Need some help on using an active bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassHacker, Nov 26, 2001.

  1. BassHacker


    Nov 26, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    I just bought a new bass: a Spector NS2000, 5 string, neck through. It has the EMG-HZ pickups with the active pre-amp circuit.

    When I was trying it out at the music store, it sounded really powerful and had awesome low end. When I got it home and tried it on my amp, it sounded ok but different with much less power. I was basically disappointed. My amp is an Ampeg BA115. It has a 0 dB input for a passive bass and a –15 dB input for an active bass. I am using the –15 dB input.

    At the music store, the salesman was busy with someone else and told me to just plug it in and try it. I think the amp was set for a passive bass. I remember adjusting the volume down on the bass and seeing the woofers really kicking in on the low end.

    Questions: Is the –15 dB input pad on my Ampeg to much padding? Is it common for amps to have a fixed amount of attenuation (like –15 dB) for active inputs? Do some amps have an adjustable attenuator for active inputs? Should I be using the 0 dB input and adjusting the signal level via the volume controls on the bass or will this damage the bass and/or amp?

  2. beadg5

    beadg5 Guest

    May 28, 2001
    Baton Rouge, La. USA
    Use the passive input. You don't need to use the active inputs unless you have a high output bass like a Kubici X.
  3. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    I always use the passive input on my amps as well. Never played a Kubicki, but out of all of the active basses that I have played, the only one that I've ever seen that was too hot for the passive input was the G&L L2000/L2500. I've heard that they're too hot for the passive input in passive mode as well, but I've never tried that.
  4. The "hz" in the EMG means high impedance or passive. The tone ciruit is active but those aren't the active EMG pickups. Therefore, since your pickups are passive you don't want to use the pad switch. If you swap them out for aftermarket active pickups then you should use the pad switch.
  5. BassHacker


    Nov 26, 2001
    Tampa, FL
    Thanks for the inputs. I'll give it a try with the passive input.