Go Back   UG Community @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com > Instruments > Bass Guitar
User Name  
Password
Search:

Reply
Old 04-29-2013, 08:33 AM   #1
hriday_hazarika
is a Space Lion. ^___^
 
hriday_hazarika's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: [Arriving] somewhere, but not here...
Should I wait for a bass with passive pickups or go for the one with actives?

Hallo.

Today, I went to a shop and tried playing a few 5-stringers. I tried a Warwick Rockbass Streamer, but the store only had the LX 5 in stock, which has active pickups. It was an absolute joy to play, and I imagine the feel of the model with the passive pickups will be the same.

Now, I'm wondering whether I should wait for the store to get the passive model or go ahead and buy the active model.

I'll be using the bass to record directly into my computer through an interface. I'm not going to be gigging any time soon, so I don't really think I need the extra power that active pickups provide. However, I have had no experience with active pickups before, so my opinion is uneducated. I have a 7-string guitar that also has passive pickups, and I am happy with how it sounds. It's actually very loud, and if I go past a certain level, it hurts my ears. So, I'm thinking it'll be a similar situation with a passive bass, since I only need to increase the input volume if I want it to be louder.

I also tried one of the Ibanez SR models [can't remember which number] and an LTD model. The Ibanez was also really nice to play. It was unexpectedly light; even lighter than my 7-string, lol. The LTD felt really meh. I couldn't navigate the fretboard very well, and overall, it just didn't feel conducive to my playing. I also tried a Schecter Omen Extreme 5 [at a different store], and that was much better than the LTD, but not as good as the Warwick or Ibanez.

The active Warwick is a fair bit over my budget, while the Ibanez [which is also active] is at a more comfortable price range for me. Now, I know for a fact that the Warwick with the passive pickups will cost less, but I don't know exactly how much. I'll also be getting a hardshell case, so there's that cost to consider as well.

I'll be paying for this bass with some of my scholarship money, and I can technically afford the more expensive active model, but I don't want to spend money just because I have it. Also, this will be my first bass, so I'm thinking that I probably shouldn't buy something that's considerably more than how much I want to spend.

Could someone please tell me how much of a difference I can expect to experience between the active and passive? Can the decrease in volume be compensated by simply increasing my input volume, or are the two types of pickups too different for that sort of thing?

The Warwick, Ibanez, and LTD were played through a Laney amp, and it sounded nice. A bit too clean, but that can be fixed during production. The Schecter was played through a Fender amp, which wasn't bad at all.

Thank you in advance.

P.S.: I also saw a humongous Ampeg SVT head and cabinet, and I felt like it was sexually dominating me.
__________________

YOU CAN'T SPELL "MESHUGGAH" WITHOUT "HUG"
^___^

Buy or download my music for free!
Aberrant Corollary | Robots At A Rave

Bandcamp Collecshun | Last.FM | My Anime List | Steam

UG Post-Rock | UG Hip Hop
Moar UGPR

THERE IS NO HAPPY HERE

Last edited by hriday_hazarika : 04-29-2013 at 09:23 AM.
hriday_hazarika is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 08:47 AM   #2
Shor
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
I came here thinking I was going to complain about your purple text over the bright background not being legible... but then I saw your rather awesome signature and you won me over.

I have an Ibanez BTB with actives and an Ibanez SR with passives (it does have an active pre-amp though, but that can be turned off, and I keep it off 99% of the time anyway).
The difference is very apparent, but it's not a massive difference in volume. At a gig you'll have to have a pedal or something else that lowers your input gain/volume unless you want that volume jump.
The active will hit your pre-amp harder, so it will drive it a bit harder (as if you had a very slight boost in front of your amp).
On my Orange Bass Terror I have a "pad" switch for when you use actives though, so it wont hit the pre-amp as hard, so that part isn't an issue for me.
However, the active pups hit my compressor harder, so I kinda need to adjust that if I were to swap basses a lot.

I know I probably just ramble a lot, but in the end I'll say get the bass that you like (sound and feel) the best, regardless of passive or active.
If you intend to swap basses a lot with the same rig, I'd probably try to get something with similar output as the bass you already have though... but this is just a convenience thing.
An active bass can be played just as loud/low volume as a passive.

Btw...I am digging your music a lot!
__________________
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
Noiseboxes:
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass
Shor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 09:32 AM   #3
hriday_hazarika
is a Space Lion. ^___^
 
hriday_hazarika's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: [Arriving] somewhere, but not here...
Firstly, thank you for taking the time to listen to my stuff, Shor; I really appreciate it. I'm also glad you're enjoying it. The reason I'm getting a bass is because I'm recording a new album, and I need to play the low end as well.

