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Usual output level of passive bass?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by Spectivum, Feb 2, 2015.

  1. Spectivum

    Spectivum DisMember

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    Hi, I could not find info on this.
    I am trying to record my Ibanez SR305 (passive pickups, active EQ in neutral positions) and it is too noisy. Plugged in straight to the interface with no preamp gain, the record level meter shows -89dB. If I play normally it only goes up to -35, which is a signal to noise difference of only 54dB. Basically I cannot increase the level without hiss appearing very quickly, not to mention the eventual compression that will further increase it.

    As a comparison my active guitar levels are -95 and -11dB which is a difference of 84dB, basically noiseless.

    I wonder what the expected level is, so I know if this is a problem with my gear or a general thing with passive pickups/active EQ combo.
     
  2. egan.

    egan. daylightdies.com

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    Unfortunately output completely depends on the pups as does inherent noise. I'd change the battery in the preamp for argument's sake and see if one of the pups is noisier than the other and start troubleshooting from there. If there is nothing wrong then raising the pups will at least increase the snr.
     
  3. Spectivum

    Spectivum DisMember

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    Battery change made no difference and pickups are close to strings already. Level difference between the 2 pickups is negligible. If I am playing with the EQ knobs the levels change a lot but the difference between peaks and noise floor is always similar 54-59dB. So I guess this bass just has crap electronics.

    Anyway, still interested what other people see in their meters regarding bass signal peak and noise floor...
     
  4. Spectivum

    Spectivum DisMember

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    Solved. All went down to strings. I bought a cheap noname set from China on Ebay to practice and I didn't realise it was not up to par. Put back an old D'Addario set and the output level is now 20dB higher. A lesson to learn...

    On another note, the bass still sounds like there is a blanket on it. Took it to a shop where the owner demonstrated that a cheap Cruzer (by Crafter) had a much better and more live sound. Very disappointing, I need to replace this bass now.

    So the question: do you guys use active EQ when taking a bass DI or leave the knobs in neutral position? I feel that in the lowmid price range the active EQ just brings in noise and hype in sound so does not have much benefit, in which case a passive bass might have a more natural and usable sound. Any thoughts?
     
  5. He's Dead, Jim

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    I have the SR505 with the Bartolini pups and it's noisy too. They're picking up some interference from something in my apartment because it goes away almost completely when I turn in my chair, so I'd try that first and see if moving around helps.

    As for the EQ, I usually use a little more of the bridge pickup, cut the mids maybe 25%, and boost the treble 25%. That always cleans the fart zone around 200 hz up.
     

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