Page 1 of 2
#1
Hi.

I've been thinking, at some point in the near future i ought to get a guitar with active pickups.

The reason why i'm thinking about getting a guitar with stock active pickups instead of modding one is i don't want to be routing any of my guitars for somewhere to put the 9v battery, and also, i don't wanna have a loose battery inside the control cavity either because that would feel like a bit of a bodge really. If i want something done i want it done properly

Anyway, the problem i'm having is finding a guitar with active pickups that isn't geared towards shred/br00talz style playing - thin necks, flat fretboard radius, floyd rose style trems etc - all things i want to steer clear of. I would prefer something with a bit more of a vintage/classic type feel, as well as a bit more of a vintagey tone (i'm talking about in terms of how the guitar naturally sounds, i know active pickups are hardly "vintage" sounding)

Generally i don't like spending more than £500 on a guitar either - under certain circumstances, if i particularly like a guitar i would pay considerably though

Obviously i'm not thinking of buying anything right now, but does anyone have any recommendations of the sort of guitars i should check out for reference? (I have a good memory for these things, so i won't forget).

tl;dr: Does anyone know of any guitars with active pickups that aren't the typical "brootalz shredz0rz" style within the £500-ish price range?
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
Last edited by Blompcube at Jul 27, 2010,
#2
The battery doesn't have to be loose bouncing around. Get a battery clip, Radio Shack has them along with any electronic store. Mount a strip of velcro on the back of the clip and put the other side of the velcro inside the body. Then just change the battery out of the clip when needed and stick it back on the velcro. Not sure what guitar you are talking about adding this too but a Strat has plenty of room for one

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#3
If you want a guitar with actives, then ESP/LTD's have several models you can choose from.

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Callaham Hardware & Bridges
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Blues Junior Amp
BlackStar HT Club 40 Amp
#4
I looked around on Musicians friend, and the only non "br00talz" guitar i really found is a Schecter C-1 BlackJack ATX and its still pretty much aimed toward the metal market. But its got a nice classic black or white color with binding. It has Blackouts instead of EMG's
#7
Just went and looked at the LTD eclipse. Man what a sharp looking guitar.
http://www.samash.com/p/EC1000SSB%20LTD%20Deluxe%20Eclipse%20Electric%20Guitar_-49952433
Gonna have to go try it out

6 different colors with several reviews
http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-ESP-EC1000-LIST

ESP LTD RZK-600
4 Custom Strats
1 Custom Soloist (Warmoth)
1 Custom Telecaster (Warmoth)
2007 Jimmie Vaughan Sig Strat

Callaham Hardware & Bridges
Fender Custom Shop 69's
Dimarzio Breed Pickups

Blues Junior Amp
BlackStar HT Club 40 Amp
Last edited by JohnnyNash at Jul 27, 2010,
#8
A fender strat with David Gilmour EMGs??? though u'd have to install them urself or get someone else to do it for u.
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#9
I would go Schecter. It's still a 'metal' guitar, but you can get a lot of different sounds from it, and they almost always come with neck through construction, and you don't have to get a floyd on it. You could get string through body construction on that as well, which will maximize your sustain.

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#10
Quote by Frank Lagonzo

Wow, my local shop has one of those hanging on the wall, same colour too.. I've just never really paid much attention to it lol. I'll make sure to try it next time i'm there.

@Chuckles: Just want to try something new really

@JohnnyNash: Thanks for the advice with battery clips, i may consider modding something i already have - i dunno why i didn't think of that i was honestly thinking "sellotape?" Maybe i'll get some david gilmour EMGs fitted in my fender strat as holycow suggested.

I think schecter is out of the question because they are just not very easy to find in the UK - i've only ever seen two "in the flesh" and they were both 1980s MIJ P-Bass copies. as far as i'm aware, you can only really get them if you order off the internet which i'm not too keen on doing. It's a shame because i'd love to try one of the newer ones.

Thanks for all the recommendations so far guys
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#11
The Gilmour setup is awesome. I just finished a strat with the EMG SV set. My local Luthier had a set pre installed on a pickguard with everything set (like the gilmour set comes) and gave it to me at an awesome price. I am now adding the EXG expander mod to it. I will post pics as soon as I finish, Should be sometime this week. The sets like this just drop right in, hook up your jack (it will need changing to a stereo jack) a new set of strings and off you go

http://www.emginc.com/products/index/56/11/1

The Hammett set sounds pretty good also

ESP LTD RZK-600
4 Custom Strats
1 Custom Soloist (Warmoth)
1 Custom Telecaster (Warmoth)
2007 Jimmie Vaughan Sig Strat

Callaham Hardware & Bridges
Fender Custom Shop 69's
Dimarzio Breed Pickups

Blues Junior Amp
BlackStar HT Club 40 Amp
Last edited by JohnnyNash at Jul 27, 2010,
#12
Hmm. There aren't any Guitar Centers in the UK? I just got the new GC mag, and I found the new schecter C1 Standard, it's only $550, I don't know if the pickups are active, but they are Duncan designed. It looks like something you might be looking for.

