My old teacher said that the knobs on the bass could only take away lows mids and highs- and even though there is a little “click” feeling at 50% that the knobs only don’t affect tone when they are all the way up. I recently heard that 50% is unaffected, and that all the way up is boosting all frequencies. Which is true?
All is true. It depends on your preamp, some are cuts or boosts only some are cuts and boosts. Also depends on the Pots some are very linear but some are exponential. Check out your bass spec to see if yours is cut/boost or cut+boost.
Okay, thanks! I have a MM ray 34 with a 3 band EQ
It’s a very good question that I never thought to ask about on the forum. I’m glad you did.
For an EQ, the middle click, the detente, is flat or unaffected.
For tone, 100% is unaffected
So it depends on your electronics
Yeah, if there is a detent it’s almost always a boost/cut thing; I can’t think of any reason for otherwise (other than something very exotic/esoteric and pretty rare). Meanwhile, I don’t know that I’ve ever had an amplifier with detents on the knobs despite them being capable of boost/cut, though some can be either/or especially on older amps, iirc. Before someone hits me with a “well actually” and trots out some amp with detents, yes I am sure they exist…
Oh the Ray34 EQ is boost and cut so center detent is Flat turn to the right is boost and to the left is cut.
Oh boy, he was wrong!!
It was a weird situation, he’s mainly a guitarist so He’s probably used to cut only or something.
He’s not wrong necessary most passive preamp are cuts only most active preamp are boost and cut but some offer active/passive so you get both. On my Fender Elite there’s an active Tone knob and Passive tone knob.
There are quite a bit of wiring options for all of the electronics in both active and passive not to mention brands’ secret sauce. The standard wiring is pretty straight forward. Some models not brands will switch the order of the 3 band EQ just to add to the confusion, lol. The common knob layout is Bass-Mid-Treble on some Fender and Musicman models they reverse the order. We are creatures of habit, this is not cool.
I always thought it was generally accepted that the “noon” position for bass, treble, and midrange knobs on an amplifier is the “flat” setting . . .
I believe the early Stingrays were boost only. That’s the only instance that I know of where noon isn’t flat on an active bass. Of course, they may be others that I don’t know about.
I’m really confused with this topic… so what are we referring to as “flat”? And why does it matter? At the end don’t we simply adjust the knobs until we find the tone we want? I’m new at this and one of the reasons that I got a Ray4 was to keep it simple: one pickup, a volume knob, a treble knob and a bass knob, I guess that 50% might be what people referred to as flat but it could also be 0% at the end tone is relative
Flat = exactly the sound that’s coming out of the bass, not EQ affected or adjusted
Flat (all dials at noon, i.e. straight up on an active preamp) is the sound of the bass going through the active EQ without it boosting or cutting anything (but you still get the tonal characteristics of the preamp; none are totally transparent.)
If you want to hear just the “sound of the bass”, you need an active/passive switch. Which is a nice option but if you have a good preamp there is little actual need for it.
Well, until your battery goes dead
I have the answer. You’re welcome.
Oh, okay I sort of meant that but haven’t ever thought about the tonal differences between active/ passive. I’ve never played a passive or a bass with an active passive switch so it never came to mind to explore those differences- thanks for pointing it out !
I’m amused by all the people who buy an active bass and then say they just play it in passive all the time because they prefer the sound
Yeah. I like both on mine. Yamaha’s preamps are pretty good so active sounds great to me; passive as well. Slightly different flat. Nice to have the switch.