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Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by moonman5952, Apr 15, 2010.
Can some please explain the difference between the two in laymens terms for me?Thanks in advance.
Active means that a component in the circuit requires a power source (Usually a battery.) in order to operate.
Passive means that only passive components are used.
Actives require a battery, passives don't. Actives seem to have a bit harsher sound (at least to me) and have a more complex electronic set-up under the PG. I have owned a couple of actives and never really cared for them, but it's all up to your particular taste. If your into more simple, reliable stuff, stick with passive pups.
Most active basses have passive pups and onboard battery operated 2 or 3 band active eq. The preamp does two things. First it changes the output impendance from high to low. This provides better full freq sound for long cable runs to many people. The preamp also generally boosts the basses output level some. Even with the tone controls flat. 2nd thing preamp does is allow you to cut or boost treble and bass freq's at prescribed freq centers. If its 3 band, it'll also do this for midrange freqs too.
Just finished replaceing my BC Rich eagle P pup bass'es passive tone with active 2-band one. This created two sound changes. The little tweak that low impendance gives plus little bit hotter output even with the tone controls flat.
Active can and to many does impart a little bit more modern sound, or what some might call a slight digital sound edge. This can be good or bad depending on the music its mixed with and final sound wanted.
A fair amount of active preamps have poor treble and midrange center freq's to me making them not as useful as other choices would be musically. This being the main reason it took me awhile to decide on what preamp to get. Since I knew what treble center I wanted, and a fair amount of the popular pre's dont offer it. I though about getting a 3 band for it. But decided against since I was reasonable able to determine I'd hardly if ever use the mid control on this bass.
While the eagle bass worked very well in mixes passive. I find it works excellent now with the preamp added. To include when running the bass and treble flat or with treble rolled off a tad like I did with the passive tone control it had before.