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  #1  
Old 10-06-2017, 06:35 PM
3notes 3notes is offline
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Default P.U.'s:Passive vrs. Series.??

What's the difference between passive pickups and series pickups.??

Please keep it simple.
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  #2  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:07 PM
clintj clintj is online now
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Love to answer, but need a little context here. i.e., where did you see the terms used?

Passive refers to a pickup that does not use added electricity, such as a 9V battery like EMGs do, to produce a signal.

Series is a style of wiring where each component is connected end-to-end with others to make a circuit, like rolling stock is linked together with a locomotive to make a train.
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2017, 07:20 PM
Dru Edwards Dru Edwards is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clintj View Post
Love to answer, but need a little context here. i.e., where did you see the terms used?

Passive refers to a pickup that does not use added electricity, such as a 9V battery like EMGs do, to produce a signal.

Series is a style of wiring where each component is connected end-to-end with others to make a circuit, like rolling stock is linked together with a locomotive to make a train.
Clint has it.

3notes, the majority of pickups on electric guitars are passive pickups. Perhaps you're thinking about Parallel and Series wiring?
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:00 PM
ManyMartinMan ManyMartinMan is offline
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The compare/contrast is usually passive vs. active. Pasive = no battery, active = powered. Is that what you mean?
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:30 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Maybe he means passive vs active since thatís a more common question than the actual wiring?

Like said before, most pickups are passive. Just a magnet (or two if humbucker) with coil wire wrapped around it. Basically, mini generators.

A passive pickupís output is dependent on the amount of wraps and kind of wire used. You want a high output passive pickup? Wrap lots of wire. Less output? Less wraps. Side effect of making a hot passive pickup, is that it becomes noisy, and the high and mids lose definition.

An active pickup is exactly the same, except that it uses less wire, and it has a preamp thatís powered by a 9v battery. The power of the pre amp is what dictates the pickupís output.

The advantages of an active pickup is their whisper quiet operation, and resistance to amp feedback. You can runs tons of distortion and volume with an active pickup and keep the feedback at bay.

On paper, active pickups are better in every way, but tone is in the eye of the beer holder.
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Old 10-07-2017, 08:16 PM
3notes 3notes is offline
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I've been looking at hollow-bodied guitars and in the specs listed on a Gretsch I saw the pickups listed as passive and series.

It seems a lot of hollow-body guitars have humbucker pickups. Am I mistaken or do some of them have single coils.??

Single coils are cleaner sounding, correct.?? How would you describe Humbuckers.??
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2017, 08:42 PM
1neeto 1neeto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3notes View Post
I've been looking at hollow-bodied guitars and in the specs listed on a Gretsch I saw the pickups listed as passive and series.



It seems a lot of hollow-body guitars have humbucker pickups. Am I mistaken or do some of them have single coils.??



Single coils are cleaner sounding, correct.?? How would you describe Humbuckers.??


Single coils are brighter and sparklier. Humbucker pickups have a warmer ďthickerĒ sound. They also handle high gain much better.
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Old 10-07-2017, 11:01 PM
MiG50 MiG50 is offline
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It's pretty common for hollow body and semi-hollow body electrics to come with humbuckers, especially if they are inspired by the iconic ES-335. However, it's pretty easy to find some with P-90 or similar soapbar pickups, and Fender has their Thinline Teles with either humbuckers or regular Tele single-coils.

Generally speaking, single-coils tend to be brighter and more midrange-focused, whereas humbuckers tend to be bassier and fuller-sounding. But there is a HUUUGE variation in tones available in both single-coil and humbucker tone, so this is a gross generalization.

As many people have stated, series and passive are not opposites. Pickups can be passive (no power inside the guitar) or active (battery or external power supplied to the guitar). Passive pickups are more traditional and more popular, but active pickups have really important niches to fill. If you have more than one pickup on a guitar at a time, you can wire them in series or parallel. Some guitars (like a 4-way-switch 2-pup Tele) can even pick between series and parallel. Series tends to make for more output and punchier tone, whereas parallel wiring tends to make single coils behave with humbucking characteristics. Really hard to explain, but that's the basics.

If you are trying to make a purchase, and you have some ideas but aren't sure which way to go, it helps to bring that info to the group. Like you seem to want a hollow body (or maybe a semi-hollow body) guitar, and not sure which model or pickups will give you the best tone. What kind of guitars have you been looking for? What kind of tones are you aiming to use? What have you been using so far, and what does/does not work about your current setup? It might be easier for the group to give you useable advice with those sorts of questions.
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  #9  
Old 10-08-2017, 11:14 AM
3notes 3notes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MiG50 View Post
It's pretty common for hollow body and semi-hollow body electrics to come with humbuckers, especially if they are inspired by the iconic ES-335. However, it's pretty easy to find some with P-90 or similar soapbar pickups, and Fender has their Thinline Teles with either humbuckers or regular Tele single-coils.

Generally speaking, single-coils tend to be brighter and more midrange-focused, whereas humbuckers tend to be bassier and fuller-sounding. But there is a HUUUGE variation in tones available in both single-coil and humbucker tone, so this is a gross generalization.

As many people have stated, series and passive are not opposites. Pickups can be passive (no power inside the guitar) or active (battery or external power supplied to the guitar). Passive pickups are more traditional and more popular, but active pickups have really important niches to fill. If you have more than one pickup on a guitar at a time, you can wire them in series or parallel. Some guitars (like a 4-way-switch 2-pup Tele) can even pick between series and parallel. Series tends to make for more output and punchier tone, whereas parallel wiring tends to make single coils behave with humbucking characteristics. Really hard to explain, but that's the basics.

If you are trying to make a purchase, and you have some ideas but aren't sure which way to go, it helps to bring that info to the group. Like you seem to want a hollow body (or maybe a semi-hollow body) guitar, and not sure which model or pickups will give you the best tone. What kind of guitars have you been looking for? What kind of tones are you aiming to use? What have you been using so far, and what does/does not work about your current setup? It might be easier for the group to give you useable advice with those sorts of questions.
I have an Ibanez Artcore AF75. I bought it used and it has a crack on the side of it. It may just be in the gloss finish. I like it very much but for some reason I want to buy a new Ibanez, hollow-body in the $400 to $600 range. I have a Fender Champ 40 amp and I like that too but I've been wanting a tube amp.

It's nothing I need, I just play at home. These are selfish "wants." I just bought a Tascam DR-40 and I'm recording some of my own music in hopes of putting a CD together for family and friends.
__________________
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Larrivee OM-40
Yamaha FG730S
Taylor 214ce Koa
Ibanez AF-75 Hollow Body Electric
Fender Champ 40
I love Rosewood but I love guitars more.
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