Basses with passive humbucker pickups?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mbell75, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. mbell75


    May 23, 2016
    I’ve tried to like active basses and even currently own one, but I just can’t get into the sound from active pickups. I do like the idea of a humbucker though and tried the Ebassy Pro but not a fan of the Epiphone/Gibson sound, Are there any basses aside from a Gibson with passive humbucker pickups or am I stuck with a passive/active bass?
  2. mdalamond

    mdalamond Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2012
    SE , North Carolina
    Warwick Rockbass Corvette Double Buck. I just picked one up myself. I don't care for active either.
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  3. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Almost all pickups are passive.
    Unless the pickups have their own separate battery source,like EMG actives,they are passive.
    active pickup.jpg Active pickup 2.jpg
    This should have been posted in Pickups and electronics.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
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  4. Thorsoundcore


    Jan 22, 2009
    Not too many options I'm aware of for 100% passive. I was looking around for the same results a while back and it can be tough cause there always seems to be a catch (pickups looking like humbuckers, but actually aren't, etc.). Tbh my first thought was thunderbird, but I see that was quickly ruled out. My second was the blacktop P bass. Also, I think one of the oddball Rickenbackers technically have humbuckers, 4004(?).

    I'd suggest any of the Aria basses, whether old or new with the "MB" style pickups (some were made totally passive). Though they're another that some people seem unsure of what to consider them since some have pole pieces arranged similar to a P.

    Last but not least, if you don't mind having single humbucker bass there is the (G&L) kiloton. Still has some variation of tone w/the switch despite being passive/lone buck..
    mbell75 likes this.
  5. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Yup, active pickups are pretty rare.
  6. pcake

    pcake Supporting Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    Los Angeleez
    are you also referring to basses with active EQs and passive pickups?
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  7. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Precision bass guitars use split-coil hum-buckers.
  8. I know OP wants to look elsewhere but I suggest a try on an Epiphone Rumblekat bass.
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  9. EtoBb


    Nov 27, 2009
    Chicago, IL
    Fender Roscoe Beck
  10. Engineer_Josh


    Apr 26, 2016
    G&L Kiloton?
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  11. jd56hawk


    Sep 12, 2011
    The Garden State
    G&L L2000, of course.
    I haven't used the active switch on mine since the day I bought it.

    Other than that, Reverend Thundergun or Mercalli.
    Passive, pure and potent.

    Strong lows and highs, open mids. Like a vintage P bass pickup but with more beef, yet retains clarity. 43 gauge wire, ceramic magnet, 8.5K ohms.

    Warm and thick with strong mids. Output and punch like an active, but more organic sounding. 42 gauge wire, ceramic magnet, 7K ohms.
    I just took my mine out of the case today and took it for a spin...maybe a dozen songs.
    That was right after lunch and I'm still feeling it!
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
  12. CallMeAl


    Dec 2, 2016
    Ithaca Ny
    Jazz bass with Dimarzio?
  13. To clarify, i think you are referring to passive electronics on a double coil humbucker (instead of a split coil).

    With that in mind, its not that common. On their own, this style of pickup sounds a bit bland and one dimensional, imo. Honestly, I find them bland even with active electronics, but w/e. Anyway:

    gsr 100
    G&l kiloton
    G&l L2000 with switch to passive
    Sire m2/3/7 with switch to passive

    Im sure there’s more, but thats what I can think of right now.
  14. grab a jazz bass and pop some Joe Barden pickups in there:

    Machiavelli likes this.
  15. I'll 2nd the suggestion of the Reverend Mercalli, all passive with a p style split hb in the neck and a full hb in the bridge position.
  16. mmbongo

    mmbongo I have too many basses. Supporting Member

    1) Your pickups are likely already passive. You just don't like the added active preamp. Maybe install a different preamp?

    2) Kiesel basses can be ordered with 100% passive humbuckers, whether they be split single coil, soapbars, or Music Man shape. Lots of options there.

    Custom Shop USA Basses |
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  17. Huw Phillips

    Huw Phillips Life is like TV if the channel sucks change it

    Jan 4, 2019
    I have just put a Curtis Novak BS DS in a P bass it’s awesome, few more bits and it will be done
  18. Early '70's Fender Telecaster basses had a humbucker in the neck position. The Modern Player series reissue has that plus an added humbucker near the bridge. Lots of power and low end, even with the tone dimed.
    mbell75 likes this.
  19. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Broadkaster.JPG Eastwood Magnum.jpg Eastwood Flying V 1.JPG Rogue VB-100.jpg Carvin LB-20 1.JPG Quite a few, actually. These are just some of the ones I own, that I have passable pictures of. I didn't show my 2 Gibsons, since you said you didn't care for them... I think you may need to look just a teeny bit harder...:whistle:
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  20. Since you don't want a Gibby I'll say PRS Kingfisher.
    Swingin likes this.