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Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by FenderjazzMAN, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. FenderjazzMAN


    Mar 7, 2004
    can somebody please explain the following to me as im new to the bass.

    - the difference between preamp and amp?

    - what are active bass pickups

    - whats better fender precision or jazz

    - ive noticed people put in there ads they have gold harware....what is it?

    thats all for now. cheers
  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Gold hardware - its just the topcoat color of the metal parts on the bass. Silver, gold, black are the typical choices.

    Best: Jazz or precision bass - neither is "best", they are apples and oranges, different to suite a person's individual tastes.

    Active pickups: have a battery in the bass, can let you boost the treble, bass, and possibly mids on the bass itself. Usually a louder signal output than passive-electronic basses, which only permit you to turn down, as opposed to boost, the tone.

    Preamp and amp differences: Most "all in one" combo amplifiers have both a preamp and an amp integrated. The preamp gives you the tone-shaping capabilities, the amp section just gives you the power/volume. Some people prefer separate preamp and amp components, so they can mix and match brands, features, and power. Example: Plugging into a preamp-only will not permit you to power a speaker.
  3. FenderjazzMAN


    Mar 7, 2004
    Cheers eric, thanks for explain that, i totally understand now
  4. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Errr...the above statement is wrong. You are confusing Active Pickups with an on-board preamplifier with EQ.

    Active pickups need a battery (that's why they are called 'active'), but that is just to get the signal level to be high enough for the system to work (ie..a pure preamplifier, without any EQ, just a signal boost). It has NOTHING to do with shaping of the tone. Active Pickup circuit can be combined with tone-shaping circuit (EQ) to provide that capabaility, but this is not required to make active pickups work.

    Basically, the theory behind active pickups is as follows. If pickup has low impedance (fewer windings), pickup will have flatter frequency response. However, as you lower the impedance, you also lower the output. Active circuit simply boosts that signal to be roughly the same as on a passive pickup system.

    Passive pickups have more windings, and thus higher output, which means they do not need any active circuit to work. However, they also don't have a flat frequency response - more windings, more midrange.

    You can use an on-board preamp with EQ for tone shaping with either passive or active pickups.

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