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what is active bass all about when you have eq on the amp

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by rollie 55, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. rollie 55

    rollie 55

    Oct 1, 2018
    lost in space
    what is active bass all about when you have an eq on your amp
    ScotRFM and Pbassmanca like this.
  2. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It’s about having eq on the bass.
  3. murmur70


    May 3, 2017
    pjbassist, Sixgunn, JeffC23 and 7 others like this.
  4. rollie 55

    rollie 55

    Oct 1, 2018
    lost in space
    ok fair enough one on the amp one on the bass thats 2
    TrustRod and Pbassmanca like this.
  5. rollie 55

    rollie 55

    Oct 1, 2018
    lost in space
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  6. Gorn


    Dec 15, 2011
    Queens, NY
    It’s a different sound regardless of where the controls are. Same for a bass with no controls at all. It’s just another way to make a particular tone.
  7. TheLowDown33

    TheLowDown33 Supporting Member

    Jul 4, 2009
    Multiple sounds through the night require multiple tonal changes. It's easier than walking back to your amp (if you even use one). I play in a band where we roll right through, with no dead air so the ability to tone tweak on the fly is indispensable.
  8. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    it's another EQ option. but if you're wondering if it's necessary = no it's not. but some have that preference (e.g., i have active and passive instruments).
  9. dave64o

    dave64o Talkbass Top 10 all time lowest talent/gear ratio! Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 15, 2000
    Southern NJ
    I tend to set my amp for my "base" tone. Then I adjust the EQ on my bass if a song needs something specific.

    Contrary to what some passive bass stalwarts here on TB seem to think (to be clear, I am NOT referring to the OP), that does NOT mean I fiddle with my EQ knobs more than I actually play notes. It means on a few songs over the course of a night I can tweak when I want to get a specific sound that's noticeably different from my basic setting without having to climb over the keyboards and drum kit that are usually between me and the amp.

    For me, it's a convenient way to do what I want to do. If that doesn't work for you, then do what *does* work for you.
  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    For one thing, with rare exception, active and passive basses have very different tones.

    I'm kind of in a passive phase right now. But I have done hundreds of shows with active basses. I find a mid sweep to be incredibly useful for dialing in a room/song/sound.

    As another poster noted, it's kind of silly to tweek your amp for different tones. Pedals and/or active preamps are much easier.

    If you need only one sound, rip the knobs off and let it eat. But if you play a variety of styles it's just easier for many to have some control onboard.

    Oh, and @rollie 55 I just noticed you're kinda new here. Welcome to TalkBass!!!
  11. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    It also allows you to hit your effects (which sit between your bass and amp) with different gain levels, which can change how they sound or operate.

    And it buffers your bass’ signal, which can prevent high end loss on longer cable runs.
  12. Seems to me that a passive system only allows one to 'cut' frequencies at the instrument (think tone roll off on a p bass or such).

    Active basses not only allow you to cut frequencies, but they also allow you to 'boost' bass, mids, highs, etc. at the instrument. My 2 cents and probably worth less.....
  13. filmtex


    May 29, 2011
    You’re exactly correct.
  14. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    I find the EQ on active basses sound much different than amp EQ.
    I'm basing this on Spector, Musicman, and Sandberg.
    For the most part I prefer passive EQ though.
  15. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    I usually run my active bass flat and get my tone by adjusting my amp. I also usually run the bass's volume wide open, but rarely have the pickup blend equal. Usually I slightly favor one pickup or the other.

    Sometimes the amp won't get me all the way there or I need a little sumpin, sumpin for a song. That's when I reach for the EQ on the bass. My bass has piezos in the bridge that can be used to change the sound and feel. I usually have to dial out a bit of brightness if I boost the piezos.

    If I am running without an amp and plug straight into a regular DI, I will dial back the basses volume a bit so I have some room to reach for extra volume in the middle of the show, and I freely use the basses tone controls to get a sound if the audio tech can't give me what I need. IMHO a preamp pedal with a built in DI is preferable as you get more control over your sound. I haven't use this one but I bet it would be really good: Mesa Boogie Subway Bass DI Preamp | MESA/Boogie®

    When I play a passive bass I almost always run the volume and tone controls wide open. If the instrument has two volumes, I will back one off slightly so one of the pickups is slightly dominant.

    There are exceptions. For example my vintage Fender Precision Elite is an active bass with very unique tone controls. Way to complicated to explain how I run this bass. Also, my Daion Power Mark XB is a passive bass that requires somewhat unique treatment.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  16. lz4005


    Oct 22, 2013
    Some people need EQ at their fingertips while playing. Thus onboard preamp.
    Some people need instant on/off EQ. Thus EQ pedals.
    Some people need set-and-forget EQ. Thus amp knobs.
    They're all tools to accomplish different jobs.
    Jason42, LoTone, Abe-of-Bass and 12 others like this.
  17. InhumanResource


    Dec 28, 2012
    Try one
    equill and Pbassmanca like this.
  18. redwingxix

    redwingxix Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2015
    It's nice being able to boost the bump when you need it by moving your hand a few inches
    BDrums, gebass6, HolmeBass and 2 others like this.
  19. Marihino


    Mar 25, 2010
    For me it's also about the buffer of the onboard circuit. It allows me to use long cables and extensive pedalboards with relatively little signal loss.
    Kaplan, Haroldo, solderfumes and 8 others like this.
  20. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Not all EQs sound the same (different frequency points, different Q settings, etc.).

    Active basses don't always have EQ...basses with active EMG pickups can use passive tone controls, but they are still active.

    Active basses can drive long cables without high frequency loss and are unaffected by long pedal chains or unusual amp input impedances.
    BDrums, Kaplan, HolmeBass and 2 others like this.

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