And yeah, Meshuggah is a rather huggable band, eh?

Since you've said that the volume difference isn't much, I'm guessing it's the tonal qualities that are different? You've mentioned that the actives drive the bass harder, so is that the only difference, or is the passive less "bassier" or something?

I haven't really a rig per se; My "rig" is completely virtual [amp + cab simulations], except the interface, heh. So, I'm not worried about pedals and stuff. All I'd like to know is that if I play a completely dry track through my interface in my recording program, what will be the standout differences between the active and passive?

I know what you mean when you say that I should get the one that feels the best to me. That was the reason I went to the shop to try them out. As you can probably tell, my favourite is the Warwick. However, the only thing holding me back is the price. It is around half more than what I was planning to spend. The online price for the passive bass is reasonable, but they'll have to order it specially, and I don't want to commit without knowing how much of a tonal difference the pickups will give me.

Anyway, thanks for the advice, and thanks again for checking out my music.

Anyone else got any advice/opinions on the tonal differences between actives and passives?
__________________

YOU CAN'T SPELL "MESHUGGAH" WITHOUT "HUG"
^___^

Buy or download my music for free!
Aberrant Corollary | Robots At A Rave

Bandcamp Collecshun | Last.FM | My Anime List | Steam

UG Post-Rock | UG Hip Hop
Moar UGPR

THERE IS NO HAPPY HERE
hriday_hazarika is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 09:55 AM   #4
Shor
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
I am going to a Meshuggah show on May 10th. I'll see if I get the opportunity to ask them about how huggable they are :p

Both active and passive sound just as bassy...after all, it's the instrument that will give it a bassy sound.
It's hard for me to compare the two based on just pickups alone, due to my BTB being cheap(-er), and my SR (which is a Prestige) is expensive and super nice at the expensive of some african trees.
But sure, with my two basses, I feel that my BTB has a harder and more driven sound, but not as warm as my SR (yes, this is just bullshit words for describing sounds, as this is my own individual opinion that probably only applies to my gear and playstyle).

Many people seem to have a hate against anything digital/active...it's not bad or even necessarily worse... it's just different.
__________________
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
Noiseboxes:
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass
Shor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 10:12 AM   #5
fudger
Im a ninja of love..
 
fudger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Binghamton NY
As said before you always have to option to turn the active electronics off on the bass so its like the best of both worlds. The active pickups are generally hotter and do have a little more output but is why most bass amps come with either two channels for passive and active( active generally has a -15db pad) to lower the volume accordingly. But if you are recording DI into your interface with out a DI box for provide a preamp active would work very well for you. As it would already boost the sound and have a eq to taste baised on what you want.
__________________
My band
Facebook
Youtube
Bandcamp

I'd rather be Phishing...
fudger is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 11:11 AM   #6
rageahol
Registered User
 
rageahol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
If you like the way the passive Warwick plays, go for it. The sound difference shouldn't be that big. Also swapping pickups is a lot easier than changing the way a bass feels.
rageahol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 11:18 AM   #7
hriday_hazarika
is a Space Lion. ^___^
 
hriday_hazarika's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: [Arriving] somewhere, but not here...
I also liked playing the Ibanez very much. After looking at their website, I think it was the SR 505. It was as good as the Warwick Rockbass, and at a lower price too, so if getting the passive ends up being too much of a hassle, I'll go for the Ibanez.

The Ibanez is also an active, so it seems I'll end up having active pickups anyway.

I don't really have anything against active pickups; today was the first time I played them, and they sound really good. I just wanted to know what kind of a difference the passive provides, but I've pretty much got my answer, so thanks all.
__________________

YOU CAN'T SPELL "MESHUGGAH" WITHOUT "HUG"
^___^

Buy or download my music for free!
Aberrant Corollary | Robots At A Rave

Bandcamp Collecshun | Last.FM | My Anime List | Steam

UG Post-Rock | UG Hip Hop
Moar UGPR

THERE IS NO HAPPY HERE
hriday_hazarika is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 11:30 AM   #8
rageahol
Registered User
 
rageahol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Enjoy! I don't know if you've got any experience with actives, but I like the ones in my bass. Also, you CAN use them without a battery, but the signal will be VERY low. Finally, don't leave it plugged in! I hope you enjoy whatever bass you go for.
rageahol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 11:32 AM   #9
hriday_hazarika
is a Space Lion. ^___^
 
hriday_hazarika's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: [Arriving] somewhere, but not here...
Thank you!

