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Killswitch?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by tplyons, Sep 15, 2003.


  1. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Alright, I owned a Gibson Nikki Sixx Blackbird way back in the day, returned it a few days after buying it because I didn't hear a difference in tone from my SR400. Low and behold, it was all my amp's fault and now these basses are pretty hard to find :rolleyes:

    Anyway, to the point, I loved the simplistic control of an on-off switch. I have a P-bass with active EMG and a volume and a tone knob. I was wondering if I installed a killswitch if I would hear that horrid pop. I figure I won't because the pickups are active, not like my Stingray with passive pickups and active preamp.

    Anyway, with my thinking, I would use a SPST (On/On) Toggle switch, and basically just splice it into the middle of my battery lead to open the circuit when the switch is in the off position. Will this work? Will I get a horrid pop?

    Any better suggestions?
     
  2. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Jun 14, 2003
    people often get this confused. The EMG is a passive pickup, with a preamp just like your stingray, its just that the pre is actually in the pickup. IMO, as soon as you add an on board circuit of just about any description, the pickup becomes active. Confusing! :)


    anyway, I'm afraid your idea won't work - you will get a horrid pop unless your vol is all the way down. Are you wanting to just kill the sound, or turn the battery off as well? To just kill the sound, run one side of the switch to the hot output (jack tip or centre lug of vol pot) and the other side to earth (jack sleeve or wherever is convenient). I'd use a sheilded wire from the hot (only connect the braid at one end or even use the shield as your switch earth), but with EMGs you probably don't need to. Earthing the output through a switch this way is electrically virtually the same as turning your vol pot all the way down.

    If you want to turn the battery off as well, you can try one of those pots that click a switch when turned all the way anti-clockwise, but in practise this is not so good, because you'll still get a little pop because the vol is not quite all the way down by the time the switch has clicked. Besides, you might find it hard to get a 25K one. Quietly switching the battery in and out requires some pretty fancy active switching etc, and IMO is not worth the trouble, considering that a good 9V will last for months and months with EMGs under normal conditions.
     
  3. geshel

    geshel

    Oct 2, 2001
    Seattle
    No. An active pickup has a preamp inside of it, by definition. It's as simple as that. If it's not in the pickup, the pickup is not active. It's passive. If bass has a preamp in it (in the pickup or not), the bass is active. By definition.

    Anyway, "active pickups" are designed with that preamp in mind. They are wound very much differently than passive pickups. It has a big effect on the sound.
     
  4. RobbieK

    RobbieK

    Jun 14, 2003
    Kinda my point, reguarding tplyons's stingray.
    What does it matter where the pre is? As far as I've seen, those stingrays always have preamps, so I'm guessing that MM design those big humbuckers as active pickups(!?). The coils are only wound to about 2K, (Unlike Pbass coils at 5K-6K. Plus of course the magnets are different, etc.) The thing is though, IMO they actually sound better as passive pickups! (ie remove the stock pre). In parallel and "single" coil (+dummy coil) modes they don't have tons of output, but they really sound fantastic. Of course these settings can be boosted to that of the passive/series setting with a simple buffer/preamp with about 6dB of gain. So you end up with a pickup that is passive in series, and active in parallel and single modes! Confused? The original "passive" pickup from my Pbass sounds great with a preamp...

    :D