5+ String Bass Pickups
Before delving too quickly into your options, it helps to understand the difference between passive and active pickups. The original bass pickups were passive and produced a sound by using large magnets. If you want a warm, punchy tone that's similar to what can be heard on classic Motown and British Invasion recordings, you can't go wrong with passive pickups. On the other hand, active pickups use a battery-powered preamp that allows you to have more control over your tone. Active pickups use smaller magnets than passive pickups (so they pick up less external noise) and they often have a louder output than passive pickups (which is why they're so popular with metal bassists).
So let's take a look at some options. In the passive department you'll discover many best sellers, and the Bartolini 57J1 5-String Vintage Jazz Bass Pickup Set is a great example of how far passive pickups have come. They have a bright neck tone and their dual coil design produces very low noise. Now, if an active pickup sounds like what you prefer, turn your attention to the EMG EMG-40DC Dual Coil 5-String Active Bass Pickup. The exceptional clarity yet beefy low end of this pickup is the result of parallel placed coils. Additionally, it includes EMG's exclusive Quik-Connect Cable, prewired solid shaft volume/tone control set, output jack, battery clip set and adjustment screws.
With all this being said, both active and passive pickups are used by bassists from every genre, and the choice you ultimately go with will boil down to personal preference. For this reason, you might want to consider trying out both active and passive pickup designs. Just remember that when you're ready to make a choice, this section has more than enough 5-string bass pickups to choose from.