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Can I use an active pickup in a passive bass?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by gebass6, Feb 26, 2016.


  1. gebass6

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

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    A question:I ordered a new/old stock Washburn ABT pickup.NEW ABT G&B 5 STRING BASS ACTIVE NECK SOAP BAR PICKUP
    After ordering I realized that it was an active pickup.Not passive.
    I have a passive bass.
    Can an active pickup be used in a passive bass?
    Or will I have to do a return?
     
  2. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Well, see when it arrives. Do you have a wiring diagram for it? The picture doesn't look like it includes the power supply, so you may need to get one or send it back. But the picture may not show everything. Though I'm wondering, if that DIDN'T come with it, is the pickup itself actually active? Or is this a confused seller who thinks that because his bass is active, the pickup must be too?
     
    pcake, SP_EB4L and gebass6 like this.
  3. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I'm with @hrodbert696 in that many "active" systems are passive pickups with active preamps. Just wait and see what you get. It might require a power supply and battery holder but it might wire right in with no trouble at all.
     
    pcake, SP_EB4L and gebass6 like this.
  4. Simple answer: No an active pickup requires power
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  5. Well, it does say "active" underneath...

    I think it will work but you'll need a 9V but not necessarily a preamp.
     
  6. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    Is this pickup to replace the pickup in a 'single pickup' bass? If not, the other passive pickup will need a buffer to be used with this one. And the pots will need to be changed to 25k pots.

    If this is a single pickup bass, you'll need a battery, and the pots will need to be changed to 25k pots.

    Plus, you'll need a stereo jack instead of a mono jack so the battery will be dis-connected when the plug is removed.

    What is the config of the bass it was bought for?
     
    Atshen likes this.
  7. Crater

    Crater

    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    If that's a truly active pickup (it appears to be), then it won't work without battery power. The buffer/preamp bits are actually embedded inside the epoxy.
     
    bridgecables likes this.
  8. bridgecables

    bridgecables

    Jan 11, 2016
    After a few searches, and seeing images of other ABT two-wire pickups just like this with "active r" and "active f" on the back, I am almost positive that this is a passive, it seems to have only 2 wires. Actives must have at least one more wire than that for the battery +v
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  9. gebass6

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

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    No.It's not for a single pickup bass.
    It's one of two(the neck)for a two pickup bass.
    A Washburn T-25.Which is passive. Snapshot_20160225_2.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  10. gebass6

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

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    THIS!
    Thanks for the definite info!
     
  11. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    A better photo of the wire end will help clarify this-
    2 internal wires with a shield in the outer sleeve would be how their active pickups are made.
    Shield for ground, one of the 2 inside wires is signal, and the other is batt+.
     
  12. gebass6

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

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Until it comes this is the only one.
    ABT.JPG
     
  13. gebass6

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

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Now THIS pickup is obvious.Active! s-l1600.ggj.
    I would think that the ABT pickup would make more of an effort to show a third wire if it was there.
     
    JustForSport likes this.
  14. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    I just checked the link you provided, and looked at the jazz model-
    looks like the same red jacket and 2 wires in the lead, which would be passive.
    Also compared it to the Eden/GB pickups of the same config and the only diff was the outer jacket is black, not red- 2 wires in the lead, and no separate shield.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  15. JustForSport

    JustForSport

    Nov 17, 2011
    Just for your own info, when it arrives, move a cutoff bass string or thin screwdriver over the surface to find the magnet/rail layout-
    it may be a split P or reverse split P inside, or (less likely) a dual-coil.
     
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    You can use the pickup regardless. You may have to install a battery and switch your pots to 25 or 50k pots. From the pictures, I am not convinced that its an active pickup, regardless of the sticker on the pickup. I only see two conductors on the pickup wire, of course that doesn't mean a third isn't there.
     
    gebass6 likes this.
  17. gebass6

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

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Got word from the shipper.
    The pickups are actually passive although the ad says active.
     
    JustForSport likes this.

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