Hi bass gurus, I had a couple of questions I'm intersested in hearing you opinions on. Firstly, I've come to realize that I don't REALLY know how pickups work that well. I am familiar with Maxwell's Equations, and I understand that when the metal strings move, they affect the magnets in the pickups which causes electric signal to be directed through the output jack (often amplified through a preamp). What does active/passive mean exactly? Here is what is really weird...we pay so much attention to the kinds of wood, etc., but the wood is only affecting the way the string vibrates??? - and thus causes electrical signals to be created slightly differently? Don't get me wrong, I love this instrument, but what is the shelf life of this configuration? As we get more sophisticated electronics, we can depend on them to shape our tones more and less on the wood our instruments are made from...and thus make it sound like anything we want, right??? Has anyone messed w/ MIDI, etc.? Cheers, W.