#1
Hello good people,

What is this I hear about active pickups sounding horrible through solid state amps?

I'm looking to buy a new guitar next year and I'm wondering which I should buy. The 2 guitars are in a similar price range and one has active pickups and the other has passives.

[Ibanez RGA32 for active and Ibanez RGR321EX for passive]
Woffelz

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Ibanez RG2550Z/SRX430
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I'm a student. I've got no time or space for an amp!
#3
not that they sound horrible
but they are made to push amps into distortion
and solid state clipping does not sound good

but if you can keep it form clipping you can have a decent tone
#4
Active pickups were made to push amps harder than passive ones.
On a tube amp, this usually means better tone as the tubes respond very well to being pushed.
On a solid-state amp, it will sound decent as long as you limit the amount of added gain. If you push a solid-state amp too hard, you will cause transistor clipping - in other words, horrible, harsh and unusable distortion.
Ceci n'est pas une signature.
#5
I run active pickups into a Spider IV 75 and it doesn't clip at all, although I play through a roland cube (which i guess is the SS you're talking about) during my lessons and it really seems to push it, so I have to back off the volume a bit and soften my picking. Also, if i accidentally twang a string then it's really loud, so it depends how high the output is and what amp you're using.
Periphery, love that shit!
#6
Quote by GS LEAD 5
Use your ears.

This.

Quote by GS LEAD 5
Run an EMG through an MG, the result is shit.

Oi. -_-

Although, to be fair, I might have just got a one in a million MG, I've heard of it happening before. Mine truly does have CRUSHING OVERDRIVE, I shit you not.
Gear:
Yamaha RGX620DZ
Ibanez TK999HT
Marshall MG50FX (One that sounds good! :O )
Ibanez RG470
Line 6 Spider II Half-stack (Again, one that sounds good! Oh, wait, maybe it's just because I don't use unnessecary amounts of Gain and Bass. Twats.)
#7
Quote by GS LEAD 5

Run anything through an MG, the result is shit.


Fixed There is one at my school, impossible to get a good sound out of it.

On topic, I heard somewhere that modelling amps respond really well with different pickups. Not sure though
Quote by durhamdynamo
I like my coffee like I like my women.

Covered in bees!
#8
instead of buying a new guitar I recommend a new amp, Roland cubes are excellent pieces of gear but you may want a louder amp for live situations
#9
Quote by childofbodem
This.


Oi. -_-

Although, to be fair, I might have just got a one in a million MG, I've heard of it happening before. Mine truly does have CRUSHING OVERDRIVE, I shit you not.

I had an MG before my KB4.
Was terrible
#10
Quote by PsiGuy60
Active pickups were made to push amps harder than passive ones.
On a tube amp, this usually means better tone as the tubes respond very well to being pushed.
On a solid-state amp, it will sound decent as long as you limit the amount of added gain. If you push a solid-state amp too hard, you will cause transistor clipping - in other words, horrible, harsh and unusable distortion.


these are the generalizations, unfortunately it's too generalized to be accurate.

Active pups are pups with a preamp onboard... this is pretty similar to the way you run a passive guitar into an OD, distortion, fuzz or boost pedal and then into the amp; and people do this with solid state and tube amps quite a bit.

there are many other effects from running an active pup besides 'pushing the amp harder', you get better freq response in particular ranges, you get a more prominent attack, i believe you also increase the impedance of the output of the guitar. also a active pup won't push the whole amp harder, it just effects the first gain stage of the amp which gives a very particular type 'pushed' sound.

transistor clipping is usually considered unfavorable though, but an active pup by itself usually won't drive the first gain stage in a ss amp into clipping by itself.

and yes, i did run EMG's for a number of years into my hybrid music man with a SS preamp section. that is why i am always baffled with this naysaying of active pups and SS amps.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae