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Question about active basses.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by ndrifka, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. ndrifka


    Aug 14, 2008
    I'm new to the active bass world, and have been shopping around for an active bass (Stingray, Sterling). First, can/does the increased output of active basses distort the preamp section of an amp? (like how really hot guitar pickups distort when strumming a chord through the clean channel of an amp). Second, if this does happen, would you adjust the gain knob on the amp, adjust the volume on the bass or what? Thanks for any insight!
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yes, and yes, depending. ;) First, not all active basses have higher output. But when they do, it doesn't matter whether you adjust the output of the bass or the input of the amp. FWIW almost every bass amp/preamp on the market has an input pad specifically for taming the signal of a high-output bass. Sometimes it's a separate jack marked "active", sometimes it's a switch next to the one input jack.
  3. I have yet to have an active bass distort on me due out high output. I have however had a bass that distorted because of a bad on-board pre. I'd say don't be too worried about it but don't push your luck.
  4. ndrifka


    Aug 14, 2008
    Thanks for the input guys.
  5. I was in the same boat for a while and I didn't really think it would ever happen. I played my MTD through my Aguiliar AG500SC, and it had a -10Db button for hot inputs, but all it was for me was a "make me slightly louder" button... I never had distortion...

    When I went to sell it though, we plugged in his bass and we (mostly I, I am sure) started to freak a bit. We changed his batter, we changed cabinets, we changed rooms, and (we were in a bass shop) he plugged another bass in through it. Then it dawned on me, I hit the -10db and raised volume a bit and the distortion was gone =D. Guess the MTD has mild output.

    But yeah, to the OP, Yes and yes, though it varies from bass to bass more than a clear cut line between Active and Passive.

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