Saturday, 30 December 2006
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I've had many bass guitars over the years, many with active p'ups. I just tried out a MM Bongo. Man, what great tone. BUT, it comes only with an active p'up setup. 18 volts. For years now, I have refused to even consider purchasing an active bass, no matter how nice it sounds or looks... It reminded me of my attitude that active pups are like a woman with great make up, improving, but ultimately, a misrepresentation of the inherant qualities, and the effect is temporary, like batteries. Am I alone on this? Stuck up? Lazy? What's your opinion on this topic?
15 years ago
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#5667
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Active vs Passive, P vs J, Rosewood vs Maple, etc. etc. These discussions pop up all the time elsewhere, and there is always one consistent theme: everyone has their own opinion. Bottom line: go with what you like and don't feel like you have to explain why to anyone else. If you listen to enough recordings, you will find plenty of examples of great tone with any of the previously mentioned contenders. 8)
15 years ago
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#5666
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[quote="John H.":2lud6sy8]I think tone is tone. If you like what the bass puts out, go for it no matter how it is achieved. [/quote:2lud6sy8] +1 Personally, I strongly prefer passive because it provides the tones I want, and is one less thing that can go screwy.
15 years ago
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#5656
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Recently I've done some research comparing the sound of various opamps. From what I've found, it can be difficult to get true high-fidelity performance from low current battery powered onboard electronics. There seems to be a trade off between current draw and fidelity. From my experience, it would seem that many onboard preamps use low power opamps which give long battery life but tend to compromise the sound quality. Outboard gear doesn't face this limitation, and can use higher quality components. I think this might help explain why most onboard preamps tend to add noticeable coloration. FWIW, I tried replacing the stock LF442 (400
15 years ago
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#5646
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I started playing electric bass in the summer of '74 with a fretless Fender P-bass (it's name is Thor just in case anyone was wondering :wink: ). I've played passive basses ever since. Now, I've been looking for a 5 string bass for a long, long time. A lot of these basses had active pickups or active electronics and some of them might even have had both. Well, I just bought the 5 string love of my life...a Dingwall (grin, of course) Afterburner I (passive, natch). The reason I've stayed with passive basses is two fold...first and foremost is that if I need to juice up my sound I can always add an outboard pre-amp. In my opinion why clutter up the bass with extra electronics that can go wrong during a performance? Secondly, and, in retrospect maybe more important the number one, your sound is your sound. I've noticed, as I've tried out different basses over the years, that I sound like me, no matter what the electronics in the bass are. I can sound more modern or more...shall we say 60's Fender like...but it's still me. And once I realized that I could really control the changes in era at the amp...I decided that my bass should be simple and direct. Now I know that this is not the right approach for everyone...and I'm not trying to convert anyone to my style of buying a bass...but I agree with Jaco that the sound is in your hands and everything else is, well, maybe not irrelevant, but not going to get you hired or fired as a bass player. By the way...my new Dingwall (it's name is Odin by the way...grin) just made all my other basses back up instruments...Thanks Sheldon, I'm in love again. Greg Dickinson
15 years ago
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#5011
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Sorry MaxV, That was meant for someone else on another thread. I had 3 pages going at one time. I just got you mixed up with someone else.
15 years ago
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#5009
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[quote="Texas Bred":poreu379] Hey MaxV, I've always thought; If you want a Fender sound, get a Fender; If you want a Gretcsh or Gibson sound, get one of those. That's what many guitarist's and bassist's do TB[/quote:poreu379] ??? where did I say I wanted "a fender sound?"