What bass do you have, by the way?
__________________

YOU CAN'T SPELL "MESHUGGAH" WITHOUT "HUG"
^___^

Buy or download my music for free!
Aberrant Corollary | Robots At A Rave

Bandcamp Collecshun | Last.FM | My Anime List | Steam

UG Post-Rock | UG Hip Hop
Moar UGPR

THERE IS NO HAPPY HERE
hriday_hazarika is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 11:55 AM   #10
PSimonR
PSR
 
PSimonR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Derby, UK
Active, why bother.

Never seen the point in active pups - certainly not on a bass. Just an excuse to sell more batteries to people. There things for selling rather than buying. I've never come across any of the top name amps which didn't have enough gain either, and if I did I'd just use a pedal to boost it up. Everyone says how they all like the classic tones but no record before about '85 had actives on it. The "active" pickups are nothing special anyway - just regular pickups with preamps. If you're recording anyway you can do what you like with the signal afterwards. I have got two guitars with "actives" (electro-acoustics) and its a real pain when I have to recharge a battery before I can use one of them.
(I just know there are people who will disagree with all this and I don't care)
__________________
PSimonR

_______________________________

http://groups.ultimate-guitar.com/lgbt/

Last edited by PSimonR : 04-29-2013 at 11:59 AM.
PSimonR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 11:56 AM   #11
rageahol
Registered User
 
rageahol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
LTD AX-404, strung BEAD with flats. About batteries, last time I changed mine was around August last year.
rageahol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 12:32 PM   #12
sam_ofzo
Registered User
 
sam_ofzo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Belgium
You should get whatever you think sound best.

On batteries: I'm using passive pickups, with an active preamp and change the batteries every 9 months or so, and that's just to be sure, it could probably last longer. The battery change takes about 5 seconds, so it'm not sure why some people make such a big deal about it.
__________________
Maruszczyk Frog 6 custom -> TC electronic Polytune-> Markbass CMD mini 121 + Markbass traveler 121H

Playing bass in Bamboo Avenue (Like us on facebook! )
EP out now!
sam_ofzo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 12:40 PM   #13
hriday_hazarika
is a Space Lion. ^___^
 
hriday_hazarika's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: [Arriving] somewhere, but not here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSimonR
Never seen the point in active pups - certainly not on a bass. Just an excuse to sell more batteries to people. There things for selling rather than buying. I've never come across any of the top name amps which didn't have enough gain either, and if I did I'd just use a pedal to boost it up. Everyone says how they all like the classic tones but no record before about '85 had actives on it. The "active" pickups are nothing special anyway - just regular pickups with preamps. If you're recording anyway you can do what you like with the signal afterwards. I have got two guitars with "actives" (electro-acoustics) and its a real pain when I have to recharge a battery before I can use one of them.
(I just know there are people who will disagree with all this and I don't care)


This was also kinda what I was thinking when I was said that I didn't think I needed the active pickups. Changing batteries isn't the issue, but it's the buying bit that's a bit, well, annoying.

And yeah, since I'll be recording and not gigging, I was thinking that I can alter the sound as I please regardless of whether it's an active or a passive.

But, seeing as availability is an issue, I'll probably end up getting an active anyway.
__________________

YOU CAN'T SPELL "MESHUGGAH" WITHOUT "HUG"
^___^

Buy or download my music for free!
Aberrant Corollary | Robots At A Rave

Bandcamp Collecshun | Last.FM | My Anime List | Steam

UG Post-Rock | UG Hip Hop
Moar UGPR

THERE IS NO HAPPY HERE
hriday_hazarika is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2013, 02:54 PM   #14
Sudaka
Novice Bass Player
 
Sudaka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: ARGENTINA, papá!
Well, active preamps let you have more tonal control directly from the bass as you can cut, but also boost frequencies from the bass, unlike with passive basses. Also, some more, some less, but as a general rule, active preamps tend to compress your signal a little bit. EMG TW pups and their preamp are really compressed, to put an example. Sadly, I have no experience withn the warwick, so I really can't tell you if the tone would vary much from the active version to the passive. But if the preamp is the ones that do not color your tone too much, I think the passive version will be almost the same as the active version, you just won't be abe to boost frequencies from the bass, and you'll get a bit less of output. If you can, also check Sterling Ray 35 series, which is an active bass with a great sound, very very similiar to the MusiMan Stingray they are supposed to copy.

Good luck!
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalGear41
When you break a bass string, that snapping sound is the sound of six dollars going down the crapper.



Sterling Ray 35
Hartke Ha3500 head - Gallien Krueger 212MBE cab
Tech 21 VT Bass
Zoom b2
Sudaka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2013, 05:17 PM   #15
FatalGear41
Battle Beagle!
 
FatalGear41's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Saturn's Rings
Actually, you are in a very good place to find an answer to your question. There is an official from Warwick who haunts this forum. Send him a PM and he'll probably have all of the information you need.

