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fretless: passive or active

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ga_edwards, Sep 9, 2002.

  1. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I'm looking at getting a Warwick Corvette standard fretless in the very near future. Only trouble is I can't make up my mind whether to go for active or passive.
    I know a lot of you guys belive that passive on a fretless brings out it's true organic qualities. Tho the active MEC's would give be a lot more tone control, esp playing live. I am so used to adjusting the eq on my Thumb bass for different songs, that I would prob feel more comfortable with the same active system. But will I get as good a sound?
    Alt the passives would give me a completely contrasting texture to my active thumb, forcing me to choode the right sound for each song, but I don't particularly want to hav eto adjust my levels each tome I change bass, the actives would have the same output level.
    Also when I bypass the active circuitry by pulling on the vol knob, it is supposed to become passive. Is this a true passive. If so I will go for actives, as the bypass mode sounds exactly the same as the engaged mode set on flat. If not, I going to speand a long time trying both out.

    I'm also looking at getting the optional fishman piezo fitted, to give me more acoustic sounds, which I would think would sound great on a fretless. Anyone have any opnions on this pickup. Is it active? does it only work with the active basses, or can it be installed on the passives too?
  2. jankjo


    May 22, 2002
    Hmmm lots of questions. I can't answer them all, but here's a stab at a couple things.

    There are active pickups and active tone controls or preamps. There are passive pickups and passive tone controls (no batteries). You can probably get any combination, although I haven't played active pickups and passive tone controls. Anyway... If you get the active MEC pickup and preamp, when you pull out the volume knob, you are only bypassing the preamp (active tone controls), you aren't making the pickup passive.

    I am not sure exactly what fishman piezo pickup you are talking about, but they work by sensing vibrations. I think they are usually mounted underneath the saddle in an acoustic guitar...not sure how it would work on a warwick. But maybe I'm just not familiar with the particular one you have seen.

    With regard to what sounds best...kind of depends on what sound you are looking for. Someone else could certainly answer this better than I can, but personally, I think active pickups tend to be brighter and punchier than passive ones. I don't really like bright and punchy, but it depends on what kind of music YOU play and what kind of sound YOU want. If you are going for an acoustic tone, why get a warwick? Why not a semihollow body or an acoustic electric?
  3. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    Well, I've just got a quote back from the Bass Centre in london. Apparently the Std only comes with actives now, so that choice is made up for me. As for the Fishman, I'm not soley after acoustic tone, it would just be a nice addition, and widen the pallete of sounds available. It's also one less bass to buy, and transport about.
  4. hey GA
    wherebouts in essex u from?

    btw, i got passive dimarzio's in my fretless P

  5. ga_edwards


    Sep 8, 2000
    UK, Essex
    I hail from overseas... Canvey Island.
  6. haha wickid, a lot of colchester united football players end up at canvey island :)
    anyway, i'm digressing from the thread.....sorry