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Mixing Passive & Active Basses On Same Amp?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by SurferJoe46, Mar 23, 2010.

  1. Basically I use my Acoustic amp which has two inputs - Active & Passive.

    Sometimes I use an older combo at practice without that dual operating ability. Is there any problem with that?

    I believe that my B450 has a -10dB attenuation when in the Active jack - so am I overdriving that old combo ("Hartke" - is that the correct name)?

    It barks pretty hard when I thump it.
  2. Its fine. You could always just try to match your basses output volumes (approximately). Some active basses have internal trim pots which help with that.
  3. stflbn


    May 10, 2007
    or you can use a boost pedal to bring the passive bass level up to that of the Active, or the Active down to that of the Passive.
  4. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    I just adjust the amp for the passive bass. Then plug both basses into an A/B pedal and adjust the tone & volume on the active. The A/B feeds into the regular (passive) input on the amp. Works just fine.
  5. An A-B pedal?

    I'm going to GC in the AM for some more "stuff" (don't tell the wife - she thinks I'm hiking around the lake) and I'll look for one there.

    I've got the BOSS LMB3


    ........... and can use that for the active bass, Nice idea! Thanks.

    Google Result from GC:


    $39.00 - I'm on it. Thanks
  6. davkane

    davkane Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2007
    I use the Tonebone Bassbone for this exact reason


    Just plug you cord into Input one, and use Channel one for you active bass, and channel two (maybe with the boost) for the passive, For me it levels the sound. I also like the little bit if shaping it does to my sound. The output of this goes into a Aphex Punch Factory, for some compression.
  7. Basshappi


    Feb 12, 2007
    I use this one;
  8. Jaco who?

    Jaco who?

    May 20, 2008
    I use my finger and my thumb to adjust the input gain.
  9. dalkowski

    dalkowski Supporting Member

    May 20, 2009
    Massachusetts USofA
    Morley also makes a nice, solid affordable A/B box that I use.
  10. Is that Morely an AB+Y? I think I saw it at GC yesterday.

    So far I haven't resolved this situation, so anything's possible, but an AB+Y is a bad idea on several levels I think for my purposes.

    On an impulse buy (what else?) at GC I bought four Digital Reference LVX2 mics and some new cables.


    ------------ then that same day a buddy gave me a box of mic cords - some over 100' long! for free.

    GC had the mics on special for $38.99 each and I couldn't say NO since most sites list them around $70/each.

    Don't tell my wife. :D
  11. JTE

    JTE Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    I don't make any changes for active/passive. I've never had an active bass that was noticeably louder (i.e. had more nominal output) than any of my passive basses. My experience goes back to my first StingRay around 1979, and includes both instruments I've owned and gigged with regularly (pre EB StingRays, Guild Pilots with EMG, Laklands with Bart electronics, and the Duncan/Basslines ATC circuit) and it includes several different active instruments when I managed a guitar store (Peavey Dyna-Bass, Peavey Cirrus, Guild Pilot Pro with EMG and active EQ, first year G&L L-2000e, etc.).

    In most amps all the "active" input is, is the same as the "passive" one with a resistor across it. I understand that at one time some company (Trace-Elliot perhaps, I don't recall any more) had a different rated input impedance for their active input. Since I've never over-driven an amp input (except intentionally) with an active bass using the passive input, I don't see any reason for most people to use an active input. I often switch between the passive Precision and the active Lakland 4-94 and the active Skyline 55-01 without having to alter the gain settings on my amps.

    Now, if you're using a LOT of boost from the on-board instrument EQ, you could be sending substantially greater voltage to the input and might need that active input. But in most real-world cases, it's pretty pointless.

  12. ErnieD


    Nov 25, 2004
    :bag: I'm gonna tell your wife......you are so busted.

    :eek: :smug: :p :D

    Oh and enjoy the new gear, impulse buys are the best, RIGHT? LOL. ;)
  13. Yeah - I might've had the Ibanez active a little hot and it hit pretty hard in a passive jack.

    Temperance is prolly the key on my end.
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