#1
Hello guys.

I am interested in a cheap active single coil that behaves like a passive single coil, unlike the Dragonfire SA or S

So i am interested in the GFS REDactive Single Coil (Strat Neck) for the neck pickup on my guitar with a EMG 81 on the bridge.

a) Can i run both with the same circuitry (using the supplied GFS conector cable for the REDactive) ?

The system i use is not solderless.

b) Since GFS Recomends a 0,3 cap for the Single Coils and the EMG 81 uses a 0,1 cap, will the single coil on the neck be ridiculously bright if i used the 0,1 cap on both or just a tad brighter?

Any help would be apreciated, thanks.
#2
If you're soldering everything in anyway then yes, you can mix them without problems. That's A.

As for B, it's hard to tell because GFS are a bit secretive about their pickups. All I can say is that I have a set of GFS active single coils and with GFS' own volume and tone controls (their solderless system) the sound is a little duller than I would expect. Compared to EMG's systems, there is a loss of treble, while EMG's active single coils sound as bright as passives tend to do. So I would go with the EMG controls and if that gives you a slightly brighter tone with the GFS pickup, great.

That said, if you want a sound as close to a passive single as possible, you've really got to get an EMG SAV (or ideally an EMG SAVX, but that does require the use of their solderless tone control). Of all the active singles I've tried, it's the only one that actually sounds like a passive single coil.
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#3
Thank you for your reply.

The controls on their set are exactly the same as the EMG, except the Tone Caps are 0,3 instead of 0,1. I will get the 0,3 cap since everyone says the 0,1 doesnt do anything when you roll down the tone.

Yeah i heard the SAV is great but they're more expensive, and if i get one used there's going to be some problems:

1- It's still more expensive, to the point that i might actually pay import taxes which would increase the value in 30% (I live in Portugal - rare to find these pickups on EU)

2- Aesthetically it's very different than a EMG 81 lol. Plus, there's no cheap black one on ebay right now.

The guys at gfs told me suposely the REDactive strat neck would be a bit brighter than a EMG 81, but since it'l be on the neck, it'll be pretty balanced.

You think, with your gfs neck pickup, you can play a lead on the thickest string at a live gig and not sound "boomy" ? how's the output of them by the way, compared to a regular fender single coil?
#4
The EMG tone controls with .1 caps does work fine. I've got lots of guitars with them, it's no problem.

EMG do make an SAV with a flat black cover so it matches the 81 look, but I forget what it's called. Yes, they are expensive, but any music shop near to you will be able to order them in for you so you don't have to pay import fees. With GFS you will have to pay import fees. GFS will still be cheaper, but there's no point buying them at all if they don't give you the sound you want. I quite like my GFS active single coils but they're not a tone which will suit everybody.

The GFS active singles I have are considerably warmer and duller-sounding than the EMG 81 and 60A, which I also use. They have a smoother sound than the EMG SAV and even the SA which are closer to the sound of passive single coils. I would say the GFS pickups have a sound most like a Telecaster neck pickup or a P-90 pickup, rather than Strat-like.

I don't find they are "boomy" but I wouldn't try using them with a very powerful tone anyway, they're not as clear-sounding as I would want for that. I've found the bridge active single is good for classic rock rhythm and the neck is good for softer, blues-type stuff and pop ballads where an even, clean tone is required. I wouldn't use them for any sort of heavy lead playing.

In terms of output they are just a little bit hotter than a Fender Vintage Noiseless set I have in another guitar and are about half the output of Seymour Duncan Hot Rails. They're only a little bit hotter than the pickups in a Fender Standard Strat. They are about half the output of the EMG 60AX; I haven't compared their output next to an EMG 81 directly but since the 81 has more output than the 60AX, it's safe to say the 81 will have a lot more output than the GFS singles, too.
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#5
Im not exactly looking for a lead pickup, i want more of a spank sound. I just asked for the lead because i only need it to not be boomy on one very slow lead, thats all.

Heres the thing: i adjust the gain and eq for the bridge pup and whenever i need my spanky dirty sound, i roll down the volume with a treble bleed my pot and use my neck pickup coil split.

This mega low output and bright sound gives me a very "crappy" tone with no thickness at all, but in a low tunning like C# Standard and in a band mix sounds great.

I want the following for a active neck single coil:
-Low Output compared to the EMG 81 (The output you described on GFS seems fine)
-Bright, Spanky Sound
-Cheap

Is the GFS it? Or the SAV? What about the Emg SA or S? If i wanted a S or SA, i could get them from Dragonfire, their pickups seem really close to EMGs.

The S and SA (especially the S) seem very high output.
Last edited by NateCordova at May 17, 2013,
#6
I've got Dragonfire's SA pickups, too, and they're not close to the EMGs at all. Much warmer, softer sound. I would actually say that Dragonfire's pickups are the most disappointing pickups I've ever used. They're nothing like they claim, just a muddy mess.

Same as the GFS pickups, really. If brightness is what you want then you need to go for the EMGs because the other two have everything except brightness. Seymour Duncan make an active single coil that is brighter than even the EMG pickups and has lower output, but it's rare to find any shop that stocks them; I've only ever found one, once, many years ago.

Active pickups aren't cheap. Really, you're best off waiting, saving up and getting the right thing rather than a "cheap" alternative that ends up being a waste of money. I would recommend GFS' active single coils for blues and jazz and not much else. I wouldn't recommend Dragonfire's to anybody for anything.
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#7
Quote by MrFlibble
I've got Dragonfire's SA pickups, too, and they're not close to the EMGs at all. Much warmer, softer sound. I would actually say that Dragonfire's pickups are the most disappointing pickups I've ever used. They're nothing like they claim, just a muddy mess.

Same as the GFS pickups, really. If brightness is what you want then you need to go for the EMGs because the other two have everything except brightness. Seymour Duncan make an active single coil that is brighter than even the EMG pickups and has lower output, but it's rare to find any shop that stocks them; I've only ever found one, once, many years ago.

Active pickups aren't cheap. Really, you're best off waiting, saving up and getting the right thing rather than a "cheap" alternative that ends up being a waste of money. I would recommend GFS' active single coils for blues and jazz and not much else. I wouldn't recommend Dragonfire's to anybody for anything.

Thank You. Youve been most helpful. Il get a used sav even if its white and i spray them black!