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Question, Is my friend full of $#/+

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by BassNoobSuomi, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. A friend of mine(a long time guitar pro)
    Vistited today. He told me that Bass guitars, and electronic stringed instruments in general, that have active electronics tend to be of low guality. In his own words: "If i were you i'd avoid basses with active electronics, at least in the sub-1k$ price range.
    They tend to Crack, pop, and sizzle."
    Is this true?

    On another, almost related note. Is .290$ a good deal for an Ibby BTB-300 FM-AMB?
  2. Smallmouth_Bass


    Dec 29, 2005
    Yes, he's full of crap. Active electronics is not an indication of the quality of a bass.
  3. Please elaborate. And thanks for the FAST reply.
  4. That's a good deal, snap it up before someone else does
  5. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    No....as a general rule, this is not true nor is it true with regards to build quality, fretwork, etc. When choosing amongst the more budget-minded offerings, play before buying or be aware of the return policy when purchasing on-line.

  6. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I think that there is some truth to what he is saying.
  7. Thanks, I'm glad there's so many helpful, kind people in here. Only problem is that the bass is about 300km away from where i live. it'd cost another 100$ to go there to test it.
    And that being 14 y/o, my parents won't allow me to buy a bass unless they approve.
    And my friend(The man who, according to you is fulll ouf $#/+), His word is (to my parents) Absolute.
  8. I suppose the train of thought is that "Active electronics are there to compensate for the instruments short comings and natural lack of tone". But that is not it at all.

    My only active bass as a MIA Jazz that was originally passive. Did it need actives? Nope. Did I want them? Yup
  9. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Many cheap active basses use cheap passive pickups and associated circuitry and electronics. I'd rather my money go for better pickups, wood, and hardware, than for cheap, noisy, active electronics.
  10. He's a guitarist! They have no need for active electronics, so he has no need to know anything about them. gui****s. I swear.

    The active electronics in some basses (like mine) can cost more than a new, low-end passive bass. And you can take that same low-end bass and slap some electronics in it and make it sound like a million euros.
  11. sawzalot

    sawzalot Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2007
    Show this thread to your parents. You can buy so many quality instruments below $1000 that have active electronics that won't snap or pop. Maybe that was true 20 years ago but not any more, although I personally have never experienced this in over 20 years of playing.

  12. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Plenty of guitarists use EMGs

    Anyway, even the entry-level Ibanez basses with active electronics are at least decent. I'm not saying you can't get a bad tone from them, but it's not like they're unusable. A sub $1k bass can easily be a great (even stellar) bass, active or not
  13. CnB77


    Jan 7, 2011
    Quantify "better" wood
  14. PDGood

    PDGood Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2010
    Nashville, TN
    There are plenty of crappy, low quality passive instruments on the market too. You just see more that are active right now because that's what's popular at the moment. A few years back the vast majority of the cheap instruments were passive.

    There are also plenty of expensive active instruments. IMO there is no connection between active electronics and price point.

    To me, the most important factor when purchasing an inexpensive bass is the neck. How straight is it? How low can you get the strings without rattle? I handpicked all of my instruments using the neck as my #1 criteria. I either played them before purchasing or bought them online from Guitar Center because of the liberal 30 day return policy.

    P.S. I own four Ibanez basses that sold below $700 and all have active electronics and sound great and have been quite durable.
  15. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    btw, forum rules require that profanity be completely obscured, so you may have to repost this question after a stern warning from a mod appears and it gets deleted.

    To the question, I'd say basically no, but I can see that at the same price point there might be a little truth to it. If you had two identical basses, one active and one passive, at the exact same price, one has a preamp etc. in it while the other does not, so I'd ask what they skimped on to get the additional electronics in while keeping the price the same. But I know you can get a serviceable preamp on ebay for, like, $18, so it's not like it's a huge difference.
  16. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise.

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Are active electronics an indication of low quality? Nope. Are passive electronics an indication of low quality? Nope. Do I like active electronics? Nope. Just a personal choice. I've had a couple of active Fenders and just didn't care for them. Once again that's a personal choice. Try both and choose wisely my friend.
  17. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    Seen many high quality basses made from agathis?

    If you disagree, disregard "wood" from my post.
  18. WoodyG3


    May 6, 2003
    Colorado, USA
    I've heard some inexpensive active basses that are kinda' noisy, but I suspect most of that is due to poor or incomplete shielding.
  19. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism Supporting Member

    Well, he is pretty right on sub 1k basses active pickups are questionable, I wouldn't expect them to crack and pop unless they are sub $500 though. I would also expect them to suck more than crack and pop.

    Go out and price out a real, repectable, pre-amp and pickups. You are looking at around $500 on parts alone, not even counting the man time. So yeah, there is some truth to what your friend is saying.

    Active pickups don't require shielding, if you get hiss with active pickups it means they are passive pickups with an active pre-amp as far as I know.
  20. Dantreige


    Oct 22, 2009
    I don't agree with this guitar player at all. I like active elecronics on my basses because they give me tone control on the bass. This is helpful for me to make quick adjustments when needed without making amp, effects, or channel adjustments in a live setting.

    The quality of electronics can differ greatly, but the price of an instument does not always dictate whether the quaility is good or bad. You need to try them for yourself to see what you need for your situation.

    I prefer to have low, mid (sweepable if possible) and high controls, but I have been happy with low and high cut/boost as well.

    Good luck!

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