#1
Guitar: Synapse Transcale
Pickup: EMG 85

Pickup distorts on clean tone rather noticeably. Appears during the strum. Now - I have made sure about the following things.

The battery has been bought today. Brand new one - Duracell.
I have tried the clean guitar signal with no amplification or effects recorded through Focusrite Scarlett 2i4.
I have ensured that there's no digital clipping. The indicators remained within "green" the entire duration during the recording.
Even when the master knob is turned just a bit - enough for at least some sound - and the level of recording is extremely low in the card, the sound is very quiet, but the distortion is there - quiet, but there.
There is no such trouble with either the neighboring EMG 81 or Piezo. The sound on those is perfectly fine. Distortion appears only when using EMG 85 - and that is during the dual regime of using both pickups or just EMG 85.
Distortion is most evident when I strum hard. When I play quietly singular notes - it is not evident. Distortion is below and above 5k hz.

I have snooped around Inet for similar troubles. Mostly the solution was to change the battery. Which is not the case here obviously. Distortion is apparent on Focusrite as well as Roland JS-8. Only things I haven't tried yet: trying a different cable, new strings, check for wiring inside.

Any advice or pointers then?
#2
the 85 is a very hot pickup. In fact it's hotter than the 81 I actually did research on it years ago. I find it to be more well rounded too. Not something I like in the bridge I think one of the only guys playing with the 85 in the bridge is Andy James.

things to consider
potentiometer value - 25k is optimal for actives. 100k is an alternative.
pickup height, but I'm sure this isn't the case.
other than that I'm not 100% sure so other suggestions are always welcomed.

a bit of a history lesson
The 58 was an earlier version of it, it was too noisy. the "H" was the first active humbucker Rob Turner (founder of emg) made in the mid 70s. Other variants for the 85 is the 89 (first emg to coiltap) , the 89RX which is an X series that goes out of phase; and finally the 707 is an 85 in a bigger housing.
#3
just to clarify - EMG 81 is in the bridge, EMG 85 is in the neck. I saw suggestions to lower the pickup, but others said that this is not a correct solution as such pick ups have to be rather closer to the strings than further.

P. S. I've done everything to tame it. There is no digital clipping. The distortion can be still heard vividly even when the volume is incredibly low and the master knob is barely turned to produce any sound at all.
Last edited by danielbaggins at Dec 26, 2014,
#4
Quote by danielbaggins
just to clarify - EMG 81 is in the bridge, EMG 85 is in the neck. I saw suggestions to lower the pickup, but others said that this is not a correct solution as such pick ups have to be rather closer to the strings than further.

Give it a try, you won't hurt anything trying it and it might work
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#5
alrighty then. will do and report back. Meanwhile - any other alternative ideas are most welcome! Cheers. ))
#6
You might try the 18volt mod it is a clip that allows you to use 2x 9v batteries and you get a much cleaner signal out of the pickups. it looks like this and they are very cheap
2002 PRS CE22
2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
Morley Bad Horsie 2
MXR Smart Gate
#7
Quote by Robbgnarly
You might try the 18volt mod it is a clip that allows you to use 2x 9v batteries and you get a much cleaner signal out of the pickups. it looks like this and they are very cheap


I doubt that this is an option for Steinberger with its incredibly small body. Everything is very fit together and I doubt anything else is supposed to go there.
#8
it won't fix the problem by adding the 18 volt mod but it's a great option if your guitar can hold two 9v batteries for that better sound. Less compression and more volume pretty much.

with the preamp inside of the EMG pickups though that aren't say the X series your best option is a 25k pot as that is what it was designed for. The higher resistance pots don't do much for actives. Passives though.. big time. The higher the resistance the brighter a passive pickup will become. This is why they make up to 2M (2000k) potentiometers for guitars.

..However another out of the box idea is..
did the wiring come stock on teh guitar I remember my friend who is a professional guitar tech said don't attach a ground wire to the selector.

when in doubt though people will trade you a set of seymour duncan blackouts in a heart beat. They work with EMG pickups wiring perfectly. I have an 81 in the neck and a blackout bridge pickup. Both active of course and I like the sound a lot more.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Dec 26, 2014,
#9
Have you checked to make sure all the wiring is still attached inside? That's about all I can think of. It's a very odd issue. I'm normally skeptical to say that the pickup is the issue as they're very simple devices, but that could be true in this case.
#10
Quote by JustRooster
Have you checked to make sure all the wiring is still attached inside? That's about all I can think of. It's a very odd issue. I'm normally skeptical to say that the pickup is the issue as they're very simple devices, but that could be true in this case.


okay. If I am looking inside - how do I know that something's wrong? What am I looking for? Sorry if this sounds stupid. It's just - it's my first instrument.