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

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Posted by Mickster on December 19, 2000 at 16:25:03:

In Reply to: Re: Active Pickups - what's that all about? posted by Deman on December 18, 2000 at 19:28:11:

: : 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.

: You know those people that say active elctronics don't do anything? Here's my theory as to why they think this:
: Two options:
: 1)They are skeptics who have never really sat down and played with an active bass, or
: 2)They have only tried basses with active pickups and passive EQ cicuit (or vica-versa) and have never truly experienced the power of an ACTIVE bass. See, some basses just have an active EQ, that is, they have a battery attached to a circuit board and some pots, which lets you boost as well as cut the signal (passive only cuts). these are great, but aren't nessecarily "true" active setups. An active pickup is one that actually has a pre-amp built into the bass somewhere (sometimes actually on pickups, like my EMG's, and sometimes on separate C. Board) that powers the pickups with a very high quality CONTROLLED (matched to pickups) signal, which, BTW, is LOW impedance, thereby killing what is called the "capacitance" effect of a long cable, which rolls off high end. These pickups are also almost perfectly noise-free. Which is nice when your playing a p-bass and need the highs boosted for a good pop tone, you don't have to hear the pickups, just the sounds you play. The best combo is both active pickups and EQ, which, I beleive, is what Ibanez uses on their active models. These basses rock! i just put active EMG's in my P-bass copy, and couldn't be happier. That's my understanding. If I've confused you or screwed something up, let me know!
: Deman

Hey Deman, thanks for clearing that up.From what you said, I have to assume
that my Ibanez has passive pickups with an active 3 band EQ circuit.When I
remove the back cover there's two PC boards, the battery slot(one 9V) and
the 5 pots: Treble, mid, bass, volume and boost, which is a separate volume
control for the active cicuit.As I've stated, the bass was made in 1979 so
it's not cutting edge; it may in fact be archaic, but it still works well
after all these years.What do you think; Is my bass active or not?
Rich,this was a great question; causes the wheels to turn, know what I mean?

Thanks Deman...
The Mickster

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