Thanks for your reply. Let me be clear: this question isn't about accidentally hitting the pickups; I know what happens when I do that. This question is about the volume and clarity of the sound when I intentionally
tap the pup ring or pups with my pick, or tap them hard with my finger. When I do those things, the surface I tap acts as a microphone, and the resulting tap is loud and very clear - louder and clearer than it was previously when the guitar had the standard two humbuckers and passive electronics. It's so loud and clear that I feel the need to ask if this behavior is typical of a guitar with an onboard preamp, or if what I'm hearing is unusual?
My guess is that this is expected behavior, that the brass pup ring does an excellent job of transmitting sound/vibrations (which was the whole intent of using brass for that piece), and that the onboard preamp is also working as expected. However, since this is my first instrument with active pickups, and also my first with a big ol' brass pup mounting ring, I'm just trying to make sure this is the way it's supposed to behave vs. me screwing up the wiring. Though, as I said, it isn't humming or otherwise noisy and the tone sounds great, so I'm not unhappy with this extra sensitivity. I just want to know if this is a bug or a feature, lol.
Maybe I'll screw up the courage to post some youtube clips to better illustrate my question...though the more I write about this, the more I think this is just what happens when you have an onboard preamp and powerful pickups mounted to a heavy piece of brass.