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Active pups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by bassman1185, Jan 18, 2002.


  1. Ok, I'll admit it, I don't have the slightest clue as to what the heck they are. How are they different from passive pups?
     
  2. rickbass

    rickbass Supporting Member

    Simply put -

    Passive - the pickup's pure signal is sent to the amplifier. No tone shaping affects it. You can't boost any of the tonal character with passive, only decrease it, (e.g., less treble, less bass)/

    Active - boosts the signal levelfrom a battery-powered circuit (your bass's pre-amp). It increases the gain. The signal-to noise ratio is better (less interference gets in) because it blocks out any noise that may try to enter. You can boost or cut the tonal character. If you're going through a long length of instrument cable before reaching your amp/input, active keeps your signal intact better.

    This doesn't mean active is "better" than passive. Passive pickups can sound great and so can passive pickups used with a an active preamp. Some people find active pickups too "colored" or "artificial" sounding or they find they sound distorted to them.
     
  3. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Active means that an electronic circuit (pickup, EQ, etc.) needs a powersource (e.g. battery).
    A passive circuits works without power supply.

    Most 'active' basses have passive pickups and an active preamp/EQ. With these basses you can have the option to run them in passive mode, e.g. when the battery fails or you want the passive sound. EQ won't work in this case.
    Active pickups (e.g. EMGs) are not that common. No passive mode.

    Features of active pickups:

    Low impedance output - no loss of highs in the cable, less susceptible to interfering electomagnetic fields in the environment.

    Higher output (depending on model)

    Active EQ:

    Same as above.

    EQ that can cut AND boost certain frequencies
     
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Active EQ:

    Same as above.

    EQ that can cut AND/OR boost certain frequencies
     
  5. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Boy, are we picky today... :D
     
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Commercial User

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Boom Bass Cabinets, DR strings
    Nah, I just know this stuff is confusing enough to some people already;)