Best passive Musicman-style pickup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by callmebono, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Kent Armstrong

    13 vote(s)
  2. Bartolini

    34 vote(s)
  3. Something Else

    31 vote(s)
  1. I'm building a fretless project bass and have it routed for 1 MM-style pup. I'd like to keep it passive and found Kent Armstrong and Bartolini offer replacements. Anyone have experience with either of these or something else?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. o.rion.5


    Oct 17, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Seymour Duncan Basslines.
  3. keyboardguy

    keyboardguy Supporting Member

    May 11, 2005
  4. maurilio

    maurilio Musician - Owner at Mo's Shop - Tech at Nordstrand Supporting Member

    May 25, 2003
    Studio City+Redlands, CA
    Endorsing artist: Nordstrand - Genzler Amplification - Sadowsky - Dunlops Strings - DR Strings
    +1 ... yes!

  5. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
  6. I've got a Nordie in my's nasty!
  7. plexibass


    Jun 30, 2005
    i vote kent armstrong. every player i've turned on to him absolutely loves his pu's. i have 3 dan armstrong basses with his pickups in them. one of them has a custom built humbucker.
  8. centralharbor


    Nov 21, 2005
  9. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I'm having mine built into a Bee Bass "Worker Bee". Here are the specs.

    I'm not sure if Fred sells them outright. You could shoot him an email.
  10. I checked out Nordstrand's website and it doesnt say if it is passive or active. Anyone know?

    Same for SD Basslines. I thought those were active?
  11. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    It's my understanding that whether a bass is active or passive has to do with whether you've got an onboard preamp. Pickups either need a preamp to boost the signal or are hot enough to run without it, but the term is not ever (accurately) applied to the pickup itself. Is that a proper assumption? Anyone?

    In the case of the Nordstrand, it's hot enough that it doesn't need a preamp. I ran one passive in a Modulus Flea 5 for a while and it sounded great.


    Aug 13, 2003
    Sulphur LA
    You sir, have a PM.:)
  13. Pickups can be either active or passive. EMG, Seymour Duncan, and others make pickups which have built in battery powered active preamp circuitry. Any such pickup is considered active.

    An active bass is one which has some kind of active electronics which require power.

    Thus, an active bass could have:

    a) active pickup(s)

    b) active preamp

    c) either a) or b)

    d) both a) and b)
  14. 12bass - thank you for that explanation!

    Now can anyone confirm if some of the pickups suggested (Nordstrand, SD) fall into catagory A (active pickups)? I really do not want a 9V in my bass - just a personal preference.
  15. msquared


    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I know that they make systems which include a set of pickups and a preamp which is in the electronics cavity. But that doesn't mean that the pickups themselves are active. It just means the bass is active. That's what I meant by pickups which have low output vs pickups which have high output (and thus need no onboard pre).
  16. jja412

    jja412 Fine gear enthusiast

    Feb 2, 2004
    St. Louis
    Nordstrand MMs are passive pickups.
  17. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Nordstrand gets the vote for me.
  18. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Most amplifiers use multiple stages of gain circuits, each stage having a different purpose. But each stage is a powered amplifying circuit on its own. My understanding is that "active pickups" have a powered circuit which is a buffer/gain stage before the rest of the preamp.