Turning an active bass into a passive one.

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Niels Keijzer, Sep 14, 2001.

  1. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000

    I've read lots of things about j-retro preamps and other onboard preamps to make an older instrument sound more alive or so...
    But I was wondering if an active bass can be made passive also, or if you can get one of those active/passive switches installed in your bass.

    I have an active (entry-level Status) 4-string bass which I like and play a lot, but a battery in my bass is just another thing that might stop working.

    Any ideas?
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    IT depends. Some pickups will function as both active and passive. Others will not. I would suspect that your bass will function only as an active bass. It is likely the PUs were designed to be active from the start and wouldn't be hot enough without a preamp.
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    What you need to know is whether the pickups themselves are active (like most EMGs) or is the active circuit outside of the pickups.

    In the latter case, you can usually bypass the active circuit.

    As far as worrying about the preamp not working, that doesn't seem to worry StingRay owners :rolleyes:

    I've gigged with active basses for 20 years and never had one fail on a gig (or fail at all, for that matter).
  4. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    Brian: I could decipher from your post that I'm a neurotic paranoid geek...

    Chasarms: I think you're right about my pickups...they're purely active.
    Lots of basses are being made with passive pups and active circuitry, but I think mine isn't.
  5. Hey Niels Keijzer, what bass do you own?
  6. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I own a Status Energy 4-string.

    It's not being made anymore, but it once was their cheapest model.
    It still serves me well!
  7. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    If your pickups arent active then I think all youd have to do is buy new pots then rewire your bass.