Active pickups converted to passive? Help?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by shadowdream, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. shadowdream


    Dec 26, 2013
    Hi all,

    I asked in this thread for some help IDing a Dean bass,and dedpool1052 confirmed that it was an Edge 10 for me. He said that someone probably converted the pickups from active to passive, since there is no battery case anymore.

    Can someone confirm that for me by looking at it and the wiring? If so, did they just snip out the case and solder the wires? There are two pairs of wires that have the ends soldered and loose that are from the pickups. And if that is the case, is it simply a matter of getting a new battery case and soldering it in?

    Sorry if the questions are noobish. This IS my first bass, and I've not done any electronics modding on my guitars yet. I have a friend that mods and builds who I can ask about this and have do some work, but he's a couple hours away and I won't see him until New Year's. I'd like to know what's up with the bass before I bring it to him.

    Thanks! Here's the pictures of the pickups and the inside. If you need larger pictures, the album is here: If you need better pictures, just let me know.


  2. Doctor J

    Doctor J

    Dec 23, 2005
    If active pickups don't get power, they don't work. There doesn't appear to be any cable for power going to those pickups. That all looks very passive to me. If it had active pickups then they've been replaced with passive pickups, by the looks of that.
  3. shadowdream


    Dec 26, 2013
    That's kind of what I was asking. Did they have to exchange the pickups for passive ones, or could they have taken the battery out or what? Dedpool said to ask on here.

    I'm clueless when it comes to active or passive pickups. Completely new to this.

    The Edge 10 though, I can only find with active pickups, and can't find any Dean models like it with passive pickups.

    This was a pawn shop find. (got it for $94, alongside a lovely Gibson Les Paul special that was $360. Pretty much got a good deal on the Les Paul and a free bass when you look at it) Just trying to figure it out. :)
  4. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Looks like 2 passive humbuckers, each wired in series, one 'reverse/wound'.
    'Active bass' could mean passive or active pickups with an active preamp.
    Sometimes maker's descriptions do not identify active or passive pickups.
  5. shadowdream


    Dec 26, 2013
  6. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Edited review from a retailer's site:
    "Fantastic build and pickups. smooth playing that is virtually effortless. This bass sounds leagues greater after rewiring it passive and discarding the .. preamp that leaves you sounding rather sterile without adequate note definition. Stock pickups sound good v/t/v/t and don't even need to be upgraded. "
    Seems this one had passive pickups stock (altho advertised as active pickups) which worked to the reviewer's ear, better with the preamp bypassed/ eliminated.
    Yours may have the original passive pups.
    Read these reviews:
  7. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Just because reviewers say "active pickups" doesn't mean they really are-
    only the manufacturer said so.
    Until the back cover is removed and it is determined that there is a hotwire/voltage going to each pickup, could just be an active/ battery-powered preamp connected to passive pups.
    I'm inclined to believe the reviewer that opened it up and disconnected the pre.
  8. shadowdream


    Dec 26, 2013
    huh. Interesting, and odd. Thanks. I'm not sure I entirely understand why they'd say active pickups and some would come with and some without, but, hey, it plays well and that makes me worry less about someone having dinked around with it. So it's all good.

    Edit: Replied between those last two posts. Ahh. I do understand better now. Thanks.
  9. I've never heard of anyone converting active pickups to passive. It requires the removal of components, and active pickups are usually epoxy potted, or sealed in some other way that makes that impossible.

    It is far more likely that you are confusing the removal of a preamp.
  10. shadowdream


    Dec 26, 2013
    That's entirely possible, or maybe they changed out the pickups to passive ones.

    That's why I asked. I didn't know anything about active pickups to know whether they'd work that way or not, but someone suggested it might.

    Thanks for shedding some light.
  11. dedpool1052


    Jan 10, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    it must be a discontinued model because it's not showing up on Dean's website. chances are that it was originally equipped with a 2-band EQ and then converted to passive. most low-end active basses will have passive pickups with an active EQ.