'99 Am. Deluxe Jazz Active to Passive

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by idrawbert, Mar 26, 2004.

  1. I got my 99 American Deluxe Jazz Bass january of this year and i must say, i love it. I got it used off of ebay for like $700 and it's a great bass. It's just now, i'm thinking it's sounding a little bit too active for me. Everything is stock. I've been reading the forums and from what i understand my pickups are pretty good. (?) i'd like to get a more vintage sound out of my bass though and was wondering what i should do to do that. i was thinkin probably active to passive and see how that works out, but i'm totally unsure on how to do that. could someone tell me how i might go about bypassing the preamp. or is it even worth it? for a vintage sound would i be better off just buying an old 60's or 70's jazz bass? or could it be done and easily switched back?
  2. pyrohr


    Aug 28, 2001
    Pakistani compound
    The bass is what it is, I have a 98 MIA DLX and I love my bass also. If the bass is a little "too active" try cutting the boost all the way around, or try cutting the boost for the highs, mids and lows then gradually add each slowly to taste. You may want to take your amp head into consideration and do some cutting back there too. Try setting your head flat then boost or cut from the bass.
  3. csholtmeier


    Feb 8, 2004
    omaha, ne
    Can anyone out there answer this? I'm very curious about this myself. I'm considering an American deluxe P 5string and I would like to know if I can add an active passive switch and get a true p-bass tone.
  4. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    You can get a wiring diagram for your bass from www.mrgearhead.com. What you need to do is insert a DPDT (double pole, double throw) switch that does two things...

    1. Switches the "output" of the balance control from the input of the preamp to the output jack.


    2. Disconnects the output of the preamp from the jack. The preamp's low output impedance with wreak havoc on your tone if you don't disconnect it.

    Keep in mind that you'll be without tone control if you do this...not necessarily a problem, but something worth considering.
  5. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    I have the same bass in a 2000 model and here's what I have to say on this subject. The stock preamp in our bass just sounds flat out lousy. My guess is that it's not "active" that you're displeased with, it's just the tone of that preamp. And yes, the pickups you have are great.

    I replaced my preamp with an Aguiar OBP-3. It now has a wonderful lively signature Jazz sound. Not real modern or super active sounding. Just buttery phatness. Is it "vintage" sounding? Hell, I guess. What exactly is a "vintage" tone anyway? Vintage means different things to different people. Mine now has what I consider a classic Jazz tone. Much, much warmer than when it was stock.

    Folks around here often misunderstand that there's a difference between active pickups and passive pickups with active preamps. Not saying that you necessarily do, I'm just saying that all "active" set-ups aren't the same.

    When I installed the new preamp I put in an active/passive switch, so I do know what this bass sounds like passive. I think those stock pickups only really come alive when preamped. If you have your heart set on passive, sell it and buy an American Series Jazz and drop some Fender Custom Shop 60's in it, but my recommendation is to keep the Deluxe Jazz and go with the Aggie pre! You're on the verge of having one fantastic sounding bass.
  6. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    I'll tell you a little secret on how to get a true passive P-bass tone. Buy a passive P-bass. Not trying to be a smart ass, but don't play an active bass if you want a passive tone. Lots of good deals on MIA passive P's out there. Find one. Good luck! :)