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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#4946
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First, active pickups and active electronics are two different things. Second, I agree that an onboard preamp might not be necessary, but I fail to understand how it is a "misrepresentation of the inherant qualities", as you already use a preamp anyway to create your sound. The inherant qualities are obvious in acoustic instruments, with electric bass there are so many things in between that I think one more link in the chain is usually a non-issue. That said, I had an active Warwick Corvette that, when played passive was nice, growly and woody, and when the active circuit was engaged the sound became "artificial" and plastic... but that was because of the bad quality MEC preamp and not because of the fact that there was a preamp, as with most high-end preamps the sound doesn't change dramatically. And the Aguilar that Dingwall uses is pretty transparent.
15 years ago
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#4945
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[quote="The Bass Sherpa":36obycdn]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?[/quote:36obycdn] I've never analyzed it that much. Actives are just another approach, like low impedence and piezos, in the quest for The Ultimate Tone, whatever that is. I have active and passive Dingwalls/regular basses, but I don't really have a routine as to when I use them. That decision would be based on the number of strings I needed that song or set, not so much the electronics. I usually alternate my AB and SJ, tweak the amp to compensate for the electronics, and carry on. Mark
15 years ago
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#4944
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I think tone is tone. If you like what the bass puts out, go for it no matter how it is achieved. Maybe it's kinda like a woman with permanent makeup -- once on, it never comes off -- the improvement is a permanent feature. I happen to like the ABII that I have because it offers both active and passive. In the month plus that I've had it I find that I do run it in active mode most of the time, with subtle adjustments up from flat on both bass and treble, depending on which pickups are selected and where the bulEQube is set. I also love the sound of my MM Stingray, but have found only one tone setting that really hits the target for my ears whereas I have found several sweet spots on the ABII so far. That's my 2 cents. Hope it helps. John
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