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Making a bass Active

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by slapmachine, May 15, 2011.

  1. slapmachine


    Oct 4, 2010
    PV, Kansas
    Is it possible for someone to actually make a passive bass active? If it is what would be the process to do that? What preamps and electronics would I use (brand-wise)? I currently have an American Fender FSR Hot Rod Jazz. It has s-1 switching if that changes anything else. Please guys I love active tone, but i'm not sure if i have enough money to drop on an american deluxe jazz which would be the active bass of choice. Thanks!!!!:bassist::bassist::bassist::bassist::bassist:
  2. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009

    add a preamp (which usually will have EQ controls) and you have an active bass.

    in fact, most "active basses" have normal pickups feeding onboard preamps.

    i like the EMG preamps like the BTC or BTS "controls", they're small, transparent, and musical.
  3. jefflam79


    Apr 13, 2007
    I did it with my old MIM Fender P-Bass about 12 years ago when i was in college. Still playing it today. I popped in a set of active P-Bass EMG's and also routed a new bridge humbucker in my P-Bass for added top end snap and tone. I had to route a battery box in the back but if you have room under the pickguard you could put the battery there as well if you dont want to cut into your bass. I didnt get an external preamp, just the active pickups connected to the battery box and the input jack. Massive bottom end tone and a 500% improvement in what I was looking for out of the bass compared to regular MIM P-Bass. The options are there but i suggest not cutting your bass incase you want to sell it as original later. A couple of jazz active pickups and a spot for a battery will get you there.
  4. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington
    Get yourself an Audere or J-retro preamp set up for Jazz bass. Shield all of the cavities of your bass with copper shielding tape. Preamp cavity and pick up cavities. Wire your pickups and jack into the pre and you are good to go. Pretty simple and not too much money. Good luck.
  5. boriology101


    Feb 19, 2008
    Plz correct me if I'm wrong. I believe those EMG control system only work with EMG active pickups. They don't have preamp parts because pickups are already equipped with preamps.
  6. The input impedance of the BTC and BTS is 1M Ohms, which means it is fine for passive pickups.
  7. boriology101


    Feb 19, 2008
    That's a great info! Thank you!

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