#1
So some people like EMGs and some people despise them. I love their distortion more so than any passive pickup, and I don't mind the clean tones they give, but I haven't spent enough time with an EMG-equipped axe to experiment with anything but that. Lately I've been listening to bands that make use of different tones and levels of distortion (Alter Bridge being a prime example) and I wanted to know if it was possible to achieve the tones 'well' with EMGs. If it isn't or the product would sound poor, how difficult is it to swap stock EMGs out for passive pickups?
#3
Keep in mind that the amps you use matter more in shaping the tone. It's a bit of a matter of taste, but in my opinion, EMG's themselves don't necessarily restrict you to metal.

As for changing them for passives, it should be doable if you can hold a soldering iron and follow instructions.
#4
Yea, its not to hard to swap in passives, I did it to my LTD Viper. You may need to add the ground wire to the bridge.

If the tones your refering to are off studio albums they may not all be coming from EMG's anyway, bands have access to lots of different gear(guitars and amps).

And I second keeping the volume and tone knobs moving to find different tones especially cleans, i usually have my guitar volume about 5 when doing clean stuff, but I have a single channlel amp so I have to compensate.
#5
I don't how well it will work for you but for clean sounds I like to turn the volume to 5 and the tone to 6, it sounds really good.
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#6
Maybe using the 18v mod and a switch so you can change from 18v to 9 volt. Ive never seen it done but I am planning on going to active soon and was gonna try it.
#8
it is a total misconception that EMG's can't do anything but metal. they were designed for jazz.

however, it does take some EQ knowledge and skills to get the most out of them (ive started using a 32 band unit). because EMG's don't have the mid-range hump like a passive pickup does, they tend to sound flat to most peoples ears. properly EQing your amp can not only overcome this, but it can actually produce a clearer sound that passives can.
#9
thanks everyone. I definately won't be ruling out EMGs just yet, then.
#10
Quote by mcamp1230


If the tones your refering to are off studio albums they may not all be coming from EMG's anyway, bands have access to lots of different gear(guitars and amps).


+1

EMG's are more tweakable than people make them out to be. Using your volume and tone knobs with good eq'ing helps greatly.
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#11
A good amp and some kind of EQ control. Either the ones EMG make that go in to your guitar in place of one of the normal tone controls or a floor pedal to go before your amp. With a good tube amp that has a basic separate clean & dirty channel set up, an EQ and an EMG 81TW, SA and 89R in an HSH set up, you can get a tone for any occasion.
#12
Quote by krehzeekid
it is a total misconception that EMG's can't do anything but metal. they were designed for jazz.

however, it does take some EQ knowledge and skills to get the most out of them (ive started using a 32 band unit). because EMG's don't have the mid-range hump like a passive pickup does, they tend to sound flat to most peoples ears. properly EQing your amp can not only overcome this, but it can actually produce a clearer sound that passives can.


+1 to all of this.

EMG's can do any tone you want them to. The other half of the equation is that you need the right amp, and the playing style to be able to sound different. Pickups on their own won't do anything for you.

So if you're playing through a one trick pony amp, that's your problem right there.
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#13
Volume and tone knob. But more importantly:

EQ.

Those three together, with an excellent amp or amp modeler, and you can shape an EMG pickup's tone to almost anything. People only call them 'sterile' because they expect a pickup with its own tonal character and can't be bothered to work the EQ. EMGs on the other hand give you a perfect base from which to sculpt your sound.
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#14
Thanks a lot everyone I might see if I can rent a guitar with EMGs for a month just to tinker with it and see if I can make those different tones. My amp is a Fender Super Champ XD and it offers numerous different tone settings so I imagine I shouldn't have a great deal of trouble working with EMGs.