#1
Okay gang, I wanna do an experiment with an active pickup along with (a) passive pickup(s). Problem is, I don't have any actives and I'm broke on my ass. No sweat, we can do this as a cooperative effort, via the forum.

Now all I need is a victim. No wait, I mean guinea pig. Erm no, make that volunteer.
Yeah, that's the ticket! A volunteer.


Here's the premise:
- Passive pickups suck with low resistance pots.
- Active pickups can be used with high resistance pots (in a 1V, 1T arrangement), if you're willing to give back just a little of the hum and noise rejection. They'll still have less hum and noise than a passive.
- An active tends to be slightly louder than a passive. This is not a big problem, as the active is usually used in the bridge, and used for solos.
- One problem is the low impedance of the active causes it to dominate when and active and passive are combined together. This is the purpose of the experiment.
- We'll try to use resistive coupling when the active and passive are combined. Hopefully, we'll have a "both pickups" tone that sounds different than just the active alone.


My role in this:
I'll provide the wiring schemes. Both the experimental version and the finished version.

The role of the volunteer:
You'll wire according to the diagram, test, evaluate, and make resistance measurements.

Requirements for a suitable candidate:
Must have guitar with passive pickups, an active pickup, a decent amp (either a tube amp or good quality SS. No MGs or Spiders, please!), a soldering iron, and most importantly: an ohmmeter.

Must have good soldering/wiring/mechanical skills and ability to follow directions.


If you're interested, post on this thread.
I'll select a candidate based on both the type of equipment you have and the quality/completeness of your post.


UPDATE:

I was hoping for someone who has an amp with a high impedance input.
Don't really know anything about the specs of the Vypyr, but oh well.
Hopefully that won't be an issue.
Brian is gonna do the testing on this.



1 - Wire as shown. Note the way the tone pot is used to add resistance in series with the signal going to the selector AFTER the EMG volume.

2 - Set the volume controls at max and the tone control at minimum. (lowest resistance.

3 - Plug the guitar into amp and set for a nice clean tone.

4 - Compare the relative volume of the pickups.

5 - Compare the tonality of the Bridge pickup only to Both. Both will likely sound very similar to Bridge only.

6 - Adjust the setting of the tone control. By rotating clockwise, the Neck pickup will have more contribution. Find a setting that gives a useful tone for Both, different from the Neck alone or Bridge alone.

7 - Make sure when the Bridge alone doesn't sound weak when used alone.

8 - Unplug the cable from the amp

9 - Dial the bridge volume to minimum, but don't touch the tone control. Pickup selector at Bridge Only. Measure resistance from tip to shield at the free end of the cable.

10 - If the adjust the resistance of the pot to match the closest commonly available value. For instance: 22k or 33k or 47k, w/e. Then check to make sure this value is suitable for the job by plugging back into the amp and hearing how the three settings of the pickup selector sound with both volumes at max.

Done.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
Last edited by SomeoneYouKnew at Oct 29, 2009,
#7
If you cant get any volunteers, and you can wait another 2-3 months, then I'd gladly do it.
but I have a spider
Impossible is Nothing
#8
Quote by Schism1985
Nothing really, they're just total beginner/entry level amps that tend to be over priced and are marketed towards wannabe guitarists.



I got one because I liked the tone. It was a great price and I'm no wannabe guitarist.
#9
I'd be willing to do this. I have an Ibanez project guitar that i use to test things that i'd be willing to work with again.

As far as amps go I have a Handwired 5f1 champ and a peavey delta blues.

I will not be able to get the ibanez for atleast two weeks though

He doesn't want spider IIIs or MG's because of the fact that they tend to shape the sound so much you really can't hear huge differences.
Last edited by XgamerGt04 at Oct 2, 2009,
#10
I just moved to a new house so I'll have to do some digging to find all my spare parts. Assuming I can find them, I'd be happy to participate in this.

My current setup is a Dean Vendetta 3.0 (I like it so don't hate), with Mustaine Livewires and the amp is a Carvin X100B with too many mods to list and a 212 cabinet with V30 clones from WGS.

I have an DMM, and all the soldering tools required, with the skills to back it up. Although, I don't know how you'd measure the resistance of the actives. i asked that question on this forum awhile back and nobody could answer it. However, I will follow whatever instructions are given.

Moving and some health issues have prevented me from playing for awhile so the following is from memory:

- The guitar is wired with no tone and two volumes
- The passive pickups I have are just the stock pickups that came out of Dean
- I have the stock pots, two 50K alpha pots, misc. caps, plenty of wire., and a couple sets of new strings if needed.

I will get my search on over the weekend and I look forward to this project SYK.
Guitar:
Dean Vendetta 3 - Dave Mustaine Livewires

Amplifier
Carvin X100B - Bias Mod - Tungsol 12AX7's - JJ KT77's

I have built the most badass 212 that puts all others to shame
#11
Quote by XgamerGt04
I'd be willing to do this. I have an Ibanez project guitar that i use to test things that i'd be willing to work with again.

