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Active or preamp?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Norwegianwood, May 12, 2004.

  1. First let me advice you: I don't know ****.

    Ok, I have this warwick corvette standard, and I'm very happy with it. I like the shape, feeling and playability of it. But I would like some more punch and tone control. So I walked down too the local music store, and said I considered active pickups. He then told me that if I was happy with my current sound,(wich I partly am) I should rather buy an onboard preamp. What's the difference here? He also adviced me EMG pickups if I was going Active. Currently I have the standard mec pickups.
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004
    For What It's Worth:

    You might be able to get what you're looking for with a preamp - definitely more control - punch is more dependent on pups, equipment, technique, etc. If you buy a preamp you'd want to use anyway, you won't be out anything if you decide to change pups later. If you want more onboard control you're heading in the right direction (although with the right pups, you don't need that control). For a fact, it's a LOT easier to get your paws on a preamp that meets your needs than a set of pups. Finding the right set of pups can take a lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllong time. Occassionally on ebay you'll see pups and preamp auctioned together but not often. You have to start somewhere.
  3. ejsagun


    Jan 20, 2003
    a preamp definitely adds more control. from what ivwe heard the emg preamps are really transparent maybe those are what you need.

    if your gonne put a preamp in your bass your going to have to drill some holes. to avoid this you can use an outboard preamp pedal. there are lots of this in the market

    use your ears when auditioning preamps

    just my 2 centavos.
  4. Z-Bass


    Apr 22, 2004
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Not sure if you've made your decision yet but I had the same bass and went through the same situation. I first tried the bass through an Aguilar outboard preamp (the 924) and was very happy with the tone. Strange but the preamp also seemed to reduce the buzzing I would get with the passive pickups. Then I wanted to get all electronics "on board" so I went with a total EMG system (pickups and 3 band EQ). Sounded great as well however I did notice that the overall tone of the bass changed a bit. Engineers loved it in studio situations but in live settings I always found myself fiddling with the EQ more than anything, however, the pickups made the overall signal clearer and every note was heard (even the not so good ones). Maybe would have been more satisfied with just upgrading the pickups with EMGs and no preamp, who knows. I agree with others and say try an outboard preamp first. It's a good place to start without a lot of modification.
  5. elros


    Apr 24, 2004
    Proprietor, Helland Musikk Teknologi
    I don't have a Warwick bass, but my bass has EMG active pickups, and I've never felt the need for EQing. The only controls on my instrument are volume, volume and (passive) tone. My sound is nearly always perfect, except when the amp is messing it up.
    FWIW, yesterday I ordered new pickups for my bass. Currently it has EMG DC pickups, I am getting the new TW splitable pickups. In Norway, Benum is the company importing EMG. You can find the catalog with prices on their website http://www.benum.no/ -- it's the one in the menu to the left called Musikkatalogen '04. (I don't work for them, but that's where I'm getting mine from.)