does "hot" really matter anyway?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Pbassred, Aug 19, 2009.

  1. My first bass 30 years ago was a Fender Precision. I moved on to a Yamaha TRB5 (Mk1) then a TRB1005 And a couple of weeks ago a bought a really cheap acoustic with a piezo. - I hadn't played the fender for a while so I got it out. Its the loudest and gutsiest of the bunch, but they all sound like me. Then I played my son's very cheap Yamaha RBX160, still heavy.

    I'm wondering now. What's the deal with hot pickups and preamps? I still sound like me even on cheap passives. I was thinking about hotting up the RBX160 but now I'm not so sure.
  2. Jay Corwin

    Jay Corwin Supporting Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Sanborn, NY
    I like passive basses. My heads have preamps.
  3. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    I think hot is a word they use to try and increase sales.

    I'm sure it matters to some people, but I agree with the OP. I don't dislike hot PUPs, but hot or not has no bearing on whether I'll play the dang bass or not.
  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    Does this answer your question?

  5. wildhorse


    Mar 15, 2009
    Looks like it might need thicker strings.
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I'll quit goofin' for a sec.

    I'm exploring the dirty side of things with my Mesa tube head and I notice some basses will start to distort when channel 2 is set to 4 or 5 and really get raunchy beyond that. But other basses stay relatively tame, even when cranked to 8 or 9.

    So if you're deliberately trying to dial in some dirt, plugged straight in to your head, I can see how a "hot" pickup could be an asset.
  7. Craig_S

    Craig_S Inactive

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    A hot pickup can be a problem, as well. If you are using two or three passive basses, all with different output levels, there's an issue. I rarely take my L-1000, because of this. It's a hot bass. I don't want to deal with a line mixer... With active basses, the tone isn't affected by the volume control.
  8. Twincam


    Jul 11, 2009
    I'd rather spend a week in that Bentley than in...
  9. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    The only time I've ever felt some benefit to a hot pickup is on my Precision Lyte. It sounded horribly wussy with the stock active pickups, which aren't especially hot, and it sounded horribly wussy with a regular set of Fender 62 PJ's. Throw in a Quarter Pounder P and an Ultrajazz, all of a sudden it's heavy, and it's so close to the sound of a regular PJ that I can't tell the difference and I use it for everything now. So I do recommend a set of overwounds if you're trying to breathe life into a wussy sounding bass.
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