Hi everyone,

I have an ESP Eclipse with an EMG 81/81 set and a Vox Valvetronix AD100VT-XL and I'm really having trouble getting a decent tone. I'm somewhat new to the guitar and gear in general so I don't quite know what I'm doing but I've spent a lot of time tweaking the amp without much success. I understand it's hard for you guys to help me out without any physical tweaking. I'm wondering what I can do to improve my tone without stealing John Petrucci's rig.

My friend thinks the pickups might be responsible. It'd cost me money to swap out the actives for passives and I want to be somewhat sure whether I'll hear a big enough difference on a relatively mid-level rig. What do you guys think?

Thanks in advance.
It is a known fact that active pickups mostly sound like sheit through a Solid State amp. I would either get a tube amp, or new pickups. Sorry mate.
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The hotbar should be floating parallel to the principle axis at this point. Next, take a hammer, and beat yourself in the face while crying JIHAD. problem fixed.

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cowdude speaks words of infinite wisdomery.
Before you switch anything out, borrow a friend's guitar with passive pickups and make sure it's the EMGs.
It probably is, but measure twice, cut once.
Thanks guys. The problem is none of my friends play guitar and the friend who thinks it's the pickups plays bass. It'd be hard for me to wheel my amp into a guitar store to test it out though I suppose that's an option. I guess this is the sort of thing where you have to spend money to get results which isn't something I mind. What I do mind is spending money and ending up right back where I started.
can't you just go into a GC and find a valvetronix 100t xl and plug in a passive guitar into it?
Is there a Guitar Center near by?
I'm sure they'll have a Valvetronix amp on display you could check with a passive guitar?
None of the local ones have the specific one I have last time I checked. I'll give it another whirl.
In my vid i use 81/85 mix for the cleans, and then for the solo just the 81. See if you like the tone or is tolerable and if it is then it is probably the amp that is causing you your grief. I personally love the actives especially the 81, so i'm guessing it's your amp that you need to change.
Maybe its b/c you are using a VALVETRONIX! They are not terrible amps but you are only going to get a really good sound with a True tube amplifier, not one 12AX7 and a solid state power amp. I reccomend saving up for a good tube amp. Those Esp Eclipse guitars are very nice sounding (despite the fact that they have EMGs ), so I think all you need is a good tube amplifier to make your tone kick arse. What kind of music are you going to be playing? if you sold your valvetronix and saved up a little extra cash, and you play metal, you could be almost at the amount you need for a peavey 5150.
I play different styles, so I don't want to be limited strictly to metal, so I guess it was a mistake buying the XL series in the first place.

I didn't like the tone in the 81 vid, but the playing was pretty good.
The Valvetronix XL amps are pretty dire to be honest. Not as good as the Cubes or regular Valvetronixes. Also, EMGs will not help matters at all.
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Quote by MrCarrot
The Valvetronix XL amps are pretty dire to be honest. Not as good as the Cubes or regular Valvetronixes. Also, EMGs will not help matters at all.

+16 on the XLs, horrible amps, you should trade in for something else.
Its the amp not the guitar... Many many many users have emgs and love them along with many professionals.. So i would look for another amp... I have a similiar setup and love my tone... But im also using a tube amp which emg's were designed for...
I actually like the sound I get from my EMGs on my AD-series... granted it's not an XL...
But I like it.

Sounds better with the Blackheart and the Muff pedal, but what can ya do...
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