#1
What do EMGs exactly do to your tone? Do they give more low end, more treble? A higher output or what? Why do you need the 9 volt battery? What do they do to your amp?

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#3
Well active emg's need a 9v battery because they are higher output. Some would say that emg's will give you flat lifeless tone but they just use that as a convenient excuse to cover the fact they couldn't dial in a 2 way radio

High gain rock/metal will benefit from active pickups such as the emg's
#4
Higher output which results in more gain.
You need a battery because they're active pups, not passive.
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#5
You need a battery because they have their own preamp built in, which is why they sound nearly identical in almost any guitar you put them in.
#7
basically active emg's have less magnetic pull and allow your strings to ring more naturally wich also results in more sustain. they are also highout ouput. the battery is there to power the preamp wich boosts the little signal from the pickups before it gets to your output. i use emg's in all my guitars, i love em
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#8
EMG pickups are low power. That signal is amplified by the circuitry built in (hence the battery).
EMGs were developed to give a high signal for blues and jazz players without resorting to overdriving the amplifier. The result was so good that when driven, tube amps especially retained a sweet tone at high gain. So, active pups are very versatile if you take the trouble to work with the volume and tone controls. However, as their output is not only derived from the coils it can be argued that they lessen the differences in tone between different guitars. But in my experience, not by a huge amount.
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#9
First, my guitar sustains for ages with passive pups. The build of the guitar and the nut have a lot to do with that, slapping EMG's on your 100 dollar First Act guitar won't magically make it the sustain monster you dream of.

Next, EMG makes both active and passive pickups. They're more famous for their active pickups though (81/89/60 are the most popular ones I think?).

Active pickups have a low power magnet in them, allowing you to put them closer to the strings. The signal is then amplifiied by a preamp (in the guitar) which uses the 9v battery.

They are high output pickups, but as far as I know they aren't THAT much hotter than the hottest passives you can get (if they are hotter at all. Then again passives that have been wound so hot might be lacking in other areas). But I believe you get less interference (and possibly less feedback?) from them.

Some say they're flat and lifeless, and sound the same in any guitar, others say they're the greatest thing ever, then some say noobs just love them because they're hot and thus BROOTALZ, and so on and so on. It's an opinion thing, but in the end a lot of people like them for hard rock/metal (even if some don't), so if you play metal you might want to check them out. Also some people praise the 18V mod (where you just add a simple 2 dollar clip or something and use 2 batteries at the same time) which you might want to check out.
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#10
If people like Hetfield and Hammett and all these metal guitarists use them, why would they be accused of giving a flat and lifeless tone?

longing rusted furnace daybreak seventeen benign nine homecoming one freight car
#11
Quote by EndTheRapture51
If people like Hetfield and Hammett and all these metal guitarists use them, why would they be accused of giving a flat and lifeless tone?


Because some whould argue that everyone that uses them sound the same so then all there tones are flat and lifeless. Which has always been farthest from the truth for any guitars I have slammed EMG's into. Also its like saying Metallicas Black Album sounds like Slayers Reign in blood or Chamiras The Infection .

Now that said EMG's will always be an emg basically the guitar will not ruin the pickup in a since. I've heard the same passive pickup in two different guitars. Loved one and hated the other with a passion. Well with emg's thats not the case, your core tone is there but it does get brighter, darker or so forth depending on the guitar you stick them in. Also a side benefit is you can take a cheaper guitar with bad wood and it will make it sound a whole lot better versus wasting your money on a $400 set of passives that will only end up sounding like sh!t in it.

Personally I love actives but I still keep a passive picked up guitar around for blues and so forth. But here recently even it has not been really doing it for me so Im adding a battery powered preamp in it.

End result is test everything out and see what you like. Who cares if its active, passive, cheap or expenisve. If it sounds good for you and works well for your rig then go with it.
Last edited by IbanezPsycho at Aug 31, 2009,
#12
basically if you use a tube amp and all your guitar heroes use emg's you will probably like them
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#13
Quote by Harvesterofsrrw
basically if you use a tube amp and all your guitar heroes use emg's you will probably like them


They don't sound as good on SS amps? Just wondering, i'm about to pick up a new amp, my new LTD Eclipse i have coming has Active EMG's, so if i need a tube amp to make them sound good, i better look for some >_<
#14
Quote by ir0nmaid3nfan
They don't sound as good on SS amps? Just wondering, i'm about to pick up a new amp, my new LTD Eclipse i have coming has Active EMG's, so if i need a tube amp to make them sound good, i better look for some >_<

yeah they dont sound as good on ss amps, sorry
Member of the Schecter Hellraisers
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#15
I've only got abut £450 for a combo i can use at gigs though, don't think i can get a good metal/hard rock combo for that that is all tube ah well..
#16
http://www.thomann.de/gb/bugera_6262212.htm (that's what I have)
http://www.thomann.de/gb/peavey_valve_king_112_gitarrencombo.htm + a Bad Monkey should get metal tones I think (Bad Monkey is 36£.
Maybe http://www.thomann.de/gb/randall_rg50_tc.htm (there was a thread a while back with someone having problems with this amp tho, but I think it should get metal/hard rock stuff)
http://www.thomann.de/gb/bugera_333212.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/line6_spidervalve_112.htm (ok it's a modelling amp, but some people like it)

You could look into Laney's since you're in UK, they're so cheap in there I think. However I'm not very knowledgeable about their ability to do metal.
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#17
Quote by ir0nmaid3nfan
They don't sound as good on SS amps? Just wondering, i'm about to pick up a new amp, my new LTD Eclipse i have coming has Active EMG's, so if i need a tube amp to make them sound good, i better look for some >_<


They sound fine on most SS and modelling amps. A few cheaper/lower quality SS amps and modelling amps won't handle their output well, but for the most part it's just UG myth.

