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Something about passive mode..

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 5string5fingers, Nov 19, 2018.

  1. So I recently got this amazing Fender Jazz Deluxe V. Cant put it down, love it.

    Yesterday, I decided to switch passive mode.This was my first time really playing in passive mode in this bass other than a function check of the switch and there is something about it...

    I have been playing exclusively an active bass for 4 years now, and ibanez sr400. This was the first passive J bass I have played in probably 10 years and it was a strange experience for me. I love the active mode, and switched back and forth and set flat there really only seemed to be a volume boost and a treble boost going to active. I can only describe the passive mode as delicious. I cant even explain the feeling and sound, and dont know what it is.

    Anybody else feel this way? I love what active electronics give to you, but dang if passive isn't just awesome. I think I've just been away for too long.
  2. just realized this needs to probably be moved.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  3. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    I have a G&L L2000.
    Can’t remember the last time I flipped the switch to active.
    In passive mode it’s bass perfection.

    (Pretty sure you’re on the right board)
  4. I do prefer passive mode, but TBH my SR1800E sounds exactly the same passive as it does active, when all the EQ knobs are at noon.
    Element Zero and dralionux like this.
  5. dagrev

    dagrev Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Yep. That’s why Leo started it that way!;)
    MoeTown1986 likes this.
  6. rockinrayduke

    rockinrayduke Supporting Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Henderson, NV
    Flipped the switch on my old Jazz Deluxe months ago and never went back.
    5string5fingers and Aqualung60 like this.
  7. rockscott


    Aug 28, 2010
    I will never buy another active bass! Passive tone is awesome!
  8. 4sight

    4sight Supporting Member

    Passive4Life :smug:
    DanikDarko and Skybone like this.
  9. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    I have an American Deluxe Jazz V...I put it in passive mode once -- thought it was OK, but never used passive mode on that bass again...I guess Im just stuck in my old ways. Just like in that "Whats changed in 20 years?" thread last week (excellent thread if you havent seen it), I havent been bitten by the retro bug: I prefer multiple pickups, roundwounds, actives, and have zero desire to use a primary tone that sounds like its from the 60s or early 70s pop records...Call me an old phart, I guess. Kind of an irony that not being retro is being an old phart..................
  10. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    I was a long time active player, but then went off them after I had a succession of active basses where I simply couldn't find a usable sound no matter what the settings were on the pre-amp or amp.

    Looked for a passive only bass, found a good one, then found a great one. Haven't looked back since.

    Only owned 1 active bass since then, again, tried many different settings, and again, couldn't find a usable sound in it either.
  11. If you liked the taste of passive mode, mind you that you have stacked noiseless pickups. Try some (noisy) vintage passive Custom Shop pickups if you can, in a store or something - with fresh strings. I think you might like them even better.

    For the record, I use passive basses but have a bass preamp pedal. Pedal off = passive tone. Pedal on with some boost = kind-a active tone, strong enough to saturate the Alpha Omega.
  12. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    i don't have your ax ("Fender Jazz Deluxe V"), but i have come to appreciate passive instruments. when i was gigging non-stop: i just did not take/have the time to really explore the benefits of passive. i regret that now as i would have benefitted a lot. i started on passive instruments but soon went to active because of the myriad tonal options --- more than anything i thought i had to have those options and it became a habit which i didn't question for 25-30 years.

    i still like active electronics, but i haven't used an active-only ax for at least 5 years, now (except for some recordings). i've played my passive instruments exclusively on gigs (look ma, no batteries!) and appreciate the simplicity. i've also found a great source for some wiring harnesses to upgrade a couple of my cheapies and parts basses. i think some well built passive electronics can go a long way in leveling the differences between active and passive.

    while there are many sources of great passive electronics (including: build your own), i'm posting my current favorite source for those who might want to take a look:
    Bass Pickups | Preamps | Bartolini | Aguilar - Best Bass Gear
    The Nameless and SpazzTheBassist like this.
  13. Geri O

    Geri O Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    I appreciate the love for passive instruments, or anything that a player holds dear about a bass for whatever reason.

    However, I don't understand the desire to post about that love as though your love is extremely narrow and very few in numbers and you are a neglected and maligned group. In fact, those small groups tend to do a lot of maligning of the opposite group of their interests (and not at all referring to this particular post). There's boatloads of passive instruments out there and in use.

    Be thankful for the opportunity to play music and especially, the best instrument out there, The Bass! And have all the interests you can muster (whatever that may be). I promise you, laying in a hospital bed for a couple of days, wondering if you will ever bet able play again will give you that perspective. I'm fine now, and should be for the very much foreseeable future, Lord Willing, but my gratitude to be able to keep doing what I do has increased ten-fold. And the only bass out there I don't absolutely love is the one I can't put my hands on and play, at least for a little bit...:D
    pellomoco14 and Passinwind like this.
  14. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    I've owned a couple of active basses - at least when I got them there were active. Both of them eventually left my herd, wired passive (albeit with a few twists). My biggest beef with active basses is that so few of them have circuits that are well designed - lots of noise and brittle sounds that could easily be avoided by spending a dollar or two more, and listening to what you've created before shipping it.
  15. Runnerman

    Runnerman Registered Bass Player Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2011
    It's been said before but I think we need to distinguish between active pre and active pups. The bass you have uses passive pups with a pre amp on board. It's the exact same situation as if you had a separate pre amp and a purely passive bass...you are just doing the EQ and boost/cut on the instrument.

    Active pickups are a different story and in my experience this is where the brittle/excessive hi-fi tone can come from. My Bongo is passive pups with pre and is in no way brittle or hi-fi.
    7615, Nomogram and The Nameless like this.
  16. I was an EMG fanboy for years. Back in the 70's and early 80's, I used to run into a lot of tone-sucking pedals and crappy DI/snake setups.

    Driving crappy electronics with a nice hot, robust signal was a revelation. When I started playing five-string basses tuned to a low B, going to 18V was a big deal as well.

    Fast forward to the mid 90's, and I didn't really need the help any more. I was carrying a good DI, and the sound equipment at venues, even small ones, wasn't as sketchy as back in the day.

    Around that time, I started switching out various EMG pickup models, trying for a more organic tone.

    In 2013, I finally figured out that I just needed to go back to a good passive setup. Pickups with lots of upper mid and treble info can always be dialed back a bit with a good passive tone control.

    Haven't looked back...
  17. I've recently come to the same conclusion......added a new passive J to the herd recently, and really love the sound. Makes me wonder why I've been playing active basses all these years.
  18. SpazzTheBassist


    Jun 20, 2006
    I have some passive basses myself as well and can certainly appreciate them...However, given a choice, I'll always choose active over passive if a singular bass has the option which is what the zeitgeist of the thread is about....Like anything else, I'm glad that we all find our ways to find ourselves and that we are all different

    I am going to have a look at your fine-print link, tho :)
    JRA likes this.
  19. Skybone


    Jun 20, 2016
    Let's face it, "Active vs Passive" will be a topic of conversation in a bass forum for many, many years to come.

    I appreciate that some prefer Active instruments over Passive instruments, and others likewise. It's just one of those things. Like "Flats vs Rounds", "Long Scale vs Short/Medium Scale", "Tube/Valve vs Solid State/Class D", "Analog/Analogue vs Digital" etc., etc.
    Element Zero, Geri O and Joedog like this.
  20. pedroims


    Dec 19, 2007
    On Fender basses yes I prefer passive mode because I dont like the preamps. However, I do love a jazz bass with a Sadowsky or John East preamp.
    rockinrayduke, Nomogram, bebi and 2 others like this.

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