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What's an "active" bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by 8va, Jun 12, 2005.

  1. 8va


    Jul 16, 2004
    I recently bought a vox bass that was described as being an "active" bass and "contains a battery" to make this feature operate (as well as being able to be "passive"). I assumed this meant there may be some kind of battery powered pre-amp within the instrument itself - and emailed the seller who told me there was.

    In the event,when I removed the rear cover, there was certainly no place for a battery of any kind. I contacted the seller again and he did some checking and told me...

    "and it is as I suspected, active without the need for a battery.As you stated the attenuator controls the power boost in a phantom charge."

    In fact actually said I just guessed it had an attenuator - anyway that's by the way. What I'd like to know is, is the statement he made, correct? The only place I've heard of phantom power use is in microphones where 48 volts (?) is delivered from the pre-amp source via the signal co-ax. Does this mean (perhaps) the "active" input on my amp is delivering phatom power to the guitar in a similar manner?

    I should say that I'm very pleased with the intrument and just want to be clear about this "active" aspect of it and how to use it.

  2. Tash


    Feb 13, 2005
    Bel Air Maryland
    No, I've never heard of any such thing as a phantom powered active bass. The "active" input on amps simply give a gain cut of -10 to 015 db to prevent overdriving the input section. If your bass has an active component, either pickups or a preamp, it needs a battery.

    If it has no battery it is not active and the seller either is ignorant of how active basses work, or is lying to cover his a$$.

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