I have a Cort A4 that came with Bartolini Mk1 pickups and an active preamp (make of preamp unknown, I'm presuming it is also a licensed Bartolini unit, like the pickups are).
I've read numerous times in numerous places that these Bart Mk1s are actually passive pickups. That said .... I'm wondering if anyone has tried them as passive pickups without using an active preamp.
I have a few oddball ideas that I want to try out with this bass. I've had it since I bought it new in 2000, and it sounds really nice. I've been thinking about changing the output jack to a TRS ("stereo") jack and running 9vdc into it on the "ring" conductor so I don't need to rely on a battery to power the preamp. It isn't hard to make a little box to do that.
I've also been thinking about putting a preamp bypass push-push switchpot on it. This Cort was made prior to the modern Artisans that come standard with the EQ bypass toggle which could be repurposed to bypass the active preamp. So I'd need to add a switchpot (I don't want to drill any more holes in it). So, do these Bart Mk1s sound any good when run passive without the preamp? What of output level, is it high, low?
If it ends up needing a passive tone control (when using the pickups without the active preamp) that isn't hard to do either .. maybe use a concentric pot for a single tone rolloff doubled up with maybe the active treble knob. A passive volume control could be stacked on the active volume control as well if when bypassing the preamp the volume knob doesn't work.
I've looked at the control cavity and it is a total trainwreck in there. It's obvious that the preamp and pots were prewired before they were installed and just stuffed in the cavity, neatness be damned. There are a LOT of wires in there, and I have not taken the time to map it all out. I've built eleven guitars/basses so far, but this one is something I have not wanted to mess with if I didn't have to. It sounds REALLY GOOD so I've had no reason to goof with the innards.