You, good sir, have not gone over to your friends house after a hard night of drinking to find 2 dudes passed out in the same room both holding their own flaccid cocks in hand, passed out, with porn on the tv.
#13
Quote by RisingForce1990
Hmm. There aren't any Guitar Centers in the UK? I just got the new GC mag, and I found the new schecter C1 Standard, it's only $550, I don't know if the pickups are active, but they are Duncan designed. It looks like something you might be looking for.

they're passive.
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#14
Quote by RisingForce1990
Hmm. There aren't any Guitar Centers in the UK? I just got the new GC mag, and I found the new schecter C1 Standard, it's only $550, I don't know if the pickups are active, but they are Duncan designed. It looks like something you might be looking for.

nope, no guitar centers.

David gilmour EMG set + strat still seems like the best option so far. But do EMG do a similar sounding alternative that costs less because it doesn't have "lol david gilmour" attached to it?

Anyone got any more ideas other than the obvious Schecter/ESP/etc?
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#15
Dont flame...


Jim Root strat/tele...


versitile pick up selection, compund neck on a strat shape body...

with mahogany warmth to it.

if you looked real hard they come up around your budget used.

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#16
Well, there's the Prophecy EX Epiphones that (imo) look beautiful.
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#17
Quote by Tom 1.0
Dont flame...


Jim Root strat/tele...


versitile pick up selection, compund neck on a strat shape body...

with mahogany warmth to it.

if you looked real hard they come up around your budget used.

I quite like that idea - definitely something i'll check out.

As far as a signature model goes the person whose name is on it is irrelevant to me, i would buy an avril lavigne sig if i liked the guitar
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#18
Quote by Blompcube
i would buy an avril lavigne sig if i liked the guitar
They actually are pretty damn good. I keep meaning to buy one. I saved up for it but then I got distracted.


I don't know of any classic-styled guitars with active pickups installed right off the shelf, but you could go for a standard Epi/MIM/etc for somewhere around the £300 mark and then throw in some active pickups. If a guitar + a set of EMGs or SD Blackouts is a little steep then you could give Dragonfire pickups a go. They're quite a bit cheape than EMGs/Blackouts and sound virtually the same as the standard EMGs - I've got a set in a MIM Strat and they sound 95% on-par with the EMGs in my LTD.
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#19
if you can travel, Sounds Great Music in Heald Green carries Schecters (it's near Manchester Airport iirc, probably way too far for you to travel :S), great store, I was going to get me C-1 Classic from there, but they didn't have any in stock, and I found a perfect one 2nd hand on ebay
and also I think PMT has them, and they have a few stores around the U.K
just checked, they have one is Bristol
ooh, http://www.pmtonline.co.uk/pmtonline/?st=76442 , it's fate my friend

you could also look on ebay for a used c-1 hellraiser or c-1 Blackjack ATX, both really amazing guitars
I prefer the ATX due to the satin finish and prefering SD Blackouts to the EMGs
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Guitars: Schecter C-1 Classic
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#20
Quote by Offworld92
Well, there's the Prophecy EX Epiphones that (imo) look beautiful.


+1
I own a prophecy futura and les paul and have ordered an sg i highly recommend them


#21
Epiphone prophecy, ibanez artist, or any guitar that will take 80% of your budget, so you can buy the pickups for the remaining 20%. That's if you can install them yourself, which is ez.
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#22
Quote by MrFlibble
They actually are pretty damn good. I keep meaning to buy one. I saved up for it but then I got distracted.


