A bass knob or bass control is a special remote volume control for amps. The main role of the bass knob is to control the subwoofer volume in real-time. It is usually fitted on the dashboard of a car for easier access. It typically comes with RCA outputs and inputs that allow it to be used with most amplifiers. However, will any bass knob work with any amp? We will answer this question in detail. Read on to find out.
To answer your question right away, any bass knob may not work with any amp. In most instances, a bass knob of a different brand from the amp may not work with that amp. Similarly, a bass knob of the same brand as the amp may work with the amp. However, it might not always be the best idea to choose a bass knob from the same manufacturer as the amp. Sometimes, a universal bass knob or RCA bass knob might be better. But why? Let’s find out.
Are All Bass Knobs the Same?
If you have lost a bass knob or the current one malfunctions, or it is your first time adding a bass knob, you may wonder whether the one you want to buy will work. You probably have tried finding out whether any bass know will work with your amp and you are yet to get the right answer. Answering this question requires you to learn a little more about bass knobs.
For instance, you may be using a Kenwood amplifier with a Kenwood bass knob. After some time, your Kenwood bass knob disappears and you are unable to find it. Probably you have another bass knob from Rockford or Pioneer or any other manufacturer and you are wondering whether it will work with your Kenwood amplifier.
Sometimes, you may find that the bass knob will work with an amp from a different manufacturer. However, some bass knobs may not work with amps of a different manufacturer. For instance, a bass knob from Audiobahan does not work with a Kicker amplifier. The reason is that Kicker amplifiers use standard phone jack plugs whereas Audiobahan bass knobs do not come with a standard phone jack plug. Thus, you cannot connect them directly.
So will any bass know work with any amp?
The correct answer to this question is no. In many instances, a bass knob and amplifier made by different manufacturers do not work. Also, most bass knobs and amps from the same manufacturer do work but are not always recommended.
So what is the best bass knob to use?
Now that not any bass knob will work with any amp and it is not always recommended to use a bass knob and amp from the same manufacturers, what are you supposed to do? The simplest solution is to set all the gain controls down. That way, you will not need to use a bass knob.
But why is that so? The reason is that by turning the gains down, you are simply turning up the bass, which is what a bass knob does.
Another great option is to use an RCA bass knob. RCA knobs use standard RCA level inputs and outputs. Most amps have RCA-level inputs and outputs. Thus, you can easily hook any RCA bass knob with any amp that has RCA inputs and outputs.
An RCA knob can either cut off or amplify bass depending on your preferences. For instance, you can turn it up to boost bass or turn it down to reduce bass. To use an RCA knob, you will hook it with an RCA cable from the head unit and hook it to the amp with another RCA cable.
Alternatively, you can use a universal bass control knob. With universal knobs, you will hook them to your head unit through RCA and line inputs. Although it may not work with some factory head units, it may work with most aftermarket receivers. Just ensure your head unit has outputs compatible with the universal knob.
Now, we hope we have answered the question of “will any bass knob work with any amp?” The truth is that it is not always possible. Sometimes, taking a bass knob from one manufacturer and using it with an amplifier from a different manufacturer may not work. In most cases, using a bass knob of the same manufacturer as the amplifier may work but is not always recommended. The best option is to get an RCA bass nob or a universal bass knob. If not, turn the gain knob down.
Michael Evanchuk is a San Francisco-based sound engineer with 20 years’ experience installing, troubleshooting, and repairing commercial, automotive, and household sound equipment. Evanchuk owns an auto stereo center, where he offers highly competitive car audio installation and repair services. He has written dozens of articles on different sound engineering topics, all of which have been published in leading journals, blogs, and websites.