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why do my passive basses sound brighter thru my NV412 than my active ones?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Rocksolid, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. I have 2 rigs that I use mainly. A Sunn 1200s/ NV 412, and an Eden wt 800/ 610xlt.

    My SR5 and Reggie Hamilton CS 5 are bright basses, and sound bright thru the Eden rig, and my passive j and p sound great, but certainly not bright.

    Thru the Sunn 1200s/ NV412 the passive basses seem to really sparkle, and the active basses not so much.

    Nothing sounds bad, but I am surprised at this situation. Anyone got any thoughts?
  2. It can be an impendance issue.

    You say that your passive j and p sound great but not bright and in the title you write that they sound brighter.

    I´m a little confussed
  3. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
    or your sr5 has dead string
  4. Correct. If you read the complete post I give a comparison between my Eden rig, and the Sunn/ Berg rig. With the Sunn/ Berg rig the passive basses sound brighter.
  5. tom-g


    Oct 2, 2007
    That's correct, but I wouldn't call it an issue. Here is a description of a bass preamp manufacturer making use of the effect:

  6. JGR

    JGR The "G" is for Gustav Commercial User

    Jun 29, 2006
    President, CEO, CFO, CIO, Chief Engineer, Technician, Janitor - Reiner Amplification
    Possibly because your passives have more upper mids which the NV412 can reproduce while the actives have less in the upper mids and more in the high treble which the NV will roll off.
  7. Lots of stuff going one. Most likely, the bufferning and built in EQ curves of an active bass typically move the treble response up versus a similar bass that is passive. So, through a one way cab that only extends into the upper midrange/lower treble like the NV412, a bass putting out more upper midrange (like a passive J, for example) can actually sound brighter than an active bass that has the upper mid brightness smoothed a bit by the buffering of the pickups by the preamp, and the 'brightness' being more in the mid to upper treble, which isn't even reproduced by a typical one way cab like the Berg.

    Of course, preamp voicing, etc. can also have an impact.
  8. We were typing at the same time, and saying the same thing:p
  9. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Gold Supporting Member

    Maybe a long shot, but here's something else to consider:

    The Eden cab has a tweeter. The Berg cab does not. Tweetered cabs tend to exaggerate frequencies above 4kHz, but even the quality 12" woofers in the NV412 won't give you much above 4kHz unless you really crank up treble.

    With passive basses, brightness is typically found in the 2-4kHz range. Active basses give full treble response, including slap ping and fret buzz over 10kHz. Some treble controls on active basses are voiced at 5kHz, 6khz, even 7kHz. Point being: if the brightness of your active basses is strongest above 4kHz, then it might well be lost when you use your Berg rig, giving the appearance that your passive basses are brighter.

    Edit: jeez, I'm late to the party as usual. :p
  10. Indeed, mine is set at 18Khz :smug:
  11. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    I also think Its an impedance issue that I have noticed on my Nordstrand mm5.2 pickup its very lively and bright running passive into my SVT IIP but when I switch in the active it's very slightly less bright but of course you then have a huge amount of boost in the mid and bass available. (If you want it?)
    I was thinking about changing the pre amp out for a variable impedance type but I might just try modifying the input impedance on the one that's in it, but to tell the truth I don't mind just running it passive and using the eq on the outboard pre.:bassist:
  12. two fingers

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

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The guys who have posted up until now probably know more about these kinds of things than I could ever imagine. But in my (very simple) view, what they are saying is that your different gear shines at different ranges. Your cab might excel at one frequency range, while some of your basses really bring out others.

    An example in my world is this. My Fender Roscoe Beck V is one bright bass. My Mesa Walkabout Scout 15" stack leans a little boomy out of the gate. Together, however, they find a sweet spot right in the middle that is really, REALLY, nice. Rather than fighting each other, they seem to play to each other's strengths. Sometimes this works out well. Other times is never comes together. I bought an Eden Metro combo with a matching 2-10 cab and it was HORRIBLE with that same bass. I only gigged it once because I just couldn't stand the combination. Again, sometimes those different strong frequency ranges on our various gear come together, and sometimes they don't.

    The upside is that now you have different setups for different kinds of gigs. That's a great "problem" to have.
  13. Good to hear my theories were on track then. I assumed all the brightness of my active basses was above 4k and it getting lost, or not produced. And the brightness of the passive basses was sub 4k.

    I just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something!

    And yes, It is a good problem to have!
  14. why so high?
  15. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Absolutley silly high for a bass guitar, that's why I decided to keep a general passive tone control and just have a two band active eq but with the upper band as more of the mid and all of the top boost, instead of all this fizzy plinky stuff other active circuits give you for top end these days.
    Christ do i look like a goaty bearded jazzer!?:bag:. I would far rather have the amp bright enough for the passive sound top end and then use active just to augment the upper mid clank with the 2nd band of EQ.
    I am still fiddling with capacitors to idealise this at around 800hz on this the fast becoming most Frankenstein of all bass guitars.
    I just use the bass boost occasionally to frighten young children and passing animals especially when I slide the sliding MM5.2 pickup right up the rails to the neck end.:bassist:
  16. uOpt


    Jul 21, 2008
    Boston, MA, USA
    In addition to the input impedance of wireless versus amp there also is the capacitance of the long instrument cable that you normally use.

    A system that changes impedance close to the guitar/bass (such as an internal preamp or a wireless) should add a capacitor to emulate the load from the cable. The way that all the parameters of your passive guitar pickups came together was with a cable attached. So if you cut it out of the circuit you need to emulate it.
  17. I was really exceptic when I found out it set at 18k but after try it I understood why. It really opens up the tone and gives a very hi-fi tone without the crispiness or harshness of others circuits. It's more natural. You have to try it in order to understand what I'm talking about.

    The pre is a Glockenklang 2 band.
  18. That Glock pre is interesting, and that treble control has similar effect as the 'upper treble' EQ band with their amps. You wouldn't think it would have any impact, but it does, adding what I call 'sparkle and air' to the attack of the note. Of course, the vast majority of players would not be interested in that, but it is a cool vibe for those who like, for example, very modern, hi fi slap tones.

    I actually like that very high treble frequency combined with the more typical 4K center point treble control on the Glock amps. It allows you to balance the nature of the treble response in situations where you want some air way up high. I typically cut those very high frequencies and boost the more typical treble control, which results in a tweeter sounding a bit more paper cone.

    Anyway, interesting approach to EQ with that GLOCK on-board. I assume it isn't shelving... sounds like a wide Q design to me, that impacts frequencies a bit below and above that very high 18K.
  19. Sir, you nailed it!
  20. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Let me get this straight so you guys paid some bloke for a bass guitar 2 band EQ and one of the bands you have paid for is actually centred at a frequency at the very top end of my now 60 year old hearing.
    Even if it was a bell curve at an incredibly low q, I still think the designer
    has missed what I would want from a 2 band on board eq by about a decimal place.
    Didn't he mean a shelf at 1.8 kHz :bassist:
    I don't need to worry about presence controls because they are fitted as standard to all proper british designed tube bass amps.:bassist:
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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