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Geddy vs. Active Basses

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Reason_D, Mar 13, 2005.


  1. Reason_D

    Reason_D

    Mar 1, 2004
    Hey guys,
    I am going to buy a Geddy tomorrow, I am stoked but my only reservation is the fact the my other 2 basses... a Washburn and a Music Man, are active. The volume difference between the two will be very noticeable.

    My question is, how would I compensate... an eq pedal to boost the sound, or going all out and changing the pickups.

    Changing the pickups I think will be silly, that is the point of buying this damn bass so I wonder how reasonable that is.

    What are your guys thoughts?

    GO GEDDY!
    Rock
    Drew
     
  2. Well I would assume that if you are buying a geddy, or any passive bass, you are wanting the passive sound. If you want something active, buy a different bass.
     
  3. PeaceFrog

    PeaceFrog

    Aug 25, 2004
    Los Angeles, CA
    Leave the Geddy Lee sig stock, don't change the pickups. If I'm understanding your message correctly you already own a Music Man and the Washburn both (Active) P/U's? Well, you now have the versitility of Active and Passive sound.


    Just my $00.2
     
  4. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    If yer problem is the potential volume diff between the actives and the GL you may want to try it first. At least on mine, the output was pretty strong... especially after I put the DiMarzios in there, but that's another story (btw, that was not to change the tone, it was only to lose the hum... if the tone was lost, the D's woulda' come right back out).

    IF you do have a big diff, and IF one or both of your active basses don't have ouput gain adjusters, and IF that's too much of a hassle for you, even with the pad switch that's on most heads these days, then I'd say either put up with hittin' the pre gain knob on the amp or get a volume pedal. Should be no biggie.
     
  5. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    The ouput on my totally stock Geddy Lee is comparable to that of my active basses, and actually louder than my Nordstrand.
     
  6. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    I agree with Jeff. The output on my GL is pretty hot. No issues for me.

    Vic, BTW which DM pups did you put in your Geddy?
     
  7. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    USA-Mineola
    I’m thinking of replacing the pickups in my GL with DiMarzio Model J’s mostly because of the hum the single coils produce. I also own two Music Man basses and find the out put of the GL much lower but Music Man basses are known to have a very hot out put.
     
  8. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Why buy the Geddy if you're going to modify it? Guess I just don't understand......
     
  9. HMZ

    HMZ Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2003
    USA-Mineola
    I like the look of the bass and the sound but not the noise of single coils.
     
  10. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Straight up Model J set (DP123, I think). Drop in replacements, no batteries/preamp. I LOVE THE TONE!!! Just like the originals as far as I can tell, and no single-coil hum.

    I'm still amazed at how alive this thing is for basically a $600 bass!
     
  11. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Because of the quality, feel, and sound of the BASS. This bass is not just a crappy bass with a great set of pickups, and AFAIK, you can't get that neck profile without getting a GL. :)

    Yeah, I swapped the pickups out, but not because I didn't like the original tone... STRICTLY because I wanted to lose the SC hum. In fact, I woulda' put the originals back in and tolerated the hum if I had to in order to keep the tone, which I LOVE. Fortunately, the DiMarzios (Model J prolly their oldest model of HB J pickup) did the job perfectly. Still sounds the same (GREAT), playes GREAT, and no hum. I could not be happier about it. :)
     
  12. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Hmm I wouldn't have thought that you won't get that particular sound out of humbuckers. The sound is largely defined by the pickups, and the ones on the Geddy from what I understand are very nice. To each his own I suppose.
     
  13. Jerry J

    Jerry J Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2000
    P-town, OR
    The GL like most of the Fender J basses are prone to hum or noise of some type unless you have both pickups turned up or always have your hands on the strings.

    From what I've read the DM J model is a humbucker in the sense that the basic shape of the pickup is the same. They just stack the opposing winds. You might get a small loss of the highs but because the pickup is so narrow it should retain most of that J tone.

    I've thought about painting the pickup and elec. cavity with grounding paint on my GL to see if that cuts some of the hum. But I'm thinking that I might like to try out a pair of the DiMarzios. (thanks for the info, Vic)

    There are just a whole lot of other things that make the bass special besides the original pickups as Vic and many others say. It's a super sweet bass and a bargain price.

    And just to answer a question from the original post. If you feel you need to boost the output I recommend the Aguilar or the Sadowsky. But I'd bet that you'll find that you don't need it.
     
  14. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Forgive me for speaking such blasphemy, but you can turn down the volume knobs on the active basses to match the passive. If they do have a difference in volume. BTW, active doesn't have to mean loud. Some preamps are designed with unity gain.
     
  15. Pickebass

    Pickebass Supporting Member

    Jul 12, 2004
    San Antonio, TX
    I assume you are buying the bass because it is a good bargain for a quality instrument and don't want to make any costly changes like new pickups or an active preamp. I have to agree with xyllion and just turn the volume down. The other thing to consider is that this bass will sound alot different than the music man and the lows won't be as full/deep which means, even at the same volume, the MM will sound louder. Also, do you plan on changing basses during the set? If so, I usually just adjust the volume level on the amp when I change basses. Causes a problem for the soundman, but if he's paying attention the changes can be made at the board to compensate for the lost voume at the board (if you're DI is pre-eq). Are you having to make volume changes now with the two basses you have now? No sure of which Washburn you have, but if it's the one I'm thinking it has dual humbuckers, not single coils like the jazz, you're volume/sound is somewhat similar.

    If you want to change you sound get an outboard preamp like the Sadowsky or Aguilar (don't know if this make sense if you're trying to keep it at a reasonable cost). I would recommend the Sadowsky because IME it is the most "neutral" sounding. Sounding more like your bass without really changing the sound much.

    As always, get it in your hands first and see how it will really work
     
  16. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    Wow, nicely said. Listen to Pickebass.
     
  17. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Believe it. There was a review a while back of a b'zillion J pickups and some of the HB's were specifically wired to mimic the sound of their SC counterparts. I would never claim they're sound spectrum analyzer identical, but to my ears, they are close enough that I'm very happy.
     
  18. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Yes, and this is still true of my GL with the DM's in place. That's why I try to be careful to say "SC hum". That hum is more about cavity (including pickup wire passages) shielding and grounding, which can also be solved, but I didn't do that.

    I think there's more to it than that, such as number of coils, size of wire, etc., and when you go to humbucking, that second set of coils does change the characteristic... UNLESS you compensate intentionally, which is what I think DM did. The Model J's first came out a LONG time ago, and their design was specifically to PRESERVE the classic J tone, but lose the hum. The ULTRA J's are the hotter ones that alter (exaggerate) the tone.

    That said, however, I'm not sure I'd assert you could literally duplicate the sound completely. I would say, tho, that to human ears, you can come dang close. Close enough, IMHO.
     
  19. Reason_D

    Reason_D

    Mar 1, 2004
    Well here is the verdict.... I got the GL and I was shocked at how close the volume is compared to my actives. With slight pickup adjustments, rolling off the bass on my actives and playing style I can get the volume very close without any extra crap. I may invest in those DM pups to get rid of the hum. Reminds me of my guitar playing days with my Strat... OUCH!

    I use a Sans Amp RBI for my preamp already, I like the fact that I can adjust my stage volume without affecting the DI... I will just warn the sound guy to keep an ear when I switch to that bass.

    You guys rock, thanks for all the great info... MY GL RULES THE PLANET!

    If you want to hear the style of music this new baby will be played in, check my band out, www.reasondisappears.com/ I think it will do just fine :smug:

    ROCK,
    Drew
     
  20. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    Figured. This was my experience, too.