How Close can I get to an Active sound with a decent Bass Preamp?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by jerryjg, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. jerryjg


    Aug 20, 2006
    Just sold my Active Peavey Dynabass, basically cause I need money.
    How Close can I get to an Active pickups sound with my Fender P-Bass and a decent Bass Preamp?
  2. Install a preamp
  3. Lonesomedave

    Lonesomedave Guest

    May 13, 2011
    Nashville, Cats
    don't know from personal experience, but Ray at corner music here in nashville told me one time that it is not only possible, but a great way to go.

    now, granted, he has been trying to sell me a Universal Audio 610 solo for some time, but i trust his opinion.

  4. Can't wait to receive it. :bassist::hyper:
  5. A P Bass through a preamp will not sound like your old Dynabass. It will sound like:

    A P Bass with more/less bass
    A P Bass with more/less midrange
    A P Bass with more/less treble
    A P Bass with more/less volume
    A P Bass with some combination of the above.

    Some preamps can give you overdrive as well, but none are magic devices that will make your bass sound like another model.
  6. Duckwater

    Duckwater Guest

    May 10, 2010
    USA, Washington
    I can get the impression of an active sound by cutting the lower-mids/mid-bass a tad, and boosting the highest and lowest frequencies. It's nothing like having a real preamp though.
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Ridiculous. An onboard preamp is the same basic thing as an outboard preamp. The only inherent difference is that an onboard pre is located at the "start" end of your instrument cable, negating the tone loss associated with cable capacitance. Aside from that, there is no difference between e.g. a Sadowsky onboard vs outboard, or Aguilar, Lull, etc.. And the differences between any one onboard from one brand and any one outboard from another brand have to do with differences each brand was aiming for tonally, NOT anything to do with where the preamp is located.

    Technical exception: Audere, Glock, and a couple other preamps also buffer the pickups from each other, which can't be done with an outboard box. This is not common though.
  8. khutch

    khutch Praise Harp

    Aug 20, 2011
    suburban Chicago
    You P bass pickup will be have capacitive loading from two sources that are not present on (most) active basses: cable capacitance and the tone control capacitance. You can minimize the first by keeping the cable to the preamp as short as possible. Is there a preamp you would be willing to wear on your belt?? That would result in a very short cable!! You can eliminate the second by pulling the tone capacitor or putting in a switch to remove it from the circuit when you want to run "active". Do those two things and you should get as close to active as you might wish.

  9. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Your P-bass will never sound like a Peavey Dynabass.

    If you are looking for a little more "zing" the cheapest/easiest way is to simply change strings. :)