Good luck!
__________________
"It's only Rock and Roll until someone loses an eye!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregs1020
FatalGear41 knows the ways of the obscure. I hear it's just not with Gibsons. Beware, Halloween approaches...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spaz91
DAMNIT FATALGEAR YOU RUINED MUH FLOW!
FatalGear41 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2013, 06:06 PM   #16
WarwickOfficial
Registered User
 
WarwickOfficial's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by FatalGear41
Actually, you are in a very good place to find an answer to your question. There is an official from Warwick who haunts this forum.



Warwick, warwick, warwick!

<silence>
...
<creak>


...



...oo0OO000OOOooOO00OOoooOO0OOooooO00OoooO0OoOo0oO o0o0ooo......




WarwickOfficial is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2013, 05:06 PM   #17
Nutter_101
...
 
Nutter_101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London, Scotland, or Cornwall.
I have three Warwick's (Streamer Stage I, II and an active Corvette), and there's nothing quite like the power you get from playing an active Warwick. The passive ones are great, but there's something special about the active ones.

From what you wrote, it sounds like you really liked the LX5. If I were you, I would attempt to get that one by any means necessary

(I also want an LX. And a Thumb Singlecut. And a Triumph. And an Infinity. I think I need to fly to Markneukirchen to test some of these!
__________________
In the bass chat:

Quote:
<Jon> take the quote of me out your sig plx
<Jon> i hate seeing what i said around lol


Leader of the Bass Militia PM to join!


And now on BANDCAMP!

Officially the funniest member of the Bass Forum.
Nutter_101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2013, 05:15 PM   #18
Deliriumbassist
UG's only DB
 
Deliriumbassist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Presidential Palace
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutter_101
I have three Warwick's (Streamer Stage I, II and an active Corvette), and there's nothing quite like the power you get from playing an active Warwick. The passive ones are great, but there's something special about the active ones.

From what you wrote, it sounds like you really liked the LX5. If I were you, I would attempt to get that one by any means necessary

(I also want an LX. And a Thumb Singlecut. And a Triumph. And an Infinity. I think I need to fly to Markneukirchen to test some of these!


I think WE need to fly to Markneukirchen, being UG's original Warwick Gangstas
__________________
YES! YES! YES!

Deliriumbassist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2013, 05:42 PM   #19
Nutter_101
...
 
Nutter_101's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: London, Scotland, or Cornwall.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deliriumbassist
I think WE need to fly to Markneukirchen, being UG's original Warwick Gangstas


Ultimate-Guitar Bass Forum visits Warwick HQ?

Warwick Official - we should set this up!
__________________
In the bass chat:

Quote:
<Jon> take the quote of me out your sig plx
<Jon> i hate seeing what i said around lol


Leader of the Bass Militia PM to join!


And now on BANDCAMP!

Officially the funniest member of the Bass Forum.
Nutter_101 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2013, 10:29 PM   #20
hriday_hazarika
is a Space Lion. ^___^
 
hriday_hazarika's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: [Arriving] somewhere, but not here...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nutter_101
I have three Warwick's (Streamer Stage I, II and an active Corvette), and there's nothing quite like the power you get from playing an active Warwick. The passive ones are great, but there's something special about the active ones.


Oh hell yes, it's powerful. The moment the tech plugged it in and handed it to me, I had this huge grin on my face. And since it's pretty much an obligatory thing to do, I let the low B rip.

Quote:
From what you wrote, it sounds like you really liked the LX5. If I were you, I would attempt to get that one by any means necessary


Yes, I really do want one of the Warwicks. Maybe I'll stick around the shop for a bit, see if they can give me a discount or something.

Quote:
(I also want an LX. And a Thumb Singlecut. And a Triumph. And an Infinity. I think I need to fly to Markneukirchen to test some of these!


I hope to own one of those German-made Warwicks, some day. That would be, well... really good, lol. I'm not sure which model I'd want, but I'm sure that all of them are good to play beyond a particular level. Perhaps the Star Bass II, but in a 5-string format. I love the guitar shape.
__________________

YOU CAN'T SPELL "MESHUGGAH" WITHOUT "HUG"
^___^

Buy or download my music for free!
Aberrant Corollary | Robots At A Rave

Bandcamp Collecshun | Last.FM | My Anime List | Steam

UG Post-Rock | UG Hip Hop
Moar UGPR

THERE IS NO HAPPY HERE

Last edited by hriday_hazarika : 05-03-2013 at 10:30 PM.
hriday_hazarika is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:39 AM.

Forum Archives / About / Terms of Use / Advertise / Contact / Ultimate-Guitar.Com © 2014
Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.