Volume question

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Depth_Charge, Oct 20, 2006.

  1. Hope this is the right place for this question.

    Both my ESP 4-string and my J&D 5 string are active basses.

    I only used to rehearse with the the ESP but lately I have been swapping between the 2 and I've noticed that my ESP is much louder than the J&D, and I presume this is related to the electronics of each bass.

    So...is that normal to experience volume difference across models?

    And if so, how does that effect a soundman if I ever go through a PA and choose to swap axes mid-set? I read somewhere on activebass.com that soundmen can get annoyed with volume or tone changes post soundcheck as it is

    Thanks for any advice

  2. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    It's common for different basses to have different output levels. Some sound men will get upset if the volume level changes drastically, or if the sound of the bass changes too much. For example using your 4 string with a fairly flat sound and your 5 with a lot of bass boost can throw their mix way off. But pros deal with it all the time. If you're working with a good sound man you can discuss these things ahead of time. If your working in a situation where a lot of bands are playing and you have no time for a good sound check, then you have to make it as easy as possible for the sound man. Then there is the problem of the sound man himself. Not many of them are very good, unless you get into playing big shows with pro sound companies. If you're playing big shows with PA support you'll usually plug your bass into a direct box and the sound man will get his sound right from your bass. A line from the direct box will go to your on- stage amp where you'll get your sound.

    With most active basses I've found there is way too much output with the volume control wide open, certainly much more than is needed. I run my active basses about 2/3rds open. That way I don't overdrive the input on the amp. I try to match the active bass's output to my passive. And I've found there is way too much bass boost available on most active basses. I usually have my EQ flat or just a touch of bass boost. If you have to use a lot of bass or treble boost on your bass to get a good sound, there's something wrong somewhere-poor sounding bass or inadequate amp and speaker, etc.

    But it doesn't sound like you're at the stage yet where you have to worry too much about pleasing a pro sound man. You'll get a lot of knowledge from experience the more you play out in different rooms.
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