1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Effects w/ active bass?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jdwhitak, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greenwood, IN

    I new to active basses and I've notice that they/it (G&L M-2000) really doesn't play nice with any of my pedals. I'm guessing this is because of high/low impedance mismatches between the bass and pedals. Is this right?

    Would it be better to run the active through some sort of multi-effects unit or maybe even software that is expecting more or less a line level signal to begin with?

  2. Plucky The Bassist

    Plucky The Bassist ZOMG! I'm back from the dead! Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Turning down the volume on your bass can alleviate some of the woes experienced with the effects. Which ones are you referring to specifically? Fuzz? Overdrive? Wah? Chorus?
  3. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    I'm using a Rusty Box. Sounds awesome with my P-Bass. I can get some really nice overdrive and distorted tones. However, not so much with the active.

    I've tried fiddling with the volume on the bass and the controls on the Rusty to no avail.

    I think the Rusty and other effects too are more or less designed for hi-z and not low-z.

    Makes you wonder why manufacturers even came up with active basses in the first place.
  4. Wow, I had no idea that active basses caused such a headache. I'm really lucky as my new bass has an push/pull for active/passive. I never used to have that luxury though. I'll be sure to keep my eye out about this.

    There must be some way to work around it, surely?
  5. :rollno:
    1. Low impedance outputs to prevent the treble loss associated with high impedance signals with the parasitic capacitance of the instrument cable.
    2. Constant input impedance to the pickups, regardless of what load the bass drives.
    3. In some cases, multiple buffered inputs summed to one output, for various reasons such as combining pickups of dissimilar output impedance or volume; to provide separate EQ or fixed voicings; for running specialized dummy coil systems without impedance changes against the audible coils.
    4. The convenience of onboard equalization, or, more rarely, special effects.
    5. Fixed filters to provide specific tonality, or correct undesirable tonal qualities of pickups.
    6. Gain boosts.
  6. Neither did I, and I've been playing with active basses and passive basses for literally decades. I'll scale the volume back if I switch out a passive bass for an active bass mid-set or mid-show just to balance out levels so that I don't get too loud or too soft or whatever. Otherwise, it's never been a problem. Sometimes I have to take the gain down a bit on certain effects, but that's it and there are no other problems.
  7. NKUSigEp


    Jun 6, 2006
    Bright, IN
    I've used a Spector with active EMGs for years and have used numerous effects without a problem. It's all about twiddling with knobs until you find settings you like as well as settings that your whole rig likes.
  8. father of fires

    father of fires Commercial User

    Nov 29, 2006
    Chief of Medicine at Damnation Audio
    G&L's are super hot. They crush the input of most dirt pedals.
  9. I've found that most of my pedals work well with my active 18v BTB. I just have to roll back the volume on my bass with the ones that don't. My two 5-strings are 9v active and don't have any problems. My primary bass is passive but I don't see a ton of difference in the pedals that I have. It's just knob twisting really.
  10. scHism


    Aug 12, 2009
    That is what's great about my ATK, it has an internal gain pot, that I trimmed to the same level as my passive knock off, so either the activae ATK or the passive, I get a somewhat uniform tonal outcome on my pedals.
  11. I've been getting good results with my active Spector too. It is different than the passive Jazz, but it's not like the effects don't work.
  12. I bought a Sansamp BDDI in the past week and tried it with both of my active 5ers through my rig (Stingray 5H fretless and a Spector Euro 5LX) and I wasn't able to get a nice grindy tone out of it, it was all farty. Since then I've picked up an RBI and when I hit the active button I really notice a difference. If you're looking for a nice OD for active basses Id recommend the Sansamp RBI though I don't have much first hand experience with it.
  13. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    Never had a problem with active preamp equipted basses and pedals by Digitech, Boss, Proco, Marshall, and Zoom. What pedals are you using? Maybe they are not friendly with high output basses like the brands I mentioned.
  14. Boss ODB seems to favor active basses IMHO. When I plug my passive Spector Performance, the grit sounds weak, I have to turn the effect level knob on the ODB all the way up to get a decent result, and I wasn't even fully satisfied by that.

    When I plug my active SUB Ray4, I only set the ODB's effect level to 1 o'clock and I got that gritty metal sound that I've been searching for : https://soundcloud.com/fleizenkruz/metal-bass
  15. Swift713


    Dec 4, 2006
    Florence, Ma
    I had the same sort of issue with a Demeter Compulator and an OLP Tony Levin (Stingray copy). The bass was just too hot for the pedal and I couldn't get it tweaked to where I liked it. That's the only pedal I've had an issue like that with.
  16. jdwhitak


    Mar 20, 2012
    Greenwood, IN
    I'm using a Rusty Box. The character of the pedal changes depending on the active/passive thing. I don't it's just a matter of turning the bass down. I've tried that.
  17. tech21nyc

    tech21nyc Commercial User

    Aug 17, 2010
    Manufacturer: Tech 21
    The RBI is the rackmount version of the Bass Driver. The active button on the front of the unit turns on and off the effect. A little confusing, as many think the active button is meant for "active" instruments. If you use the rear input on the unit and engage the "pad" this can work well for active instruments. You should still be able to get the same tones with the Bass Driver though. The "farty" sound was more the result of improper gain staging as the input on the Bass Driver DI was designed for an instrument level signal.

    An active instrument with it's own set of EQ controls can make it a bit challenging to use anything after it. It can be a combination of the output being too "hot" as well as the two EQ's fighting with one another.

Share This Page