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active electronics vs. active pickups(post search)

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by nunk6, Dec 19, 2000.

  1. nunk6


    Jul 29, 2000
    im wondering about active pickups and how they are different from active electronics im goign to get EMGs for my ibanez and wondering if the active pickups need more knobs and what not
  2. Active picks have a preamplifier built directly on or in the pickup this allows smaller windings and a more focused magnetic field. Many basses like my Carvin are passive with no preamp on the pickup but have a preamp with tone controls in the control cavity. There are some differences in the way passive and active pickups sound I like the passives but others like the actives.
  3. nunk6


    Jul 29, 2000
    so then the active pickups wouldnt need/have control over tone? i could replace passives with active and not have to further destroy my bass?(without adding more knobs?, because with my p/j set up i have two volume and one tone)

    [Edited by nunk6 on 12-19-2000 at 05:54 PM]
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Note about the EMGs: they're the only pickups of which I know that incorporate preamp circuitry inside the pickup housing. (Others use a stand alone circuit board or sealed box, which may require further routing of the control cavity.)

    nunk6: get the pickups professionally replaced, and you won't destroy your bass. Try to install them yourself, and you might.
  5. Flatwound

    Flatwound Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2000
    San Diego
    nunk6 - here's what I know about actives, although it ain't much. I think the idea of having a preamp in the pickup itself is to transmit all the sound, rather than losing anything in the wiring. The signal is converted to low impedance by the active circuitry. EMG, Alembic, Seymour Duncan, and Bartolini all make active pickups that are direct replacements for P and J style pickups. EMG's can be used with passive vol. and tone controls, but you may want one of their active tone circuits. The question is not whether the pickups will fit without routing, but whether the battery will. There's a whole lot more to this subject, and you should check out http://www.emginc.com, and the Alembic website, which I think is http://www.alembic.com.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Active pickups or a preamp require a battery or batteries (yes, there are exceptions, like Alembic). I have one bass with 2 9v batteries for the preamp and one 9v for the active pickups.

    You don't have to add tone controls for active pickups. The links suggested for gaining a better understanding are well worth the look. Once you get the "rules" down it's not too complicated but until you do... And rest assured, you're not alone when it comes to not understanding this part of the bass.

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