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Passive Ibanez Models...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Robert May, Feb 28, 2020.

  1. Greetings fellow bassists!

    I am having a bit of a problem... I am finding it difficult to determine which models are PASSIVE. I love playing Ibanez, feels great to me and they look dynamite, but HATE active electronics. I have two lower-end models that are passive and one upper end that is active and this seems to be the case. Internet searching leaves much to be desired, even the official website not giving a straight answer... please help!!! Thank you so very much in advance for your time and knowledge.

    (Thinking about just buying what I want and installing my own passive pickups. Any suggestions there would be greatly appreciated as well, rock on!)

    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  2. Maxdusty


    Mar 9, 2012
    Michigan USA
    Most basses have an active preamp but utilize passive pickups -I believe that's the case with most Ibanez models (except the older SR800 models that have both the Lo-Z or AFR active pickups and active preamp- that comes to mind).

    There are Ibanez models that are both active and passive and have a switch to select between the two, the newer SR500E, SR650, SR750 I know have this ability. There may be more, but that's just off the top of my head.
  3. Crater


    Oct 12, 2011
    Dallas, TX area
    I looked here: ELECTRIC BASSES | PRODUCTS | Ibanez guitars
    You have to look at the individual models to see the 'spec sheet' where the information is.

    The Mikro, AGB and AFB lines are passive only. All the rest have passive pickups with an Ibanez EQ preamp.
    wintremute and Robert May like this.
  4. The new Talmans (TMB500 and TMB505) have an active/passive switch as well - they're pretty sweet lookin' basses.
    Justinian, Robert May and nFinnyD like this.
  5. I guess what I am trying to also get away from is the need for a battery. I have an SR-500 that has an active and passive switch but still will not work when the battery dies. Is this an electrical problem? I am familiar with switching from active to passive on those models. Once again, thank you for the education.
  6. I hate batteries with a passion. Not in pedals, not in basses. It's just one more thing that can go wrong and I just don't need that kind of anxiety.
    jdh3000, Mili, Seashore and 6 others like this.
  7. nFinnyD


    Oct 31, 2017
    I know certain models do work without a battery, my 655 works without the battery specifically! In fact I’ve used the switch as a kill switch in the past by not using a battery in it.

    the TMB30 and 35 are passive as well.

    I agree though, it is a bit of a scavenger hunt to find all of this info.
    Robert May likes this.
  8. SAME!!!!
  9. Word! Thank you. :)
    nFinnyD likes this.
  10. By the way... the SR655 is a SWEET looking bass.
    Bassdirty likes this.
  11. Hmm, I have a SR1800E & it will function w/o a battery when the switch is in the passive position.
    Maybe what you have is any EQ bypass & not really an active/passive switch.

    I have noticed that Ibanez changed from using the term active/passive positions on that switch to EQ bypass, but I can't imagine they would have changed the wiring so that it doesn't function passively.
    or perhaps the SR500E was never meant to operate completely passive.

    SR500E | SR | ELECTRIC BASSES | PRODUCTS | Ibanez guitars

    Robert May likes this.
  12. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff

    Aug 21, 2014
    Just to be sure everybody's on the same page - Does OP have an SR-500 or an SR-500E?

    The difference being, the 500E seems to be a newer model which has the EQ bypass switch and mid frequency select.

    The SR-500 only has mid freq switch..

    If you indeed have the SR-500E my apologies for contributing nothing else to this post.
    Robert May and nFinnyD like this.
  13. If you're looking online, a catalog, even in person:

    Active basses have separate BASS and TREBLE (and more than a few have MIDS) boost/cut controls.

    Look for a battery box (usually on the back of the bass).

    Most have a BALANCE control instead of separate volumes for each pickup.

    Generally, if you see separate volume controls and a TONE control, you're looking at a passive bass.

    There are, of course, some variations on this (some active basses do have an active/passive switch), but generally those clues listed above should serve you well.
    Methaneman and Robert May like this.
  14. nFinnyD


    Oct 31, 2017
    I think there may be more to it than that. I think some have an active/passive switch(or eq bypass) but still need the battery to complete the circuit in order to play even in passive mode.

    My standard 655(not the e model, I can’t speak for it) has two circuits one that runs through the preamp and battery, and one that run to the treble knob only then straight out to input. I’m thinking maybe the 60x and below don’t have this double circuit setup and MUST have a battery to work.

    Of course a decent tech could make this change pretty easily.
    Robert May and Matty Koff like this.
  15. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    I could be mistaken but I don’t think Ibanez makes any basses without electronics anymore. Just curious, why the hatred of eq on the fly?
  16. I think you may be right. Further research on this is warranted. Thank you!
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  17. Batteries. Pure and simple. P.I.T.A.
  18. Element Zero

    Element Zero Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2016
    Hmm. Change ‘em every 3-6 months?
  19. Now, this is EXTREMELY helpful... I was looking for the box on the back, but the knobs are an excellent way to know right away. Much appreciation. Sometimes, things are right in front of you and you don't notice them!
  20. Matty Koff

    Matty Koff

    Aug 21, 2014
    If you never ever forget to unplug your bass guitar everytime you put it down I'm calling it a gift. :)
    Scott Shaw, droo46 and Robert May like this.

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