passive vs. active pickups


View Full Version : passive vs. active pickups

05-30-2007, 10:09 PM
it could be a simple question or a really complex one:
here it is

what is the difference between passive and active pickups?

i was told that one was warmer and the other brighter or one responds more and the other doesn't....or something of that sort.

does anyone know the real deal behind these two different types of pickups??

i need to know so i can decided on my next guitar buy effectively or so i can change my pickups with knowledge of which to choose.

05-30-2007, 10:11 PM
Active pickups use batteries while passives don't. Don't worry, the batteries last a long time. EMGs are like 3000 hours. As for anything else, I dunno D= I think actives have a higher output.

05-30-2007, 10:20 PM
hmm never knew that
what does an Epipihone Sg g-400 have ?

05-30-2007, 10:22 PM
Try the Guitar Gear & Accesories forum or the Gear Building & Customization forum for more help. But for now, I will tell you that actives are usually "hotter" and are better for metal/heavy rock or whatever. Like the post before me, actives have batteries and usually a higher output.

Here are actives:

Here are passives:

05-30-2007, 10:22 PM
hmm never knew that
what does an Epipihone Sg g-400 have ?
they have passive pickups

05-30-2007, 10:25 PM
if you want anything vintage go with passives, and a lot of passive humbuckers have great distortion and almost as high output, but emg's have a more output so their brighter and better for distortion, thats about all, or for overdriven rock solos, if you arent into highly distorted metal, or dont have a tube amp, go with passives, their cheaper too

05-30-2007, 10:26 PM
As the other guy said, active pick-ups do use batteries. Active pick-ups have a small built-in preamp that gives them more of a hotter tone, or higher output. They're usually used for Metal, where lots of gain is used. Passive pick-ups don't have a built-in preamp, they only rely on the magnet and the wounded wire around it to produce the output. Passive pick-ups are known for their warmer tone over the active ones. Passive pick-ups are also the most used, most guitars on the market tend to be factory built with passives.

05-30-2007, 10:27 PM
isn't it safe to say that the majority of guitars out there have passive pickups (unless modded)?

05-30-2007, 10:27 PM
^^yeah probably

05-30-2007, 10:54 PM
active, better for the floyd rose=D