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passive tone control vs. active treble control

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Fran Diaz, Apr 29, 2004.

  1. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain

    I'd like to know what's the difference between rolling off the treble using a passive tone control versus using the treble control of an onboard active preamp.

    keep groooovin'
  2. sheepdog


    Feb 20, 2003
    Birmingham, AL
    passive tone controls are a treble cut. The amount and frequency cut (I think) is dependent on the capacitor used with the tone pot.

    active treble controls are either boost and cut or more commonly (OBP1, Sadowsky Pre...) boost only. The boost is possible because the active control runs off of a 9V battery (possibly 2 or even 3 9v batteries are sometimes used..).

    Boost of a certain frequency (bass, mid, treble...) is only possible in active mode.
  3. Fran Diaz

    Fran Diaz

    Mar 28, 2002
    Santander, Spain
    sorry if I didn't express correctly :) : I know that the active systems allow boosting (my Laklands and MM are active although I only use the treble control to cut) what I want to know is: if we use the correct cap to affect a certain frequency (the same one centered in the active preamp) and we cut the freqs. by the same dBs in both, the active and passive basses are we going to hear any difference?

    keep groooovin'
  4. mikezimmerman

    mikezimmerman Supporting Member

    Apr 29, 2001
    Omaha, Nebraska
    My impression is that the passive tone control rolls off a wider range of treble frequences--everything above a particular frequency--whereas the active treble control generally cuts the same rather narrow range that it boosts. But yes, you can definately hear a difference.

  5. Halftooth

    Halftooth Supporting Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    You took the words right out of my mouth! Because the treble cut on an active is centered on a specific frequency, a passive tone rolls off a much broader frequency range. I prefer having the passive tone option along with the 3-band, ala Fbass, on all my basses if possible.