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Passive & Active Jacks

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ShonenCello, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. ShonenCello


    Sep 21, 2011
    I have read through the Amp FAQ's (so much info there) but I have not come across this really basic question.

    My amp has two jacks for active and passive instruments. There is unfortunately no place to plug in an .mp3 player.

    Is there any reason why I can't plug an .mp3 in one jack and my bass in the other jack?

    Common sense tells me no problem, but common sense has failed me many time before.

    Any advice appreciated.
  2. dincz


    Sep 25, 2010
    Czech Republic
    mp3 player into the active jack should be fine. Just keep the player's volume low enough to prevent distortion.
  3. You will need to mix the left and right signals from the MP3 player into mono. Don't just short the signals as this could cause damage to the player.
  4. Another thing that hasn’t been mentioned is - doing that will change the input impedance and therefore also affect the sound/tone of your bass.
  5. YuppyPunk


    Oct 21, 2011
    If the amp has an effects send and return, use the return instead to bypass the preamp.
  6. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    The guy wants to mix his bass with the recorded music. Bypassing the preamp won't help.

    The active and passive inputs are not meant for mixing two signals. They are really just one input with two jacks connected to it; one of the jacks has a resistor added to drop the level of the instrument. Running two signals into one input can result in tone loss, problems with volume levels, and sometimes even feedback.

    Mostly those problems will be likely if you have a passive bass. It's still not ideal even with an active bass, but you have a much better chance of decent results.
  7. ShonenCello


    Sep 21, 2011
    Thanks everybody. Lots of good info here.

    This would just be for practice so quality loss is just something I'll live with. Damage was really my main concern.

    I just gave it a try and it's acceptable.

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