#1
I've got an EMG 81 on the way, and I intend to put it in my Ibanez RG270
the only problem is that the stock pickups in the neck and middle positions are passive, and I don't know if they'll work with the active EMG in the bridge...
any problems this will cause?
or advice on how to wire it up?
#2
Edit:

Can I mix EMG's with passive pickups?

It is possible to mix EMG's with passive pickups. There are three possible wiring configurations; one is better than the other two.

Use the high impedance (250K-500K) volume and tone controls. The problem is that the high impedance controls act more like a switch to the EMG's. The passive pickups, however, will work fine. If you have a guitar with two pickups and two volume pots, with a three-way switch, there is another alternative. Use the 25K pots for the EMG, and the 250K pots for the passive pickup. This way you can use one or the other with no adverse affects, but with the switch in the middle position the passive pickup will have reduced gain and response.

Use the low-impedance (25K) volume and tone controls provided with the EMG's. The problem here is that the passive pickups will suffer a reduction in gain and loss of high-frequency response.

This is the best alternative. Install an EMG-PA-2 on the passive pickups. There are two benefits to doing this. With the trimpot on the PA-2, you can adjust the gain of the passive pickups to match the EMG's. The PA-2 acts as an impedance matching device so you can use the low-impedance EMG controls (25K) without affecting the tone of the passive pickups. You will also be able to use other EMG accessory circuits such as the SPC, RPC, EXB, EXG, etc. For this application, we recommend ordering the PA-2 without the switch for easy installation on the inside of a guitar.
Last edited by -MintSauce- at May 18, 2008,
#3
Quote by -MintSauce-
loads of crap I don't understand


that's all well and good, but I haven't got a clue what that means. Thanks for the help though.
I don't know what pots or anythin' are, I was just gonna hope I could install them with the help of a diagram.
#4
It means you need independent volume/tone controls for both the active and passive pickups.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#5
Quote by jm1681
It means you need independent volume/tone controls for both the active and passive pickups.


Ah, that certainly is a problem...
I'm guessin I could have the neck and middle pickups unwired, and only hook up the EMG, right?
#6
It depends on your amp alot to. EMGs dont do so well with all amps. They work really good with tubes but cheaper lower watt SS stuff they wont make much if any difference in tone. But yea you could leave the others disconnected but would lose all the vesatility of having 3 pickups. Just make sure you want to shell out the money for what may be little gain.
#7
I would suggest since you didn't understand that post that you probably should just stick to either all passive or all actives. If you want both its gonna require a lot of soldering and a few new components
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#8
Yeah, I know most of the tone comes from the amp, but I'm too poor for a new amp, and the EMG is pretty much a 'cheap' fix for my guitar upgrade cravings.
Plus I don't really need the versatility of the three pickups, as I only ever use the bridge position anyways.

Also, to the 'all passives or all actives' guy, I already ordered the EMG, in a fit of madness, and only thought of the problems afterwards... plus I don't have the money fr a full set.
#9
As you said, you could simply leave the neck and middle pickups out of the equation and you're aces. But I don't think what you'd have to do is that big a deal.

I see you have an RG270. Just say good-bye to your tone knob, and run both an active and a passive volume. Its really not that big a deal.

If you require a tone knob, you could always get concentric pots. 2 sets of 2 controls, one for the EMG, the other for the passive pickups.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#10
Quote by jm1681
As you said, you could simply leave the neck and middle pickups out of the equation and you're aces. But I don't think what you'd have to do is that big a deal.

I see you have an RG270. Just say good-bye to your tone knob, and run both an active and a passive volume. Its really not that big a deal.

If you require a tone knob, you could always get concentric pots. 2 sets of 2 controls, one for the EMG, the other for the passive pickups.


ah right, that does seem the best option

would that leave me with full tone all the time though? cus that's what I'd prefer
and I'd need a 25K volume pot for the EMG right?
#11
EMGs come with everything you need to install them, including pots

From what I've been lead to believe, running without a tone knob will add a little more to the top-end and give you a hair more output. I have yet to make a first-hand comparison (With or without a tone), but I've heard that it can be a night and day difference.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#12
Ah good, thanks for the help man, it's much appreciated :]

I might just make a video for youtube comparing the tone of my guitar before and after EMGs, depends if I can be bothered.
But yeah, thanks
#13
I didn't think it'd be worth making a new thread for this, but does anyone have a diagram for the proposed idea?
that is, one EMG81, connected to 25k volume pot, with middle and neck passive stock pickups, connected to 250K volume pot, no tone pots included. There is also a 5-way switch to take into account
#14
The 5 way is kind out of the equation really - the 81 isn't splittable so you'd lose position 2 anyways. This really isn't worth the hassle - an EMG, or indeed any aftermarket pickup, is only really an upgrade if the amp can take advantage of it. As is stands it's just a crapload of work for what amounts to little more than a cosmetic change.
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#15
Quote by steven seagull
The 5 way is kind out of the equation really - the 81 isn't splittable so you'd lose position 2 anyways...
No, he'll just have the EMG and middle pickup on at the same time. Might be significantly lower in output, but that doesn't make it a "dead" position.

Quote by steven seagull
...This really isn't worth the hassle - an EMG, or indeed any aftermarket pickup, is only really an upgrade if the amp can take advantage of it. As is stands it's just a crapload of work for what amounts to little more than a cosmetic change.
I know you've been here longer than me and I respect that/you, but I see you say this all the time and no offense, but you are just plain wrong.

I'm not trying to open a can of worms, get in your face or jack AoB's thread, I'm just stating my opinion based on my own observations.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"
#16
Well if he did use the "dead" position not sure how well it would work with the active using a 25k pot and the passive using a 250k pot. As EMGs dont like 250k pots and passives dont like 25k pots. So would be better of making the switch have a dead spot there. And the bird does know alot more about pickups than most will. I have a set of EMGs in one of my guitars and they sound terrible thru my little peavey SS practice amp. Worse than any of my other passive guitars do. But sound really good thru my tube amp. When it comes to tone opinion is just that after all there are some who think MGs are crushing.
#17
Quote by Tackleberry
Well if he did use the "dead" position not sure how well it would work with the active using a 25k pot and the passive using a 250k pot. As EMGs dont like 250k pots and passives dont like 25k pots. So would be better of making the switch have a dead spot there...
Direct from EMG (Or Mint's post in this very thread)...

"If you have a guitar with two pickups and two volume pots, with a three-way switch, there is another alternative. Use the 25K pots for the EMG, and the 250K pots for the passive pickup. This way you can use one or the other with no adverse affects, but with the switch in the middle position the passive pickup will have reduced gain and response."

Killing the position altogether is a waste. Albeit it won't be a stellar position, it is another option.

Quote by Tackleberry
...When it comes to tone opinion is just that after all there are some who think MGs are crushing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that tone is not opinion based. I'm just pointing out that regardless of amp, a pickup swap is unquestionably detectable.
我会关闭我的耳朵,和我的心; 我会变成一个石头
"I will close my ears and my heart and I will be a stone"