As far as amps go I have a Handwired 5f1 champ and a peavey delta blues.

I will not be able to get the ibanez for atleast two weeks though
k, well we'll see how it goes. prolly someone else will be ready before 2 weeks. But if not and you have an active and a passive we can work together then.

If someone else participates, you can always read what we've done and duplicate it for yourself.


Quote by MeanwiththeDean
I just moved to a new house so I'll have to do some digging to find all my spare parts. Assuming I can find them, I'd be happy to participate in this.

My current setup is a Dean Vendetta 3.0 (I like it so don't hate), with Mustaine Livewires and the amp is a Carvin X100B with too many mods to list and a 212 cabinet with V30 clones from WGS.

I have an DMM, and all the soldering tools required, with the skills to back it up. Although, I don't know how you'd measure the resistance of the actives. i asked that question on this forum awhile back and nobody could answer it. However, I will follow whatever instructions are given.

Moving and some health issues have prevented me from playing for awhile so the following is from memory:

- The guitar is wired with no tone and two volumes
- The passive pickups I have are just the stock pickups that came out of Dean
- I have the stock pots, two 50K alpha pots, misc. caps, plenty of wire., and a couple sets of new strings if needed.

I will get my search on over the weekend and I look forward to this project SYK.
lol, no. I could care less what kind of guitar you like. The livewires wouldn't have been my first choice for this, as they are meant to be used with higher resistance pots than EMGs or Blackouts. But the results are likely to be close enough to be universal.

You won't be able to measure the output impedance of the active pickup. The resistance measurement will be on the setting of the pot we use to decouple the pickups from each other. We'll find the right setting, then measure the resistance of the pot.

The passive pickups that were originally in the Dean: Were they one wire w/ shield or 4 conductor? Do you recall the colour coding?

Your present wiring: Is it like the drawing in this link, but with 50k pots?
http://www.seymourduncan.com/images/support/schematics/mustaine_2v_3way.jpg
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#13
Quote by The4thHorsemen
damn, I'd volunteer but I don't have any active pickups… and I don't have a good tube amp.
erm, i guess that would make it difficult.
thanks for the offer and all that.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#14
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
lol, no. I could care less what kind of guitar you like. The livewires wouldn't have been my first choice for this, as they are meant to be used with higher resistance pots than EMGs or Blackouts. But the results are likely to be close enough to be universal.

You won't be able to measure the output impedance of the active pickup. The resistance measurement will be on the setting of the pot we use to decouple the pickups from each other. We'll find the right setting, then measure the resistance of the pot.

The passive pickups that were originally in the Dean: Were they one wire w/ shield or 4 conductor? Do you recall the colour coding?

Your present wiring: Is it like the drawing in this link, but with 50k pots?
http://www.seymourduncan.com/images/support/schematics/mustaine_2v_3way.jpg


To be honest with you, I don't recall what the original pickups were as far as the wiring goes. I posted all that from memory since I haven't actually picked up my guitar in awhile so I can't answer your questions for sure. I did find all the parts that I said I had, and I will look over all that stuff tonight and get you some answers to your questions.
Guitar:
Dean Vendetta 3 - Dave Mustaine Livewires

Amplifier
Carvin X100B - Bias Mod - Tungsol 12AX7's - JJ KT77's

I have built the most badass 212 that puts all others to shame
#15
A little problem SYK, the hits just keep on coming for me.

Not only is my amp not working properly now, but my stock pickups have mysteriously disappeared. Now I get to sift through a couple days worth of trash to see if my kids tossed them. I've torn apart every conceivable place they could get to. Sorry about the delay, but even if i find them, I'll have to fix my amp first.

I will be posting up my amp problems later if you care to assist though.

I'll keep you updated.
Guitar:
Dean Vendetta 3 - Dave Mustaine Livewires

Amplifier
Carvin X100B - Bias Mod - Tungsol 12AX7's - JJ KT77's

I have built the most badass 212 that puts all others to shame
#16
I'm sorry SYK but I don't think thier going to turn up again. I'm pretty sure my kids tossed them. They like to throw random crap in the trash. But, I'll be getting some cash soon and I may just buy some passive pickups for this experiement if someone else hasn't already stepped up. I will try to keep you updated.
Guitar:
Dean Vendetta 3 - Dave Mustaine Livewires

Amplifier
Carvin X100B - Bias Mod - Tungsol 12AX7's - JJ KT77's

I have built the most badass 212 that puts all others to shame
#17
I'm willing to try this but as I've already let you know my amp is a SS Peavey Vypyr 30. Hopfully someone with a good tube amp will also join in. Then you'll know how your solution works with both tube and SS amps.

Quote by Invader Jim
SYK, I'd do it but I have an unsuitable amp and I sold my EMG 81.

Too bad Jim and you're not getting it back either.
Last edited by zakkwyldefan79 at Oct 28, 2009,
#18
Okay Brian. OP has been updated.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#20
If you can't find anyone, give me a shout. I can't give anything guitar-related high priority at the moment, but I'll do it as a last resort.