I don't know of any classic-styled guitars with active pickups installed right off the shelf, but you could go for a standard Epi/MIM/etc for somewhere around the £300 mark and then throw in some active pickups. If a guitar + a set of EMGs or SD Blackouts is a little steep then you could give Dragonfire pickups a go. They're quite a bit cheape than EMGs/Blackouts and sound virtually the same as the standard EMGs - I've got a set in a MIM Strat and they sound 95% on-par with the EMGs in my LTD.



did you have any fitting issues with the hardware supplied with the dragonfire pickups?

i read a few reviews saying that the mounting hardware doesn't fit.
#23
Quote by Rapter-paul
if you can travel, Sounds Great Music in Heald Green carries Schecters (it's near Manchester Airport iirc, probably way too far for you to travel :S), great store, I was going to get me C-1 Classic from there, but they didn't have any in stock, and I found a perfect one 2nd hand on ebay
and also I think PMT has them, and they have a few stores around the U.K
just checked, they have one is Bristol
ooh, http://www.pmtonline.co.uk/pmtonline/?st=76442 , it's fate my friend

you could also look on ebay for a used c-1 hellraiser or c-1 Blackjack ATX, both really amazing guitars
I prefer the ATX due to the satin finish and prefering SD Blackouts to the EMGs

Ah yes, there is a PMT in bristol, i know i saw it the first time i went there when i was looking for somewhere to live - i'm not too familiar with bristol because i'm going to BIMM and haven't fully moved into the city yet (only just signed my contract with the housing people today) but i can probably find it if i look hard enough.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#24
Quote by MrFlibble
They actually are pretty damn good. I keep meaning to buy one. I saved up for it but then I got distracted.


I don't know of any classic-styled guitars with active pickups installed right off the shelf, but you could go for a standard Epi/MIM/etc for somewhere around the £300 mark and then throw in some active pickups. If a guitar + a set of EMGs or SD Blackouts is a little steep then you could give Dragonfire pickups a go. They're quite a bit cheape than EMGs/Blackouts and sound virtually the same as the standard EMGs - I've got a set in a MIM Strat and they sound 95% on-par with the EMGs in my LTD.

just a question - where can i get dragonfire pickups in the UK? i've seen a site selling them fro $64 US but it's an american site... i know how annoying it is to import things here

i guess the "SA" would be their clone of the EMG SA series? Which model would give the most vintagey sound?
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#25
Quote by iampeter
did you have any fitting issues with the hardware supplied with the dragonfire pickups?

i read a few reviews saying that the mounting hardware doesn't fit.
I bought mine as a pre-wired pickguard for a Strat. Can't say I had any issues other than the screws they used to mount the pickups were far too long, but that was it. I dunno about any of their other hardware.

Quote by Blompcube
just a question - where can i get dragonfire pickups in the UK? i've seen a site selling them fro $64 US but it's an american site... i know how annoying it is to import things here
They're only sold through their US site. Kind of sucks. Buying a full assembly from them resulted in an additional £27 in import duty, which actually still worked out cheaper than a set of EMGs + a new pickguard.

i guess the "SA" would be their clone of the EMG SA series? Which model would give the most vintagey sound?
I've got the 85A/SA/SA set up and to my ears the SAs sound exactly like the EMG SA. The 85A isn't exactly the same as an EMG 85 though, I think the EMG version has just a tiny bit more bass.

They would definitely be the most vintage-sounding though, at least as far as active pickups can be vintage-sounding. I'd liken the SAs more to Texas Specials rather than a truely vintage Strat pickup - you can definitely tell there is more life in them and more output than regular single coils.

That said, I tried a set of EMG SVs a while back and those really did sound exactly like classic Strat single coils. Without looking at them, you wouldn't be able to tell them from passives. If you wanted a really dead-on traditional tone then those would be what I would go for (sadly Dragonfire don't make a copy of them), though I would argue that it does kind of defeat the point of having actives when they sound that close to regular passives anyway.
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#26
Quote by Blompcube
Ah yes, there is a PMT in bristol, i know i saw it the first time i went there when i was looking for somewhere to live - i'm not too familiar with bristol because i'm going to BIMM and haven't fully moved into the city yet (only just signed my contract with the housing people today) but i can probably find it if i look hard enough.


PMT is really easy to find - opposite the old fire station down in Broadmead, near the hospital. To be honest, if you can't find Broadmead then you're in trouble
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I must be even further in the closet then
#27
Quote by Hidden Hippo
PMT is really easy to find - opposite the old fire station down in Broadmead, near the hospital. To be honest, if you can't find Broadmead then you're in trouble

i couldn't find it on foot but got driven past it (PMT, not broadmead - of course i found broadmead, it was getting out of the place that i found hard lol)

there was one schecter in rikaxxe but i didn't get to try it cus i was in a hurry. I'm back at the parents house atm but i'll be in bristol again in a few days, perhaps i'll find it this time lol
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#28
someone posted that they got a Jim Root sig strat (Cream strat with EMG 81/85 I think) looked quite nice and sounds similar to what you're looking for.
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#29
Quote by Mazz211
someone posted that they got a Jim Root sig strat (Cream strat with EMG 81/85 I think) looked quite nice and sounds similar to what you're looking for.