15 years ago
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#5006
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[quote="Texas Bred":29mj1d7h]Hey Burnin, Sennheiser bought out X-Wire a few years ago and produced their D1000. Are you saying someone is now reproducing them again? Hey MaxV, I've always thought; If you want a Fender sound, get a Fender; If you want a Gretcsh or Gibson sound, get one of those. That's what many guitarist's and bassist's do TB[/quote:29mj1d7h] The original X-Wire guys have started up again as 'X2', using their own technology. http://www.x2digitalwireless.com/
15 years ago
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#5005
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Hey Burnin, Sennheiser bought out X-Wire a few years ago and produced their D1000. Are you saying someone is now reproducing them again? Hey MaxV, I've always thought; If you want a Fender sound, get a Fender; If you want a Gretcsh or Gibson sound, get one of those. That's what many guitarist's and bassist's do TB
15 years ago
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#5002
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[quote="BurningSkies":30rqscul]I'm thinking about the new X-Wire/X2 wireless thats out in the next week or so. It lists for around 500, but the street price is 350...and I've heard nothing but good things about the discontinued model. It could be a winner that won't break the bank.[/quote:30rqscul]I had an original x-wire and liked it but I think I did lose some of the FEEL. I wonder if the new ones are better. Thanks for the heads up.
15 years ago
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#4993
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I like passive, although it's true what frank said--a good preamp, like the aguilar, sounds pretty transparent when it's set flat. I'm not sure why I like passive better. Partly it sounds more "natural" to me, maybe. I'm not really interested in getting a hi-fi sound--I'm happy to lose most of the high end and live in the lows and low mids. Active preamps--like radical eq settings on an amp--tend to make my ears tired. If I want to change the sound I usually try cutting before boosting--don't boost treble, cut bass. Passive has cut only, for the most part, which is to my mind why it sounds better Partly it's that the more knobs, the more I fidget. Ever play one of those instruments with 250 different pickup combinations (series, parralel out of phase, coil tap etc.)? It's just kind of annoying. Just get a good tone and alter it slightly. Get a tone that's yours and that works. I love playing my double bass partly because the tone is really all in the hands. I had a bass with a three band eq and an oboard variable mid frequency sweep--I spent way too much time screwing aorund with it Partly the battery thing really bugs me. I head out to a gig--when did I last change the battery? Did I bring a replacement? A screwdriver? Is that sound I hear distortion, caused by a bad battery? etc., etc. I just like the reliability and simplicity of passive. Obviously, active works for many people, and I'm no pro, just a local gigger. But after a lot of years and a lot of basses I'm just really happy wikth passive
15 years ago
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#4977
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I'm thinking about the new X-Wire/X2 wireless thats out in the next week or so. It lists for around 500, but the street price is 350...and I've heard nothing but good things about the discontinued model. It could be a winner that won't break the bank.
15 years ago
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#4972
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Happy New year to all of you and your families. Thanks for the suggestions on the wireless. I will try and let you know my opinion. I am sure that you guys have better ears than mine :wink: .
15 years ago
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#4971
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Hey there FRB, I use the shortest cables possible for my effets, used very sparingly, in the effect loop on my rack pre. I now use a Sennheiser Digital 1000 wireless unit. I've compared the sound to my high-end Monster Studio Pro 1000's, Pro-Co's Defender, and Alessandro Instrument Pro's as well as my other wireless units. I've used Shure, Nady, other Senn's, and EV wireless units. Summary: The D1000 is the best wireless unit I've ever used. Doesn't change the sound AT ALL. The highs, mids, lows, nuances, and sweetness is all there (spot on). No problems with connection and always a strong signal. Mind you that I am an audiophile, with the "Golden Ears", and I have listened very closely and quietly, in my house, and I use my cables rarely now. Senn D1000's are out of production now, but you might be able to find a good used one. I think if you tried one you would agree. TB
15 years ago
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#4969
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When I had my Voodoo, the output of the Barts was just way too low to use them passive. I always had to run active with the gain all the way up, and even then it was slightly weak. I preferred the tone of them passive; the Bart 3-band EQ changed it slightly when engaged. Not any worse, but I could just tell. The Cirrus I play at my church is all active, all the time. It has fantastic tone. Since I have no way of hearing it passive and the fact that it already sounds great, I don
15 years ago
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#4953
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Regarding long cables after a preamp - yes, the impedance will perhaps attenuate the signal slightly, but as far as changing the sound, the preamp will keep that cable impedance from "loading" the pickup, so it certainly is not as critical as with a passive bass. Regarding wireless, I use a Shure ULXP, which sounds pretty good to me. It is amazing how many wireless units marketed for bass have frequency responses only down to 50Hz or so. The Shure ULXP has a response of 25Hz-15kHz, +/-2dB. Does it sound as good as a good cable? No way! But bear in mind that this is coming from a guy that hears differences among different "good cables". However, for live situations, it is certainly good enough.
