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Is there a reason for the apparent dislike for active basses...

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TBH I've never found the need to have to adjust EQ on my bass rig to overcome bad room acoustics, except on two occasions. The first was in a long low-ceilinged space full of hard reflective surfaces, where nothing I did made the bass sound any better than my default setting (if there had been a control for removing room reverberation I might have been able to do something), and the other was in an octagonal shaped hall where the walls acted as a parabolic reflector so that when the bass sounded fine out in the audience, it was virtually inaudible on-stage unless I was stood directly in front of my rig, which was a pity since it was a nice big stage with plenty of room to move about.

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I mainly just adjust the treble boost before each song depending if it's going to be played fingers, pick, slap. For a more old skool sound I'll cut the treble and boost the bass a little. I rarely touch my amp all night.

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[quote name='Jazzjames' timestamp='1484839825' post='3218987']
4-6 hours' practice 6 days a week plus classes 3 times a week (playing there too), plus rehearsals, plus gigs every week. It all adds up I guess. I still loved that bass. A first generation Sandberg California 5 string Jazz. i don't think anything was wrong with it, it was just being played very often.

When you have a bass that responds how you like and sounds great on every song without fiddling with the amp etc., it's a keeper.
[/quote]

If you spend that much time with the bass then another 2 minutes per month changing the battery wouldn't be a problem imo.

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1484902294' post='3219475']
I mainly just adjust the treble boost before each song depending if it's going to be played fingers, pick, slap. For a more old skool sound I'll cut the treble and boost the bass a little. I rarely touch my amp all night.
[/quote]
^^This. set the amp at sound check (usually very minor tweaks from my default setting) bass eq during the set

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[quote name='lowhand_mike' timestamp='1484905644' post='3219504']
^^This. set the amp at sound check (usually very minor tweaks from my default setting) bass eq during the set
[/quote]

^^^ for me as well..

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Half of my life has been spent playing passive basses and the rest was active. I really have to think hard to remember which basses were which because the overall sound and the way they played were the only important things about them.

My playing time is now split between a passive P bass and an active Jazz with an 18v preamp. The 18v preamp is a first for me and the first gig was a nightmare because, yet again, I've discovered a piece of kit that highlights the deficiencies in my playing! The sound of this bass is crisp, clear and punchy as ****. It's the first bass in decades that's taken me more than 2 mins to get the sound I like. . . . but I like it now.

IMO there's always a place for good active basses.

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^^^^ It's how i do it also. I set my amp flat, play a few notes and listen to the sound. Normally i just add a bit of bass if the stage is too dry but it's pretty much set flat. Same goes for my EQ in the mixer. Then i use the pan of the bass to change the tone colour through the gig, i rarely change EQ on the bass unless i'm asked to play a reggae song, then i boost bass quite a bit ;)

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[quote name='lowhand_mike' timestamp='1484905644' post='3219504']

^^This. set the amp at sound check (usually very minor tweaks from my default setting) bass eq during the set
[/quote]

Precisely!

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I normally prefer less options on a bass, tone and volume is good for me.
For sometime I went off active basses possible because there were too many options, bass, treble, mid, hi cut boost etc. But now I have found that I can just set the one I have fairly flat and actually leave it alone. I do prefer passive but have also learnt to stop fiddling.

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[quote name='Highfox' timestamp='1484921725' post='3219751']
I normally prefer less options on a bass, tone and volume is good for me.
For sometime I went off active basses possible because there were too many options, bass, treble, mid, hi cut boost etc. But now I have found that I can just set the one I have fairly flat and actually leave it alone. I do prefer passive but have also learnt to stop fiddling.
[/quote]

TBF you really jumped into the deep end with the Enfield :D

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1484922680' post='3219762']
TBF you really jumped into the deep end with the Enfield :D
[/quote]
Yes, you are right (good memory you have) it's a great bass so i have stuck with it.

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I like both active and passive basses.
The feel, response, character if you like, is just different between passives, actives with passive pickups and lastly actives with active pickups.
Of the active basses owned so far, I seem to prefer those with passive pickups. They seem more responsive.

Also, why is my nose whistling as I breathe while typing this? Damn cold...

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[quote name='lowhand_mike' timestamp='1484820313' post='3218676']
dont get the 'tone is all in the fingers' comment, what a load of tosh, some of it is yes but not all of it. i cant add bass or treble just by moving position or plucking harder.
[/quote]You'll have to get used to this mate, there's a hardcore of 'tone in the fingers' stalwarts on here.

