Can you put active pickups in a passive bass?

Merritt Trantow asked a question: Can you put active pickups in a passive bass?
Asked By: Merritt Trantow
Date created: Mon, May 31, 2021 6:12 PM
Date updated: Fri, Jun 24, 2022 6:07 AM


Top best answers to the question «Can you put active pickups in a passive bass»

A Passive bass is a normal, run of the mill bass with a basic single tone control… Most active basses have passive pickups with active circuits. But some basses do have actual active pickups like those made by EMG. In those cases you're looking at pickups that are battery powered rather than the preamp.


Those who are looking for an answer to the question «Can you put active pickups in a passive bass?» often ask the following questions:

🏁 Can you use active pickups with passive bass?

That you have to worry about battery failure. So, if the bass really does have active PUPs (and that's by far the least common way of making active instruments), you can't make the PUP passive. An active PUP means there's some sort of pre-amp built into the PUP housing.

🏁 Can i put passive pickups in an active bass?

That's how most active basses work, so it'll be fine. The passive pickups are just coils of wire. The tiny signal generated then gets fed to an onboard preamp where it's amplified and tone can be messed with, and then output to the jack socket. That's exactly how most active basses are set up.

🏁 How do i know if my bass pickups are active or passive?

  1. If the bass has batteries under the small plate then you have an active bass guitar with active pre amp.
  2. If the bass does not have a plate with batteries then it is a passive bass guitar with no preamp.

9 other answers

There are five basic possibilities for a bass: 1. passive pickups, passive EQ 2. active pickups, passive EQ 3. passive pickups, active EQ 4. active pickups, active EQ 5. passive pickups and EQ but an active gain stage (not very common) If either the pickup or EQ is active, you need a battery in the bass.

You can't run active pickups passively, but you can run passive pickups w/o the preamp. The active/passive switch on a bass is to bypass the preamp. I'd suggest the Premium Soundgear series from Ibanez.

A passive circuit doesn’t require extra electricity in order to do its job beyond what’s already coming in through the cable. The bass world tends to differ from the guitar world in that you’ll find a lot more basses that have passive pickups but active tone shaping, whereas if someone has an active guitar it’s generally the pickup itself that is active. There are active bass pickups too though. Here’s a look at what’s what. Passive. Okay, so those very first basses had one ...

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.

Your replacement could be a relatively inexpensive passive setup, or it could be an active preamp that has a passive switch. If it's passive it will likely have an output jack on the control plate. If that's the case you can leave your side output jack disconnected - or vice versa - or have both output jacks wired in parallel so either would work.

The term active bass usually refers to the addition of a preamp, the same as the one in your amp and this preamp is powered by a battery. So think Active is powered, Passive is not. Most active basses have passive pickups with active circuits. But some basses do have actual active pickups like those made by EMG. In those cases you’re looking at pickups that are battery powered rather than the preamp.

To reiterate, yes, active pickups produce a greater output compared to passive pickups, thus making them louder. Even better is you don’t have as much signal loss as the sound travels from the pickup to the amplifier. With the pre-amp, you can adjust your frequencies for the active pickup, either increasing or decreasing them.

An energetic bass has an internal, battery-powered preamplifier, not as the front of a conventional bass amp. Basses with active electronics don’t automatically possess active pickups in actuality. Nowadays, lively basses are more inclined to be armed with passive pickups and a dynamic preamp/EQ.

Basses with active electronics do not necessarily have active pickups — in fact, these days, active basses are more likely to be equipped with passive pickups and an active preamp/EQ. These powered circuits usually run on a single 9-volt battery, but lately we’re seeing a trend: instruments that run on 18 volts with compartments for two 9-volt batteries.

Your Answer

We've handpicked 22 related questions for you, similar to «Can you put active pickups in a passive bass?» so you can surely find the answer!

Can you turn passive pickups active?

No, you can not change a passive pickup into an active one.

