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dumelow

Confused about active pickups/preamp

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Hi,

Ive got a 2003 model Ibanez SR700 which means it differs from other models by have a P/J pickup config. It has an active 3 band preamp. I dont know if it has active or passive pickups in it, Im not sure how to tell. I want to upgrade the pickups, and eventually the preamp. Will any combination work, as long as it physically fits in the bass?? Can I keep the active preamp and put active or passive pickups in? And can the preamp be replaced by any 3 band active preamp or is there more to it than that?

Obviously the next question will be, which pickups and preamps are considered to be the definite go-to improvements on stock parts?

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It will likely have passive pickups and an active preamp, as all Ibanez's i have seen have that configuration. So you can just pop in some passive pickups of your choice and wire them up to the existing active preamp or change the preamp if thats what you want.

Liam

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[quote name='dumelow' post='1277864' date='Jun 21 2011, 10:44 PM']... I dont know if it has active or passive pickups in it, Im not sure how to tell. ...[/quote]

One way to tell is by counting the number of wires going to the pickups. If the pickup wires have 2 contacts then they're passive. Active pups need a power supply as well, so need 3 wires.

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thanks for the help. looks like the pickups are definitely passive then. That makes things easier, seems to be a lot more passive pickups about than active.

will changing passive pickups and keeping the same preamp make much of a difference?

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Yep, if you change the pups but keep the preamp then you should hear some difference. How much is a matter of opinion and, obviously, depends on which pups you change from/to.

But I'd guess that exactly the same could be said if you were proposing to keep the pups and change the preamp. Both contribute to the sound, probably in roughly equal measure.

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[quote name='dumelow' post='1277864' date='Jun 21 2011, 10:44 PM']Hi,

Ive got a 2003 model Ibanez SR700 which means it differs from other models by have a P/J pickup config. It has an active 3 band preamp. I dont know if it has active or passive pickups in it, Im not sure how to tell. I want to upgrade the pickups, and eventually the preamp. Will any combination work, as long as it physically fits in the bass?? Can I keep the active preamp and put active or passive pickups in? And can the preamp be replaced by any 3 band active preamp or is there more to it than that?

Obviously the next question will be, which pickups and preamps are considered to be the definite go-to improvements on stock parts?[/quote]

Hi dumelow, I'm assuming it's similar to this model?

>>> [url="http://www.ibanezregister.com/Gallery/basses/sr/gal-sr700.htm"]Ibanez register SR700 2003[/url]




If so, it should have the 'DX-P' and 'DX-J' branded pickups which, I think, were passive but also included in some of the lower end of the range as well (SR300 > SR700). I think the SR700 differed by having an active preamp.
(I may be mistaken though and there are at least a couple of forum members who are very knowledgable on Japanese basses and may help out. :) )



[quote name='LiamPodmore' post='1277884' date='Jun 21 2011, 10:57 PM']It will likely have passive pickups and an active preamp, as all Ibanez's i have seen have that configuration.[/quote]

Not necessarily, I've got a '98 SR800 ...



... with active pickups ...



The 'AFR-' stands for 'active full range'.

If your looking to upgrade either, well, I'd [i]probably[/i] look at the pickups first. But then, after that, you may wonder about the preamp? :) And then down the 'slippery slope of expense' you may slide.
Try a search on here for 'preamp' and 'pickup' and you'll find loads of lovely information about choices. :lol:

It all depends how good this bass is for you, disregarding any electronics. Is it worth the cost to upgrade it?

For what it's worth, my Ibby is the most natural feeling bass I've ever played, it hugs me like a well toned ballet dancer. I am seriously debating whether to splash out on some high end 'tronics myself! :D

Keep us posted.

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Thats the one mate! exact same. I absolute love it, in my 7/8 years of playing bass Ive never found a bass that has felt more comfortable to play, not one. Its definitely worth upgrading though, cause the sound doesnt please my ears quite as much as jazz basses have been doing recently. Ive played a few jazz basses, and though about buying one because I really do love the sound, but I miss the active preamp, and as I mentioned, my ibanez still feels better to play. I know a P/J configuration wont ever sound the same as a J/J config, but with the right choice of pickups and a decent preamp, surely it can be versatile enough to sound real close.



