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Making an active bass passive ?????????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Davyo, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Just picked up a used Steinberger Synapse 4 banger yesterday from GC,,,, love the bass but not the 2 or 3 hours of battery life I'm getting.

    I talked to the repair guy today at GC and was informed that the parts to get, to fix the problem, might be very hard to get for the Synapse from Gibson.

    He has had issues in the past getting Gibson parts and if a new circuit board is needed that might even be impossible.

    I would be fine if we gutting the Synapse and just rewired it as a passive bass with a passive EMG pup.

    Is just throwing in a passive EMG a big deal or not ?

    The Pros and cons of doing that ?

    Of course I would loose the active piezo bridge pup on the Synapse but not sure if that would be a big deal or not either ?

    Opinions welcome.

  2. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    If the issue is in the preamp, throwing in a new pickup won't solve a thing - unless you skip the preamp at the same time. But, you can most likely re-wire out the preamp now. I'd bet the pickup is passive and the "active" part is just the pre. You'd have to do that to see the tonal changes, unless someone here has done that on this exact bass. I'm totally unfamiliar with it, so I can't say at all.
    Replacing parts will always change the tone unless you can get direct replacements.
    Losing the pizeo for me would be an issue, as I like Piezos for mixing with mag pickups. Only you can decide if losing that is a big deal for you and this bass.

    Personally, I'd pull it all apart and take a look at it myself and find the issue. But I'm handy with electronics and can troubleshoot these things myself, not pay someone else to. 2-3 hours of battery life is obscenely low. If you put a fresh battery in, is it dead in 2-3 hours of play, or are you leaving the bass plugged in while not playing (i.e. overnight)?
  3. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Intergalactic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon sofware
  4. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Yep, I put in brand new full strength tested battery's as soon as I got the bass,,, played it at home for few hours, unplugged the bass after my few hours of playtime and put it in it's case,,,,, the next night when I plug the Synapse in its DOA.

    I also own other active bass's so I'm real OCD about unplugging all bass's.

    Everything else in my house works, cords, bass amps my other active bass's and passive bass's,,,,,,,, its 100% for sure the Synapse bass is the problem.

    This is also the second Synapse I have purchased in the last year to have this same issue.

  5. Davyo

    Davyo Davyo Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2008
    Las Vegas, Nv
    Thanks for info,,, I will ask my guitar repair guy to call them,,,, and I will as well.

  6. Be_eM


    Jul 27, 2013
    Bavaria, Germany
    Henry made the active boards for Newburgh, Nashville and Music Yo instruments, the former "USA" line. AFAIK he has nothing to do with the Korean made Synapses.

    However, there's a wiring diagram (PDF) available, and the complete harness including PCB is listed as a spare part (SEL-102). Being listed there definitely increases the chance to get this part. ZT3 owners needing spare parts for their trem have less luck.

    My intuition tells me: check for a short between pin 11 and pin 12 (pcb), or ring and ground on the output jack without a plug inserted. It just sounds as if unplugging doesn't switch the electronics off.

  7. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    First, check to see that the output jack is disconnecting when the plug is pulled out.
    Also, check to see there is nothing shorting to ground inside the electronics cavity.
    If the preamp really does have a problem, and you're unable to get a replacement, Bart and EMG make piezo buffers that are designed to work with magnetic pickups, so you can keep that capability.
  8. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    It's been done. :)
    I made this out of a Synapse corpse I bought off eBay.
    I used a Q-Tuner pickup and Villex passive booster.
    Now, a leaky preamp supply should be a very easy fix, likely a ground that touches where it shouldn't.