Do you prefer passive pickups or active pickups?
  • They generally prefer one or t’other, and there’s often little middle ground. Players who prefer passive pickups are quick to aggressively attack active ones, and vice versa. One of the most common, stereotypical blanket statements frequently goes something like this: “Active pickups are too sterile sounding.
How are active pickups different from passive pickups?
  • Active pickups have similar basic construction to passive pickups, but the circuitry uses an active preamp (usually powered by a 9-volt battery) to boost the signal, allowing low-impedance designs (high current, potentially low voltage) incorporating fewer wraps of coil wire and less powerful magnets.
How are active pickups different to passive pickups?
  • Difference Between Active and Passive Pickups Active pickups require a separate power source (batteries), whereas there is no such requirement in case of passive pickup Passive pickups are cheaper but provide lesser control to players. Active pickups send a higher output signal, and produce a full range sound.
Why are passive pickups better than active pickups?
  • The sound also has more power due to that battery. Without a battery, passive pickups cannot generate as strong of an electrical signal. To overcome this, you’ll need an especially hardy amplifier to increase the volume and projection of your guitar sound.
Are schecter diamond bass pickups active?

I just purchased the Schecter 004 from the diamond series. Unfortunately, it did not come with a manual, and Schecter's web site wasn't much help. I understand the EQ is active/passive (Passive pull out volume control.) But now I'm reading in some reviews, that it also has passive/active pick-ups made by Schecter.

Are bare knuckle pickups active or passive?
  • All bare knuckle pickups are passive.
Are electric guitar pickups active or passive?

Active pickups rely on a battery and can deliver sounds at a greater output, thus providing consistency and power to your guitar sound. Passive pickups have copper wire and a magnet that sense string vibrations. These vibrations translate into currents that get fed out of your amp.

Are emg hz pickups active or passive?

This pickup - the passive equivalent in tone to the EMG 81 active pickup - is especially well-suited for the bridge position. HZ pickups come with EMG's 5-wire quik-connect output, which allows for a number of wiring schemes.

Are single coil pickups active or passive?

Active pickups may not be as mainstream as passives, but over the last thirty years they have seen a steady rise in popularity. Innovated by EMG in the ’80s, most active pickups share the fundamental wire-wrapped magnet design that passives are based on, but the approach to their construction is slightly different.

Are the noiseless pickups active or passive?
  • Fender Noiseless Pickups are not active and categorically ‘passive’ pickups. The reason is they do not adopt any preamp stage which needs powering with a 9V battery]
Can i replace active pickups with passive?

Active pickups will usually use 25k pots, which won't work well with the new passives. They also have the wiring for the battery, and possibly some sort of quick connect system, which won't work with the passives. You'll also need to ground the pickups to the bridge. You might need to drill under the bridge.

Can you mix active and passive pickups?

Yes, you can have active and passive pickups in one guitar, but be warned — setting this up is not for beginners. Read on and see what your options are.

Can you swap passive for active pickups?

You may find mixing the active and passive together to be more trouble than it's worth because of different cap and or values. Also the output levels and impedance will be really different between the two pups. If you are planning on doing both eventually, id just wait and do them both at the same time.

Why do bass guitars have active pickups?

Simply put, guitars or basses that have “active” electronics use a power source to power an onboard preamp… Since the signal on active pickups is boosted, all those frequencies can either be cut or boosted, allowing you to mix in more bass, mids, or treble to your tone.

Can you change from passive to active pickups?

In this tutorial we show you how to change out the passive pickups in your guitar for active pickups. Check out our free, comprehensive pickup installation c...

Can you mix emg passive pickups with active?

The passive pickups, however, will work fine. If you have a guitar with two pickups and two volume pots, with a three-way switch, there is another alternative. Use the 25K pots for the EMG, and the 250K pots for the passive pickup

Can you use active pots for passive pickups?

Active pickups are used with 25K pots. Passive humbuckers use 500K pots (or maybe 250k but that’s much less common). First, I tried using a 500K pot as the master volume. This worked fine when the volume was on full. And switching to the passive pickup and rolling off the volume worked fine too.

What's the difference between active and passive pickups?
  • Innovated by EMG in the ’80s, most active pickups share the fundamental wire-wrapped magnet design that passives are based on, but the approach to their construction is slightly different. EMG’s products, for example, feature far less wire coils than most passive pickups.
Which is better active or passive guitar pickups?
  • As you can see, the benefits of active pickups go on and on. Objectively, they win in almost every comparison. Ironically though…the majority of the guitar-playing world STILL prefers the sound of passive pickups. And it may be for no other reason than it’s the sound we’ve become accustomed to over the years.
Can you install active pickups on a guitar with and active circuitry and passive pickups?


Can you put active pickups in a passive guitar?

Installing Active Pickups on a Passive Guitar If you wanted to install an active pickup on your guitar that currently uses passive pickups, the main thing you need to consider is where the battery will go. The main option is to use a router and create a cavity to install the battery.