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Help! Active electronics settings vs. amp head EQ settings

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bluesbreaker5, Dec 17, 2006.

  1. Bluesbreaker5


    Mar 24, 2006
    Sorry for the ignorant question, but I just got my first bass with active pickups. My past basses were passive.

    So....do I set the EQ on the bass and leave the EQ on the amp flat? Or visa-versa? Or do I try to configure both EQ's (which sounds very time-consuming and confusing).

    I'm assuming I leave the amp EQ flat and adjust the active pickups (that's why you have active electronics, correct?) Or am I totally missing something here? I purchased the bass because it was easy to play, not necessarily for active electronics. Thanks!
  2. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    You can use either, neither or both sets of EQ. On stage for instance, you could have your amp set for the basic sort of tone you use, and adjust for different songs by tweaking the controls on the bass a bit. Or you can boost/cut both EQ's to make a very large tonal change. Most rack pre's have much more tonal control but many find it more convenient to change them on the bass rather than at the amp for modest variations.

    Active pickups have the advantage that the designer has more flexibility in designing the pickup's magnetic strength, number and type of windings etc as there is a buffereing amp (somtimes with gain) inside the pickup casing that gives more choice in juggling these parameters and setting tone.

    Active preamps, whether using active or passive pickups, can isolate the pickups from the frequency response and tonal changes caused by cable capacitance and remove issues of max cable length. If they buffer each pickup individually, there won't be a centre 'null' when mixing pickups as happens passively and the buffering amps can have gain controls to individually balance each pickup's perceived volume/output level.
  3. Bluesbreaker5


    Mar 24, 2006
    Thank you. I appreciate your time and knowledge.

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