The EMG active pickups seem pretty popular among the metal heads. I had been thinking about putting a pair in my Epiphone Les Paul to replace the bland stock pickups.

A few questions. One, apparently the require battery power? Ok, what type of batteries? How long do the batteries last? Will it not sound at all unless it still has battery power? How do you replace the batteries--as simple as opening a hole in the back of the guitar or is it involved? And, how complicated is the installation compared with a standard passive humbucker?

Well, if you have no clue what you're doing, I suggest taking it into a shop.

I had actives, but changed for passives. Essentially, yes, the actives will require battery power (9volt batteries) and they usually last for quite some time! Maybe 6 months to a year +. There's a little slot where the battery should be placed.
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I'd certainly take it to a shop to get it done. But if active EMGs are more complicated to install than regular passive humbuckers, I imagine they would charge more to get the EMGs done. If that's true, I don't mind living with passives. I don't have a high-end tube amp anyway so I doubt it would make that much of a difference. Still, I was curious.
this isnt about the topic
but a good distortion pedal is a marshall jackhammer
Quote by rocker138
Wow...I can't believe no one thought of that, I actually have lost 5% of my confidence for not thinking of that, I bow to you

With EMG's it may actually be SIMPLER to install than passives.

EMG's have a small plug on the back of them with three prongs coming out of it. You plug a cable on to that and use that to wire it up.

It really isnt complicated, and the battery isnt hard to hook up, its a 9v battery attached to a clip, with one wire going to the pickup, and one going to the output jack.

The battery is wired so when the plug is in it turns it on, so it isnt constantly draining. It will last for a long time, probably over a year. To replace it is really simple, because the battery just sits in your control cavity. (i surrounded my battery with a light layer of foam and duct tape to make a small paded case so it doesnt damage anything)

Hope ive helped clear something up, theres also alot of help at the EMG website (diagrams etc)
EMG actives require low impedance pots and a stereo output jack as well. The wiring is not real difficult. It does require rewiring the whole guitar. If you buy the Zakk Wylde set it comes with everything you need. The pots are even prewired for a Les Paul, which will save you some effort. One thing to pay attention to is the connections at the pickups themselves. The arrow faces you. The directions seem to imply otherwise. If you install them backwards, you will get almost no sound. I know, I made the mistake as many others have done. EMG has that listed as a FAQ. Seems like they would revamp the instructions.

As far as the battery life, it will last for months. The circuit is on only when a cord is inserted. That's where the stereo jack comes in. It's the switch. The battery should tuck away in the electronics cutout.

Good luck. I hope that some of this helps