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If you can't get more bass or more treble by altering your playing technique then you're really limiting yourself imo.

This is why Stingrays get the 'one trick pony' tag, if your playing a P bass with a pick only and only in one place in relation to the pickup they probably won't suit you.

There's thump up near the neck and funk down by the bridge without touching any knobs on the bass or amp

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I use an active Precision Lyte and a passive Jazz. One has three knobs, the other has four. Neither is particularly complicated!!!

An earlier post referenced Pino as someone who uses a passive bass. Well when I think of Pino, I go back to 1982 and Numan's "I, Assassin" album. I'm pretty sure Pino used his Stingray on that.

Edited by TransistorBassMan

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"Wherever I lay My Hat" by Paul Young is Pino he did indeed use his fretless Stingray. I'm a big fan on Pino whether or not he's playing a passive bass.

Active basses sound different to passive basses, not better or worse. The Stingray has a vibe all on its own, I dig it.

At the moment I gravitate towards passive instruments because I can get the sound I want to create without an onboard preamp.

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Some players know just how to use EQ on both bass and amp to great effect. Good on all that can and long may it continue. May your bass tone always be a happy place.

Personally I struggled for years and years (as in from the get go to about 7-8? years ago) to get a consistent use-able sound never mind a great sound. (one that I'm happy with that is).
.

After stumbling on the passive route I suddenly found the tone/s I had been looking for. I add an external pre-amp with a dash of bass and treble boost which is kinda like having an active. But...........For what ever the reason is, if this is a way of mixing passive and active, I dont know but it works for me. Generally I can set and forget here. On the amp I use its mostly flat but maybe a bit of mid boost around 200 most of the time room dependant.

Having just the one tone knob is easy. I have a setting for loud in the band and one for at home quite practising.

Band :All the way up for most stuff but back off a bit for something darker ie: motown ect.
Home: All the way off but up slightly for a bit of presence if required.
Then choice of pick ups and hand position for the rest.

When I played active basses I was constantly fiddling with the amp and the on-board bass eq instead of getting on with important bit. Enjoying playing. Then there was the constant feeling of disappointment with my sound coupled with the kick in the balls that yet another 2grand plus bass just sounds sh*t. Over the years I could have bought a holiday home overseas with what I've wasted on active basses. Mostly out of my own ignorance I happily admit hence passive is the way for me. Since using passive its happy 95% of the time vrs the other way round.

So in a long winded way these are my reasons for liking passive over active!

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[quote name='stingrayPete1977' timestamp='1484999053' post='3220253']
If you can't get more bass or more treble by altering your playing technique then you're really limiting yourself imo.

This is why Stingrays get the 'one trick pony' tag, if your playing a P bass with a pick only and only in one place in relation to the pickup they probably won't suit you.

There's thump up near the neck and funk down by the bridge without touching any knobs on the bass or amp
[/quote]

yeah i get that and i use it as well, but with the eq i can boost the highs and still play at the neck and get a totally different sound than if i hadnt boosted them. personally i dont like playing by the bridge, just dont like the sound or the feel.

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[quote name='bassjim' timestamp='1485535489' post='3224771']

After stumbling on the passive route I suddenly found the tone/s I had been looking for. I add an external pre-amp with a dash of bass and treble boost[color=#ff0000] which is kinda like having an active.[/color] But...........For what ever the reason is, if this is a way of mixing passive and active, I dont know but it works for me. Generally I can set and forget here. On the amp I use its mostly flat but maybe a bit of mid boost around 200 most of the time room dependant.

[/quote]

It is an active bass you can't fiddle with, with a really long cable inside the control cavity :D

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Just to say, Scott Devine just articulated what I thought about his active buffer P bass. This is specific to P basses may I add. I like an active J, but for me, a P bass is best served passive.

8'40" or so.

https://youtu.be/w67QVgO21Cg


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[quote name='Jazzjames' timestamp='1485542578' post='3224855']
My life with active basses at 10'45"
[/quote]

Hmmmm... from the man who plans a "show you all my basses video" and doesn't make sure all his basses have all the right number of strings on. I think that tells you a lot.

Inherent design flaw/user error...? The debate continues...

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I've had plenty of active basses in my time but only have passive at the moment, nothing wrong with active basses but i also find that I spend all my time knob twiddling, always thinking I can improve my sound, drives me crackers. With a P bass I can just roll forwards or backwards with the amp set at neutral and job done, I'm happy...

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