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AinsleyWalker

Actives basses into preamp pedals - opinions?

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I was wondering if anyone had any experience with running active basses into preamp pedals (for EQ purposes, not talking using things like Darkglass pedals for drive, I know that's amazing from experience!)

I've always found having some form of EQ (used to own a GE-7B) on my board to be really helpful even though both of my basses are active (MM Stingray 4, Ibanez ATK-305) and I've been really interested in getting the Aguilar Tone Hammer or something similar for some more sound sculpting options but I'm undecided if it's 100% necessary.

I know it's all about taste and there's no right or wrong way a lot of the time but I thought I'd see what people's thoughts were first.

Cheers!
 

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Posted (edited)

Yep - done it - it works, it’s not just active bases or more specifically active ore amps that can overload a circuit and give too much of a pushed sound - hot passive pick ups can do that too

Its all about gain staging to get the effect you desire

Edited by Cuzzie
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Yep, 

just got a Marcus Miller and whilst it is tasty on its own, the Tone Hammer does seem to elevate it further.

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I play all but one of my basses actively. Tech 21 VTDI works a treat as a tone shaper to provide a core sound and I can then use the EQ on my basses to overlay eg treble cut for Motown etc. or have an EQ patch set up on a multi fx ready to kick in. 

Don't think it should be a problem at all. 

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Not sure why it makes a difference if it is active or not, if you want to change your EQ on your pedalboard, there seems to be a lot of options to do it.

Luckily I have all the toneshaping I want on my amp, because I certainly don't have room on my pedalboard!

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I do it all the time.

Some pedal preamps have a different character to the sound, some just have more useful EQ points for the room.

I like to leave the EQ on my sandberg flat when setting up, and then I can have full use of it to tweak it during a performance without having to faff with my amp / pedals again.

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Hi-Z and lo-Z basses act differently with certain effects, or the other way around: especially OD/fuzz/dist and compressors behave differently depending on the bass' output circuitry. It does not seem to be so much about the level than the impedance. This is verified by changing the order of the effects in the chain. So I have two fx boards.

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Yes - I'm an active Bass owner, and record a lot with preamp's / DI's into interfaces (pedals or rack versions). For me, they are mandatory.

Although the EQ's on my basses are comprehensive enough, and the Bass pre-amps run at 18 volts, sometimes there's a lack of gain/headroom.

The only preamp I've ever had a problem with was the V1 Sansamp (20 years' ago?) - which my active Basses didn't appear to get along with.

 

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Posted (edited)
On 23/07/2020 at 08:19, Woodinblack said:

Not sure why it makes a difference if it is active or not, if you want to change your EQ on your pedalboard, there seems to be a lot of options to do it.

Luckily I have all the toneshaping I want on my amp, because I certainly don't have room on my pedalboard!

I've read a lot of opinions about sending a preamp into a preamp (not including the preamp within the amp) and gain stages, issues with noise floors etc. 
Like I said I know there are no rules and it's about preference but I wanted to see what people thought.

Edited by AinsleyWalker

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I guess it depends where the signal's going after the preamp pedal - does your signal ultimately end up in a bass amp, a FoH PA, or somewhere else?

I'm much less of an active bass buff (I only own one, all my others are passive), but my instincts tend towards keeping things simple. It probably helps that I like the core tone of my amp & cab, but I haven't felt a need to put any additional EQ stages in the chain.

On the other hand, I have a preamp-DI pedal for the occasions where I'm forced to go DI, mainly for the benefit of my passive basses - I can see the sense in having a preamp in place there. Especially if the Stingray's onboard EQ is only 2-band (correct?), I can see that you might want to be able to control your midrange.

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