#1
Hi, folks -- long time lurker, first time poster! Was wondering if someone could help me with a guitar issue I've been having. Here's my story: I recently bought a Schecter Damien Elite guitar, which features EMG pickups (81-bridge, 85-neck), and although I really liked the axe overall and felt like it got some great metal tones, I encountered one problem that was a deal-breaker for me -- whenever the top (lower-pitched) strings were ringing, it was virtually impossible to hear the bottom (higher-pitched) strings. Since several of my songs have riffs where I strike an open dropped-C barre chord and then strike a higher-pitched string or chord afterward while the low C rings out, this posed a major problem for me -- one I've never encountered with my Fender Big Apple Strat. I don't know much about minutiae like pickup adjustments and so forth, so I was wondering -- can anyone tell me if there might be a straightforward fix to that particular problem with the Schecter Damien Elite and its EMG pickups, such as tilting one of the pickups a certain way or raising/lowering one of the pickups? I'd sure appreciate it if someone could provide some helpful input, because I do really like the Damien Elite and would hate to have to give it up if there's a remedy for the problem. (FYI: I did try to make adjustments to my amp -- Line 6 Flextone II XL -- to correct the problem, but no dice.) Many thanks in advance!
#2
I would set the pickup height as low as possible and work your way up from there. It will decrease output but generally improves note definition and clarity, so it is certainly worth a try. Knocking the gain down a bit helps as well, and I'm guessing that you've covered that already?
#3
Thanks much, Prophet. I'll have to give your pickup-lowering suggestion a try. I didn't want to dial the gain down too far lest I lose the roaring tones I liked, but I could perhaps go a notch or two further without compromising that element of the sound. As I understand it, EMGs (although hotter) are already quieter than standard passive/magnetic pickups, so I ideally wouldn't want to drop them too far from the strings; do you think that might pose any problems, or would it simply be a matter of turning up the volume to compensate for lowering the pickups?
#4
No no no. With regular passive pickups lowering the pickups would do what you want, but EMGs have a different magnet setup and don't respond to raising or lowering in this way.

In fact, if you consult your EMG manual you will see that it suggests putting the pickups as close as possible to the strings without them interfering with your playing or hitting the strings.

My guess would be that this might either be a setup issue with the high strings (dampening on the frets, slightly twisted board) or just the guitar itself being particularly dark and bass-heavy. Unless you already have the pickups too far away, adjusting the height shouldn't make any difference with EMGs.
#5
Quote by Roc8995
No no no. With regular passive pickups lowering the pickups would do what you want, but EMGs have a different magnet setup and don't respond to raising or lowering in this way.

In fact, if you consult your EMG manual you will see that it suggests putting the pickups as close as possible to the strings without them interfering with your playing or hitting the strings.

Is this the case with all actives without pole pieces? I'm pretty sure I noticed a clarity difference when I lowered the active neck pickup in my EC330.
#6
I didn't have a manual; the pickups came stock in the instrument, and there was no special EMG manual included with it. Guess I could check online for it, but I doubt there's any point; based on what you're saying, the problem is probably just that the Schecter Damien Elite isn't built to be as tonally responsive in the highs as, say, a Fender Big Apple Strat. Fortunately, I'm still in the time window to return the Damien Elite for a full refund, and I imagine that's what I'll end up doing. Thanks for the tips.
#7
@Deano: That's a good tip, too, but in the case of my Damien Elite, the neck pickup (EMG 85) was already set as low as possible right out of the box, and yet the highs were still almost completely missing when the lower-pitched strings were ringing. I'm guessing it's probably just the nature of the instrument.
#8
Quote by DeanoM50810
Is this the case with all actives without pole pieces? I'm pretty sure I noticed a clarity difference when I lowered the active neck pickup in my EC330.

I hesitate to say 'all' because I'm sure someone makes some weird design, but yes, that's the case for every active pickup that I'm aware of. Certainly EMGs, Blackouts, and their derivatives like the ones in your guitar work like that.