#1
I play metal and hard rock (Metallica,Sabbath,Maiden,Zepellin,classic heavy/thrash metal bands). What are the specific differences between active and passive pickups, also are there any specific recommendations?
#2
Active pickups run on batteries and output more, so they are better for distortion, but normally not as good for clean stuff.
Need a website? I can make you one for pretty cheap.
#3
well, Metallica uses emg's, I know hetfeild does. Emg 60, 81 combonation. Active pickups often have a higher output, and ceramic magnets, instead of alnico magnets. They give you a better sound for distortion the passive pickups. Which in my opinion are generelly more well rounded for most genres. While Active is basicly only for Metal, Hard rock, and prog.

Thats just my Opinion
Gear

Guitars
Ibanez ART 300
Squier Strat
Godin 12 string Antique cedarburst
Ibanez RGD 320

Amps
Peavey Vypyr Tube 60W
Peavey Solo 15 W
Fender 10 W

Effects
Dunlop GCB - 95 Crybaby wah
Boss DD-7 Digital Delay
Boss MT-2 Distortion
#4
Yeah, with active pickups you probably will get some great distortion, but anything less won't be what you want.
Need a website? I can make you one for pretty cheap.
#5
I wouldn't get active pickups unless you have a high-end, high-gain amp. Otherwise you will not get your money's worth out of them. I don't know what amp you have, but unless you have such an amp, your amp will not be able to take full advantage of them. On the other hand, if you do have a high-gain amp, go ahead, they will sound great if you are going for a metal sound.
Last edited by bnull24 at Nov 22, 2009,
#6
i have emg's in my SG only got them put in a couple of months ago. They were the best thing I have ever purchased. Terrific... great for dirty distortion and beautiful clean and crisp tones when playing acoustic like riffs and arpeggio's. I have the 81 and 85 combo
#7
Quote by bnull24
Don't get active pickups unless you have a high-end, high-gain amp. Otherwise you will not get your money's worth out of them. I don't know what amp you have, but unless you have such an amp, your amp will not be able to take full advantage of them. On the other hand, if you do have a high-gain amp, go ahead, they will sound great if you are going for a metal sound.


Well as of now its a Line 6 Spider III, but when and if I get the pickups replaced the amp is either going to be a Peavey 6505, a B52 AT-112 or a Peavey Vypyr.
#8
Hmmm, well I don't know much about the new amps you are considering, but I wouldn't get actives for any solid state amp. I made that mistake a few years ago, and they sounded just like my old passive EMG's that came in the guitar. Now that I have a pretty nice tube amp, which has decent gain, but not high gain, I can't get a decent sound out of those pickups no matter how I set the EQ, but that's just me and my amp. Luckily I have a different guitar that I strongly prefer.

I have the EMG 85/81 combo in the one guitar, and it's a shame that I've never had a chance to play it through an amp that can really bring out their great sound.
Last edited by bnull24 at Nov 22, 2009,
#9
Active pickups are high output with low noise, have a wide range in frequency response and stay tight, defined and articulate with high gain.

Those are really the only benefits. Saying that they're "better" for distortion is completely false. I would take a good alnico PAF style pickup over an EMG in just about situation outside of high gain metal. ANY situation. Something like EMGs have an extremely distinctive sound, it's their flat response, clarity and just this... almost glassy kind of timbre, imo, they sound too balanced, and as a result, they lack character and as a result just end up sounding sterile as opposed to something like a PAF style pickup that would have an earthier, more natural tone.

And yes I have a high end tube amp.
Last edited by al112987 at Nov 22, 2009,