yep, that very same person recommended it to me on page 1 iirc

I intend on trying one out at some point - although i'd have difficulty choosing between the strat and the tele version
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#30
Quote by Blompcube
i couldn't find it on foot but got driven past it (PMT, not broadmead - of course i found broadmead, it was getting out of the place that i found hard lol)

there was one schecter in rikaxxe but i didn't get to try it cus i was in a hurry. I'm back at the parents house atm but i'll be in bristol again in a few days, perhaps i'll find it this time lol


If you walk down the hill past the eye hospital (Maudlin Street I think), got to the bottom of the hill near the lights (the big lot near the sail things) but don't cross and turn right, it's on the right near the multi-storey like building. Opposite the bus stops.
Quote by Kensai
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Quote by Kensai
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#31
Again...


Jim Root Strat - feels nicer than the tele and is a more familiar shape to play with...


Not that I am biased tehehehe

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#32
I have owned an Ibanez ART120 for a few years now, and the pick-ups in it are amazing. And as for not looking too 'metal', it is a single cut out guitar, with a slightly sharper cut-out than a Les Paul. I prefer it too the other Artist Ibanez's because of the inlay on the 12th fret, and having an otherwise dot less fret board. Give it a try, as the pick-ups sound very close to EMGs, and it looks great.
#33
Quote by Tom 1.0
Again...


Jim Root Strat - feels nicer than the tele and is a more familiar shape to play with...


Not that I am biased tehehehe

It seems like the only difference between the two is the body shape, in which case i guess the strat is pretty much a no-brainer because of the double cutaways and contours.
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#34
Quote by Doomsday94
I have owned an Ibanez ART120 for a few years now, and the pick-ups in it are amazing. And as for not looking too 'metal', it is a single cut out guitar, with a slightly sharper cut-out than a Les Paul. I prefer it too the other Artist Ibanez's because of the inlay on the 12th fret, and having an otherwise dot less fret board. Give it a try, as the pick-ups sound very close to EMGs, and it looks great.



Actually this is also a very good recomendation,

I tried one the other day as my lil bro is after one. But I found it was very voiced towards metal and the pickups didnt pull off softer genres.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#35
Quote by Tom 1.0
Actually this is also a very good recomendation,

I tried one the other day as my lil bro is after one. But I found it was very voiced towards metal and the pickups didnt pull off softer genres.


Whilst I agree that it leans towards metal more than any other genre, by fiddling with the tone dial a little, and adjusting how you play it (slightly softer strumming, etc) it works quite nicely with other styles, and as I play a shockingly large amount of country music on it, I feel it works nicely. However, I will be fair and point out the guitar does have it's faults, and that is that the intonation is a bugger to reset, but it holds it for ages anyway.
#36
Quote by Tom 1.0

I tried one the other day as my lil bro is after one. But I found it was very voiced towards metal and the pickups didnt pull off softer genres.


yep...but then again fender JIM root sigs are voiced towards metal aswell


how about a schecter hellraiser?even the name suggests that its a nice guitar for the kind hearted

jk/


blomp how about this



one of the ESP LTD xtone series,mahogany body,set thru maple neck and 24.75 scale...the only thing that looks metal is the abalone binding
#37
'86 Kramer Focus 1000 - $240
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#38
Quote by archenemyfan
yep...but then again fender JIM root sigs are voiced towards metal aswell




only if you dont know how to get the most out of EMGs...

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
#39
Quote by Tom 1.0
only if you dont know how to get the most out of EMGs...

Having not used EMGs very much, i'd like to know - how do you get the best out of EMGs (or active pickups in general, for that matter)?

It doesn't matter if the guitar is voiced for metal - it sure won't sound very metal when i run it through my laney VC30
Rig Winter 2017:

Fender Jazzmaster/Yamaha SG1000
Boss TU-3, DS-2, CS-3, EHX small stone, Danelectro delay
Laney VC30-112 with G12H30 speaker, or Session Rockette 30 for smaller gigs
Elixir Nanoweb 11-49 strings, Dunlop Jazz III XL picks
Shure SM57 mic in front of the amp
#40
By learning how to EQ properly for a start

through your VC30 they will sound awesome once you find the setting you like and discover how important your volume/tone knobs are in shaping your tone. also as you use lots of pedals they will; be great at keeping your signal strong throughout the chain :

actives are just amazing lol

the EMGs are not all sterile either, the 81 is but thats why its perfect for metal, the other pickups have very varied and important EQ bands as it were and sound very different and have a positive colour on your tone, just like passives.

1977 Burny FLG70
2004 EBMM JP6
2016 SE Holcolmb
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