I am trying to install EMG pickups in an Epiphone EM-2 prophecy guitar.

The guitar comes stock with active pickups, I added an afterburner change pots, jakc and switch and everything worked fine but the sound wasn't great in my opinion.

I decided to change the pickups for EMGs.
I got a 81 and 85 used but the guy I bought them from never actuallu used the pickups, so they're new, and certainly look like they are.

I first try to wire them with the switch the afterburner etc. but couldn't get any sound so I simplify with no pots or switch but sill get no sound.

Here is the actual wiring plus additionnal informative pictures :

Th wires are not EMG ones and quick connect only on the pickup side.

I checked the connections and they're all OK, the wires are supposed to be connected correctly to the pickup, the battery is OK but I get no sound.

If I disconnect the ground wire from the jakc I get a very very weak sound but get none if the black wire is connected.

What can possibly be wrong ?

A picture of the pickups :
Damn no replies from others. I saw this post this morning and nothing yet. I shall help.

I despise those input jacks like what you're using , it may be the issue. Switchcraft or regular stereo ones are the best. Built to last longer and all. Although I've seen these jacks on like an LTD M400 NT which I was a little surprised.

When I see that input jack, those quick connect cables and that battery clip holder I worry. They usually point to fake EMG pickups but hopefully this isn't the case because the last set of fake EMG pickups I had I took out of a guitar had just "B" and "N" on them. Hopefully these wheren't the counterfeit EMG pickups on DHGate they are a joke.

anyways.. assuming it's not the input jack it's the quick connect cables. Although you're using red white and black cables the positions of the wires into the PCB will be different.

so the side with the arrow pointing on like how you connected the pickup under the switcraft picture keep it like that. You're going to have to re-arrange the wires. Here's what I've done.

so as we know with EMG
left - red - battery ground
middle - black - ground
right - white - hot lead

on the dupont cables on ebay that just happen to have the same colors they are not positioned right so you need to wire them slightly differently. I haven't got any dupont cables that are like those in my room right now or photos as reference but that i'm certain may be the mistake.

diagram wise use a seymour duncan diagram to put it together. For the afterburner though you may need to use a bit of imagination to put the two together. They are what seperate a good guitar tech from a bad one in terms of wiring. I get asked all the time to do custom harnesses and I do it without any googling unless it's something new out like the freeway switch or whatever.

hope I could help

also ensure the contact points.
ring, sleeve and tip are important. If they are placed wrong you get undesired results. This is why I accentuate on seymour duncan blackout diagrams for people to wire up EMG pickups the classic way.
Last edited by Tallwood13 at Jan 21, 2015,

Thanks for the reply.

In fact I think you are right about those pups being fake EMGs...

I didn't know "dhgate" site but when I looked for "EMG" on the site this is what I got

Strangely, date and serial number are the same as on my pups, so it seems there's very little doubt here...

I'll get back to the guy I bought them from and see what he says but he's probably still laughing at me right now.

At least I will stop wasting my time trying to get those to work, and I thank you for that, even if I kind of feel like breaking something on someone's head right now :p
Glad I could help though. If the guy doesn't want to do a refund there is so many ways to get a refund, I remember one guy was trying to sell a fake Gibson Les Paul and long story short he's in prison for fraud. Hopefully it was just dumb luck on the other guys behalf.

with the last fake set of emgs I had I swear it was 4-40 screws and not 3-38 (dimarzio and seymour duncans) being the big concern.