#1
Hi people,

Excuse my ignorance, I've tried to do a bit of research before posting and have come to little avail really. Basically, I'm a great lover of a many genre's of music, and I'm trying to build myself a very versatile setup in order to allow me to play various types of music ranging from blues, prog to metal. Clapton, Gilmour, Stryper and Creed are the influences.

I have noticed that Clapton had actives in his blackie at one point ('80's I recall), Gilmour uses active pickups in his Red strat on P.U.L.S.E. and at the RAH a couple of years back. Most importantly for me though is why metal bands use them? I'm a big fan of Stryper, Metallica etc, and they all use them.

Is there a reason why Clappo and Gilmour use actives for certain stuff (i.e. 'Shine On' on the RAH DVD) and not others? Why are active pickups so good for metal?

And finally, will I get the Stryper sound with the everyday humbuckers on my guitar plugged into a Mesa Single rec for example? Or would you recommend a guitar specifically fitted with EMG's or Blackouts for example. If so what's the major differences?

Cheers for any advice guys and apologies if this is an age old thread question.
#2
Gilmour only used actives because he has a very large signal path, and he used actives because the signal is much stronger and so reaches the end of the path without losing too much of the original signal.
But, Gilmour prefers passives as they have a better tone.

Metal bands use actives to provide more output to push tubes harder, and more clarity as high gain amps can get a bit muddy.
By having a strong clear signal, the pickups allow the guitar to remain clear and audible, and not a pile of mush.

TBH, you can play songs using actives with passives and sounds just as good, if not better, depending on amps and settings.
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#3
im not expert but i believe actives have a higher output which makes the notes clear and not sound just mashed together. to achieve this the pickups are much more sensitive and tend to make harmonics the easiest thing in the world...
#5
Passive pickups tend to make more of the guitar's natural tone come out, i.e the wood, neck joint, bridge, etc etc....
but mostly the wood.
Or so I'm told
#6
I have Blackouts on one of my guitars and I noticed that I'm more active with the volume knob.
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#7
Quote by OldRocker
I have Blackouts on one of my guitars and I noticed that I'm more active with the volume knob.


Sooo if you used passives, you'd be more passive in using your volume knob???

Anyways, a lot of the modern high output passives can generate enough push to push the front end of tube amps as well.
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#8
Quote by ragingkitty
Sooo if you used passives, you'd be more passive in using your volume knob???

Anyways, a lot of the modern high output passives can generate enough push to push the front end of tube amps as well.


No, the actives has more output and sometimes I have to tone it down. I don't have that problem with my passives.
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#9
Quote by OldRocker
No, the actives has more output and sometimes I have to tone it down. I don't have that problem with my passives.


Haha, dude its just a jest.
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#10
Quote by ragingkitty
Sooo if you used passives, you'd be more passive in using your volume knob???

Anyways, a lot of the modern high output passives can generate enough push to push the front end of tube amps as well.

I lolled at that!

What would you recommend as a "modern high output passive"?
#11
basically actives just provide a different sound. i wouldn't say they're *better* than passives by any means, they just have a different sound. another option, ya know?j
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#12
More compression. Passives sound more full and open. It just prefers what you want. Blackouts>EMG imo. Thicker and more full sounding.
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#13
everyone says that about the blackouts. i haven't gotten a chance to hear them yet. do you have any sound clips? the ones on youtube are hard to hear the diference.
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#14
Quote by jonthomas83
I lolled at that!

What would you recommend as a "modern high output passive"?


Any of the higher high output pups from Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio.
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#15
Here is the low down on active pups, I don't know where they originated, but I know the reasoning.

Some guitarist wanted to play with more gain on top of there tone, but found with the passive pups they were playing, that would lead to tons of hum and white noise when not playings. This was due to the increased output. Then the thought of lowering the output by a lot, but then using a pre-amp to re-boost and add more gain came to mind. Thus leading to a pickup with low out put to reduce outside noise, but with added gain on top. Of course there were some draw backs on the dynamic aspect of the pick ups, but that's another story.
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