I was talking to the dude at my local music shop, and we were talking about getting a pickup installed. He said if I get an EMG 85 installed in the Bridge, the neck pick up will no longer work. Keep in mind, I have both stock pickups in.

If it matters, I have an Ibanez RG321, the model with 5 way switching, so may that be the issue? or is it normal for a stock neck pickup to no longer work if a new bridge pickup is installed?
That's bollocks, you just have to wire it so that both pickups work.
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yep, it will require a little extra work. either that guy is incompetent with wiring or he's lazy.
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It's because the EMG is active and your stock pickup is passive.

This is what I was thinking.

But I might get another EMG 85 in the neck sometime next year, so it's not that big of a deal.

Will it be a problem if I have an EMG in bridge already, but want to get an EMG in the neck?
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seriously thats ridiculous. i have a passive neck and active bridge and my guitar works fine

This. Yamaha made a model. Was 2 or 3 models above the Pacifica, had a floyd rose.
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This is what I was thinking.

But I might get another EMG 85 in the neck sometime next year, so it's not that big of a deal.

Will it be a problem if I have an EMG in bridge already, but want to get an EMG in the neck?

It's not a problem at all. Basically the EMG's require 25k pots to work/sound correct, and if you wire a passive pickup to a 25k pot you will get a ridiculous sounding output, if any at all. (I believe.)

If I were you, I'd just wire the single bridge pickup upto the switch, and the 25k pots and the stereo jack, and take out the neck pickup. Then you can just drop the new EMG in when you get it and only solder one wire.


Judging by the posts I may be completely wrong, but that is what I've been lead to believe anyway.
If you absolutely insist on using active and passive together emg recommends that you use this on the passive pickup to try and even out the lack of volume in the neck.


I was considering this myself but why bother, just get two actives or two passives and you will be much happier. I had an EMG81 in the bridge and nothing in the neck for awhile which was fine, I save up my pennies and then put in an 89. This ended up being a great set.
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I have a EMG 81 in the bridge and a SD '59 in the neck... both work fine, sounds nice. No volume difference... don't ask me how it's wired though.
You can use actives and passives together but to get it to work best you should use separate controls for each, you could get some concentric pots (like 2 pots in one) and use one for each pickup (volume and tone for each pickup) without needing to drill any holes. If you dont want tone for the bridge pickup you could just use a normal pot for the volume.
Bullshit. Tons of people run an active/passive combo.

That guy at your shop is stupid. Listen to Phil, too, and get separate controls for each.

How do you say "I'm okay" to an answering machine?

you can most definately do it, it just needs to be wired differently (ran my les paul for a long time this way, still running a modified p-bass with 1 passive and an active). it is going to cost more money to wire it up this way.

if youre looking to upgrade the neck eventually anyways, you may be better served saving up a little bit and doing the whole upgrade at once. being a lazy bugger, i always look for the simplest way to make upgrades
That's gonna be such a b^%# to wire. Passive + active electronics aside, EMG's are supposed to be used with 3 way-switches, not 5-way.
I've come to notice that Ibanez guitars are super hard to mod because none of the hardware is remotely standard either.
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EMG's are supposed to be used with 3 way-switches, not 5-way.

No, they arent. Nothing is meant to be wired any particular way. If he's using 2 pickups and the EMG cant be wired for split/parallel (even though EMG 'splitting' isnt really splitting) he wont be able to have the standard options for the 321's wiring, but he can still use it with a 5 way. Using 3 pickups you almost always use a 5 way switch, no matter what pickups you're using.
Ha! Well thanks for the responses, I got some idea of what I'm going to do. I'll eventually buy another 85 for the neck, it would be nice to have an EMG set, anyway.