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Thread: Bass pickups in series, active network

  1. #1
    Tone Member
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    Default Bass pickups in series, active network

    Hey there.

    I got a passive P bass type with a added switch to put both pickups in series. I totally love that sound. It's different than a regular HB, because the two pups are relatively far apart.

    Anyhoooo... The P bass neck is a bit wide so I'm ogling a new one with a smaller nut width. Only catch is that it's an active one. I have the schematic here:


    Name:  Active bass mod.jpg
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    Theoretically I could cut the wires and install a DPDT switch to toggle the pups in series, like a humbucker. This will of course make for a louder signal.
    My question is, will the preamp start clipping when it gets a hotter signal?

    Anyone have any experience with series switching mod in active basses?
    Last edited by WDeeGee; 05-09-2020 at 05:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Chris JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    The diagram makes that look like a J bass. A P has two small pickups the overlap more or less mid way between the neck and bridge, which are usually wired in series.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    The black bits represent the plastic casing of the coaxial wires that go to the pickups. The pickups aren't actually pictured I think.
    Thanks for the help. But indeed, the new one will be a J bass.
    Last edited by WDeeGee; 05-10-2020 at 01:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Ultimate Tone Slacker DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    A pickup being a humbucker has nothing to do with the coils being wired in series. A MusicMan humbucker is wired in parallel.

    Itís a humbucker because it has two coils. The split P bass pickup is a humbucker.

    You canít run an active pickup in series with a passive pickup. You donít have access to the coils in the active pickup. You only have the output of the preamp. You also canít mix active and passive pickups and have them work well together due to the different impedance.


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  5. #5
    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    I think the OP wants an Ibanez with an active EQ
    then he wants to know if he can modify the active system to run the pickups in series
    a sound he likes

    is this correct, WDeeGee?
    EHD
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  6. #6
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    if you are using passive pups with active electronics, i dont think it should be an issue. if you are trying to use two active pups then i dont know if that can be done. youd be feeding the output of one pups preamp into the next pup which may cause issues

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    Quote Originally Posted by ehdwuld View Post
    I think the OP wants an Ibanez with an active EQ
    then he wants to know if he can modify the active system to run the pickups in series
    a sound he likes

    is this correct, WDeeGee?
    Indeed. But the pups are passive.

  8. #8
    Ultimate Tone Slacker DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    Quote Originally Posted by WDeeGee View Post
    Indeed. But the pups are passive.
    Oh I didnít see that.

    Yeah you can wire the pickups in series.


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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy View Post
    if you are using passive pups with active electronics, i dont think it should be an issue. if you are trying to use two active pups then i dont know if that can be done. youd be feeding the output of one pups preamp into the next pup which may cause issues
    Well, I went ahead and done it. The pups are passive and it works well, I like it.

  10. #10
    Chris JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Bass pickups in series, active network

    ^ cool

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