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noob question (don't hurt me)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by brutal bassist, Sep 28, 2008.

  1. whats the point of active basses if they can work without the battery?
  2. the battery powers the onboard preamp which is usually present in active basses, running without a battery just means turning the knobs on the preamp doesn't do anything.
  3. GianGian


    May 16, 2008
    Make a search and understand active basses...then you will get it.
  4. flea claypool

    flea claypool

    Jun 27, 2004
    Wider Rnage of tones, adaptable, more even as a general rule.. Stick a pre in your jazz...

    i dare ya :)
  5. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    They barely work without the battery, if not at all. The output drops to almost nothing, and none of the controls function.

    Also, echoing prior sentiments... you should do a little reading on active basses. Onboard preamps allow you to do to your tone what passive tone controls can't, but to do so, it requires a battery.

    It's not a knock against passive basses. Active basses generally do not sound like active basses. It's a different sort of tonal variety. I love actives. :)
  6. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    Many bass preamps have a switch to change to passive mode. Find one, play it in both passive mode and active, and you'll be able to hear the difference for yourself. Sound is always hard to describe in words, so all we can do on this forum is give you a general idea. You gotta' hear it to really understand it.

    The other thing is the convenience of have extra tone controls right on the bass, you don't have to reach for the amp head to make EQ changes.

    As with all things, of course, there are good preamps and some not so good.
  7. Active basses can sometimes run without a battery in bypass mode, if they have passive pickups. Depending on the pre-amp, there may or may not be a big difference in volume when the bypass is engaged. My Fender has a very significant drop in volume in passive mode while my CB with a Bartolini pre sounds the same in passive mode when I have the EQ set flat.

    Battery bypasses are out there as a security blanket because guys are afraid of their battery dying. Most batteries will last a reasonable amount of time as long as you remember to unplug the bass. When doing the regular routine maintenance, check the battery. If you start hearing distortion when you use the EQ, it's a sign that you're either overdriving the system or the battery is getting low.

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