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First active bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by WarwickFan, May 7, 2005.

  1. WarwickFan


    Feb 7, 2005
    What was the first active bass? A lot of people say the Stingray, but I think it was Alembic. :confused:
  2. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    AFAIK, Alembic, but the Stingray had the first 3-band.
    Though I'm not 100% sure
  3. ezstep


    Nov 25, 2004
    north Louisiana
    I have always heard Alembic did it first.
  4. Good question! I have never even thought to ask! I'll be watching for answers. :smug:
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The first active bass was the Burns TR2 built by English Guitar maker Jim Burns of London, in 1962.

    Alembic was founded in 1970, and I am sure that their first active was probably that year too.

    The Stingray was the first commercially successful, mass produced, active bass guitar. It was designed in 1976 by Leo Fender.
  6. Alembic pioneered active electronics, whereas the Stingray was the first non-custom, commercially available to the masses active bass.

    Or so I believe...
  7. Well, you learn something new everyday. Thanks Embellisher!
  8. WarwickFan


    Feb 7, 2005
    Yes, thanks.
  9. ratzpaul


    Aug 19, 2004
    please correct me if wrong, but I thought the Ibanez Musician was the first mass-produced active bass!?

    It also features a 3 band EQ.
  10. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    Correction, you're wrong, read the other replies to this thread ;)
  11. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    My sources could be wrong on that account.

    What year did the active Musician debut?
  12. ryco


    Apr 24, 2005
    Gibson put out the RD Artist Bass in '77. Don't know if it was the first but certainly close to the front of the line. Had Moog electronics stuffed into it and weighed a ton! I almost bought one of these but bought a Ripper instead. People who own RD's say I saved a ton of money in chiropratic bills - although the Ripper isn't what I would call feather weight either!!
  13. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    The evidence that I have found so far on the web shows that the Musician debuted in 1978. And all of the models I have found before 1981 are passive.
  14. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    OK, near as I can tell, the first active Musician was the MC904, which debuted in 1979. The Stingray beat it by three years. And of course Alembic and Burns beat it by more than that.

    The RD Artist may have been the second mass produced active bass, but a lot of companies that were around in the late 70's are either gone or have changed hands a couple of times, so it will be hard to know what happened between the debut of the RD Artist and the MC904.

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