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Anyone made their P-Bass active - and then switched it back?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by jaywa, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Long story short, I have a 78 P-Bass I've owned since 1981. I first added a passive bridge pickup (Seymour Duncan Quarter Pounder), then about 10 yrs ago replaced the passive pickups with an EMG P/J set. I recently acquired another active bass and so now I would like to revert my P-Bass to passive with the P and J pickups that were in it before.

    First, has anyone else here done this before and is there anything I should know about?

    Second, a specific question... in my current active configuration the three knobs are: neck volume / bridge volume / "Afterburner" gain knob that was installed with the EMG set. When I go back to passive should I have the three knobs be:

    Neck volume / bridge volume / tone


    Master volume / pickup blend / tone

    Thanks in advance.
  2. I think master volume and pick up blend is the classic, but do whatever you think will be better for you. Separate pickup volumes might be more versatile.
  3. JonPol


    May 19, 2009
    San Diego
    For passive basses I definitely prefer the V-V set up. To me it helps you "fine tune" your sound a little bit better and gives you a better sense of how much volume you're losing when blending.
  4. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I'm leaning towards the blend option... for the simple reason I would only have to turn one knob off between songs. Also the active bass I just bought has a blend knob and I'm really liking that so far.

    Still thinking it through though. Thanks for the opinions.
  5. Active blends work WAY better than passive ones. But no big deal to try it if you want to. I recommend V V T.
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    So, if I go V V T... turning up both volumes all the way won't give me twice the volume, right? It's more like you're using the relative volume levels of each pickup to establish the blend, and the overall output level stays roughly the same regardless? Or not?

    Sorry for these elementary questions but I haven't played a 2-pickup passive bass in many years and have kinda forgotten how that all works. Thanks again.
  7. Ideally, having both volumes up would be the same as having a master volume up with the blend in the center, but the volume/volume setup is a little bit louder/brighter than the volume/blend setup because there is less loading from the pots.
  8. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    That's exactly what I needed to know, thanks. It also jogged my memory... way back in the late 80s or whenever I first added the Quarter Pound J pickup, whoever put it in with the V V T setup apparently wired the P and J pickups out of phase... which I didn't know for years until a different guy discovered it when he was putting in my EMGs. I remember wondering back then why the bass sounded quieter with both knobs full-up then with just one or the other on. Presumably if my passive pickups are re-installed correctly that will not be the case.
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