More Growl, Active or Passive Onboard Preamp in Fender MIA Jazz????

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Jul 13, 2005.

  1. I'm wondering which will give a more growly sound. An active EMG Circut w/ Passive pickups, or just leaving the passive electronics in there w/ the passive pickups.

    If not growly, what would adding an Active EMG (Vol/Vol/Tone) circut do for the sound?

    Its an Alder/Rosewood Fender.

  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    If you want more growl from the passive setup, try raising the bridge pickup a little closer to the strings.
  3. Thats pretty much what I figured, but I though I'd ask anyways. So all and all, active doesn't add growl? What does it do tonaly? Say you were doing an A to B on the same exact bass, what does active do (Strictly Tonally) besides boost the overall volume. Anything?

  4. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I think you're confusing two different things - active preamps and active pickups.
    Adding a preamp to a passive bass will not add 'growl' (it's in quotes since it's such a nebulous term). A preamp can enhance an existing sound, but not totally change it. 'Growl' primarily comes from pickups and pickup location IMO

    As to active vs passive, here are some links:</p><p style=
    There are some advantages to active over passive, just as the reverse is true. It's all down to personal preference, if a sound floats my boat I don't care what it is.
    An active pickup is not necessarily louder than a passive pickup, although it may be - it depends on the pickup in question. The low impedance signal from an active bass is also more suited for long cable runs.
  5. C-5KO


    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada
    Dave, I think you should be charging consultation fees! ;) Say, $5 a post? :D
  6. thanks guys!

    I'm not confusing Acitve Ciructs w/ Active pickups though. I'm strictly talking about Circuts w/ Passive pickups.
    I know going active, from a passive bass changes the sound (SOMEHOW), and you agree by saying it "enhances". But how does it enhance?

    To my ears, passive circuts have a more authentic/natural voice that can sorta be describbed as "growly" in my head. I think active primarly makes a bass sound more bright/modern. Those are my thoughts, but since I'm so obsessed w/ GROWL, I wanted to konw what TB-ers thought.

    I think passive has more growl! :smug: :) :smug:
    But I am curious about throwing an active EMG Vol/Vol/Tone and seeing what happens, but just a little to much effort/$$ to just "see what happens"

    What do you think would happen stricly Tonaly, everything being set flat. What would happen.

    Throwing an Active EMG circut (thats bassically the only circut that will fit w/ a battery in there) vol/vol/tone vs. Passive vol/vol/tone.

    my notion is that it will get perhaps louder/more output and maybe brighter. I also think it will compress the tone and smooth out the low mids and mids just a tad.

    what are your thoughts?
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    A good preamp flat will give you the straight passive sound. By enhancing I mean you can add more bass, cut mids, whatever you want to do.
    I think there are too many variables to make blanket statements like that. You've also obviously never played a Wal bass...
    And yes, I agree, you are obsessed with GROWL.
    There is no such thing as an active EMG vol/vol/tone. When you have vol/vol/tone with active pickups you have active pickups with passive electronics. A tone control is a purely passive control. An EQ control (bass/treble) is an active control.
  8. bazzanderson


    Oct 7, 2002
    Austin, TX
    The most growly bass I've EVER heard has been active...G&L L-2500. Damn....TOO much growl for my tastes. The SUB5 (active) I briefly owned growled pretty damn good as well.
  9. Audiophage


    Jan 9, 2005
    The neck and body wood also can determine a bass' "growl factor".
  10. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
  11. flexo


    May 3, 2005
    Perth, Australia
    I don't have any experience with pre-amps but from what i've read here, wouldn't it be possible to install the preamp and have a push-pull pot to switch from active to passive? That would give you both options
  12. birminghambass

    birminghambass Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    I definitely prefer the growl of a good passive bass. A Jazz with new strings will bark like a dog with the right setup.
  13. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    Going in another direction, what about switching to different passive pickups. There are tons of pickup options for the mighty Jazz bass. Smash wrote a substantial review of some of them in Pickups. Read all about it here.