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Old 09-07-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
deathbycontrol
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Mixing Active And Passive?

Is it possible to use an active AND a passive pickup in the same guitar? I've been thinking about putting an active in the bridge and a passive in the neck.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:41 PM   #2
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its possible but for the most part real annoying wiring wise especially if you want tone and volume controls
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:24 PM   #3
W4RP1G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EMG's FAQ
Can I mix EMG’s with passive pickups?

It is possible to mix EMG’s with passive pickups. There are three possible wiring
confi gurations; one is better than the other two.

Use the high impedance (250K-500K) volume and tone controls. The problem is that
the high impedance controls act more like a switch to the EMG’s. The passive pickups,
however, will work fi ne. If you have a guitar with two pickups and two volume pots, with
a three-way switch, there is another alternative. Use the 25K pots for the EMG, and the
250K pots for the passive pickup. This way you can use one or the other with no adverse
affects, but with the switch in the middle position the passive pickup will have reduced gain and response.

Use the low-impedance (25K) volume and tone controls provided with the EMG’s. The
problem here is that the passive pickups will suffer a reduction in gain and loss of highfrequency
response.

This is the best alternative. Install an EMG-PA-2 on the passive pickups. There are
two benefi ts to doing this. With the trimpot on the PA-2, you can adjust the gain of the
passive pickups to match the EMG’s. The PA-2 acts as an impedance matching device
so you can use the low-impedance EMG controls (25K) without affecting the tone of the
passive pickups. You will also be able to use other EMG accessory circuits such as the
SPC, RPC, EXB, EXG, etc. For this application, we recommend ordering the PA-2 without the switch for easy installation on the inside of a guitar.


Last edited by W4RP1G : 09-07-2012 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 09-08-2012, 04:44 PM   #4
zakkwyldefan79
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Yes it is possible. I did it in one of my guitars for a while. What i did was use 25k pots for the active and 500k pots for the passive. Either pickup alone sounded normal, but in the middle the active pickup dominated and I really couldn't hear the passive. So if you only use one pickup or the other doing it this way is probably the easiest. If you like to use both at the same time you might wanna try a different way.

Also I see you are from Ashland Kentucky (according to your profile). I live about an hour from you in Morehead.
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Old 09-08-2012, 11:02 PM   #5
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When it says a 250/500k pot acts like a "switch.." What exactly does that mean? My guitars only have one volume and tone knob, so I'm afraid I'll get a good sound out of one and the other just isn't going to work right.

I never use both pickups at the same time, so that doesn't really pose an issue.
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Originally Posted by zakkwyldefan79
Also I see you are from Ashland Kentucky (according to your profile). I live about an hour from you in Morehead.

That's cool, I used to go up that way all the time.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:55 AM   #6
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The emg will be on when the pot is at 25k (which will be like, 1 or 2 on a 250k or 500k pot) and past that it won't affect the pickup much. So basically 1~2 through 10 will sound the same, then when you start going below 2 or 1 it will get quieter quickly and turn off. Thats if I'm understanding how they work, and I think I am.

If you don't use both at the same time, wire a 250k or 500k tone and volume to the passive pup and a 25k tone and volume to to the EMG.
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:55 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathbycontrol
I never use both pickups at the same time, so that doesn't really pose an issue.

I'm not an expert in this stuff, but it seems to me that if you don't care about the middle position, your best bet would be to replace your vol and tone with stacked pots, one with two 500k and one with two 25k, and wire the active to the 25k stacked, with one as vol and one as tone, then wire the passive hb to the 500k stacked with one as vol and one as tone.
That being said, I don't know how easy it is to find 25k stacked pots, much less ones that would look natural on a guitar. Additionally, concentric pots might have difficulties if you like to use your vol and tone controls alot while playing. I've never done it so I don't know.
otherwise, the EMG PA thing looks like it'd work alright
my 2¢
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Old 09-09-2012, 12:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loki.Foxchild
I'm not an expert in this stuff, but it seems to me that if you don't care about the middle position, your best bet would be to replace your vol and tone with stacked pots, one with two 500k and one with two 25k, and wire the active to the 25k stacked, with one as vol and one as tone, then wire the passive hb to the 500k stacked with one as vol and one as tone.
That being said, I don't know how easy it is to find 25k stacked pots, much less ones that would look natural on a guitar. Additionally, concentric pots might have difficulties if you like to use your vol and tone controls alot while playing. I've never done it so I don't know.
otherwise, the EMG PA thing looks like it'd work alright
my 2¢


Agreed on all counts there.

You can also forego a vol control or a tone control on one of the pickups if you don't want them which will also save using a pot.
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