Musicman made passive

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by clench, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. clench

    clench Guest

    Jan 2, 2009
    San Rafael Ca. 94903
    Hey you all might think I'm crazy but I'm thinking of by-passing the pre-amp on my '77 stingray and making it passive. Anybody done this? Also. I am in need of a re-fret, what wire do you recommend? The original wire is very tiny. Should I be committed? clench
  2. The refret should be posted in the setup and repair section.

    As far as the pickup goes:
    Plenty of basses out there utilize passive circuitry with MM style pickups. I cant say how well this would turn out for a stingray, but in theory, you should be able to get a great passive sound from the pickup.

    Were you looking for an active/passive switch type of setup, or did you want to convert over to a fully passive volume and tone circuit?
  3. sunbeast

    sunbeast Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Denver, CO
    The problem with the stock MM pickups in alot of their basses is that they are very low output pickups designed specifically to be used in conjunction with a preamp. I'm not sure if that was always the case- I wouldn't be surprised if the older pickups were a bit hotter considering how hot the G&L pickups were that came after them. I know that the aftermarket Nordstrand MM pickups are hot enough to be used without a pre, and they were supposed to have been based on the pickups from an early MM. You just have to decide if you want to risk the possible decline in resale value after the mod (though in this economy, that wouldn't be as big of a concern to me as it used to be!) They should have a pretty balanced frequency response even if they are incredibly quiet, though that generally sounds thin to most people that are used to the mid-oriented character of hot passive pickups. Can't hurt to try...

  4. JTE

    JTE Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2008
    Central Illinois, USA
    A friend of mine by-passed the pre in his silver pre-EB StingRay years ago. This was shorlty after I got my first 'Ray in 1979, and it worked fine that way.

  5. Jean-Pierre


    Nov 22, 2004
    I changed the pup in my son's OLP MM2 bass with a Bartolini that I had (I don't remember the model). The sound is very good and I play it often because of that. Since I also have a Sterling stock, I can compare. The OLP's sound is different but very interesting.
  6. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    If you wan't it passive, then just pull the battery out. It will still function passively.

    I've seen lots of battery bypass switches installed over the years. (I believe it's a battery bypass I've seen in other peoples old StingRays, not actual preamp bypass)

    Then when I got my '78 Ray, it had a switch installed because the bass had a tendency of draining batteries.
    So I removed the toggle switch and installed a modern EBMM output jack that switches off the preamp when the cable is unplugged. no more battery drain.

    But yeah I think you should be committed. The old black epoxy 2eq preamps are one of the most beautiful sounding preamps, period. :(