Should I go Passive or Active?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by John Ruiz, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    I am building (well, started a year and a half ago, and am finally picking it back up) a 6 string fretless with a Black Korina body, a Myrtle top, a Purple Heart neck with an Ebony board.

    I am using a set of Aero single coils and what I can't decide is whether to get a pre-amp or just make it passive.

    I am looking for a nice round tone, that is lively without being too trebly, but also not boomy, and of course, the Jazz growl. What do you guys and gals think??
  2. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Passive. (but active can get lots of tones, its just, different).
  3. Passive. But since you are building it, just route out a big enough cavity to add all that stuff in case you change your mind.

    Active just dates the instrument, invites noise, electrical problems and doesn't sound better. Advantage is it can drive longer cables and give you boost. But if your bass is good and you have a good preamp, you can get whatever boost you need. Just my opnion.

    I couldn't decide whether I wanted a JJ or PJ configuration. So I had the builder (dolan) just route out room for the P pup if were to ever change my mind. Of course, I would need a different pickguard.
  4. JPJ


    Apr 21, 2001
    Chicago, IL
    It really depends on how much of a knob-twiddler you are, how much you play out, and how much control you want in changing (of shifting) the tone of the bass. If you're a "plug-and-play" kinda' guy, then you might want to just route a cavity, as suggested above, and leave it empty for now. If you play out a lot, you may need a 3-band to adjust the tone of the bass for different types of rooms, etc. Also, if you're a big knob-twiddler and like to have a LOT of tone-sculpting ability (which might come in handy with a fretless), then a pre would definatley be the way to go. A lot of fretless players like to bump the mids a bit to get a little more mwah....just depends on what type of a player you are. :bassist:
  5. luknfur


    Jan 14, 2004

    having a control cavity large enough to do whatever you want is a plus in my book, so is the decreased weight that goes with it. In my experience, the routing won't affect tone. One of the things I liked best about a Schec I had was it had a huge control cavity. You don't have to use it but at least you can. Cramming a bunch of stuff in a cavity is not only a pain it induces unreliable performance. If the bass is in the making, now's the time to do it.
  6. Install an active/passive switch. This way you'll have both.
  7. John Ruiz

    John Ruiz

    Oct 9, 2000
    Plano, Tx
    Hmmmm, maybe active/passive will be the way I go... Either way, I am going to route the cavity large enough to fit a pre in there if I decide to later. My hands are huge anyhow, so the more space, the better!