Installing Active Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by cnl83, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. cnl83


    Jan 30, 2007
    I ordered some Dragonfire pickups to replace on my 200.00 bass. I have the PJ setup with an Active EQ. Can I use the same controls that are currently on my bass and just replace the pickups? Would that work?
  2. frostymoose


    Mar 26, 2008
    Are you sure they are active pickups? I went to dragonfire's site and I could only find 2 kinds of bass pickups. A P and a J set, neither of which were active.

    If it was one of those, then yes you should be able to use any active preamp with them.

    True active pickups are gold MECs or most EMGs. The difference is that they require power to operate the pickup itself. Most basses that are said to have active electronics have a battery-powered on-board preamp wired to regular passive pickups. Any of these pickups in such a bass can be run passively as well.

    If they really are active pickups, then you will at the very least need to change the volume pots. Active pickups usually use 25k pots (and I think I've seen some with 50k). Passive pickups tend to use 250k or 500k. As for the tone controls, I think those will be fine (I recently built a bass using an EMG control set with active pickups, but the controls were said to work with both active and passive pickups.)
  3. cnl83


    Jan 30, 2007
    Positive they are active
  4. davecanady

    davecanady Guest

    Aug 24, 2008

    Thanks for the insight. I play bass. I don't do electronics. I have a 1990 Ibanez SR800 P-J configuration. There are Bartolini and Carvin pups. It looks like the battery was added after market. It's in the space with the pots. There are solder changes all over the place. I thought this had active pickups but I'm thinking it just has the preamp.

    What do I need to look for to figure out what I have? The volume of this bass is 25% less than my Epiphone bass but I really like the tone it generates. I've replace the battery.
  5. mr88


    Jan 16, 2010
    hi! is the bartolini p-up,the one that sounds les than the epi p-up or the carvin?my guess is is that the carvin isn't an active p-up!also the activ soundgears have and separete battery casing on the back! hope it helps!
  6. davecanady

    davecanady Guest

    Aug 24, 2008
    That bass has passive pups and an active eq system. The chip in the eq was fried. I replace the full eq harness and pots but kept the pups. The bass now plays beautifully and is powerful.