Alot Of Times People Ask Me About The Difference Between Active
Pickups And Passive Pickups, On Bass Guitars. Well To Tell you honestly its kinda hard to explain unless you have played both you probably will not understand what im telling you. but i will give it my best shot.
Active pickups have or use a pre-amp to boost and or weaken the tone quality of the sound of your instrument. here`s some info.
Active and passive pickups
Pickups can be either active or passive. Pickups, apart from optical types, are inherently passive transducers. So-called active pickups incorporate electronic circuitry to modify the signal. Passive pickups are usually wire wound around a magnet. They can generate electric potential without need for external power, though their output is relatively low, and the harmonic content of output depends greatly on the winding.
Passive pickups are very convenient as they require no power source to operate. They are the most popular and widely used pickup type on electric guitars, and their frequency response curve is unique to the type and manufacturer.
Different Brands Produce Different Sounds
EMG 81 & EMG 85 — pair of popular active pickupsActive pickups require an electrical source of energy (usually one or two 9V batteries) to operate and include an electronic preamp, active filters, active EQ and other sound-shaping features. They can sometimes give much higher possible output. They also are less affected in tone by varying lengths of amplifier lead, and amplifier input characteristics. Magnetic pickups used with ‘active’ circuitry usually feature a lower inductance (and initially lower output) winding that tends to give a flatter frequency response curve.
Maybe You Might Want To Stay Passive
The disadvantages of active pickups are the power source (usually either a battery or phantom power), cost, and less defined unique tonal signature. They are more popular on bass guitars, because of their solid tone; most high-end bass guitars feature an active pickup. Most piezoelectric and all optical pickups are active and include some sort of preamp. Or Even A Graphic Equalizer Built Right In.
The main advantages of active pickups are that they can be louder than a similar grade passive pickup. They also allow more “headroom” and dynamic range. Active pickups produce less noise and hum compared to their passive counterparts – an advantage in itself, but also eliminating the need for a string ground (a wire connecting the strings on most electric guitars to ground somewhere in the circuit,
Usually This Ground Wire is never seen hidden under the bridge.
Essentially using the player’s body as an electronic shield)- a potential shock hazard.
But I have never heard of any one getting electrocuted by playing a Bass Guitar.
Types of Bass Guitar Pickups
Pickups can be split into two categories: passive pickups and active pickups. The difference between passive pickups and active pickups is active ones are battery-powered while passive pickups are not. Each type has its own sound and advantages/disadvantages. And Every Guitar Will Not Sound The Same Even
With Identical Pickup Setups.
The first pickups to be used in bass guitars were passive. When you listen to classic recordings such as Motown hits with James Jamerson, The Beatles, and Cream, you are hearing passive pickups. Passive pickups tend to have a warm, full, round, dynamic tone. Their fat, punchy tone is their appeal. And The Sounds Are More
Easily Duplicated.And More Reliable.
Passive pickups do not give you much control over their tone. Basses have bass and treble controls much like your stereo system. On passive pickups you can only turn down (cut) these bass and treble frequencies. That means you can only take away treble or bass from the tone of the pickups. That’s not necessarily bad. You just have fewer options for shaping the tone of passive pickups. But passive Pickups are reliable in duplicating your sound over and over, Like in a studio setting for instance
Passive pickups use larger magnets and can pick up more noise and interference than active pickups.
Pickups are important to the sound of a bass, ranked right up there with strings as a way of defining your sound. They probably have more effect on your final sound than whatever combinations of woods are chosen for that perfect tone. To complicate the issue, a pickup can give quite different results on different basses. Changing strings will affect a pickup’s response as well. A number of active and passive pickups are available for bass. When choosing a bass with active pickups, remember that battery life and replacement will become an issue. You Better Get Used To Carrying At Least One Or Two 9 volt battery`s in your guitar case at all times.
Active pickups use a pre-amplifier, or pre-amp. The pre-amp is powered by a 9-volt battery (or sometimes 2 – an 18-volt system). The pre-amp allows you to both cut and boost frequencies. This gives you more control over the tone coming out of your bass. How much control you have will depend on the features of the pre-amp. Some pre-amps simply have a bass and treble control while others have mid-range controls and other extras.
If the battery dies, many active pickup systems will stop working. You will need to remember to carry spares and put in fresh batteries before those important gigs. Depending on the bass and how much you play, batteries may last from 2 weeks to a year. Hard To Tell All Systems Are Different And so are styles Of Play . Always remember to unplug active basses when not in use to avoid draining the battery.
Active pickups have a hotter (louder) output than passive pickups. There is less signal loss on the way to the bass amp.
Active pickups tend to be bright, clear and snappy sounding.
Active pickups use smaller magnets and pickup less external noise and interference. But, some pre-amps can be noisy especially when you boost the treble. You may hear a lot of hiss.
It’s hard to generalize the sonic differences between active and passive pickups. A good active pickup may sound warmer than a poor passive pickup. You will need to hear and experience the difference and try many basses and pickup systems.
Its Really a personal individual Preference For what you are looking for in a sound.
If you are buying your first bass, you will probably be fine choosing either passive or active pickups. On cheaper basses, the quality of the electronics is usually not that great anyway. But, you can easily replace them if you like the rest of the bass.
Its easy And not really super expensive to change pickups active or to or from passive pickups, Campared to changing Basses.If You Are Not Comptfortable With Doing This yourself by all means don`t you could really damage your bass. Just take it in to your local Music shop.
They will certainly be able to get it done for you, And Probably sell you what you need as far as parts go.
written by : ThePlayer