider the pre-amp as the secret of Rogers tone...It is the acoustic tone of the bass that to me make them amazing...but if you want the active sound, the sadowsky pre-amp is an amazing unit even though I tend to like other pre-amp just as much....
  10. bassbrother


    May 9, 2005
    When I play live, I always play in the active mode. But I noticed when I boost the lows to much, sound engineers have difficulties in getting a good bass-sound out of the PA-system. I gets to muddy quite fast when you boost the lows to much. So I boost only like 10%. The sound is still fat and also keeps a bit definition.

    in the studio I use the passive mode, i always have it paned a little bit toward the bridge pick-up.
  11. lump


    Jan 17, 2000
    St. Neots, UK
    Personally, it never occurred to me to NOT to use the preamp, but I started playing after 1970. ;)

    My default tone is slighty farty (panned about 20% to bridge, VTC rolled off halfway, treble/bass boosted equally about 25%), but we're all over the place--from Audioslave to Chuck Berry to Papa Roach to the Stones, etc. I gotta go from pick-trebly Green Day to Sublime dub in the same set--completely opposite ends of the tone spectrum, and it's pretty tough to do without some eq at my fingertips. I think the preamp adds tons of versatility, esp combined with the vintage tone control. Plus, you know, the bass came with it at no extra charge. ;)

    Nothing wrong with playing passive, but that's all I wanted, I'd own a MIM Fender not a Sadowsky. :cool:
  12. Steve


    Aug 10, 2001
    I've run my PJ5 passive and it sounds great if you're going for an old school vibe.

    I typically run with the pre on but with little or no boost. That piece of wood doesn't need much help.
  13. Yvon

    Yvon Supporting Member

    Nov 2, 2000
    Montreal, Canada
    WHen I had my Sadowsky I was playing it in passive mode about 90% of the time. I tought it sound better. Now I don't own a Sadowsky and I own only passive basses. I guess I am a passive bass guy.
    I E-mailed Sadowsky a few weeks ago asking if they would build me a passive bass, and they won't :(
  14. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
    I E-mailed Sadowsky a few weeks ago asking if they would build me a passive bass, and they won't :([/QUOTE]
    Me To.
    Roger would not do it.
    How can he build an Ultra-Vintage Model basss.
    And not make it passive?
  15. slagbass


    Apr 5, 2005
    I recently recorded an album (10 songs - melodic rock / power pop) using my Sadowsky. Preamp on, bass and treble flat, blend centered. I ran two signals - one through a a Demeter VTBP 201 (flat) and one through a SansAmp BDDI. I talked with the engineer a few days ago - he said "I tried EQing the bass, but all I could do was make it sound worse. I added a touch of compression on a few songs and that's it. It sounds great."

    MAJOR METAL The Beagle Father Staff Member Supporting Member

    Active everytime for me :hyper: :bassist:
  17. Niskamies


    Jan 13, 2004
    I've got an excelent tone of my Sadowsky very easily. I have a MS5. Pan at center, treble flat and about 25% boost with the bass. The bass plugged into my EBS HD350 were I have eq:s at flat, and the gain and drive pots at 12 o'clock. Then I take the signal from the DI-out, and just add a little compression. It sounds something like this:


    I like.
  18. pickles

    pickles Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2000
    Ventura, CA
    On my RV5, I go back and forth from passive to active for different sounds, and sometimes boost just a tiny bit of bass or treble as needed. Passive mode sounds great! Boosting the eq a whole bunch does not yield sounds that I'd consider good, though it does sound very "80s". Too much EQ can be a very bad thing.
  19. Steve Clark

    Steve Clark

    Jan 9, 2004
    London ON
    Yep. Active for me as well through a flat iAMP800 and NL210. Yum.
  20. +1.

    I noticed that you were doing some heavy EQing so switching from that to passive is not the greatest "active vs. passive" test. It's very possible that the same phenomenon would've happened had to simply set the EQ flat and played a set in Active mode like that. I would recommend trying that out during a set or a rehearsal, you might like it.