Re: By the way..Active electronics through amp heads..!!??? READ THIS ONE!!

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Posted by El Pájaro on May 20, 2000 at 10:46:11:

In Reply to: By the way..Active electronics through amp heads..!!??? READ THIS ONE!! posted by Brock on May 19, 2000 at 09:13:40:

: Hey again..

: 'nother question for anyone who knows their stuff :)

: Pretty recently I bought a Warwick Thumb Bass..(bolt-on). I must say it is an EXCCEEELLLLLENNNNTTT bass. I absolutely am in love with it. It plays awesome, it feels great, it looks incredible, and the sound is unmatchable..(although i may look into getting some new strings)..anyway, as I have been saying earlier I'm shortly getting ready to buy my first bass rig setup (not my first amp either)....I have a Peavy 1x15..i think its 160 watts or something...actually now that i think about it a may have a small horn in it..ahhh maybe not..
: Anway since i'm going to be buying a decent amp and cab (or 2) is there anything i should know about the active electronics into amp inputs? High or Low doesn't matter does it? Cause the peavy just isn't cuttin the job anymore, and when i turn it up REAL loud it starts losing it..and starts gettin distorted. I know that active electronics give a FINE BOOST to any situation so i'm thinking maybe i should be careful if i don't know..i definitely wouldn't want to compromise a new rig...hmmmmmmmm.. Lastly.. can somebody tell me if it matters to mix different brand heads with different bass cabinets. I hope it wouldn't matter but i think it deserves attention..

: Thanks for your input. You're helping me out more than you think..

: Brock

Hey there,
most bass heads will have two input jacks: one labeled "active" or "high" and other labeled "passive" or "low". The former is usually designed to handle the hotter signal that comes from an active instrument, and it does so by applying a reduction of the signal's heat, so to speak. With some active basses, the signal is so hot you could end up clipping (and distorting) the preamp stage, so the amp haed takes care of it and reduces the amplitude of the signal by, say, around -10db. This in fact reduces the risk of clipping the preamp.
The other jack is conventional, as it doesn't apply any kind of amplitude reduction to the incoming signal.
With this info, deciding whether to plug into the "active" or "passive" jack of your amp seems like a no-brainer ...but, alas, a lot of active basses sound pretty darn good when plugged into the "passive" jack of some amps, so take some some time to experiment with your gear aroud this.
As far as mixing different brands of amps/cabs goes, I've seen people mixing gear with excellent results (GK amp heads + Hartke cabs is one of the most popular combinations), but also keep in mind most gear manufacturers build their stuff obviously with the idea of being used coupled with some of their other stuff! Anyway I wouldn't mind mixing 'n matching, you could end up with a pretty cool combination that becomes your own personal sound (then we can all copy you :-)). the only thing I'd be careful about is matching amp & cabs impedances, to take better advantage of the amp's power and to avoid frying the speakers.
Hope this helped,

El Pájaro.

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