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Re: Active vs Passive...

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Posted by El Pájaro on March 28, 2001 at 06:21:58:

In Reply to: Active vs Passive... posted by MikeG on March 27, 2001 at 21:19:15:

: Could someone explain the difference between active and passive pickups? I'm trying to figure out if it's worth me getting actives on my next bass.

Hi there,
The whole thing about active vs. passive pickups (or electronics) boils down to this: if you add a gain stage between the pickups and the amp (wether you add it at the pickups or at the circuitry), then you "go active". When you add that gain stage, it is usual to add some tone-shaping device as well (active EQ), but not necessary.
Now, wether it's worth or not to have active circuitry in your bass, as JP wisely stated, is entirely up to you, and a matter of taste. Some purists would chew glass rather than adding a preamp to their axes, and some players just can't live without that signal boost.
It may sound obvious, but the best option would be to try a lot of instruments with different configurations and then deciding which one is right for you. Perhaps in a large bass store you can find two identical basses, one with active circuitry and one all-passive. Try out and compare, and remember to come back and tell us your experience. Buena suerte and keep your bass up front in the mix,

El Pájaro

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