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The MXR Micro Amp, or Seymour Duncan Pickup Booster (if the latter is still available) would be my choice for this.

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4 hours ago, Earbrass said:

I have a Behringer BDI21 you can have for £10 inc. p&p if you're interested.


5 hours ago, Monkey Steve said:

I'd back BigRed X - the simplest solution if you don't want to mess with the basic tone would simply be increasing the input gain on your amp

If that doesn't work for your set up then maybe something like an MXR Micro Amp (literally just a pedal with a Gain knob on it - I use it for very similar reasons, although it does depend on the rest of your set up, it can be a clean boost if it's a clean signal chain, or add more dirt and aggression if that's how the rest of your signal is set up) or a Boss GEB7 where you can use the sliders to increase the signal across the board (plus adds eq shaping if that's required)


9 hours ago, thundachopz said:

Yes mate pedal most likley way forward! 


9 hours ago, Unknown_User said:

If the tone is what you want then can I ask what you mean by hotter signal?  Just the volume or a fuller sound?

As above the first place I'd suggest would be bringing the pickups closer to the strings to see if that helps.  If you want an active sound then maybe experiment with a few pre amp pedals?  Do a YouTube search and I'm sure there will be loads of pre amp shootout vids that give you an idea of what different pre amp models sound like.

Personally I would definitely go down the pedal route as installing an active circuit on your bass is surely going to necessitate drilling more holes in your bass for extra potentiometers and possibly routing out a cavity to install the active circuit.  Plus a load of soldering and a hassle to change it if the active circuit isn't what you want.  Which seems like a giant expensive ball ache to me!


10 hours ago, mcnach said:


If the sound is good, is the lower level a problem? If you change the preamp you may not prefer the new sound, and it doesn't guarantee the level will match the other bass anyway: a preamp does not give you a higher level necessarily. Some preamps are hot, some are not, some allow you to set the level... The John East MMSR I have in my Stingray is comparable to most passive basses I have, and a bit lower than some, for example (there may be a trim pot inside, I never checked because it doesn't bother me as I only use one bass at any given gig).

If the signal is a bit low... turn up the amp up? If the issue is having to match another hotter bass when switching basses live you could probably use an EQ pedal set flat but with some boost (or use a clean boost pedal, there's a few of those too) to switch between them.


11 hours ago, BigRedX said:


Just turn up the input gain on your amp then.

Changing the pickups or pre-amp on your bass will change the sound. 


17 hours ago, thundachopz said:

Hey mate, yeah basically looking for a hotter signal? An eq or boost pedal maybe?


17 hours ago, thundachopz said:

The bass itself is awsome and plays great I just want a hotter signal! Tone is good also


On 12/05/2019 at 17:19, Woodinblack said:

If what you want is available and affordable and anyone is selling one. if the option of getting a bass that feels right but just needs different electronics rather than wait 3 months for something else to come up, it sounds like a no brainer to me.


On 12/05/2019 at 11:40, mcnach said:


We're going to have to agree that we have different takes on what *simpler* means in this context :)


On 12/05/2019 at 06:21, steve-bbb said:

Status have active pups too


On 12/05/2019 at 06:20, steve-bbb said:

Try a boss LMB-3 see what effect it has  its a bit like having an outboard pre


On 12/05/2019 at 01:53, chris_b said:

You might have to wait a little longer, but it just seems to be simpler to me to buy the right bass in the first place.


On 11/05/2019 at 22:48, Woodinblack said:

Because if it feels right, then changing the electronics is easy. If it doesn't feel right you are never going to make it feel right.


On 11/05/2019 at 13:01, mcnach said:


Speaking for myself, I find it harder to find a bass that feels just right than to make a bass sound just right. 

If I find a bass that feels great but the sound is not quite there, I can do a few *easy* things to help it get where I want it to be. I don't always succeed but most times I get where I want or even surpass expectations. 

Some people really hate messing about with the electronics and even have other people set up their instruments for them. Other people even enjoy doing that, electronics are relatively cheap if you know how to use a solder iron, and setting up an instrument is trivial if you have experience. So why not?


On 11/05/2019 at 11:43, chris_b said:

I don't understand. Why buy a bass that that you immediately need to upgrade to make it sound right?

