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My bass has very low output?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by LaXu, Mar 4, 2006.

  1. LaXu


    Feb 2, 2005
    So my old Cort Artisan A5 5-string bass seems to have very low output. I'm primarily a guitar player so I haven't even got a proper bass amp, have been running my bass through Guitar Rig 2 demo on the computer.

    Anyway, compared to my guitars it seems that the bass has very low output. It barely even registers on the output meters when plugged into my soundcard's line-in. The guitars have no problems with output when plugged into the computer so it's not just a case of low line level signal.

    It has two Mighty Mite pickups and an active preamp with volume, balance and high and low boost/cut pots. Pickup height is about 3mm from the strings. I tried swapping the battery in the bass but that didn't help. Couldn't see anything wrong with the preamp but then again I'm no electronics wiz.

    What could I do to find out where the problem lies?

    I can post pics if needed.
  2. Does the output improve when you move the BLEND pot to either individual pickup, especially the neck p'up?
    I had a problem with my ESP LTD's output when in center-blend position. Blend pot was replaced with a 250k audio taper pot, instead of the 500k linear (original) pot. ESP had modified this because of this same issue, and sent me the new pot and wiring diagram free of charge.

    Have you experimented with raising the p'ups just a bit? Sometimes this has a dramatic effect with lower output p'ups. It's sometimes tricky to get the just close enough without choking the strings vibrations, but it can help...

    Just a few thoughts..

  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize!

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Maybe the guitar program is cutting the lows? There should be more output from a bass than a guitar.
  4. LaXu


    Feb 2, 2005
    Turning the blend pot doesn't have much effect on output. It is a bit higher when in the center position with both pickups on.

    I don't think it's the program either because I see the same results with AP Tuner and the soundcard's control panel. Even when plugging into my guitar amp the output is lower.
  5. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006
    dont spoil your guitar amp like this. the cone's not built to take the power of the low notes and probably will melt before your bass is loud enough for your tastes.

    ok, im talking nuts. but the idea is there.

    perhaps the guitar program you are using also emulates the guitar amp effect by having low bass response. i use audacity, and it records my bass fine. for even more signal, i run my bass into my peavey combo, then the headphone jack out into the line in of my computer. hope this helps.
  6. LaXu


    Feb 2, 2005
    I only tried it at low volume just as a test, I normally don't play bass through it. My amp has a trim control that is used to set the audio level so that you get maximum dynamics without clipping in the input (it's a Yamaha DG modeling amp). It has indicator lights too. With the trim on 5 (which is the maximum I use on the guitars that have low output single coils) the indicator light barely lights when hitting the strings on the bass hard.

    It doesn't matter what program I use. Guitar Rig 2 actually has amp/cab modeling specifically for bass. It's not that it doesn't sound like a bass or anything, just that I have to use the soundcard's mic preamp to amplify the bass output signal to levels where it'll work with Guitar Rig 2. When I look at the input level on my soundcard's control panel it reads like -24 db or less while without changing any settings and using no programs, my guitars are closer to normal output levels.

    It's definitely not an issue with software or amps, there's something wrong with the bass' preamp I believe.

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