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Ibanez SR400 - Active or passive pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by LinusKarlsson, Dec 20, 2017.

  1. I've got a old Ibanez SR400 (1997, Made in Korea, the black one in the pic) with P/J-pickups. I love the bass but not the sound, to my ears it's muddy and unfocused. After doing a bit of research here on TB it seems that other people have the same problem with their old SR400's.

    I've sort of made my mind up about swapping the pickups for something else. The only question I have is if the pickups that are in the bass now are active or passive, and if the replacement pickups have to be active or passive. Does anyone know?

  2. Trayster2


    Aug 13, 2012
    Palm Coast, FL
    Factory issued, they're active. You can have either as replacements. I had passive DiMarzios put into my SR400, but had it done by someone who knew what he was doing. In doing this, I had one or two knobs extra without function. In hindsight, I wouldn't modify another bass because it's not worth it value wise. Spring for a higher grade rather than modifying.
    Yahboy likes this.
  3. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    Hope you can try the ibby Gio GSR200, maybe you will supprise she sound much better than your SR400 .
  4. You can put any pickups in any bass, as long as you have the right pots, and a preamp with an appropriate input impedance. You will need to figure out what the input impedance of the preamp is. Preamps are typically spec'd for around 1M Ohms, which is fine for most pickups. Sometimes, if active pickups are used, they will have a lower impedance to prevent noise. If this is the case, then passive pickups will be loaded down by the preamp, and sound dark. Note that in general, it is not desirable to have active pickups and a preamp on the same bass. That reduces headroom and gives more noise. Usually you pick one or the other, so stick with passive pickups if possible. Also note that active pickups are rather rare. There are only a couple of companies that make them, so you severely limit your choices by wanting active pickups. Passive P and J pickups are a dime a dozen, so you have plenty of choices.
    bdplaid likes this.
  5. From what I've read about the DXP & DXJ pickups, they are passive...
    but it's easy to check, just look for a wire from the battery going into the pickups.

    If you want real aggression, get the DiMarzio's:

  6. I have been thinking about Dimarzio's, actually. I had a Model P in another bass some years ago and it sounded awesome.

    I took a closer look at the board, and it looks like this. From what I can determine it means passive pups?


    As far as resale value goes it's not really an issue. I'm not planning on selling the bass, I love it dearly apart from the dull sound. And getting new pups is a mod thats easily reversible, if I change my mind later on. I will keep the original pups and can use the more expensive replacements in another bass or sell them separately if I want to.
  7. While you have "active" EQ and electronics I highly highly doubt that you have "active" pickups in that bass.
    96tbird likes this.
  8. D
    Do not think so. I have a 205 it sounded a bit muddy too so I ripped out the Phat2 and fitted a cheap Chinese 3 band preamp. SORTED ! Now sounds great.

    Yahboy likes this.
  9. The wiring indicates passive pickups. Furthermore, you must stick to passive pickups, as the PCB-mount controls would not allow you to swap the pots out for active pickups. However, 99% of P and J pickups on the market are passive, and will work fine for your purpose. Simply choose the pickups that appeal to you.
  10. Just what I hoped for and wantes to hear. Thanks!
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  11. Mechayoshi


    Dec 7, 2015
    Do you like the preamp though? Even with better pickups the preamp might let you down.
  12. It's alright, although I don't fiddle with it much. 95% of the time it's just flat.
  13. I just pulled the trigger on a set of passive P/J-pickups from a Squier bass. Got them cheap, and I figured that if they improve on the sound I might splash out on a Dimarzio set. If not, I haven't lost a whole lot of money.

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