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The affect that effect pedals have on passive basses.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by bassix, May 22, 2011.

  1. bassix


    May 1, 2000
    Denver, Colorado
    For those folks here who design effects pedals or have knowledge of circuit design, I have a question.

    I have both passive and active basses and I find I have issues with matching levels and presence between the two in live situations. While I have a Radial Bassbone that would allow me to match levels between dissimilar instruments, I've found I don't like what the passive attenuation does to the sound of the active basses. So, I decided to buy a boost pedal to pump up the output of my passive basses. I purchased a high quality pedal online that is known for it's transparent boost quality and have been trying it out for the past couple of days.

    I was disappointed almost immediately to find that it does slightly change the sound of my bass! It adds just the slightest amount of upper midrange lift (I'd guess around 2k) that I find alters the way the bass feels to me. I was surprised, given this pedal's reputation, that this e.q. change was present. But now I think that what may be responsible for this slight tone shift isn't a less than accurate boost circuit, but rather a change in what the preamp is 'seeing' when I switch the pedal in.

    It's my understanding that one reason for using an active bass is that it's output is essentially buffered by the preamp and will retain highs better through the cable than a passive bass will. So,, when the boost pedal is switched into the circuit, does it essentially change the load the preamp is seeing - resulting in the tone shift I'm hearing?


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