If the output's too loud, just turn the volume on your guitar down until it stops clipping. Most of the people who bitch about EMGs with solid state amps are probably the same folks who haven't figured out turning your volume down to clean up your tone.
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#18
Quote by Fama
http://www.thomann.de/gb/bugera_6262212.htm (that's what I have)
http://www.thomann.de/gb/peavey_valve_king_112_gitarrencombo.htm + a Bad Monkey should get metal tones I think (Bad Monkey is 36£.
Maybe http://www.thomann.de/gb/randall_rg50_tc.htm (there was a thread a while back with someone having problems with this amp tho, but I think it should get metal/hard rock stuff)
http://www.thomann.de/gb/bugera_333212.htm
http://www.thomann.de/gb/line6_spidervalve_112.htm (ok it's a modelling amp, but some people like it)

You could look into Laney's since you're in UK, they're so cheap in there I think. However I'm not very knowledgeable about their ability to do metal.


Thanks for those, i'll look into them - i like the look of the Bugera, and i want to try a Peavey Valveking 212...

Anyways, i have a thread now anyways, so i'll stop hi-jacking your thread now
#19
Quote by STABxYOU
They sound fine on most SS and modelling amps. A few cheaper/lower quality SS amps and modelling amps won't handle their output well, but for the most part it's just UG myth.

If the output's too loud, just turn the volume on your guitar down until it stops clipping. Most of the people who bitch about EMGs with solid state amps are probably the same folks who haven't figured out turning your volume down to clean up your tone.


I got EMGs in my hellraiser and they sound perfectly fine through my vetta. But thats a higher end modelling amp so I dunno about ****ty ones
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#20
Quote by Dragonis
I got EMGs in my hellraiser and they sound perfectly fine through my vetta. But thats a higher end modelling amp so I dunno about ****ty ones


I use them with my Pocket POD, they sound great.
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#21
Quote by EndTheRapture51
If people like Hetfield and Hammett and all these metal guitarists use them, why would they be accused of giving a flat and lifeless tone?


Because they are the closest thing of making your crappy Epiphone or Squire strat sound like Zakk's Signature Gibson Les Paul or Hetfields ESPs.

They sound virtually the same from one guitar setup to another. A good way to wrongfully invest your money. Instead of saving up for decent "real" guitar, slap in some EMGs! Besides, thru your POD and Line 6 modeling technology you won't notice a difference anyways.
#22
A big part of the claim that EMGs destroy individual tone and are lifeless have to do with the preamp. It's very similar to running a clean boost pedal all the time- you can adjust the volume and tone, but the circuitry is still there. This can lead to a loss of dynamics and a bit less character with some rigs, though not usually the rigs you'd typically play EMGs through.

As far as making all guitars sound the same, I think that's a factor of the amount of gain the preamp induces. It will blur the lines a bit, but so would putting a clean boost after a guitar, and you'd be hard pressed to find too many people who don't play with some sort of OD pedal anyway. While it's not completely false that EMGs make guitars sound similar, it's more likely that the EMG sound is so distinctive that it's simply easier to pick it out in a lineup than most pickups.
#23
The battery is because there active, EMG pick-ups are geat. Everyone knocks on EMG pickups saying they are lifeless sound ect ect. I have one EMG in my Schecter Devil Spine and it rocks my ****. Insane Clean tone and a mind blowing heavy sound that i can actualy hear my playing, unlike passives. I believe EMGs are the way to go, Battey doesnt die that fast anyways.
#24
Different pickups really come to life when you are tyrying to drive tubes to the tone your after, but that doesn't mean that your JB, EMG, or Dimarzio wont sound decent through any other amps, atleast as good if mnot better than any other pickup.
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#25
Quote by BeerChurch
Because they are the closest thing of making your crappy Epiphone or Squire strat sound like Zakk's Signature Gibson Les Paul or Hetfields ESPs.

They sound virtually the same from one guitar setup to another. A good way to wrongfully invest your money. Instead of saving up for decent "real" guitar, slap in some EMGs! Besides, thru your POD and Line 6 modeling technology you won't notice a difference anyways.

wrong, they still sound different in all guitars just not asmuch as passives, i have emg 81's in my kh-603 and emg 81's in my schecter c-1 plus and they dont sound anyhting alike, and my les pauls sound even more different compared to those 2 and they also have 81's in the bridge position
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#26
Actives are all about compression. Yeah, they have a lot of output, but so do quite a few passives. The biggest difference comes down to compression, which actives offer more of. My problem with EMGs is how they thin the **** out of your sound
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