Friday, 22 March 2013
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Hey guys, I about to make my first purchase of a Dingwall bass pretty soon, super excited! I've decided with my budget to go with a 5 string ABZ bass. The only thing I am having trouble deciding is if I should add the Glockenklang electronics and make it an active/passive bass. My playing style is all over the place from agressive metal to reggae. So I'm looking for some versatile tone to play around with. What are your guys thoughts/experience with either the actives or passives? Thanks!
9 years ago
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#25733
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I've got Super P/J's with pre's in them, one Aguilar, one Glockenlang. I rarely engage either pre, and prefer the passive sounds. Especially the P pup. On both of these, I set the preamp up to give a bit of a boost on the bass should I engage it by accident, or on purpose. The push/ pull volume/ on/off sometimes gets bumped, and I don't want a huge surprise if it does. Both pre's work great, and you can dial up extreme amounts of bass and treble. If you want big range, you'll like the pre amps. The AB-1's are both passive, no problem there. I like that I never have to think about batteries. The passive tone circuit works great, with plenty of range. I do have the blueqube for a quick switch to a scooped, aggressive sound. I really like the P tone pickups and would not hesitate to spec one in the neck position. If I want a big change in sound, I'll do it with a pedal or the amp. That's my $.02 worth. I'm not much of a knob twiddler, just the passive tone and the blueqube keeps me happy.
9 years ago
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#25739
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And now for the alternative viewpoint. When playing live I always keep the bass in active mode, as it gives much more EQ flexibility right there on the bass. When recording I usually go passive, so as to reduce as much as possible any noise going into the board. One advantage of an on-board preamp is that the pickups are not loaded by the capacitance of the instrument cable. If you do go passive, I suggest using the shortest cable that is convenient, e.g., 12 foot rather than 20 ft if you're on a small stage. And don't go cheap on cables in any event; not necessarily exotic, but stay away from the bargain bins. Having said that, I do have one bass (not a Dingwall), where I have bypassed the volume and tone controls, routing the single pickup directly to the output jack (I can switch the controls in if I want with a push-pull knob). That's about as passive as you can get! As far as batteries dying on me, this hasn't happened to me in a while, since I change out the batteries regularly, but if it does happen, simply flip the bass into passive mode and you're good. Note that with some of the newer long-life 9V batteries, the time between hearing a distorted sound due to low voltage and being totally dead in the water can be less that the duration of a song. Older batteries gave more warning before totally giving it up. Finally, as far getting a slight volume boost by going active, in my experience this is indeed the case with the older Aguilar preamps; however, on my one Dingwall with a Glock preamp, the preamp appears to be unity-gain. With volume control full up and tone controls flat, the volume does not change when I switch between active and passive.
9 years ago
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#25740
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An ABZ is like a aged malt wiskey and it's best drank straight, not on the rocks. I have an ABZ and an ABII and I must say I find I seldom engage the preamp in the ABII, besides the pickups in the ABZ are **** hot so they don't need a preamp as I have found out.
9 years ago
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#25742
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Ive owned an ABZ and an ABZII. The possibilities on both are huge. The pups on the abz are so hot that some have mistaken mine for an actjve bass. That said. Its personal choice and a lot to do as well with what amp you play through. I have used ampeg and genz benz. The ampeg is more subdued but the genz is a different animal.
9 years ago
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#25747
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Thanks for the input guys, I am leaning towards having the active electronics put in just for the sake of having that tonal option and quick EQ cut/boost. I've always played passive and I usually enjoy a lot more, considering you have more control over your dynamics. Which is a huge part in my playing style. It's not like if I did go with actives I wouldn't have the option to quickly switch to passive. So it's not like I would be backing myself up into a corner.
9 years ago
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#25751
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[quote="letlive.":2roe1zyg]Thanks for the input guys, I am leaning towards having the active electronics put in just for the sake of having that tonal option and quick EQ cut/boost. I've always played passive and I usually enjoy a lot more, considering you have more control over your dynamics. Which is a huge part in my playing style. It's not like if I did go with actives I wouldn't have the option to quickly switch to passive. So it's not like I would be backing myself up into a corner.[/quote:2roe1zyg] That is how I looked at it. I also play mostly passive, but there are those few times you're glad you can do a quick switch.
9 years ago
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#25752
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go active, then you have choices, and resale (if you ever choose, ie upgrading etc) I have owned 5 dings (z's and Ab's) and in each case having the active option has expanded the tonal capabilities exponentially, my opionon (for what its worth) is for a few hundred $ the flexibility it creates is easily worth the investment
9 years ago
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#25754
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I hope the feedback has been helpful. In my case, I value the responses from everyone. When ordering my Z2, I opted for the 3 band onboard EQ, even though I fell in love with the passive sound on all the sound threads I heard. It certainly won't hurt, it allows for more options and increases value, so it appears to be a no brainer. Enjoy your new bass!
9 years ago
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#25755
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I spent some time today doing bass housekeeping, batteries, some string changes, and setup work. I spent a couple hours with the Super P/J 5 with the Glock pre. I just put TI jazz flats on it, so while I was messing with dialing in the setup, I changed the batteries and went back and forth, active and passive. I'm certainly not complaining about the pre. I don't use it much, but the range of available tones is huge, and well worth having. I bought my SJ used, so I didn't have to think about whether to buy of not buy a pre. I've always had active basses, so I was surprised at how much I was enjoying the dynamics and simplicity of the passive options. One thing is for sure, these are far and away the best pre's I've had and they work in a much more integrated and balanced way with the passive modes. Most active basses are all active or the passive option is so different as to be unusable. If the budget was tight and the pre was a deal breaker, you could rest assured that the passive would be fine. If it's huge range and the $$ aren't an issue, the Glockenlang is pretty sweet. I have to say, the AB-1 with flats and the GenzBenz Streamliner was bliss at last night's bar gig.
9 years ago
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#25940
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I had a John East U-retro installed (at Sheldon's suggestion), and it is my go to bass for pretty much every situation now (except when I need to look "normal" at a gig ie Fender-y). Mainly I use it flat, sometimes I put a very slight low mid (150) boost, if I need to cut through I use the bright switch and add a touch of treble. Amazing. I also put in the P-tone pickup, love it. Any time I use my other basses at a gig I miss my Dingwall now. And that says a lot, I'm mostly leaving my Sadowsky, MTD and Fbass at home (well I bring my Fbass sometimes too). I can't comment on the Glocks, but as a gigging bassist I find the combination of the versatile (and great sounding) John East preamp with the playability and tone of the Dingwall unbeatable.
9 years ago
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#25941
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I have a John East custom preamp (with two separate sweepable mid cut/boost controls - different but overlapping frequency ranges) in my ABII, and am very happy with the on-stage EQ flexibility and versatility. Also have a couple of other basses with J- or U-Retros installed. If you are thinking of adding a preamp to a passive bass, John East preamps are worth considering. Nothing wrong with the stock Aguilars or Glocks in Dingwall basses either.
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