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Active pickups on a 6 string bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Gonzo45, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Gonzo45


    Sep 22, 2013
    Hi all,

    New here so hope I am posting this in the right place.
    I'm looking to buy a fretless bass kit but have a question about the pickups.
    My mate bought one of these:

    And has finished it and it has turned out really well and sounds good.
    The low B string maybe sounds a little weak and I have a feeling that this could be due to the stock pickups being passive.
    I don't have that much experience with building basses - only ever did a precision style bass which turned out fine, but I really like the way his one turned out and I am wondering if there would be much involved in fitting active pickups instead of the passive pickups that would be supplied with it?
    A lot of people say 5 / 6 string basses are much better with active pickups? Would you agree, and do you think it would be do-able with this kit?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Any bass can be converted to active. Just so you know, most active basses do not have active pickups; instead they have passive pickups that connect to a preamp module in the control cavity. While there are active pickups you could try, it would probably be far easier just to add a preamp to whatever passive pickups you have.
  3. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Many times a different B string will sound a lot 'bigger' than another one, on the same bass.
    Inexpensive try.
  4. Nonsense. There is no inherent tonal difference between active and passive pickups, and since active pickups are a rarity, it's silly to think that passive pickups can't sound good.

    If you do want active pickups, your options will be limited.
  5. Gonzo45


    Sep 22, 2013
    ok thanks,
    I think I'll go ahead and get the kit and put the bass together first and see what my one sounds like. Maybe it will be fine, but thanks for the suggestions about the preamp. Will do more research on it.