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Passive vs Active

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by intillectualmin, Oct 1, 2002.

  1. intillectualmin


    Sep 18, 2002
    im not really sure what the difference is. Can someone help me out? like does it make a big difference in tone and what not?
  2. RAM


    May 10, 2000
    Chicago, IL
    Well, the simplest definition of active versus passive is that active allows both cut and boost of frequencies, where passive only allows cut. Active usually implies that batteries (or some other power supply) are required, as well.

    Tonally, there are millions of differing opinions. Some feel passive sounds better, others prefer active. Some (like Brad Johnson) say both, and neither...:p

    One thing that I personally believe is that active provides greater tonal flexibility, although not all active systems offer that many good sounds.

  3. jasonbraatz


    Oct 18, 2000
    Oakland, CA
    one thing i like about passive is that it sounds as good as your bass and your pickups do - it eliminates the middleman i guess.

    i've been running my warwicks in passive lately because it sounds better than the BEC preamp.

    so i'll take passive over a bad sounding active preamp, but i'll take a good sounding active preamp over passive.

    on a related note - and i should probably put this in a new post - but would my MEC active pickups work right if wired my warwicks with passive volume and tone as a temporary tone improvement until the fateful day when i can afford u-retros? i suppose i'd just wire the thumb V V T and the ss2 V V T T.

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