Re: Active Pickups - what's that all about?


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Posted by Mickster on December 18, 2000 at 16:57:15:

In Reply to: Active Pickups - what's that all about? posted by Rich Laird on December 17, 2000 at 13:48:54:

Hey Rich, Mickster here.This is an excellent question partly because I've
had an active bass for nearly 20 years, and, while thinking of an answer,
I realized I came up with another question.

1)What Skippy said was a bulls eye, as usual.
2)The battery can be a pain, but I've never had one die on me, and even if
it did, the instrument just goes back to its passive(regular)tone circuit.
My Ibanez musician is active, that's one of the main reasons I bought it
back in 1981, a time when active circuits were just about in the toddler
stage of life.With the active circuit off, my Ibanez sounds good, but not
overly impressive; when it's on the sound can be varied from one end of the
spectrum to the other.I know some people will doubt me and think I'm fibbing,
but I can get sounds out of it very close to an Alembic.No kidding.I can also
make it sound somewhat, though not exactly like a pre-CBS Precision.It has a
3 band EQ on it, and each band greatly affects the tone.When I roll off most
of the midrange that's when I can get creamy smooth sounds from it.This is
why I never sold it.If you buy a bass with even a mediocre active circuit, it
will do wonders for the sound.O.K., some people argue that it's not the bass'true sound, but, one that is electronically altered, which is partly true,
but what does this matter if the sound coming from your amp is dynamite?
3)Another benefit I recently read about is: Active circuits don't lose
any high end if you use very long cables, something passive pickups do
because of increased resistance from the longer cables.
4)Musicman Basses, which in my opinion have one of the best sounds going
are active, so don't worry about having a battery in your axe.If you play
all the time, you may have to replace the battery 3x a year, but realistically
it'll be more like once a year.

Now, this is the part I have to research.I'm always reading up on new bass
stuff, and going to music stores to check out new equipment.I recall though
reading in Bass Player magazine some reviews on new basses, and some of them
said that the new such and such bass has passive pickups, but an active tone
circuit, while others actually had active pickups.Guys help me out here.
Good question Rich.We've answered one, and discovered another.That's why
we all learn here.

Bottom line:Active circuits/pickups are to basses as make-up is to women.
You see your girlfriend/wife with a painted face, and, she's gorgeous.
Do you discard her without it?

The Mickster

P.S. I really can get Alembic type sounds from my Ibanez. Honest


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