I just bought an EMG 81 and couldn't afford an 85 or 89.

I would be running my EMG 81 (active bridge pickup) with my 596r (passive neck pickup) or 500t (passive bridge pickup) on my Gibson Explorer.

Would this sound like shit?
Last edited by claytron1337pwn at Mar 22, 2011,
Can I mix EMG’s with passive pickups?
It is possible to mix EMG’s with passive pickups. There are three possible wiring
confi gurations; one is better than the other two.
Use the high impedance (250K-500K) volume and tone controls. The problem is that
the high impedance controls act more like a switch to the EMG’s. The passive pickups,
however, will work fi ne. If you have a guitar with two pickups and two volume pots, with
a three-way switch, there is another alternative. Use the 25K pots for the EMG, and the
250K pots for the passive pickup. This way you can use one or the other with no adverse
affects, but with the switch in the middle position the passive pickup will have reduced
gain and response.
Use the low-impedance (25K) volume and tone controls provided with the EMG’s. The
problem here is that the passive pickups will suffer a reduction in gain and loss of highfrequency
This is the best alternative. Install an EMG-PA-2 on the passive pickups. There are
two benefi ts to doing this. With the trimpot on the PA-2, you can adjust the gain of the
passive pickups to match the EMG’s. The PA-2 acts as an impedance matching device
so you can use the low-impedance EMG controls (25K) without affecting the tone of the
passive pickups. You will also be able to use other EMG accessory circuits such as the
SPC, RPC, EXB, EXG, etc. For this application, we recommend ordering the PA-2 without
the switch for easy installation on the inside of a guitar.

From the EMG website.