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Are Bartolini MK1 pickups active?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Bass Kahuna, Mar 5, 2003.


  1. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Are the Bartolini MK1 pickups (used in lower end Laklands, etc.) a true active pickup, or are they passive and for active I would need a seperate onboard pre-amp?

    They have 3 wires, ground, red and white. My assumption is that it is active and the red wire was the + for the 9v battery, but are the red and white wires either end of the coil windings, and therefore not active and upon install either the red or white wire (depending on phase with other pickups in the bass..) would need to be grounded?

    Thanks,

    :^)~
     
  2. put a meter on the red and white if you get an ohms reading then they will be the coil ends
    the ground may be acting as a shield to protect the twin ways of the pup.
    sd humbuckers have 4 ways and a shield so that the coil ends can be switched for series parallel.
    the barts may also be wired like this to facilitate just an arrangement for two pups?
    sorry that's all i can give.
    have you checked the bart site?
    **sorry
    therefore must be passive..:)
     
  3. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    They are passive. The Laklands have a seperate active preamp.
     
  4. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Believe it or not I called and talked to Bartolini yesterday, and they thought they were passive, but they didn't know for sure as they don't make them, the MK-1's are an offshore license only. Sheesh!

    Duh... I hadn't thought of checking the red and white leads with a DVM....
     
  5. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    I just talked to Greg Curbow (where I purchased the pickup) and he says they're wired with the red wire to the + of a 9V battery as well as the preamp, but were not sure at this point if these are a true active pickup or passive that I could run without a pre-amp, or if they HAVE to be used in conjuction with a pre-amp circuit and they won't work properly without one... that's kinda weird if they aren't really active by themselves, but require a seperate preamp to work properly....

    Sheesh

    Greg did offer to send me a true passive bartolini quad coil as a replacement, so I will probably take him up on that offer.

    BTW... Greg Curbow (www.curbow.com) is a great guy and very, very easy to work with! Kudos to Greg.

    :^)~
     
  6. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Okay, I've hooked the pickup up with the red wire to the + on the 9V battery, the white to the volume pot (25K) and the ground of course to the body of the pot and it works just fine (note: previously, a late night wiring job was poorly done and therefore the pickup was not working properly.... floating ground problem...).

    They can be used with a pre-amp if desired (just like the active EMG's...) but they appear to be active on their own.

    :^)~
     
  7. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    Wow, I find that suprising. Learn something new every 5 minutes. . . :)
     
  8. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Just one question, have you tried it without the red wire attached to the battery?

    I just checked my Lakland 55-01 with MK-1 pickups, and here is how it is wired. The neck pickup has two wires, a black one - wired to ground, and a red one - a shielded cable with the shield wired to ground and the white center conductor to the preamp. None of them are connected to the battery. The bridge pickup is the same, except instead of red the shielded cable is green. It does NOT connect to the battery.

    If by red wire you mean the shield in the red shielded cable, then you are connecting the shield to the 9v, possibly causing unwanted noise. It should be connected to ground.

    I am assuming that all MK-1s are the same. If yours is different, please disregard this post. By the way, I have a degree in Electronics Technology, and have spent 19 years doing tech work, so I do understand wiring.
     
  9. Bass Kahuna

    Bass Kahuna

    Dec 3, 2002
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Luthier, Custom Builder
    Hey Showdown,

    hhmm... I think we have different models of the MK-1. If I read you correctly, you're saying that yours has a red cable that includes a white center wire surrounded by a braided/foil shield, and then a seperate black wire outside of the shielding?

    The one I have only has a red and white wire, both of which are inside of the foil shielding..... hmmm..... perhaps there are different models used in different offshore brand basses. This one, which I purchased from Greg Curbow is used in the Cort Curbow basses. Maybe they make a slightly different one for Lakland Skylines???....

    Also, when I take my DVM and check the resistance between the white and red wire I get over 500K, same for reading between the ground/shielding and the red wire, and between the white wire and ground (shielding) I get around 57K.

    p.s. I have a degree in electronics and computer technology as well, so I'm no dummy with electronics.. heck, when I was in electronics tech school before going to college I even studied tube theory and used to repair and hot rod old Marshall and Fender amps, etc. :) No worries, no offense taken or anything silly like that, I just wanted to ensure that you knew that we speak the same language....

    :^)~
     
  10. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Yea, I guess they are different models. I wonder why they would call them both MK-1. Pretty confusing way of doing business...:D
     
  11. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    You sure it's not actually a Mitey-Mite? :)
     
  12. flameworker

    flameworker

    Jun 15, 2014
    Landenberg, Pennsylvania
    one day....
    Has anyone clarified the different mk1 ? DEFINITELY strange.
     
  13. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Well, 11 years later I still don't know the answer. :D
     
    Plucky The Bassist likes this.
  14. mmbongo

    mmbongo Chicken Pot Pie. My three favorite things!! Supporting Member

    gebass6 likes this.
  15. flameworker

    flameworker

    Jun 15, 2014
    Landenberg, Pennsylvania
    one day....
    Definitely different models, active and passive, , I just got a set of mk1-5 , these had 3 wires, red white black, the ones that came out originally only had white and black, hooking up the red wire to the 9v, where oddly there is shrink wrapped lead already waiting to go!.
     
  16. bicwasrick

    bicwasrick

    Sep 8, 2015
    The Laguna Ocean bass comes with MK1 Barts. That bass has a toggle switch for active (w/ preamp) operation or passive operation in case the battery dies. Since it can operate without a battery, the MK1 pups must be passive.
     
  17. Kri

    Kri

    Jul 30, 2016
    no they are not active,unlike the regular bartolini PUs,though they are dual coil humbuckers,they just have a hot and a sheild wire,and also i cant tell it's wired in paralell or series
    recently i just bought a pair bartolini MK5cbc b&t for replacing the stock PUs in my cort a4,sound really different,kinda bright sharp mid and high range tone
    IMO the mk1 PUs are really not the officially productions of bartolini
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  18. Aidil

    Aidil

    Dec 4, 2014
    Jkt, IDN
    13 years later...

    There are BOTH active and passive MK1. My Cort A6 (Indonesia, 2014) came with two MK1-6 passive pickups while my Cort Curbow 6 (Korea, 2001) came with a single active MK1-6 pickup. Attached are the wiring schematics of both.


    2016-07-31 (1).png 2016-07-31.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
    johnetone, JGbassman and JustForSport like this.
  19. The ones I have in my Lakland 55-01 are passive with an active EQ. If I pull the volume knob out, they run in passive mode. I have wanted to replace them for almost 10 years! I use Thomastik Flatwound strings and they just sound thin and hollow to me. Plus they sound too acoustic/microphonic if you ask me. I think I am going to drop in some beefier Single Coils like the new Aguilar PUps and see how they sound. Any recommendations out there for a drop in replacement for these? I like Dub Reggae and Stoner Rock.