Help a beginner with some basics.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Outlaws, Jul 4, 2013.

  1. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    Just picked up a used Ibanez SR600. been playing guitar for the better part of 20 years but never really did more than fiddle on a few basses before. I bought this 100% because it felt good on the neck and frets. I don't know what style the electronics are best for, but I like how it plays unplugged. I want well rounded...something that does everything OK rather than one thing well. I figure I can deal with that later though. Right now I need to find an amp.

    1) This bass I understand has an Active EQ, but passive pickups. Is this still considered an Active system and thus would I use the Active input on a bass amp?

    2) What's the 0dB and -15 or -16dB on the amps? I assume that the lower dB is another term for the active input?
  2. verycoolname


    Jan 28, 2013
    I have the exact same bass, and I've used it with both active and passive inputs on amps. When I tested it out at GC I played it through a GK, Hartke (through active input), and Fender (passive input). My at home practice amp is a cheap Fender Rumble (15W), and it handles the bass just fine. I believe the output on the SR600 is not as much as it is on basses with both active pickups and EQ systems.

    Not the most technically sound answer, but I hope it helps you for now. [SUB]Until someone more knowledgeable and competent posts...:bag:[/SUB]
  3. I might be incorrect here, but I think "active" basses reffers to basses with active pickups, not just a active preamp. As for the -15db and -16db inputs, those will decrease the overall output of your amp, essentially limiting how loud it will be able to get. Useful if you want to drive up the gain but not the volume, or if it's a particularly loud amp and you want to use it in your bedroom or other place where you don't want very high volume.
  4. Turnaround

    Turnaround Commercial User

    May 6, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Independent Instrument Technician - Retired
    Actually, and active bass may have active pickups, passive pickups and an active EQ, or both. If it takes a battery, it's active.

    The negative dB inputs are "padded" to reduce the amount of gain presented to the input section to prevent clipping at the input stage. Depending on how hot the signal is, you may need to go through a padded input, but it is not always the case. It's really helpful if your amp has a clipping indicator on the input stage, otherwise you must rely on your ears to determine if clipping is happening, and you have to be able to distinguish between input stage clipping and power amp clipping.
  5. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    so would that be the active input?

    does mine output a larger signal than a passive or just a little more, but not EMG levels?
  6. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Yes, the -15db is the active input. The passive input is 0db. You more than likely do not need to use it. Plug your bass into the passive input. If you absolutely can't get a clean signal going into your amp then you may need to use the active input. I never use the active input.

    As for your comment about EMG levels, I have a few basses with EMG's and don't find them to be any hotter than other basses. In fact, some of my passive basses are far hotter than my actives.
  7. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    so I have been playing thru an amp I picked up. the tone controls on the bass take a bit to get used to. are they run in series? it feels like adding bass removes highs and mids. adding mids or highs removed bass.

    is there a typical interaction I should know about to help speed along learning to control the sound?
  8. danielfnj96


    Jan 29, 2012
    NJ, USA
    Just play with the knobs and try to get a feel for what they do, so then once you have a general idea of how things work you'll start to know what they do. Really though just play around with the knobs until you find a sound you like.
  9. Pretty sure it just SEEMS that way. I've yet to encounter an active bass that operated like a 'Fender tone stack,' which is what I suspect you're referring to when you say 'interaction.'
  10. Regarding the 'active' vs 'passive' amp inputs-use the 'passive' one unless you can hear the input stage of the amp clip. Won't harm anything either way.
  11. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    being a guitar player, I was thinking mesa boogie mark amps, which are probably derived heavily from fenders design. but maybe its just my imagination. but it seemed like the top end falls off when I increase the bass, as opposed to simply boosting the bass freq. and since they have a blend knob for the pickups, it didn't seem to far off to have a more complex eq system.
  12. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    So far, lots of good answers here.

    A summary:

    Your bass is an active bass.

    Use the passive input unless the amp distorts.

    The -15 dB (active) input reduces the input gain by 15 dB for basses with really hot output. I have only one bass (of 16) that I use the pad for.

    I think that bass is pretty well-rounded. I don't own any Ibanez, but I've played a few. The attraction seems to be the thin neck which enhances playability, and their tone.
  13. dStar


    Mar 1, 2012
  14. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    its amazing what someone can find looking at the manufacturers website..:D
    there is a bit of overlap....but not exactly what I thought I was hearing.
  15. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    What amp are you playing through and how are the controls set on that? Your bass is only one half of the equation here...
  16. Have you been playing it through a guitar amp? If so, and you've got the input gain set fairly hot, you may be compressing the signal when you boost things. This would have the effect of diminishing the other stuff.
  17. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    carbon br615. I don't see how that would be the issue.
  18. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    lol, no. playing it thru an old Marshall practice amp lasted about 20 the first day and that was that. it was amazing how much bass it was able to do, but it also sounded like it was going to fall apart.

    See above. carvin bx600 combo.

    I should add, after seeing the EQ curves above, its in my head. it is adding so much bass, the the volume increase makes it feel like the top is cut. at least that is what I am gonna tell myself for now.
  19. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    Westchester, NY
    Maybe I missed something, but aren't you basically confused/unhappy with the sound you're getting when playing through an amp? Being that you're playing an active bass, you essentially have two different sets of EQ that you're working with.

    The best thing to do is set your bass EQ controls to flat (the center detent) and get a decent sound through the amp first. Then you can add in "flavor" via the on board EQ on the bass. I.E. if you want a little more bass for a song or section.
  20. Outlaws


    Jul 4, 2013
    no, not unhappy. far from it. I was confused at how the EQ on the bass itself appeared to function.