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The BUZZ about Fender active electronics

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by eJake, Nov 7, 2017.


  1. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    I've had this American deluxe V (its probably a 2014) for a while now. I just put flats on it and have been breaking them in in the woodshed. I know zero about active electronics... I've been playing in passive mode the whole time. My other bass is a regular Mexican 4 that I bring out to 95% of my gigs but my reggae crew does a ton of dancehall and its time to break the V out of the shed.

    After all this time, knowing that I want tons of low end, I figured I'd see what these active electronics were about. I put in two fresh batteries, turned the bass all the way up, reduced the mids and treble, and started to flip the switch back and forth between active and passive (passive set with tone rolled off). When I hit full volume in active mode there was a distinct buzz that was not present in passive mode. Is this normal? Ive ran some searches here but all I found was threads about touching the pickups and getting noise. I tried putting my finger on and off the pickups but it didn't change anything.

    Its real strange, I thought the buzz that I've dealt with for all these years was supposed to go away with all these 5 new fancy notes I bought....? Uhhh I mean these fancy new pickups I bought
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
  2. superheavyfunk

    superheavyfunk

    Mar 11, 2013
    Toronto
    You mean full volume in "active" mode, right?
     
    DiabolusInMusic likes this.
  3. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Yes sorry. Will edit
     
  4. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    I can't speak to your American Deluxe or any others made recently, but I have owned many American Deluxe and MIM Deluxe Jazz and Precision Basses from the 1990's and 2000's....they all had critically noisy preamps. They were so "hissy" and "hummy" that it was both comical and sad. On multiple occasions I threw away the preamps and installed either Aguilar or EMG preamps....no more noise after that, even with the stock pickups still installed.
     
    eJake likes this.
  5. lokikallas

    lokikallas

    Aug 15, 2010
    los angeles
    All the way up is typically around an 18db boost. That includes 18db of the noise. I use active basses mostly, and I would never give my tone knobs more than a quarter turn. A little goes a long way.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  6. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Whoa 18db is a ton! I tried rolling it off a bit on my gig tonight. Tone was better. Still not a big fan of the buzz. May change the preamp.
     
  7. I try to start with all active controls at the center indent, or flat, then use small adjustments. I find that helps to keep from over boosting anything and sounding unbalanced. If I get to where any knob is maxed. Sometimes I get excited and start cranking stuff up for different tunes. So I start over and repeat the procedure. Start flat even with active.
    As to the desire for "tons of low end" (your words) get them by way of the subs not by just cranking your now active bass knob up. Those tones are all in the signal, even a passive P bass. Get the lows through sound reinforcement. Let the PA do the heavy lifting.
     
    lokikallas, gebass6 and eJake like this.
  8. Older Fender preamps are mostly so so at best and crap at worst. I still have stock Pres in my Cowpoke P, Stu Hamm Urge and a Power Jazz Bass Special. There are a few that many consider good, The Kubicki pre being the best. And one or two others. I thought they were better now. I've put Audere and John East Pres in a few Fender basses with excellent results.
     
    eJake likes this.
  9. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Believe it or not, though I play a ton on Frenchman in new Orleans, some of the clubs I play do not have subs. That being said your points are still valid and will be less drastic with the preamp.
     
  10. eJake

    eJake

    May 22, 2011
    New Orleans
    Thanks for the replies y'all!
     

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