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Pedal that can make passive bass sound active?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by Hardbassjunkie, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Is there such a thing? I played about with a sterling ray34 and I enjoyed the hifi sound. It was different then any bass I had. So instead of buying a $1000 CAD bass, is there a pedal that can give me an active sound?
  2. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Every preamp.

  3. I'm not sure what you want... I'm not sure there is an 'active' sound.
    A Stingray is still a passive pickup with a preamp built into the guitar, with some tone controls. Use an external preamp (many in pedal form) and you're doing essentially the same thing.

    If what you're saying is that you liked the sound of the Stingray... no preamp is going to give you that unless your bass has a pickup around the same place a Stingray has it, and preferably a wide humbucker.
    HolmeBass, MDBass, DJ Bebop and 3 others like this.
  4. What I enjoy about the stingray is the "hi-fi" sound it that makes sense so not sure if that's the stingray or the preamp.
    Nunovsky and mcnach like this.
  5. monkeyland

    monkeyland Supporting Member

    Jul 1, 2008
    Ft Myers, Florida
    Endorsing artist: Curt Mangan Strings, JH Audio
    One of the sadowsky preamp pedals would be perfect.
    oranje, red_rhino, eadg98005 and 17 others like this.
  6. Tommy V

    Tommy V

    Feb 19, 2019
  7. Yeah, I still don't know what you mean :) because I would not call a Stingray "hifi" in any way.

    I would go and try a bunch of different active basses in a shop and see if what you like is the preamps or simply a Stingray sound.
    Machiavelli and Minimalist like this.
  8. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    A lot of it is the pickup and pickup placement unfortunately.
    DJ Bebop and Zbysek like this.
  9. EHX LPB-1 can be had on reverb for under $30
    mikewalker, G RICH 5 and User11111 like this.
  10. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
  11. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    Stingrays were one of the original "HiFi" basses in the marketplace and still is to my ears.
  12. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    In a word? No. In 2 words? Not really. I’ve got 2 active pickup/active preamp basses, 1 passive pickup/active preamp bass, and a fully passive bass. None of them sound “active” or “passive”. EQ reigns king in my book.

    There are MANY preamp pedals out there that will allow you to achieve nearly any sound/tone goals you have. Mesa Subways, Sansamp, Ampeg, Darkglass, Sadowsky... lots to choose from.
    mcnach and DJ Bebop like this.
  13. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk 音楽は人生だ

    Mar 11, 2013
    My recommendation for this is the Xotic RC bass. A few years back, I bought it for the exact same reason - I wanted a more hi-fi sound out of my passive bass. The RC is super clean... It doesn't do "grit" well but it'll give your bass a nice kick in the pants output-wise, and add a glorious sheen to the sound. It has bass and treble knobs, so you can add more or less "oomph" and "sheen" as you see fit.

    I eventually just went and added onboard preamps to my basses for simplicity's sake... Its just easier to not have to cart pedals around if I don't have to. If you keep an eye on the classifieds here, you can likely find a good one for the price that you'd pay for a brand new outboard preamp pedal.
    zubrycky and pbass2 like this.
  14. Soooo. Any preamp pedal will pretty much make your amp sound active... but they won’t make your bass sound like a Stingray. If you don’t have the money go get a used ray4 for 200 bucks. I got a Sansamp and a tonehammer and a few dark glass pedals and I can’t make my p bass or jazz bass sound like a Ray with any of them.
    eff-clef, kodiakblair and mcnach like this.
  15. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    something simple as a Boss GEB-7 EQ pedal

    i guess technically its kinda true a pre with active EQ would make it active.

    But there is a slight difference in string tone with a actual active pickup.

    its essentially same thing but there can be a slight tone difference than just pluging into a pedal.
    active tone has a certain extended response and adds string overtone that a passive pickup wired bass wont get going into a pre.

    little extra tone i guess from a pickup going directly to a active pre or pretty much a opamp.

    its weird its not much different than pluging into a amp.
    SpazzTheBassist and DJ Bebop like this.
  16. bass12

    bass12 Say "Ahhh"... Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    Another vote for the Xotic Bass RC Booster. I used to use mine all the time with my passive Fender Jazz and it sounded fantastic.
    superheavyfunk likes this.
  17. Rip Van Dan

    Rip Van Dan DNA Endorsing Artist Supporting Member

    Feb 2, 2009
    Duvall, WA
    Sure, any of the DI boxes with built in preamp will do that. I play DNA and Eden gear and I have an Eden WTDI, which has a built-in Eden pre-amp along with an adjustable compressor. Got it because I was required to use a backline Peavey 112 combo in a small brew pub and just couldn't get a sound I liked out of it. And we hosted an open-mic night there 3 to 5 nights a month so I really needed to do something.

    So bought this WTDI for $149, plugged it into the effects return of that backline Peavey amp and lo and behold, that Peavey sounded like an Eden amp - clear, clean, full and articulate. Plugging that WTDI into the effects return bypassed the Peavey preamp and just used the Peavey power section with the built-in Eden preamp.

    I've made lots of amps sound like Eden amps with it and it cost all of $149. Since then I've used it on Peavey, GK, Ampeg, Mark Bass, acoustic, and at least one or two others. The mid control toggles between 500Hz and 2KHz. I run it flat with just a little boost at 500Hz with my passive Jazz and it sounds great. I've also used it to plug into the FOH at a few places and at a recording session in Seattle a couple of months back.


    You can also plug it into the input of your amp (use the "active" input or push in the pad button), but then you have to fight the preamp of the host amp on top of whatever you dial in with the WTDI.
    equill, Tom Bomb and vvvmmm like this.
  18. Real Soon

    Real Soon

    Aug 15, 2013
    Atlanta, GA
    For me, that sound is often associated with humbuckers and, if it's any kind of modern style of music, a smileyface EQ setting. 'rays can do it quite readily, so much so that they pretty much defined it in the earlier days of their (and active electronics') existence.

    I can take a passive bass with humbuckers and put it thru a preamp pedal (some more suited than others), and I'll have something close to that tone. Cable capacitance does get its pound of flesh, though, so a preamp in the bass has more overall signal to work with than one on the other side of any normal cable run.
  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    You could use either a “modern sounding” external preamp or a clean boost pedal that also has an EQ section to get a more hifi sound.

    Two affordable choices I can recommend are the Tech21 Q-Strip for a preamp; or the TCE Sparc Booster for a clean boost/EQ pedal.

    The Eden WTDI and Aguilar Tone Hammer preamps are also good choices.

    You could always install a preamp
    into a regular passive bass too. Audere makes a very flexible and good sounding one that’s reasonably priced.
    Rip Van Dan likes this.
  20. Rayjay

    Rayjay If that’s even my real name.. Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2014
    Lahaina, Maui, HI
    If it’s that sparkle you’re looking for, Southampton Ictineo, which is a clone of the Submarine.
    sears likes this.

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