#1
My guitar is a JS32 Kelly and I'm thinking of putting 81/85's on it. I tried my friend's ESP V loaded with these EMG's and they sound killer. I'm thinking if these pickups would sound the same on my guitar, even though my guitar's body wood is different from my friend's. Another problem is where to put the preamps and the battery box. I don't know if they would fit in the control cavity, as I don't want to route my guitar. Suggestions?
#2
Higher end guitar, depending on Amp of course.
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Ashdown CTM 100
#3
Guitars with EMGs tend to sound exactly the same. They leave much less room for wood nuances to come through the signal. In most guitars the battery will fit just fine in the electronics cavity, and you can get a holder for it that secures it. However, sometimes carving more room out is necessary for EMGs. After a quick search, it looks like the JS32 will have room for it already.
#4
Quote by mctriple
Guitars with EMGs tend to sound exactly the same.

This is so full of shit.
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#5
It's my opinion, and it differs from yours, but that doesn't mean it's full of shit. I do think every guitar with the same EMGs (like 81/85s in both) has sounded very similar - that signature EMG sound. They just overpower the more subtle tone factors like type of wood, in my opinion. It's not exactly a rare opinion to hear about EMGs, so there's definitely something to it. Some of the more obvious things may still come true - like one will be slightly brighter, one may be a bit warmer, but essentially they will sound very similar compared to using my favorite, dimarzio tone zone and air norton, in two different guitars. You will notice much bigger differences there. The magnets in EMGs are weaker, so they are influenced less by the subtle variations in string vibrations than guitars that rely exclusively on string vibration for signal. The weaker magnets pick up less of that, and then the signal is boosted by the EMG preamp before it comes out of the guitar. I don't see how you can't say that a system like that won't sound more similar from one guitar to another than a typical passive pickup.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, so you don't have to be offended. I'm considering getting another guitar to put EMGs in, something I haven't had in about 10 years and have really missed after downsizing my collection. That EMG sound is awesome for what it is. It's just that they're not as versatile (cleans on EMGs are not particularly good), so when I downsized I chose to let my EMG axe go.

What will make a much bigger difference between you playing and your friend playing after getting EMGs is not the type of wood of the guitar but instead the amp that you two use. If you use the same amp, then it will sound very similar. If that's the sound that you want, and you're happy with the way your current guitar plays, then swapping out pickups for EMGs should give you exactly what you want out of a guitar.
Last edited by mctriple at Oct 12, 2014,
#6
Quote by mctriple
It's my opinion

It's funny how you stated what you said as though it's a fact.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



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#8
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
It's funny how you stated what you said as though it's a fact.

To most people, talking about guitar tone is implied as an opinion because it is so extremely subjective that unless you're using equipment to monitor the signal, it is entirely opinion-based. I'm not sure why you didn't understand that, but apparently it needed to actually be said to you. Tons of people agree that EMGs make guitars sound very similar. I guess they're all just full of shit. It couldn't have anything to do with EMG coils being wound way less than other pickups (aka weaker electrical induction from the moving strings' magnetic fields), them not having pole pieces so the magnets are further from the strings (aka weaker magnetic field at a further distance), etc. They very factually get a weaker signal from the guitar and then amplify that weaker signal. A weaker signal means it has less of the subtlety of wood, shape, etc. Specifically the amp adds in lows and mids because the signal from the magnets is way brighter than normal before the preamp. There's a difference in tone from one guitar with EMGs to the next, but it's nothing like the difference with passive pickups. EMGs rely much less on the vibration of the string (that is influenced by the body's wood). The tone is very consistent with EMGs because of that. Again, that can be a really good thing because it's an awesome tone for some music.
Last edited by mctriple at Oct 12, 2014,
#9
Quote by mctriple
To most people, talking about guitar tone is implied as an opinion because it is so extremely subjective that unless you're using equipment to monitor the signal, it is entirely opinion-based. I'm not sure why you didn't understand that, but apparently it needed to actually be said to you.

Unfortunately people on the internet love implicitly expressing their opinions as fact, so you do actually need to make it explicit that you regard something as an opinion when you post a statement like you did. Otherwise the two are indistinguishable.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#10
Actually, people on the internet love seeing someone's post with an opinion, noticing it differs from theirs, and replying with "pffft. well that's just your opinion!".

I happen to agree with mctriple 100%. There's a reason why, minus the excellent David Gilmour single coil set, EMG has a reputation amongst metal players. Dimarzio, Duncan, Bareknuckle, etc....all types of players. Most folks who buy active EMGs want a particular sound because those pickups deliver them. In my opinion they sound REALLY sterile clean, and after trying Bareknuckles I'll never have another pickup in my guitars anyway.

To answer the original question: your guitar is on the lower-end of things, so you would do well to upgrade to a better quality instrument if you think you're ready to do so. You can get a mid-range Japanese Kelly for as little as $300 and it'll be way better for you than the JS32.
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#11
Okay, thanks for the suggestions people. Looks like I'll just upgrade my Kelly, since it seems that I won't need a new guitar because the wood won't do much on the sound. It will also save me a lot of bucks because EMG's are on 50% off in music stores here.
#12

A guitar with bad sustain will still have bad sustain with hot pickups.

(And a Strat with EMGs will sound different from a Les Paul with EMGs!)

But for 50% off get the EMGs anyway! You can still put them in your upgrade Kelly later on if you want.
And next time you're in a guitar store try two EMG fitted guitars made from different woods. Then you'll know if the difference matters to you or not.
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