active, passive, preamps oh my

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by wooday04, May 10, 2002.

  1. wooday04


    Dec 17, 2001
    all right sorry about this one im tryin to learn more about the electronics and stuff. what is an active pickup, what is passive pickup, and what is a preamp? and how do i know what kind of pickup i have? thanks.
    the j master XXX
  2. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    "Active" means it needs battery power. Anything else is passive. If your bass does not require a 9V battery it is 100% passive.

    Some pickups have small preamps built right inside the casing. EMG is the best known maker of active pickups.

    You can also have a passive pickup but include a preamp in the bass control cavity to provide EQ functions. A StingRay is a good example of this type of bass.

    I'll skip the pros and cons of active vs. passive, check for other threads on this topic...there are plenty of them!
  3. wooday04


    Dec 17, 2001
    thanks for the reply, thats interesting though, because i happen to have a stingray. so the preamp is what gives me the eq functions? thanks.