How does an active bass affect the effect pedals?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Lebowsky, May 20, 2007.


  1. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    Hey there,

    I am soon gonna get a new bass (MusicMan Bongo :D ), which is active. Up 'til now I was using a passive modded Squier Jazz.

    I wantd to know if changing from a passive to an active bass might affect the signal when using effects and how?

    ATM I running
    Bass -> Boss TU-2 --> 105Q Wah --> Boss ODB-3 -> Q-TRON -> Boss CEB-3 --> Boss LMB-3 -> Amp

    Am I going to have to put some of the effects in the effects loop of my amp? right now I am pretty much satisfied with my current setup, with everything going in the input of my amp and nothing bypassing the preamp, but I suppose than having a preamp onboard my bass might change something?

    thanks in advance.. and yeah I guess I could wait and try by myself, but I caaaan't, I should get my Bongo on thursday and I'm desperate to already know everything :eek:
     
  2. meev991

    meev991 Guest

    Mar 11, 2007
    You should be fine, running everything in "Daisy Chain" format. Additionally, the active bass will help preserve the integrity of your signal as its going through all those effects.

    (btw, the fx loop is usually for rack mounted type stuff)
     
  3. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Don't put those in the effects loop! Like meev said, that's not what it's usually for.

    An active bass means, as far as your effects are concerned, higher output. Some effects might be overdriven by higher-output basses, but most will be fine. Adjust your gain levels or the volume of your bass as needed to prevent this.

    A few pedals, like fuzz pedals, can be very finicky with active basses because of the impedance and output. Most other pedals will be okay.

    One thing you'll notice for sure with your ODB-3 is that you may need to turn the gain down to get the same level of overdrive as before. Most distortion pedals will react the same way, as increased instrument output is an easy way to get more overdrive or distortion than would normally be possible.

    Other than that... I don't think you'll have to worry about anything. Just stick to your setup as-is, and if any issues come up, feel free to let us know.
     
  4. Gadolinium

    Gadolinium

    Feb 3, 2007
    Wiltshire UK
    Wow, a Squier P bass to a MusicMan Bongo. That is some leap, and I am completely jealous of you :)
     
  5. Crabby

    Crabby

    Dec 22, 2004
    My active basses sound better when going through my pedal board than my passive Jazz as the tone suck seems to be much less with the active basses.

    I find I like all my pedals better when using active basses. They seem to respond better and the effects are more noticeable.

    I think you will be impressed, especially since you are buying an Ernie Ball product!
     
  6. Lebowsky

    Lebowsky Effects Forum Resident

    Mar 18, 2007
    Lausanne, Switzerland
    Well the leap was in my salary more than anything else considering I just finished my studies ;) And after 10 years with this squier, I can tell you than I am quite fed up with it, even though I could give it a second life by putting sadowsky pickups. I think I'll make a fretless out of it, it might give it a few more years..

    Thanks for the input guys. Good thing I didnt use the effects send/return then it seems :p

    Maybe the ODB-3 will start behaving properly, cause it kinda gets drowned in the mix when used in a band situation


    DAMIIT I CANT WAIT !!! :eek:
     
  7. Musikill

    Musikill

    May 20, 2007
    OC, CA, USA
    You may find that the effects can handle the active bass but what you end up with at the end of the chain and what goes into your preamp of your amp is too much gain resulting is a distorted signal. An active bass can be too much for a lot of effects but newer units are better at handling this.

    just watch your gain as you stack the effects - keep it within reason going into the amp - you will certainly need to use the padded input on the amp.
     
  8. meev991

    meev991 Guest

    Mar 11, 2007
    I use an EQ and a Wah...that is the extent of my effects:D
     
  9. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    The Boss TU-2 is a fully buffered pedal, even when off. Because of this, like MysticBoo mentioned, the only difference between the active and the passive will be the level. And if you turn down the volume on the active, even this won't change.
     
  10. Not too many people seem to agree with me on this, but IME I've found active basses to cause virtually every wah pedal on the market to overload, particularly in the middle of the sweep where the filter is at it's most aggressive.
     
  11. meev991

    meev991 Guest

    Mar 11, 2007
    i would agree with this, but this is where i get my wah/distortion from:D
     

  12. i also find this. my passive p-copy has a nice smooth sweep, while my carvin has a big bump that clips it when recording.
     
  13. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Even the Power Wah? I haven't had that experience. It may be because it's buffered, though (well, the reissue, anyway).
     
  14. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Do you plug the bass straight into the wah?
     
  15. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Oh, I should also mention...

    Active pickups are built for a range of tones you won't get from passive pickups, so expect a tonal difference not just in your bass, but also in your effects. An active-preamp MM Stingray does not sound the same through a distortion pedal as a passive P-bass does, for example.
     
  16. meev991

    meev991 Guest

    Mar 11, 2007
    Just as a digression, i HATE that big boo in super mario world, he's so big, and seemingly invincible:rolleyes:
     
  17. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    ...:smug:
     
  18. meev991

    meev991 Guest

    Mar 11, 2007
    especially that one secret stage, where u only have blocks to kill him with:bawl:
     
  19. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    +1
     
  20. No, the Tel-Ray doesn't. Don't know about the "reissue-that-isn't-a-reissue-because-it's-a-totally-different-circuit" PWO.

    No, but trust me, it makes no difference IME. I tried everything I could get my hands on and there's only one wah for me, early 80's Morley PWO's.
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Aug 5, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.