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Converting passive bass to active with pre-amp...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bluebard, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. Bluebard


    Oct 21, 2014
    Hey bass folks,

    Since I'm having a hard time finding a medium-scale active bass within my budget, I'm thinking of buying a passive Aria Pro II TSB-650 and having a pre-amp installed to make the bass active...however, I know nothing about installing pre-amps, so I don't know if this is really a viable option...it's just hypothetical.

    Does this sound like a good or bad idea?
    Does anyone know how much it would cost to have a luthier or tech install a pre-amp, including the work to route out spaces for EQ pots?

    I'm going for a tone similar to Mike Gordon's, with a fat, round low end and clean, articulate highs. Any recommendations about what pre-amps I should be looking at?

    Thanks y'all :)
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
  2. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Cary, Il
    Just get an external preamp like the Sadowsky and call it a day. Your signal chain will be exactly the same as if you had it put in the bass with much less hassle.
    garp and Bluebard like this.
  3. garp


    Feb 7, 2009
    Connecticut USA
    I read somewhere that Mike keeps the EQ on his Modulus pretty flat and does almost all of his tone shaping from the rack.

    I agree that an external preamp would be easier. It would also give you more options to experiment without doing surgery. If the Sadowsky is too modern for you, you could flip it and try something else.

    Trying to chase Mike's tone – especially on a medium scale – with an internal preamp could eventually drive you absolutely nuts.
    kodiakblair and Bluebard like this.
  4. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    To answer your question, contact Pat Wilkins. He just did an instrument for me for about $135 not including shipping.

    It's a perfectly reasonable mod, these days, as long as you aren't damaging any collector value in an instrument.
    Bluebard likes this.
  5. Bluebard


    Oct 21, 2014
    Good to know, thanks!

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