Should i convert my jazz to active??

Discussion in 'Bass Area; The Bottom Line' started by harpinon, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. harpinon

    harpinon Member

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    I got a new Ampeg svt1000 and my active ltd sounds way better than my jazz bass which is passive. Even with working the volume and tone. I like a big punch with piano-like resonance.

    I can get the active controls easily but will i expect a big change in sound doing it?

    Anyone done this? How did it turn out?
     
  2. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    what kind of jazz bass is it?

    the LTD has a big ol' EQ preamp, so it can sound louder, or bassier, or brighter, depending on how you boost it; does it sound better? sometimes in a real-world band mix the answer is "no".
     
  3. harpinon

    harpinon Member

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    Yes it does have that sound!

    The jazz bass is a custom build-except for the neck. Its an early 70's Fender neck. Very very nice. The body is all ash. The pups are Fender-Mexi's.
    The preamp I'll be using was taken out of an American Jazz. I'm hoping it would approach the sound of the LTD.
    I really don't want to sell this, but if it doesn't work I will.
    I found a Spalted maple LTD 5 stringer I might just go for.

    Mine:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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    Have you considered trying a pedal? The Diamond Bass Comp might just do the trick.
     
  5. The Funk

    The Funk Member

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    The MIM jazz pickups are a bit weak in general. If you want punchy and piano-like, throw some emg's in there. Especially at 18V.

    I have EMG vintage Jazz pickups and they are more oldschool sounding, but very clean. Its a super easy mod to do. You don't even have to ground them to the bridge, so theres no soldering at all.
     
  6. Thor

    Thor Member

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    Go with better passive PUPs.

    If you feel that your rig still needs a bit more boomph, use an outboard preamp (Aguilar makes a great one). Then you have the best of both worlds.
     
  7. Papanate

    Papanate Member

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    I put EMGs in my Jazz - and I hated the tone. Flat - no character etc...
    I put the basic Jazz PUPs back in and slightly compressed the bass...and there
    was that classic tone...for miles and miles.
     
  8. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Keep it passive!

    The original pickups on my '64 jazz are actually quite mild compared to more modern
    basses.

    Even so, I never once needed to turn my SVT past about 4 on the volume.

    Passive pickups are milder, sweeter, less in your face and perfect for what they do.
     
  9. MandolinFan

    MandolinFan Member

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    This is a great dilemma for us Bassists: Active vs. Passive

    There are a whole bunch of folk out there that prefer the passive tone to the active thing. An active pre can make your tone very transparent and you stand the chance of getting very easily lost in the mix.

    If you stay passive and get some PUP's for your Jazz I think there's a very good possibility you will come to like the passive sound. This was my experience. I now WAY prefer the passive tone to an active thing.

    Let your LTD give you your active thing and get some nice Aero's, Lawrence, or Norstrand PUP's for your Jazz. It will work to your advantage to have the versatility.
     
  10. harpinon

    harpinon Member

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    Great advice folks.
    At $400 I think I will get the LTD and look at better pups for my jazz.
    BTW, the "piano-like" term also includes a tight, fat low end. I'm not after a tinny sound. Just the best of both worlds and I do want to avoid the ugly middy sound so many basses put out.
     
  11. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    EMGs or not, active or passive, +1 to ditching those cheapie mexi pickups before making any decisions!
     
  12. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    Exactly.

    My 65 Jazz has very low output- but it sits into the mix so much better than any of my other basses.

    My only active bass is my G&L. It has an incredible capability to really stand out. However, it always kind of stands out. It never settles in like the Jazz. That being said, it's usually my first call for a "variety" type gig- as it can cover a lot of ground quite flamboyantly, but it really doesn't do "subtle" well.

    Whether it's just me attributing the G&L characteristics to all active basses- or the active basses I've used all seem to have similar characteristics... I find designed active basses to be much more "compressed," and they don't seem to get the "air" that lends itself to really settling in as passive basses.
     
  13. harpinon

    harpinon Member

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    After consideration i really think i will change the pups first.
    I have tried a ton of basses that were really middy sounding.
    I hate that sound. If i want mids ill add them with the amp.

    I am asking for pickup suggestions now.
    Looking for very tight low end and a crisp upper end.
    Found a set of bartolini 9j1 pups with decent reviews but i dont want to buy a bunch of sets to find the right one. If you know for a fact that a particular set would fit the bill please comment.

    Thx
     
  14. stratovarius

    stratovarius Supporting Member

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  15. Bassomatic

    Bassomatic Member

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    Yes...my thoughts exactly.
     
  16. The Golden Boy

    The Golden Boy Member

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    After re-reading your initial post, just going on what you said you liked about the active bass...

    I think if you're going to keep the Jazz, you'll want something like your plan of an onboard pre- especially if you already have the pre. Rather than going out and getting something like hot pickups, which'll be hotter than stock- but not have the same punch and compression that the active circuit will automatically have.

    I don't know anything about you, but I grew into a less 'in your face' bass sound.
     
  17. harpinon

    harpinon Member

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    GOLDEN boy...i dont think ill grow into that. I like funk and that requires in your face.

    I am also thinking that hotter pups wont get me all the way there. My buddy has a preamp unit from a usa jazz that he converted passive for someone. I would like to figure this out ahead of time before i jump in.

    Thing is if i get the ltd the jazz will never get used. It would be a shame. Its a seriously nice bass. Since the fender logo was removed when refinishing it would be tough to sell. Id rather soup it up and keep it.
     
  18. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    Just get a Sadowski active pedal and BOOM!
     
  19. harpinon

    harpinon Member

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    Today I got my active setup. Its a used EMG set that came with all of the controls.
    I installed them and :banana:banana:banana instant tone

    The bass has come to life. Nice fat bottom. Great top end punch for slapping. Maybe its just my amp, but its like night and day. :roll
     

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