Active, Passive: Difference as in sound

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Davidoc, Oct 4, 2000.

  1. I am wondering what advantages and disadvantages active pickups have over passive. What's your preference?
  2. nunk6


    Jul 29, 2000
    i personally prefer passive; not just prefer but i will not play an active bass
    i like the sound thats created from my bass to be created by me, and not beefed up and such; if i make an error i dont want it smoothed out by active electronics(which is to me what they do)
    yet they do improve your volume output and tone; but i also prefer passive tone, its just when i'm playing and i play the string i think its gives me more 'punch' actually faster response; more of a real time playing thing if you know what i mean-no one else may notice it but it bugs me.

    Also for those of us who love to play( and cant afford more than one bass) i dont like the battery dying out...i play alot and batteries die fast for me.
    Tone cannot be disputed most people i would say prefer the active tone, your bass amp can most likely fix that or even a preamp if you go with passive

    and passive saves money for other equipment such as pedals and even food which keeps me alive so i can play
    Phineas Gauge likes this.
  3. My main axe, MM Sterling, has got passive pup and active electronics. So I guess it will be like a passive bass with an outboard preamp.. or something. I like the variety and possibilities of sounds out of it, but I mostly use the tone controls flat with a slight bass boost. My now backup axe Yamaha rbx5 is all passive and i like the sound of it too.. a bit smoother, which can be useful at times when I want the silky feel to my sound without any sharp edges. But as you said, its not to be argued.. the sound issue.
  4. CS


    Dec 11, 1999
    I wouldnt get bogged down in the active/passive thing, as said before its the sound. I had a Status bass that used active pickups with a passive tone control. I now have two basses with different systems. I fell in love with a Warwick Corvette that had a passive system (couldn't afford it). If it aint broke dont fix it.
  5. j3b3r


    Aug 19, 2000
    I'll compare between my fender jazzbass with stock passive pickup and my custom bass with EMG active pickup.

    the fender pickup haz a very nice and warm, smooth and bright sounding.

    The custom bass has a beefy and tight sounding, It's EMG40J
    (jazzbass model)

    I play lot's of slap, for slapping i prefer the EMG active. becoz of it's tight sounding :)

    for play with fingger, I use the fender to get a great bridge pickup growl

  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Active "pickups" aren't as common as most people think. OTOH active "basses" are. The advantages and disadvantages?...depends on the pickups you're comparing.

    IME regardless of how often you play, unless you have a very poorly designed pickup, some type of wiring snafu or don't know that you should unplug the instrument cable from the bass when not in use, batteries last quite a while.

    As far as the faster response of passive pickups, is that with or without the effects pedals:D

    Get educated...dismissing an entire type of gear because of a lack of knowledge is not helpful. It's pretty amazing how many players here, especially younger ones, I see who have very narrow views of the instrument and what it "should" be. Keep your mind open. For every one of you who does this, I'd bet there's an older player who's saying "I just tried an XXXX for the first time, it was great. I didn't think I'd like it so I never tried one before. Wish I did it years ago".

    There are good basses of all designs and types. Try a good one, you may surprise yourself. Or not ;)