Cage Match: Active vs. Passive Pickups

Pickups come in two basic flavors. One is active, and the second is passive. If your guitar requires a battery, chances are that it has active pickups. If it doesn’t, or will function without a battery, then the pickups would be considered passive. From what I have seen, guitarists generally prefer one or the other…

Active and Passive in the Same Guitar – Can It Be Done?

It’s a question we get asked a heck of a lot here at SD, and a question that appears all over the internet – how should I wire up a mixture of active and passive pickups in the  same guitar? The answer, either from us or elsewhere on the internet, is always either “It’s very…

Introducing Duality

Whenever we make a new product at Seymour Duncan, it has to benefit players. It has to make life easier and tone better for those who it’s made for. Duality is made unlike any other active pickup, and it opens up a whole new exciting chapter for what’s possible. We’ve made pickups that combine aspects…

Seymour Duncan Active P-Bass Pickups

By Dave Eichenberger When looking over the history of popular music, it is safe to say that passive basses are really the most common of the basses used. After all, this is what Leo Fender designed, when active circuitry in a bass was still 30 years away. But these days, bassists need more options.

Active Or Passive Bass Pickups: Which Is For You?

When the electric bass as we know it was first invented by Leo Fender and co, there was no such thing as ‘active and passive’ bass electronics; there was just ‘what was there.’ If you wanted to fine-tune your sound on a single-pickup Precision Bass, you had a passive tone control whose job was to reduce the…

Active Jazz Bass Pickup & Preamp Roundup

By Dave Eichenberger In electric basses, there are basically (haha) three different ways to design a pickup system. You can go with passive pickups, passive pickups with a preamp, and full-on active pickups. All are valid ways of doing things, and while bassists may argue the merits of each system, the good news is that…

Introducing Seymour Duncan Jeff Loomis Blackouts

Jeff Loomis knows what he wants to hear from his guitar, whether playing solo or as a member of Arch Enemy and Conquering Dystopia: he needs a matched pickup set that stays clear under heavy distortion, with a strong pick attack to maintain detail when he plays fast, and with enough sustain and dynamics to…

Hot-Rodding the STC Preamps

When you’re a gear-head, nothing is ever – EVER – completely perfect. Sure, you’ll throw in the Steve Harris Signature Pickup into your P Bass, and enjoy the tone (and for my impressions, click here). But then you’re thinking, “Wouldn’t an STC preamp completely unleash the beast?” and you’d be right. But you’re left with…

Active Pickups And How They Are Different

Some thirty odd years ago active pickups hit the market and they were doing something amazing. Lots of output paired with no hum, noise or buzz. What else could you ask for? As time went on, players demanded more and more. More tone, more dynamics, more nuance in their playing. And yet it’s still a…

Digging Out of the Hole You’re In: Breaking Out of Playing Ruts

We’ve all been there before: when we’re uninspired and everything we play sounds, well, the same. Playing ruts, or more accurately named plateaus, are problems every instrumentalist faces and has to work through. In this article, let’s look at some ideas on how to break through the imaginary wall holding your playing back. I’ve been…

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