Fenders with Active Pickups... Or, Remember the 90's?!?

Messages
1,657
I first started playing guitar in the early 1990's.

I remember active pickups being a really hot item at that time. Basically the late 80's through mid 90's.

Numerous music legends endorsed them, and I wonder how much of it was to drive sales, or if these musicians actually preferred them. The 1990's Clapton signature Strat comes to mind, as I saw him in concert playing one way back then.

I know the guitarist from Radiohead has single-handedly generated a cult following for the lace sensor Tele.

I own a Strat with active pickups and it is extremely different from the typical Strat and it took me years of picking it up, putting it down and walking away, tinkering and tweaking, amp and effects choices, before I became comfortable with how to properly dial it in.

Only now do I feel like I'm really bonding with it.

But really, does anyone play a Fender with active pups these days?
 

neil99

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,751
I do remember seriously jonesing for an ultra in those days! Had blue neck, gold middle? And two reds as a Humbucker in the bridge, local store in college had one that I consistently drooled over, then got in my 83 rabbit and headed back to the dorms
 

83stratman

Member
Messages
6,216
The Clapton does not, and didn't then have active pickups. It has a boost circuit with passive pickups. Back when Lace Sensors, and now Vintage Noiseless of some variety.

Lace Sensors are not active pickups. Vintage Noiseless are not active pickups.

I first started playing guitar in the early 1990's.

I remember active pickups being a really hot item at that time. Basically the late 80's through mid 90's.

Numerous music legends endorsed them, and I wonder how much of it was to drive sales, or if these musicians actually preferred them. The 1990's Clapton signature Strat comes to mind, as I saw him in concert playing one way back then.

I know the guitarist from Radiohead has single-handedly generated a cult following for the lace sensor Tele.

I own a Strat with active pickups and it is extremely different from the typical Strat and it took me years of picking it up, putting it down and walking away, tinkering and tweaking, amp and effects choices, before I became comfortable with how to properly dial it in.

Only now do I feel like I'm really bonding with it.

But really, does anyone play a Fender with active pups these days?
 

derekd

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
46,172
I had a set of EMGs in a partscaster I built in the 90s.

Didn't like it at all. Haven't gone back to actives since.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,367
Lace sensors aren't active. Misnomer.
Clapton has a midboost circuit. so active electronics.
Lace sensor fenders without midboost are passive. (Radiohead).
 

fusionid

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,132
Active pickups were the rave because people were running long cables and mega racks so an always on buffer was ideal.
This is not necessary due to how easy is to buffer your signal now adays.

EMGs also provided hotter outputs. However this is no longer necessary since we have passive designs that can have rather hot outputs with minimal tonal loss.

Lots of music man guitars come with a buffer booster circuit including valentine's guitar. Thats almost active. All the benefits with none of the trade offs tone wise.

Didn't you hear Greg kock went active too? All good just manage compression attack, impedance load and eq with whatever makes you happy.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,367
Walked away mid reply so I"m late now LOL
My favorite lace era tones are Clapton and Warren Haynes with teh allman bros had a red with red headstock plus.

FYI the Clapton is passive pickups, but that mid boost always adds some juice, even at zero.

I do like EMG's. Gilmour, Vince Gill, Lukether's tones..

the old Seymour Duncan Livewire Classic for strats sounded great too.
 




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