what's in an active pup?

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Microbass, Feb 20, 2003.

  1. hi all,

    id like to start by asking; what is in an active pup?
    wires, obviously ;).. BUt say I want a new active pre amp for my gibson (passive) I'd need a new pick up, ya?

    Why would this be? :confused:

    thanks :)
  2. an active pickup is passive in construction but has a pre amp built in
    as with emg they give a passive type cut tone control but also powered eq cut and boost to match.
    if you have passive pickups you can add a preamp either in your bass or outside and have control over the eq.
    an active pickup has magnets and wires just like a passive one and gets any 'heat' from the preamp.
    also the signal is changed to suit long cable runs and is more 'clean'
    emg website gives a good explanation in general terms.
  3. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    You can put in a preamp and keep the existing (passive) pickups. The preamp just takes the signal from the pickups and amplifies it / EQs it. Preamp modules (with knobs etc, that go in the control cavity) are generally called active electronics when they are powered by a battery.

    Acitve pickups (of which there aren't many, basically all real EMGs and only a few of the other brands' models) have preamps built into them - usually simple ones without EQ. This allows them to design the pickups differently, for instance using fewer turns of wire. These types of pickups require a battery for power.

    You can hook active pickups up to an active preamp (such as the EMG BTC module) too if you want, though I think they'll work fine through passive controls (volume/tone).