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SD AJB-5s

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by SpankBass, Feb 10, 2003.


  1. I see a GREAT deal on these active Seymore Duncans (99 bucks, but will probably be less because I know the people at the store) to drop in my MIM Fender Jazz, and I was wondering if anyone had any experiance with them. Are they hum cancelling?

    Also, I am a bit fuzzy about this whole "active pickup" versus "active preamp" deal. From what I understand, active p-ups have the preamp built inside the pickup, and an active onboard preamp is a preamp built on the bass, right? What other differences are there? Do you still control active p-ups the same way you would control an onboard preamp? Is the sound quality any different? Is there any way to switch active pickups to passive when needed? If I leave my bass plugged in, will it drain the batteries from active pickups? Would there be enough room for a battery under my pickgaurd, or will I need to route a new place for it? What is the meaning of life?

    Thanks for the help guys/gals!
     
  2. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    OK...let me have a go at this.

    Active pups won't work without a preamp. Preamp could be built into the pup casing (such as with some EMGs), or it could be elsewhere on the bass (such as with Alembics).

    You can also have passive pups (they work without a battery and do not need a preamp to work), with an on-board preamp to provide you with more tone control.

    Active pups can't be converted to passive operation as they won't work at all without a preamp.

    The way it all looks from outside is the same - you have more or less same controls, depending on the particular bass.

    Sound is different, and as always, a matter of personal preference. As a GENERAL rule, active pups are supposed to be more 'hi-fi', that is, have a fairly even frequency response across the spectrum.

    Passive pups, depending on how 'hot' they are, would tend to emphasize certain frequencies, more often than not middle frequencies.

    Generally, on all active basses (those that have batteries) input jack is also a power switch, so yeah, if you leave it plugged in, battery will be drained.

    Depending on what else you need to install, a MIM Jazz should have enough room in the control cavity to accomodate a battery - my Jazz has a J-Retro preamp and a battery in there, and I didn't have to do any routing.

    As for you last question...no idea!
     
  3. Thank you very much Brooks!

    Now that we got that out of the way, I'd still like to know if anyone has had experiance with these p-ups.
     
  4. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    LOL! And what would you call Alembic pups???? Where the preamp is has nothing to do with it. What makes it active is that it won't work at all without a preamp.

    Active pups produce very low output. Some manufacturers, such as EMG chose to put a tiny preamp right in the casing which only boosts the signal, and then put tone-shaping preamp elsewhere on the bass. Some, such as Alembic, put everything in the control cavity and nothing in the pup casing. Where it is has NOTHING to do with what it is.
     
  5. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    Brooks,

    I have to disagree with you.

    Active pickup means that the pickup has an internal preamp and produces low impedance signal. Active pickups NEED a battery to work, nothing more!

    Active electronics can be added to active or passive pickups to allow futher tonal possibilities (boost and/or cut of choosen frequencies for example)

    Even if it's not totally clear from their website, I assume that Alembic "activator" pickups are active style so they do feature a internal preamp. You can then use them with the specificaly designed Alembic preamp or with others brands preamps like done here


    Peace, JP
     
  6. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    I am sorry guys, but active simply means that by definition you must have a preamp to boost the signal to a workable level. Active does not in any shape or form refer to where that preamp is physically located.

    Alembics are active - try playing one without a battery. Alembics don't have a passive mode for the same reason - there is no such thing as passive mode on a bass which uses active pups.

    Perhaps we should refer this question to some of our electronics experts on this board?
     
  7. stroy05

    stroy05 Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Fodera Basses, Noble Amps, Aguilar Amps, JHAudio Inears
    Here's how you can tell that active pickups can work without a preamp in the cavity of a bass. go to Seymour Duncans website and look at the schematics. There you will see that the active pickups only require a volume, volume, tone, and a 9 volt. Not bass mid treble controls there to make them work.

    But you can add a preamp to further contour the sound you want
     
  8. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Stroy, you seem to be confusing things. That 9v is there because it powers the preamp which in turns boosts the signal coming out of active pups. You can make a preamp that has no tone shaping at all, such as preamps used to boost the signal out of a stylus on a turntable.

    ACTIVE in 'active pups' simply means that you MUST have a preamp. Makes no diff. if that preamp also has tone control or not - it's still a preamp. And that tone control in turn could be not there at all (preamp only), or active (boost/cut at certain frequencies) or just passive (cut only).
     
  9. stroy05

    stroy05 Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Fodera Basses, Noble Amps, Aguilar Amps, JHAudio Inears
    Yes the preamp is built in the pickups that is the reason for the 9 volt. That is what i was getting at. There is no way to bypass the preamp in the pickups. So the 9 volt must always be used no matter what.

    I'm not understanding what you are saying about the tone control knobs. You can have a tone control knob (treble roll off) or you can have a 2 or 3 band eq in addition.
     
  10. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    OK..I am saying two things:

    One - active pups are called active because they MUST have a preamp and that preamp could be either within a pickup casing or elsewhere on the instrument. Location of preamp is not important - the fact that pups won't work without it IS important.

    Two - tone control has nothing to do with any of the above. People can 'package a preamp and a tone control together if they want to, that has nothing to do with my first point.

    That tone control could be active or passive, that is not relevant to this discussion.
     
  11. stroy05

    stroy05 Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Endorsing Artist: Fodera Basses, Noble Amps, Aguilar Amps, JHAudio Inears
    I think we are both saying the same thing. I must have miss understood your post
     
  12. JP Basses

    JP Basses

    Mar 22, 2002
    Paris FRANCE
    what meekster says!

    JP
     
  13. Brooks

    Brooks

    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    From Seymour Duncan web site, Glosssary section:

    "Active Pickup - A pickup using an electronic preamp to achieve gain enhancement, tonal shaping and/or output impedance reduction. Some advantages include less susceptibility to noise, greater flexibility in creating new tones and the elimination of high frequency losses caused by driving long cables."

    Maybe we are talking semantics - An Active Pickup SYSTEM has two parts - an active pickup, and a matching preamp. To you, an Active Pickup has two parts - the pickup and a preamp. Seems same to me...but as per that blurb on SD website, they are talking about two things, and they do not mention that they have to be in the same casing.
     
  14. Good to know that I stir up controversy.
     
  15. What am I getting myself into?

    I am buying the pickups (how could I not? that is such a great deal!), but thats not what is worrying me. I am letting an inexperianced DRUMMER install them!! :eek:

    This, and I quote, is a sum of all his electrical experiance:
    "Uhhh, I can solder good!"

    Basically, the deal was, he'd get me a deal on the pickups (on top of them being half off anyway!), installation is free, and he would pay for anything he ruins and pay for them to be professionally installed if necessary. All in exchange to get some experiance.

    Wish me luck.
     
  16. Myabe its lucky for me that they didn't fit! It says on the box its for a 5 string set, but it looks like they would fit a 4 string.

    Whaddya gonna do?
     
  17. Nope, both the bridge and neck pickup were probably half an inch shorter than my stock pickups. I would have to re-route the places where the screws go, because that didn't line up.

    I still think that they actually have a 4 string set, even though it says its for a 5 string on the box.
     
  18. :( indeed.