Active Pickups - what's that all about?

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Posted by Rich Laird on December 17, 2000 at 13:48:54:

I know there's a lot of knowledge out there...people on this bulletin board have
already helped me a lot with a couple of I have another question.

Don't hold back, folks - I want as many opinions as I can get on this one.

Soon, I plan to buy a six-string bass. I've never played one - but figure I
will get something inexpensive and see how it goes. If I really get things
happenning with it, I will probably buy a better one. If not, maybe I'll
look at four-string or five-string options.

Anyway, what I've noticed is that a lot of six-stringers have active pickups.
That strikes me as the kind of thing that I probably wouldn't want on an
inexpensive bass. All I want for now is someting with a decent neck and no
noisy knobs or grundgy electronics - no gimmicks or extra crud to go wrong -
just something that works. But it seems like odds are high that I could end up
with something with active pickups anyway.

Exactly what are Active Pickups? I know there's a battery involved (which sort
of puts me off to begin with) - and it seems like they have something to do with
EQ and getting more tonal variety out of a bass. Am I on the right track?

Also, do you need an amp with a special input for active electronics?

Does active electronics give you any thing you can't get with a graphic
equalizer - or any other kind of pedal? Personally, I would probably rather
just get a pedal and "keep it simple" as far as the bass is concerned
- if that's an option.

After christmas, I'll probably start prowling around the music stores and try to
learn more. But I can't really expect the sales guys to be really unbiased.
So, I thought I'd start here.

Like I said - don't hold back...don't worry about being politically incorrect...
bad-mouth anything or anybody you want to - I don't care. Just give me the
"real deal" on Active Pickups or anything else I should know about
six-string basses.

Thanks a lot,

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