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Ordered a new custom guitar need HELP with pickups!!!!

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by adisu, Aug 28, 2005.


  1. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    Israel
    http://www.[malware url removed].com/smilies/sign/sign0085.gif

    O.K. guys after a long while of indecisions what 6 strings bass to buy I decided to make my own 6 strings BG in a custom shop.
    My problem is that i don't know anything whatsoever about pickups and i have to decide what kind i want to buy.
    I've been looking in the FAQ and in the search to try and learn a little bit about pickups but i only got more confused.

    So i have a few questions and hopefully you guys can help me.
    1.If i buy active PU do i get the EQ knobs to install on the guitar with it??

    2. somebody told me active PU don't get the sound of the wood like passive does , is it true or just nonsense??

    3.can i install one passive PU and one active PU on the same Bass guitar??

    4.what is the difference between the nerrow kind of PU and the thick (fat) kind of PU??

    Many questions,sory :( i hope you guys can help me.
    If any of you have any recommendation about which pickups should i put i would love to hear it. I play jazz funk and rock and i thought of putting bartolini active pickups.

    Thanks in advance.
    I really appreciate your help.

    Adisu.
     
  2. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    1. No, the knobs are separate, but you do get the volume and tone pots.

    2. It is true that most bassists prefer passive. The main reason is because when you push active pickups past flat, they sound overly excited and unnatural. But some people like to have the occasional little boost you can get from actives. Me, I prefer passive.

    3. I believe you can, but why? You're better off sticking to one or the other. Makes for less wiring problems that way.

    4. You know, they do so many different things with pickups these days that you can't really generalize the sounds of the pickups by size. Quite frankly, I don't put a lot of stock into what the pickups sound like. I think it's more important where they are than what they are. You get a good set of pickups, put them in the right place, and your bass is fine.
     
  3. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    Israel
    First of all thanks for your answer JimmyM.

    When you say you prefer passive PU you mean you use Passive pickup with An onboard Preamp???
    Or let me put it other way : does most people who say they use active bass means passive PU with onboard Preamp?? (for example is it so in yamaha's TRB PU's??)

    Thanks again.
    Adisu.
     
  4. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No, when I say I prefer passive, I mean passive pickups with no preamp at all. Regular volume and tone will do for me. Some people are indeed talking about passive pickups with an onboard preamp when they refer to active. I'm not sure where the active part comes in as I'm not very mechanically inclined, but for all intents and purposes it's all the same to me. Just more crap to screw me up.
     
  5. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Adisu,
    you can have:
    passive pickups, passive electronics (vol/tone)
    passive pickups, active electronics (bass/treb/mid)
    active pickups, passive electronics (vol/tone)
    active pickups, active electronics (bass/treb/mid etc)

    If either of the pickups or electronics are active, you need a battery and it's generally referred to as an active bass.

    As to active vs passive, if you look in the pickups faq you'll see some helpful links explaining pros/cons etc. I have both passive and active basses, for when I want different sounds/feels. In my active basses, I always try to have a bypass mode so I can run it passive. The only bass of mine this isn't possible in is my MTD 535, which uses a buffered blend circuit which can't be bypassed.
     
  6. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    If you mean preamp, generally no. If you buy EMG pickups, you get the passive vol/tone controls to go with it. But that's not EQ.
    It's nonsense. Now sometimes active pickups don't sound right in certain basses, but that goes for passive pickups too.
    You can, but it won't sound great without an onboard preamp with a buffered input, such as demeter of j/u-retro
    Do you mean soapbar vs jazz? The answer is: it depends. Could be no difference or a world of difference.
    The term soapbar merely denotes a shape, not a coil configuration.
    Same goes for the jazz pickup, the classic implication is a single coil but it could be a side by side humbucker, stacked humbucker, quad coil humbucker etc.
     
  7. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    I agree that placement is very important. But there are major tonal differences between, say, series and parallel humbuckers so it is important to take these things into consideration.
    A musicman with a dual coil/parallel pickup in the sweet spot will sound quite different to the same exact bass with a dual coil/series pickup in the same location. The MM sound is a dual coil/parallel pickup, series will have much more of a midrange emphasis.
     
  8. adisu

    adisu I admit it, I'm a "user"

    Apr 8, 2005
    Israel
    Thanks a lot davidmwilson.

    You really helped me a lot and finally i feel like i'm begining to understand how this all passive active PU goes.

    It seems like you know a lot about them Pickups so if you don't mind i would be very happy if you can give me your opinion about the PU i was thinking to install on my new guitar:
    2 of bertolini's XXM56M (EMG 45 Shape) - deep tone split coil, extended width (one for the neck one for the bridge).
    Together with Bertolini's NTMB - 3 Band Preamp.

    BTW if it says "Volume (with Acitve/Passive push-pull)" in the specifications does it mean i can switch from passive to active like you said you do on your bass guitars??

    Thanks once again. :) http://www.[malware url removed].com/smilies/sign/sign0031.gif
    Adisu.
     
  9. David Wilson

    David Wilson Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Lower Westchester, NY
    Bart make perfectly fine pickups/preamps, I can't guarantee you'll like the sound since I don't have your ears, but there's nothing wrong with them
    Yes
     
  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well, you know me...I don't put a lot of stock into what the pickups do for tone. If they work and they're low noise, they're perfect.