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New to active basses... why am I clipping?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by reddenedxsky, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. Hey guys,

    Just got my first active bass and am beyond ecstatic about my purchase, picked up this gorgeous PB5 from a fellow TB'er. She plays amazingly, but I'm having an issue with clipping and distortion when plugged in.

    I'm currently running it through a Sansamp BDDI into a Markbass F1, then into my Genz 212. With or without using the sansamp the clipping indicator on my F1 is lit for just about any note I play. I'm also getting some distortion and can't seem to find a way to pull it out. Any help would be appreciated! :bassist:

    Attached Files:

  2. punisher911


    Jan 20, 2005
    Clawson, MI
    Active basses typically put out a hotter signal and often require a "pad" that lowers the signal strength to prevent the clipping and distortion you are getting. Some amps even have different inputs for passive and active basses.
    bridgecables and Pirate Captain like this.
  3. Faceman75


    Dec 21, 2015
    The active bass has a higher output than what you're used to. You'll have to turn down the input gain, and/or use the input pad. You might also have to roll back the controls on the bass
  4. Josh Kneisel

    Josh Kneisel

    Jun 17, 2016
    likely just need to use the pad on your amp input
  5. twinjet

    twinjet What does God need with a starship?

    Sep 23, 2008
    If nothing else, turning down the volume of the instrument a bit works too.
  6. Thanks for the quick help guys, I have tried lowering the gain almost the entire way but it doesn't seem to help much. And my head doesn't have a separate input. I'm not sure what you mean by "pad." Will I need to grab another pedal?
  7. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    Try the dPad and gain like the others said. Also, you may want to dial back the bass EQ in the pre and/or on the BDDI. I find that with my active Jazz, I have the the on-board about 75% low max and on the amp at about 40% low max. Still get a really thick, deep low end, but when I add more, I start clipping. I also have the gain down pretty low... like 25-35%.

    Its just going to take a little configuring among those things to dial you in right.

    Good luck.
    Gearhead17 and reddenedxsky like this.
  8. Goatrope

    Goatrope Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2011
    Sarasota Florida
    Is your battery ok?
  9. Thank ye fellow yinzer, I'll try all this out a little later!
    Thumb n Fingers likes this.
  10. Yep, fresh as of yesterday!
  11. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    Go from the start. Connect your bass to your F1 and that to the cab. Nothing extra.
    Set everything neutral on the bass and head's EQ.
    Turn up the volume on the bass, set the gain on the F1 to about 9 o'clock.
    now, you should have a normal signal without clipping and without distortion.
  12. Badwater


    Jan 12, 2017
    A pad is a device that cuts volume input. Some DI boxes have pads built in them to cut 15db or more. I agree with the above posts. Try turning down the volume output on your bass, and leave the basses' preamp EQ to flat to start with. Then make adjustments for the sound you like.
  13. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Does the F1 have a 'pad' switch, or just an indicator? If just an indicator, like others have said, take it down a bit at the source. I know with certain preamps, you don't want to 'dime' both treble and bass pots... Good luck!
  14. Thumb n Fingers

    Thumb n Fingers

    Dec 15, 2016
    Yinz might also wanna try taking the BDDI out of the loop and configuring until there is no clipping. Then add the BDDI again and work it until the clip is eliminated. Taking the components out and then re-introducing them one at a time will help narrow down the trouble maker.

    But only try that after you get done with that chipped ham sammich and you've ret up yer room. I'm off to Primanti Bros...jeet jet?
    Gearhead17 likes this.
  15. Khronic

    Khronic Richard J. Naimish Banned

    Oct 24, 2006
    Grand Junction, CO.
    If this were my set up I would be running the BDDI into the F1 effects return jack and not the input jack.
    bridgecables likes this.
  16. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    Just looked up the amp. It does not have a pad. (Lots of times you'll see it as an "active/passive" switch or button.)

    So, you'll either have to set timeshare gain low or turn down the volume on your bass.

    Another thing you can check is this. Years ago I owned a Carvin bass. It had a trim pot on the inside (used to normalize the volume when switching from passive to active). Mine had a little blue plastic screw mounted to timeshare circuit board. Pop the control plate off the back of your bass and see if it has such a screw. If it does, take a pic of it and post it here so those who own current models can verify that's what it is. If it has that you can dial back the output of your hot pickups.

    Good luck with this!
    tink9975 likes this.
  17. Kygr


    Feb 6, 2017
    Phoenix, AZ
    How low are those strings? They're not slapping the pickups, are they?
  18. inanimate_carb


    Aug 11, 2016
    As alluded to in other posts, make sure the active EQ is right around the middle or in the detent clicks if the electronics suite has them. You can adjust them but if they are set to extremes it will push the front end of any amp pretty hard.
    morgan138 likes this.
  19. Some active bass "not sure if your's is included" have an internal boost pot on the pre-amp to adjust the gain. So if all else fails and you are still running way to hot, look into this RTS
    morgan138 likes this.
  20. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ******** Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2016
    Shelter Island, NY USA
    This is why I switched back to passive.