Re: De-activate an active bass?

John Bigboote wrote:
Has anyone here pulled out a functioning active preamp, and replaced the
guts with good ol' fashioned passive ones?

No, but I've played my passive basses on a DI gig and was not a happy
camper with the lack of control. Yeah, I could get a sansamp or other
outboard pre, but the active bass thing just is more handy with the
knobs right there on the bass. Still there is often that "special"
tone and feel you get with a passive setup especially if you are
playing through your own amp. Answer, obviously is to have BOTH passive
and active on the bass a la G&L.

I have a Fender 4 with volume/blend/b/m/t controls, but the preamp is noisy
and I'm not particularly enamored of it.

I'm surprised at this. My Fender 5 Jazz has this setup and it is DEAD
quiet. Plus the tone controls seem PERFECTLY matched to the overall
Fender vibe. You might look into a replacement Fender pre or maybe some
new "noiseless" pups.

I also have a Schecter 5, now with a Bart preamp that gives it the same
set-up, but I *love* the tone-shaping possibilities, as well as the
dead-quiet of the preamp.

Yeah, this is how an active bass is *supposed* to be!

I've considered replacing the Fender's guts with an Aguilar OBP-3. But I'm
also thinking that, tonally, I'd like the Fender to become a "passive bass."

Obviously, this approach would cost a fraction of the Ag preamp. But it
would also better differentiate it from the active, 5-string Schecter.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Am I just freaking crazy?

My thoughts would be to try passive just for grins. It's cheap and easy
to try. So try it! If it doesn't quite do it for you then consider the
OBP-3. If you like that too then consider adding a switch that moves
the output jack to the pre input to flip to passive. Of course that
cuts out the tone controls and like my G&L the battery continues to
drain even in passive mode, but you can run without a battery and you
do get passive as a choice. It's pretty easy to play with this stuff if
you have some spare cash and have time and inclination to solder wires.
And even if you want to go active all the time, a bass still SHOULD
have a way to go passive to deal with the sudden dead battery syndrome
on the gig. Playing an active bass without that "backup" feature is
always a bit scary to me on a gig. Most of my active basses do have the
"switch to passive" thing for emergencies. For example I defy anyone to
tell the difference between active and passive on my Ken Smith if I set
the tone controls flat. That pretty much relegates the passive thing to
emergency use only. The G&L on the other hand has different EQ and
sounds in active and passive and even more interesting the tone
controls still work in passive. So that one tends to stay in passive
mode for that certain passive 'vibe'.