[quote name='Sawtooth' post='1282399' date='Jun 25 2011, 07:50 PM']Hi dumelow, I'm assuming it's similar to this model?

>>> [url="http://www.ibanezregister.com/Gallery/basses/sr/gal-sr700.htm"]Ibanez register SR700 2003[/url]




If so, it should have the 'DX-P' and 'DX-J' branded pickups which, I think, were passive but also included in some of the lower end of the range as well (SR300 > SR700). I think the SR700 differed by having an active preamp.
(I may be mistaken though and there are at least a couple of forum members who are very knowledgable on Japanese basses and may help out. :) )





Not necessarily, I've got a '98 SR800 ...



... with active pickups ...



The 'AFR-' stands for 'active full range'.

If your looking to upgrade either, well, I'd [i]probably[/i] look at the pickups first. But then, after that, you may wonder about the preamp? :) And then down the 'slippery slope of expense' you may slide.
Try a search on here for 'preamp' and 'pickup' and you'll find loads of lovely information about choices. :lol:

It all depends how good this bass is for you, disregarding any electronics. Is it worth the cost to upgrade it?

For what it's worth, my Ibby is the most natural feeling bass I've ever played, it hugs me like a well toned ballet dancer. I am seriously debating whether to splash out on some high end 'tronics myself! :D

Keep us posted.[/quote]

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[quote name='dumelow' post='1282930' date='Jun 26 2011, 12:12 PM']Thats the one mate! exact same. I absolute love it, in my 7/8 years of playing bass Ive never found a bass that has felt more comfortable to play, not one. Its definitely worth upgrading though, cause the sound doesnt please my ears quite as much as jazz basses have been doing recently. Ive played a few jazz basses, and though about buying one because I really do love the sound, but I miss the active preamp, and as I mentioned, my ibanez still feels better to play. I know a P/J configuration wont ever sound the same as a J/J config, but with the right choice of pickups and a decent preamp, surely it can be versatile enough to sound real close.[/quote]

Cool. :) Some pickup manufacturers sell PJ sets, or others sell J pickups individualy which can be matched with a P of choice. Most are passive and should work fine with your existing preamp.
Just ask on here if unsure, someone will be able to help.

Here's a selection worthy of consideration and research ...

DiMarzio's and EMG's [url="http://www.axiomatic-music.co.uk/acatalog/Precision_Bass_Style.html"]here[/url]

Wizard (two types, bottom of page 1 and page 2) [url="http://www.wizardpickups.co.uk/shop.asp?category=Bass"]here[/url]

Bartolini (two types of P, deep or bright) [url="http://www.bartolini.net/information/bass/4st_bass_pu_s.htm"]here[/url]

Seymour Duncan 'Basslines' [url="http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/basslines/"]here[/url]

Lindy Fralin [url="http://www.fralinpickups.com/bass.asp"]here[/url]

M.E.C. (active and passive) [url="http://www.mec-pickups.de/modules/products/product.php?katID=15039&cl=EN"]here[/url]

Nordstrand [url="http://www.nordstrandpickups.com/bass-pickups/index.shtml"]here[/url]

Of course there are other manufacturers as well, but these should keep you busy for a while ... and then to preamps ... :)

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You should consider value of bass, so Unless your happy with everything else about your bass and except you are losing the money, although you can always return it to stock and still have the upgrade items brought

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If everything about a particular bass pleases you, except the actual sound, then why not upgrade the pups? A decent set of replacement pups can cost less than fifty quid (especially if you buy used). If the upgrade leaves you feeling less than satisfied you can use the pups for something else or sell them on. If it makes your favourite bass just that little bit better, it's a win-win situation!

I don't think many people replace pups to improve the re-sale value of an instrument, but to try to get something out of that instrument that they perceive to be missing. Some cheap basses can play really well, and the component that makes the most difference to upgrade (barring the neck of course) tends to be the pickups and electronics.

Go for it, I say!

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