Hello everyone. I'm David.

I have an ESP LTD with EMG Pickups for about 6 years. Last week it started to get a "crunchy", somewhat distorted sound on the clean channel.

- I tested it plugging directly to the amp, and the sound was still distorted.

- Tried to plug in another amp in the clean channel, same result.

- Tried another guitar (BC Rich Mocking bird with BCRich Pickups), same cables, and the sound came out crystal clear out of their clean channels.

So it's obviously the guitar.


- Even when the volume knob is at 30% to 50%, the sound remains dirty and distorted.
- The sound seems less distorted when the neck pickup is up, and more distorted if the bridge pickup is selected.
- The pickups are not too close from the strings

What could it be? Something in the electric part of the guitar?
Did you check the batteries in the pickups?
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Nolasludge Sorry, forgot to mention they are passive pickups. The BCRich guitar has passive pickups too.
Are you absolutely sure the guitar does not have a battery in it? The issue sounds exactly like a battery is dying. What is the model number on the guitar exactly?

Either that or maybe the pickups are just overdriving the preamp of the amps (EMG's are pretty hot IIRC) and you are just now noticing it.
Will Lane Thanks for answering, Will. Yes. They are EMG-HZs. The original ones were active pickups, but I'm not using them anymore. Turns out I found a possible problem. I took all the wires and tested them separately, and I found one that was not functioning correctly, and it was solded directly to the input jack. I'm going to replace them when I arrive home today. Hopefully it will solve the problem.

Resolded all wires. Not sure which of them were bad, but the caps are working perfectly now.

Thanks for your patience