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Swapping misbehaving active pickups for passive

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by ubermarcus, Dec 11, 2018.

  1. ubermarcus


    Dec 11, 2018
    Hello everyone, I know very little about how this stuff works, so please be gentle...

    I have a Fernandes Gravity 5 Deluxe which I bought second hand, and I've had nothing but trouble with the internals of it lately.
    My first issue was that, with a brand new battery, the pickups suddenly decided that after about 2 hours of playing they were out of juice.
    Then suddenly there was an overpowering distorted hiss over the top of the signal coming from my guitar. I had it looked at and the guy redid all the basic wiring, so the hiss went away. But that still left me with a guitar that had, apparently at most, about an hour worth of working pickups before dying again.
    I have been told that replacing the actual circuitry will probably cost way more than it's actually worth.

    So what I'm thinking now, the EMG-J pickups are apparently also available in a passive model. Is there a chance that by swapping the active for passive pickups I will be able to negate the issues I've been having?
  2. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    Yes, if you pull all the active guts out and wire up some passive pickups and correct pots, you’ll have a passive bass. As long as you can buy pickups that fit the current routes, it isn’t a huge project.

    It currently has EMG’s?
  3. ubermarcus


    Dec 11, 2018
    Thanks, that's what I was hoping to hear, thanks. It comes with dual EMG J active pickups, which I see on the EMG site come in quite a few types, many of which are passive but all appear to be exactly the same shape and size.
  4. Like @96tbird said, you’d have to take the pickups and the preamp out in order to stop using batteries. However, are you sure it’s not the preamp that’s draining the battery?

    From my experience, EMG pickups don’t eat up batteries. You could try using the pickups only without the preamp and if your battery still drains quickly then the pickups are at fault.
  5. ubermarcus


    Dec 11, 2018
    I have no idea what the issue is, to be honest. I've had a luthier and a music tech repair guy look at it and neither could actually find what was wrong. Both of them pretty much pulled out the wiring and redid it and then said "beyond that, I have no idea. I can only imagine it's the circuitry", which is why I was hoping to just do away with it completely. Would active pickups be of any use without the pre-amp?
  6. MonetBass

    MonetBass ♪ Just listen ♫ Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    Tulsa, OK
    What you have there is actually passive pickups with a (active) pre-amp. You could have it rewired to bypass that so you wouldn't need a battery. To test, you could wire the pickups directly to the output jack.
    96tbird likes this.
  7. ubermarcus


    Dec 11, 2018
    That is very interesting, thankyou! I will definitely look into this!

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