I have a spare EMG 85, a bunch of passives, a Valveking Royal8 with high and low gain inputs, an Ashdown FA60DSP, and a Pocketpod for recording. My playing sucks ass, though.
Last edited by -MintSauce- at Oct 29, 2009,
#21
Interesting post, and I think I see one advantage to your approach- it could control variables well, if done properly.

But I wonder if it is really necessary. I say that because I have two similar guitars (similar in enough ways, I think) A Epiphone Les Paul with Gibson Burstbucker Pros in it (passive) and a Westone Thunder 1A with high-quality HB's (can't recall who made them) and Westone's active circuit. I can play them back to back all day (and have done so, more than twice- with the original pups in the epi, thru SS, hybrid and tube amps, in fact in about every configuration of guitar/amp/room/effects I had access to) and although I can hear differences, I can never decide if I like one over the other. It's all soooooo subjective, no matter how you look at it, or what you try to do.

So my question is, what are you driving towards? What is your experiment going to tell you? Although I support your desire to do this, I have no idea what it will accomplish.
#22
The DiMarzio didn't show up today. Maybe it'll show up tomorrow, so I can try this.

Quote by stevie_b
So my question is, what are you driving towards? What is your experiment going to tell you? Although I support your desire to do this, I have no idea what it will accomplish.

The point of this is that in a guitar with an active and a passive pickup in it when both are used at the same time the active is so loud you can't hear the passive. Wiring it like SYK's diagram should make it where you can balance it out to where you can hear both pickups instead of just the active one.
Last edited by zakkwyldefan79 at Oct 29, 2009,
#23
Quote by zakkwyldefan79
The DiMarzio didn't show up today. Maybe it'll show up tomorrow, so I can try this.
k, koo. No rush. Just get to it when you get to it.

Quote by zakkwyldefan79
The point of this is that in a guitar with an active and a passive pickup in it when both are used at the same time the active is so loud you can't hear the passive. Wiring it like SYK's diagram should make it where you can balance it out to where you can hear both pickups instead of just the active one.
And it's not just the volume at issue. Some of the higher output Passives are about as loud as an Active. But the low impedance of the Active allows it's signal to dominate when the two pickups are added together.

What I'm hoping to achieve is to find a value for a resistor that could be used in series with the output from an Active, such that the Passive and Active coupled together will give a third usable tone. At the same time, the resistor shouldn't have an adverse affect on the volume or tone of the Active when it's used alone. We can easily verify this by comparing the volume/tone of the Active alone when the (tone) pot is set for the desired resistance -vs- the (tone) pot at minimum.

If successful, we'll be able to make a recommendation for a way to use an Active and a Passive together in a more useful way.

Quote by -MintSauce-
If you can't find anyone, give me a shout. I can't give anything guitar-related high priority at the moment, but I'll do it as a last resort.

I have a spare EMG 85, a bunch of passives, a Valveking Royal8 with high and low gain inputs, an Ashdown FA60DSP, and a Pocketpod for recording. My playing sucks ass, though.
yo, Minty!

If/when you have time to invest in this, by all means jump in. Another thing I'd like to do is repeat this in a guitar where there's just a single volume (high resistance so the Passive doesn't sound like mud).

The low resistance of the EMG pot is going to have some effect here. The results are likely to be different without that.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#24
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
And it's not just the volume at issue. Some of the higher output Passives are about as loud as an Active. But the low impedance of the Active allows it's signal to dominate when the two pickups are added together.

I know. You said that in the OP. I was just putting it in more simple terms so it would be easier to understand.
#25
SomeoneYouKnew I'm sorry but I'm gonna drop out of this experiment. I don't want to lose my tone pot and you wanted someone with a decent amp and a guitar with only volume pot anyway. I'm still interested in this and I'm gonna follow this thread to see what you come up with. Maybe -MintSauce- can do it instead.
#26
Quote by zakkwyldefan79
SomeoneYouKnew I'm sorry but I'm gonna drop out of this experiment. I don't want to lose my tone pot and you wanted someone with a decent amp and a guitar with only volume pot anyway. I'm still interested in this and I'm gonna follow this thread to see what you come up with. Maybe -MintSauce- can do it instead.
You realize this it just a temporary wiring, yeah?
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#27
This may or may not be relevant.. but I've run an EMG 81 and 60 in a guitar with 25K pots for bridge volume & master tone, and a 500K for neck volume. Apart from only being able to use a limited range of the 500K, I don't remember any real difference in tonality to using all 25K.

I can try this stuff with:
EMG 85
Irongear Steamhammer
25K pot for EMG volume (I only have one unused at the moment),
500K pots for IG volume and EMG tone.

I don't want anyone depending on me though, if that makes any sense.
#29
Hello, I could give the diagram of the Schecter Demon 6 or avenger with Duncan Designed HB-105 please?