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Lakland 55-01 sounds better in passive?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by wyleeboxer, Nov 10, 2006.


  1. Well, last night at practice I tried out my passive mode for the first time on my new 55-01 (bart electronics, played into 2000rb and 2x12 avatar neo) and was amazed at how it opened up the tone. I've been messing with this bass trying to get a good tone in the active mode but it has always sounded compressed to me, and lacks punch or dynamics. Has anyone else experienced using the passive mode with this bass, is this just maybe a preference of active vs passive thing for some people?
    I would like to take advantage of the eletronics in this bass, but it seems that my only next step maybe would be to do some extreme boosting with the on-board preamp, something I dont like to do. I usually set in flat and roll off some treble and maybe add a bit of mid. Anyone with setting suggestion with their 55-01?
    Thanks for any info!
     
  2. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Does your 55-01 have the upgraded NTMB-L preamp, or the stock one? The stock preamp doesn't really have a "passive" setting, just an EQ bypass. The upgraded NTMB preamp does have a true passive setting, and I was pleasantly surprised at how good the stock pickups sounded in passive mode, but I also thought the upgraded preamp sounded much better than the stock preamp in active mode as well.

    Mike
     
  3. I dont think this one has the upgraded pre? Paid $750 new. So its not a passive switch, I just assumed it was, I need to do some research. So when you bypass the eq you basically have some hot active pups with treble boost/cut?
     
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Nope. With the stock preamp, you have passive pickups running through the active preamp, but the bass/mid/treble controls don't boost or cut anything.

    It's confusing, but you find out when your battery goes does that it's not *really* an active/passive switch.

    Mike
     
  5. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    I prefer passive basses over active ones just for the reasons you describe.
     
  6. Damn your right, just checked it out, kind of weird not to have the treble do anything in bypass. So when its in bypass its not for emergency purposes (still active), whats the point? other then it sounded better last night. ;)
    Problem now is that Im suspicious of this pre-amp being a bit of tone killer? Unless someone has setting suggestions that their using that brings this bass to life? thanks junior.
     
  7. Man, now Im thinking of pulling the pre out, throw in some CTS pots for the volume/blend/treble and call it a day? But I really dont want to have to go there :rollno:
     
  8. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    In my 55-01, I replaced the stock pre with a Bart NTMB and was pretty happy with the results. The true passive option was a lifesaver, and I just liked the way the NTMB sounded better.

    Mike
     
  9. Bone

    Bone

    Oct 28, 2006
    My Surine and DP Custom 5s (both with bart soapbars) have a wonderful active tone but in passive mode they seem a bit lifeless and thin. I have to mess with the EQ on the amp to get a tone I can live with. I'm a Fender guy and love a good passive tone but some songs seem to call for a good active sound(if that makes any sense). I wanted a 5 string with good passive tone. I thought about the skyline JO and DJ (love my DJ 4) but ended up buying a Dingwall Afterburner 1.
    After trying about 8 Passive 5s the Dinwall just floored me with it's tone. The Fanned fret thing didn't seem to be a problom at all.
     
  10. todd 4ta

    todd 4ta

    Apr 3, 2003
    Indiana
    If you really liked the sound better with the volume pot pulled out (EQ bypass mode), maybe you're over EQing your preamp when it's active. Do you use just a touch of bass, mids & treble or do you really turn up the bass a lot?

    Over the years I've realized most basses sound better with the EQ either flat or just slightly boosted/cut, and then turn the volume up close to full. If you boost the bass a lot, you're sort of forced to keep the volume at a lower level to avoid distorting you're amp.

    In EQ bypass mode, the pickup pan control still works. You can still get some tone control over the bass by favoring the neck pickup (more full and bassy) or favoring the bridge pickup (more cut through).
     
  11. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ummm, this is incorrect. The stock Bart MK-1 preamp boost/cut quite a bit. I had the preamp upgrade to the Bart NTMB preamp & the overall tone of the instrument isnt nearly as harsh. Im glad I made the swap.
     
  12. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    It does boost and cut quite a bit--but not when you pull the volume control up to put it in "EQ bypass" mode, which is what I was talking about.

    Mike
     
  13. No, I dont boost anything really on my bass, everything is flat and I cut the treble a bit depending on the song, I also favor my bridge pup a tad. I have the amp low/mid and bass boosted around 2 o'clock is all.
    I dont know for sure what to do, but if I can get the same clean dynamic tone I get with the bypass knob pulled out but still have the ability of cutting the treble/tone knob, I think that would work for me? Thats why I thought of pulling the pre and going the full passive route, but maybe these pups wouldnt work as well in passive? :meh:
     
  14. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    They work fine passive, actually. As I said, I was pleasantly surprised at their passive sound after I installed the NTMB and could actually hear the pickups in passive mode.

    Mike
     
  15. Thats right you did say that! :D Well, can I use standard CTS pots with the barts or do I need order some pots from Bartolini? I should probably get the NTMB pre, but why spend over $100 for something I may not use.
    Thanks again!
     
  16. McHack

    McHack

    Jul 29, 2003
    Central Ohio!
    Ohohohohohoh... misunderstanding...
     
  17. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    :) Not a problem!

    wylee, I think the pickups will work with the same pots you'd use for any passive setup.

    Mike
     
  18. murphy

    murphy Supporting Member

    May 5, 2004
    Canada
    Are you Mike Zimmerman from Roadbike magazine?
     
  19. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Nope, sorry. I don't even own a bike!
     
  20. You guys have way too much time on your hands.
     
  21. Primary

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