I just installed a set of Nordstrand Big Singles in a Karl Hoyt custom bass that I picked up here on TB some time ago. (I didn't care for the Kent Armstrongs humbuckers that came installed -- they sounded very "honky" to me.) The bass already had a 2-band Bartolini preamp installed, so I just swapped the pups and left the preamp in line. Now I'm trying to decide whether to yank the Bart and go passive, so I thought I'd seek opinions from folks who have experience with Bart preamps, Big Singles, or (ideally) both. I generally love the tone of the BS's; they're very much what I was looking for. However, it seems to me that the preamp might be adding something to the tone that I don't like. Specifically, I was expecting and would prefer a more raw, nasty, edgy tone -- at least for this bass at this time -- but I get the sense that the preamp is kind of "rounding off the edges" instead. I did some searching around TB and found that many folks describe something very much like this as the "Bart sound," using words like "smooth" and "buttery," etc. I might be hallucinating (wouldn't be the first time), but I feel as if I can almost hear separately what the pups are trying to do and what the preamp is doing, and that the latter is what I'd like to eliminate. So, here are my questions: First, does this analysis seem plausible? Have others had similar experiences with these pups and/or this preamp? Most important, does it sound like pulling the preamp will make me happier given what I've said above? Second, how can I most easily re-wire things temporarily to test out the passive setup? I think all the pots are wrong for a passive setup, so I was wondering if I could just wire the pups together directly to the hot and ground of the output jack? Of course this would mean no on-board controls, even volume, but that would be fine for an experiment if it would work. (I'm up for doing the mods myself, but my knowledge of electronics is limited.) Third, if I do decide to yank the preamp, what would be the best way to reconfigure the bass? It already has a four-knob setup, so I was thinking maybe V/V/T/T, but I'd be eager to hear other suggestions. (Bonus question for extra credit: Would I use 250k pots all-around?) Thanks in advance for your input.