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Best bass with active pickups

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Da bass, Mar 14, 2008.

  1. Da bass

    Da bass

    Apr 16, 2007
    So, I'm looking for the best 5 string bass with active pickups that gives me the best high defined, clear, bright snappy sound, that can give that powerful B string sound. Any suggestions?
  2. corradoc


    Dec 20, 2007
    New York City
    Stingray 5.
  3. herndonbassist

    herndonbassist Low Down Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    Lakland 55-02
  4. The best sounding bass with ACTIVE pickups I've played is the MTD 535. The aformentioned basses sound fantastic too but don't have active pu's.
  5. Earwigger

    Earwigger I'm a Roland man now.

    Aug 23, 2005
    Cleveland, Ohio
    LOL, people are so ingrained in their brand loyalty that they'd suggest a bass even if it does not qualify. :D I think Stingrays do have an active pickup though.

    I think the MTD535 is a fine choice for the bass you describe. Prepare to drop a pretty penny though.
  6. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    stingrays have passive pupĀ“s and active pres. 535 gets my vote.
  7. DeanT

    DeanT Send lawyers, guns and money...

  8. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    The Alembic Series electronics remain unparalleled in the field of active circuitry. IME, the Alembic circuit is the only active system that retains all of the uncompressed harmonic nuances that the passice pups deliver. The engineering behind the hum cancelling technology is unique and extremely effective.

    Irrespective of cost, ergonomics, etc etc. one has to give the nod to Ron Wickersham's circuit. It remains the pinnacle.

    My 2c experience.
  9. have jazz with alembic activator pup's - amazing
  10. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Warwick $$
  11. cort artisan b5
  12. No such thing as a best. Certain pickups and pre-amps combined with the right bass construction and strings contribute to the whole picture.

    My guess if you're saying "best bass", you're relatively new to bass and don't have a whole lot to spend. Finding an active bass that's very punchy is easy as heck. Finding an active bass that's flexible and can also give ya warm sounds is the tricky part.

    I'm a big fan of Bartolini's 3 band with 3 position mid frequency selector. That's one hell of a pre-amp that can go from zingy to vinitage pretty easily.
  13. alembicbones


    Nov 10, 2000
    Seattle, WA
    Alembic Single Coils with dummy hum canceller (Series I or II).

  14. Mike Shevlin

    Mike Shevlin

    Feb 16, 2005
    Las Vegas
    There is something about the G&L.......
  15. TrooperFarva


    Nov 25, 2004
    New City, NY
    Are you looking for an active bass, or a bass with active pickups? They're not the same.
  16. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    http://www.elevation-music.com/guqu.html :

    Active Pickups: Active pickups have preamps that are built into the pickup housing; so they can drive the signal to the amp themselves. This preamp must be powered by a source other than the amp, so active pickups require a separate battery to operate.

    That said, I'm not sure ANY of these mentioned actually have active pickups - not familiar with all of these basses though. Most "active basses" have passive pickups with an active EQ/preamp circuit - even, I have read, Alembic, though those passive pickups are not really usable without a preamp.

    Most EMG (not select or HZ) pickups are active.

    If I'm mistaken feel free to prove me wrong - I don't mind, and then the next time I spout off I'll know more.

    That's pretty useless information and doesn't really help the OP, if he was actually just looking for a bass with active electronics that had certain qualities.

    I can't comment on the Alembic Series electronics, but I found the Epic model to be pretty weak on the low B. It sounded much better when I changed it to a high C. I like both the Epic and Spoiler electronics for standard 4 string tuning or higher, very clear and bright.

    MTDs sound very nice from my limited experience, on the "warm" side.

    For budget models, I liked the low B on the Cort Curbow 6 I had.

    My 5 string has Bartolini passive Precision and Jazz pickups, and an Aguilar OBP1 active preamp; it's the best I've heard, the perfect "for me" tone. Deep and bright, mids are present but not dominant.
  17. ggunn


    Aug 30, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Isn't that distinction just over where the preamplification occurrs? A pickup coil itself is by its very nature a passive device, isn't it? "Active pickups" have the preamp built into the pickup housing while an "active bass" typically has the preamp in the body cavity, but it seems to me, electronically speaking, they'd be pretty much the same. Coil=>preamp=>amplifier.
  18. G&L L-2500 USA model or the tribute would be perfect if you're on a budget and can't afford the aforementioned higher end basses.
  19. mvw356


    Mar 2, 2006
    no no no

    active pickups are called that because they need current to function. passive pickups don't. it has nothing to do with active/passive electronics or where they are mounted. emg's are all active for example. stingrays aren't and i don't think bongo's are either.
  20. well not all of the emgs are active, the HZs arent i think.

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