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Active pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bigcardinal, Dec 14, 2005.

  1. To buy or not to buy, that is the question. I am in the market for a new bass and I have heard some people say that actives not only allow for more dynamic range to be heard, but also help to "cut through the mix"...to be heard more clearly when playing with the band. Let me know what you think.
  2. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    I've had/have plenty of both. What occurs with suprising frequency is a lack of awareness of the difference between active pickups and an onboard preamp with passive pickups. Most basses with an onboard preamp don't have active pickups, they have passive pickups.

    The two factors that are a distinct advantage for active pups is they're typically dead quiet and are ideal for long cable runs. The distinct disadavantage to active pups is no battery no sound. They also typically have limitations in wiring schemes such as series/parallel, singling coils, active/passive operation, etc. They also tend to be more hi-fi in tone in general which can be disireable or undesireable depending.

    In general, the dynamic aspect and cut has more to do with the particular pups and other variables than whether the pups are active or passive.

    At least that's been my experience.