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High Mid or Low Mid Control? Which is more useful on a bass and why?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Baird6869, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Hey folks,

    If you had the choice, would you get a low or high mid control on an active bass (controls are blend, bass, treble, mid)?

    Which in your opinion is more useful and why?

    I am going to play around with both on one of my basses (currently has a low mid control) and figured I would get some feedback before beginning surgery!

  2. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Why choose? I would go with either a four-band onboard preamp, or a three-band preamp with switchable midrange frequency centers - both of which I have in fact done. :meh:

  3. Belka


    Dec 10, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I agree with Michael. Most pickup manufacturers offer preamps with switchable mid frequencies. To name a few, you have EMG with the BCQ which has a parametric mid frequency knob. Bartolini's NTMB has a two or three way switch going between 250 to 800hz. Mike Pope's preamp has high and low mid controls. And there are plenty others out there as well.

    Personally, I only really boost the low mids. A nice thick tone that cuts through great. For slap boosting the high mids sounds good.
  4. Belka


    Dec 10, 2003
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I see you do have a Fodera with the Pope preamp. Does it have the mid switch?
  5. hmm...what about mid mid? something between low mid and high mid. isn't that how most low-mid-high basses do it?

    for me it would depend a lot on how the bass already sounds and what you think it needs to sound good. what kind of bass is this you're going to work on? i use a lot of high mids on my bongo and only a little low mid, because that's what compliments the sound of that bass. on another bass, that much high mid might sound pretty awful.
  6. It depends entirely on personal preference in tone, and the voicing of the instrument and rig.

    As others have pointed out, however, why choose? Get a preamp with a sweepable mid control.
  7. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Low mids lead to a fatter, beefier tone. High mids are much more aggressive and cutting.

    I prefer the latter. Many prefer the former.
  8. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    Correct. I have a Fodera with the Pope low mid standard control and I grabbed a high mid from them to try out....:bassist:
  9. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    A relevant-yet-slightly-off-topic question for you all: Why do you prefer an onboard preamp with active pickups to an outboard piece of gear (say, a SansAmp ParaDriver, for example) with passive pickups?
  10. Very few people use active pickups and preamps. It's pointless to have both.

    In any case, the main reasons people prefer outboard preamps are to prevent modification to an instrument, to allow one preamp to be used with multiple instruments, and to allow one instrument to be used with multiple preamps. Take note, however, that there are differences between onboard and outboard preamps. For example, the use of an outboard preamp allows the same LPF effect from the parasitic capacitance of instrument cable, as with a passive bass.
  11. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    Ah, thanks. I was curious because I'm totally a no-frills player (read: fingers > stock bass > amp) but lately I've been thinking about toying with something new. I was just wondering about some of the 'whys' and this seemed like a good chance to pop in a quick question.

    Thanks again!

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