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Active pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Axtman, Apr 18, 2010.


  1. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    At the risk of starting a flame war....what do you guys think about active pickups? I am talking about active PICKUPS not active ELECTRONICS (preamp). EMG is the only manufacturer that comes to mind that makes active pickups.
     
  2. Hi.

    I don't like batteries in my instruments (phantom would be ok though).

    But I do like the versatility and the noise cancelling capabilities that active pickups give.

    I currently don't have any basses with active pickups.

    Regards
    Sam
     
  3. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    I have two basses with active pickups. They sound great. I have 5 basses with passive pickups, a couple of which have active EQs. They sound great also. :)

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. darkstorm

    darkstorm

    Oct 13, 2009
    They work very very well for some peeps (EMG active pups). The downside of their sound is its rather distintive so that no matter the woods used, they tend to make all guitars sound the same. You lose most of the tone tweak diff woods otherwise provide. Not familiar with other brands active pups.
     
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    I prefer passive pickups with an audere preamp.
     
  6. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
  7. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    SGD does too ;)
     
  8. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    I do, but I don't have them on the site yet. But I will be reintroducing some low-Z active pickups soon.
     
  9. Ric5

    Ric5 Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    Colorado
    I Grow Organic Carrots
    To the original poster. I assume you understand that active pickups means the pickups have a preamp built into them, and that you can use passive pickups with an onboard preamp and still have an active bass. Most active basses are the second scenario.
     
  10. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    While I've never been all that fond of the sound of EMGs personally, there are active p'ups that I like. Duncan Basslines sound good to me and I have a set of Shaller Js from the eighties that sound great on a fretless. I think they still make that model. Years ago I had a P/J set that had those little DIP switches right on the p'ups. I can't remember who made those, but they actually sounded pretty good. Anyone?

    Overall, however, I tend to prefer passive p'ups either with or without a preamp. Active p'ups don't really give you any control over the tone of your preamp, so I prefer to have it separate. I also agree with the earlier poster who mentioned that most active p'us don't really have a sound of their own. They're kinda sterile - to me, at least.
     
  11. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    Those are Duncans. They don't make them with the switches anymore. So they kept one of the settings and now sell them as the "Pro-Active" pickups.

    I had put a P/J set with the DIP switches in my girlfriend's bass back in the 80's and they really did sound good. I used to borrow that bass all the time for recording sessions.
     
  12. Lo-E

    Lo-E

    Dec 19, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    Mine were in a fretless Kramer P-bass copy (early eighties?). The original p'ups (P neck, double J bridge) were long gone when I bought it. I was skeptical at first, but after noodling with those switches for a bit those p'ups sounded really nice. I can see why SD discontinued them, though: not a smart place to have an exposed switch.

    Sorry... sorta hijacked the thread for a minute. My bad...
     

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