Playing at our pad with my V-4B (100 watts, all tube) is perfect... my bass is slightly overdriven but you can feel the bass and all sounds good. I play an active Fender Jazz. I always noticed that my old Squier (passive) is much louder at full volume when I switch them out. I was under the impression that active basses were generally hotter with a louder signal. I might have found out the truth at a recent gig. The setting is a hall/auditorium with no PA system. Competing against a Marshall half stack (100 watts, all tube), un-mic'ed drums, and a 30 watt keyboard amp (!) I had a lot of trouble being heard with my Fender. And so I cranked up the volume and all I heard was distortion. Actually, I turned the gain down to minimize distortion. Now, all I heard was a farting bass amp. Not a lot of low end from a 4x10 + pretty large room = not much bass. I was forced to crank mids and highs very high, and still I was barely heard, with not much low end at all. It even took me a bit of time to notice my jack had fallen out during our last song... My Squier was noticeably louder, but just how loud I couldn't tell from the stage. However, the other band playing didn't have such a problem. The player had a passive P+J, and he was heard very well against 2 (yes, 2!) 100 watt tube Marshall half stacks. There was some distortion, but it sounded great. Exactly how I wanted to sound (maybe a bit more high end, but anyways...). Is this normal? Can anyone give me a basic rundown of the situation and any way of relieving the situation? Also, does it make much of a difference that I had pretty new stainless steel strings on my Fender? The other guy had more worn in nickels and my Squier had flats... thumpier, of course, but could that have been an issue? Thanks in advance.