Help me decide on passive or active setup.

jeffjozwiak

Active member
Messages
55
I have a Gecko-5 that I will install Delano soapbars on. I don't perform any live acts so will active electronics do anything for me? Wouldn't a passive setup be enough as long as I have say a graphics equalizer offboard? I'm thinking I would be fine with just a basic volume, blend, tone knob arrangement. Am I missing a distinct advantage of say a 3-band preamp onboard?

Thanks
 

greywolf

Senior member
Messages
1,085
If you don't gig , and have an outboard eq you should be OK .  You can always put an onboard in .
Delano makes a nice on board pre-amp .

I have a 4 band parametric pre-amp  and a 6 band eq on my head  . This works fine for my Jazz with Di Marzio stacked passives.  My new G4 runs with a Barts /Bart Pre-amp ,  certainly a step up and worth it.
 

Patrick from Davis

Senior member
Messages
2,197
I honestly do not like things that depend on batteries.  I am one of those people that can never seem to get things working properly with 9 volt batteries.  That being said, the active preamps in basses, mine and my pals, make the instrument more versatile in my opinion.  They open up quite a few more sounds than the passive pickups alone.  Enough to make me change my mind and load up my bass with an active preamp with it's dreaded 9 volt battery.  If wired properly, you should be able to wire a push pull knob to go from active to passive in case anything goes wrong when you are playing.  I am always impressed by how much of a difference I can get one set up to sound.  It also seems to make fine tuning my bass' sound at a gig much easier once the band is playing and people are there.
Patrick

 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
IMO/IME, an active bass (obviously) has more tweaking capability, but a passive bass has a better tone.

With a passive setup, you take the raw, more or less "perfect" signal from your pickups, and you subtract from the high end using resistors and capacitors.
You do not lose your bandwidth, headroom, or add any noise into the signal.

With an active preamp, you limit your signal and add X amount of noise. The EQ on an active preamp is usually very crude and noisy in comparison to an outboard EQ unit.
If you are after that kind of "active tone", use an outboard preamp to achieve it.

My 2 cents...
 

SkuttleFunk

Senior member
Messages
1,156
my experience -

passive = studio and live work

active = live work


if you have access to studio tone shaping gear, then opting for the least modified signal chain to the board becomes key

I also prefer a blend control for live use, but change to a Vol/Vol preference for studio work where you can actually appreciate the nuances of tweaking the pickup volumes

all the best,

R
 

line6man

Senior member
Messages
6,443
SkuttleFunk said:
I also prefer a blend control for live use, but change to a Vol/Vol preference for studio work where you can actually appreciate the nuances of tweaking the pickup volumes

Blend pots are arguably more convenient, but they are darker sounding than the V/V setup

There are also problems associated with passive blend pots, such as the center setting being louder than anywhere else.

I personally prefer 3 way switches, as they do not darken your tone, but of course, this isn't the best way to go if you like blending pickups together.

I always recommend the V/V setup over blend pots, unless you really cant live without a blend.




 
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