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active vs. passive pups? which is which

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active vs. passive pups? which is which

Post by cromax on Fri Jan 06, 2012 4:28 pm

active vs. passive pickups, which do you prefer? what are the pros and cons of the both pickup Very Happy

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Re: active vs. passive pups? which is which

Post by dextoi on Sat Jan 07, 2012 1:28 am

the need of a battery for active pups (Con for me)
active pups = more gain but without battery, uhmmm... heehee
ITT: too complicated, too stupid, or just plain wrong.

passive pickups have magnets. they magnetize the nickel in the strings.
the magnetic lines of force move through the windings of the coil(s) of the pickup inducing a current, as the string vibrates.
this signal is sent through a cable to your amplifier.
the guitar's controls and the input of the amplifier it's connected to, load the pickup.
variation of this load greatly affects the tone. (harmonic content)

active pickups are built like passive pickups. they also have a built-in preamplifier.
because of the preamp, active pickups have a much lower output impedance than passives.
this low impedance output makes the cable less susceptible to hum and noise.
actives can also use weaker magnets and fewer windings on the coil.
and the coils in the actives see a predictable load: the preamp.
this means the load and the coils can be optimized for best match.
variations in the load the preamp is connected to, has little effect on the tone.

Bottom Line:
Passive pickup = Coil + Magnet.
Active pickup = Coil + Magnet + Preamplifier (+Battery)
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go go passive!!! Wink

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