I'd sell it and buy the right bass or get a good outboard preamp pedal.



On 11/05/2019 at 11:23, mcnach said:

I would play with pickup heights first.

Then, see if an external preamp is able to get you closer to the sound you want. If it does, then an onboard preamp may be a good idea, but if it doesn't it suggests that the basic sound of your bass with those pickups is not what you are after and I'd change pickups leaving the preamp alone.

In general: try to get a basic sound right first, then worry about preamps. Onboard preamps with active EQ are great to tweak the sound, and some offer a huge tonal range (like some John East preamps with semiparametric mids, for example), but it pays to get your basic sound right first, rather than adding multiple layers of EQ trying to fix things.


On 11/05/2019 at 10:00, itu said:

As magnetic force is working in pretty short distances, I would start with pickup height adjustment. That may change the sound or behaviour of the pickups quite some.

I would go to preamps and new pickups after height adjustments.


On 10/05/2019 at 16:16, ead said:

They are not mutually exclusive.  Since you were mentioning Spectors, the Euro series have active EMG pickups and a TonePump preamp.

If I was obliged to choose one or the other the fwiw my preference would be an onbaord preamp.  I think it's useful to have the control under your fingers rather than wandering back and forth.  Plus I use a wireless setup and as we do not have a sound engineer I can hear what the band sounds like in the room, and adjust my bass accordingly without moving an inch. YMMV of course :)


On 10/05/2019 at 14:49, ambient said:

Has your instrument already got a preamp? If so maybe there’s a trim-pot inside that lets you adjust the level.


On 10/05/2019 at 14:18, BigRedX said:

Firstly apart from the Lightwave system which uses LEDs and optical sensors, what are marketed as "active" pickups are simply normal magnetic pickups with a pre-amp circuit built in to the pick up casing. The pickup windings might be low impedance to suit the noise or tonal characteristics of the pickup designer and require the circuitry in order to present the amp with the correct impedance and for the pickups not to sound weedy, but there is nothing active about the pickups themselves.

Other than that I would second everything that Doctor J has said.


On 10/05/2019 at 07:55, Doctor J said:

When you say oomph, do you mean something tonally that it lacks or is it just a lower output? If it's a tone thing, well, you've already got a preamp in your amp. See if you can get the kind of tone you're looking for with the existing pickups and the EQ and gain stage of your amplifier. If you still think it's lacking, you may need to replace your pickups to get what you need. You don't need to get actives, there are plenty of passive pickups to suit all kinds of tonal requirements these days. The choice has never been greater but you still need to be able to define what it is you want and then hunt down the pickups which will do it for you. For me, the pickups are the most important part of the instrument. Get them right and you should be able to run with no EQ and be really close to your desired tone. If I have a bass I need to tweak the bejesus out of to get the sound I want, then either the pickups get replaced or the bass gets eased on out the door.


On 10/05/2019 at 01:42, fleabag said:

To my knowledge, you dont install active pickups. Well, maybe apart from those EMG models, but most others are passive  from the start.  The onboard preamp is what makes the bass active, not the pickups.

So i assume your Spector performer is a passive bass, and if you fit a  preamp, you will have an active bass. The pickups dont become active.


On 10/05/2019 at 01:35, thundachopz said:

Hey everyone 

Bought a Spector Performer 4 deluxe today.

Its a great bass but obv its doesnt have the edge or tone I get from My Legend 5 Classic.

I had myself wondering....what about a preamp instead of basically spend twice as much as the bass to install active pick ups?

It a was great price and good bass for the money its just it could do with a little more ommph to match its bigger brother!


Thanks everyone! I whnet for the Ampeg Classic Bass Pre Am Pedal!! Cheers!

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15 hours ago, thundachopz said:


Thanks everyone! I whnet for the Ampeg Classic Bass Pre Am Pedal!! Cheers!

Nice choice - I don't have that one, but it's pretty much the eq stage that is in my Ampeg SCR DI pedal (with the distortion extracted and put into another stand alone pedal).  I like it a lot because the ultra hi and low buttons mimic the eq shaping on my SVT-2 Pro (for when I don't have my amp).  But it is for shaping the eq more than boosting the signal

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