15 years ago
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#4952
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[quote="amodeo@mitre.org":19wz3pgc]One thing that nobody has mentioned is that the on-board preamp will buffer the pickups, so that they don't "see" the impedance of the cable. Although subtle, the cable (especially a long 20 foot one) can alter the sound. As far as the preamp misrepresenting the inherent qualities of the pickups, filtering the mojo, etc., the Aguilar preamps are pretty natural sounding. If the tone controls are set flat, switching from active to passive doesn't really change the sound much.[/quote:19wz3pgc] +1. But very long cables are loading the signal anyway so I keep mine as short as possible (up to 15 feet). I am still looking for a good wireless that will not compress or alter the tone. Any tried and true suggestions?
15 years ago
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#4951
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One thing that nobody has mentioned is that the on-board preamp will buffer the pickups, so that they don't "see" the impedance of the cable. Although subtle, the cable (especially a long 20 foot one) can alter the sound. As far as the preamp misrepresenting the inherent qualities of the pickups, filtering the mojo, etc., the Aguilar preamps are pretty natural sounding. If the tone controls are set flat, switching from active to passive doesn't really change the sound much.
15 years ago
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#4949
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When it comes to Bass playing, i started out with my left foot: 5 string Hammer Chapparal US w/ EMG's DC40. That set a high standard for my naive (bass-wise) ears. I went through many basses and pickup brands, both passive and active, but up until few years ago, Active was my choice. Even though I appreciate the dynamics of passive pickups, not many passive pickups were able to translate the Low notes (esp low B, Bb or even Ab) with authority and clarity without sounding boomy or loosing Bottom. The first shock was when I tried the FD1's. They were what I was looking and waiting for (the FD3's and Artist Prima are as great in translating the inheritent sound of the strings into something pleasantly audible). The other shock was with Villex pickups and mid-control; they transformed a bass-to-be-sold to a Definitely-a-keeper bass. So now I am a pro-Passive pickup bass player (under the right conditions meaning "pickups-that-live-to-my-standards"). (the next part needs to add IMHO, at the end of every serntence) The preamp should be the seasoning. No preamp can add something missing and no dramatic change can be made without altering the personality of the instrument (if that is the desired goal, it means we have the wrong bass in our hands). If the preamp is used as a booster then many nuances of the player's touch are not as obvious (even though I hardly use any pre-amp, I prefer to set the pickup boost at 0 so there is no noticable bump of volume when changing from active to passive and vice versa). A transparent preamp is a welcome addition for those who would like to use it to season their sound. I would like to clarify that most pickups are passive but some need the active circuit (battery engaged) to get their level to become audible.
15 years ago
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#4948
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First, what sounds good is a matter of personal taste. I don't believe there's an objective, correct answer to this question, but it's a dead horse that I absolutely love to beat! I like the sound of many active basses and I am much more able to quickly dial a good slap tone with a 3-band onboard pre. BUT.....I don't slap much and I prefer the smoother, more subtle tone of flats played fingerstyle. For me, in art as in science and most things in life, there is elegance in simplicity. I try to avoid batteries in everything I own, from thermometers to watches, as they're an environmental liability and just another thing to replace/maintain. More is only truly more if something worthwhlie is added-so for me and my basses, less is more. I've never heard better tone than my old AB1 in series with flats and the tone knob backed off 80%, but I found 37" too long for my paws/chops. If I could get a passive SJ5, even for an upcharge, I'd do it.....but I can't.
15 years ago
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#4947
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I have found that active basses often (not always) lose some of the nuances that passive ones have. I run my ABII passive 99.8% of the time and to tell you the truth, I haven't really even explored the active electronics (that's why the hybrid passive treble cut is so appealing to me). I am sure it does sound good, but I just haven't required it yet. That and I usually use my ABI and ABII interchangeably (generally one per set), so the levels and settings on my equipment don't require any re-adjustment.
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