Stero Plug used in Bass Output Jack - Strange Results!!

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by bassin4him, Mar 24, 2003.

  1. bassin4him


    Apr 29, 2002
    Tulsa, OK
    This past Sunday, our sound technician insisted that it would be no problem to use a cable he already had plugged-in that was a 3-conductor cable (1/4" stero on one end, XLR on the other) between my bass (Peavey Cirrus) and our snake. (We use headphones with a Furman Personal Monitoring System, thus we use no amps on stage and plug our instruments directly into the snake/sound board.)

    Against my better judgement, I did so.

    Between songs, I normally turn the volume on the bass all the way down, so I don't have to worry about making disruptive noises caused by touching the strings, etc. When I started to turn the volume down, the volume pot was extremely noisy.

    My first reaction was low batteries (the Cirrus uses 2-9V batteries) so I changed them between sets. Same result, next set. My conclusion: I had a noisy pot that would need replaced.

    Then it occurred to me that previously our other bass player had attempted to use this cable with his Dean Edge, and it wouldn't work at all!

    After getting home, I hooked up to my system there and everything worked fine! Apparently it was the stero or balanced cable that caused the problem.

    My assumption is that ONLY mono cables should be used with your bass. Anyone know anything about this??

    Don C.
    Tulsa, OK
  2. gyancey


    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Yes, only mono cables can be used with active basses. The extra lug on a stereo jack is used to connect the negative terminal of the battery to the system ground (which is why you should always unplug an active bass when not in use...)