I have recently bought an EMG 81 and the store installed it in my Jackson.

When I tested them in home they sounded strange and with a lot of feedback and the volume control wasn't working, then I realized that the cable wasn't connected at all into the jack and I had to make some effort to plug it completely but when I did this the gain and distortion got lowered a lot and the EMG didn't sounded like a high output active.

Maybe the input jack is not working well , I will take it to the store tomorrow, but maybe somebody had this problem in the past and knows something else, Thanks !
Is the neck pickup passive? I hear that you can't mix active pickups with passive ones - that might be the problem
if you think it's the jack then you can remove it and insert the cable while outside the guitar.

see if the arm is grabbing the cable at this spot.

if not then, swap the cable and or take it back have them tell you what they did wrong.

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Guess it would have been to much to ask for the shop to do a simple test before saying its finished. If you just got the 1 active put in there will be issues with the volume pot. Actives dont like passive pots and passives dont like active pots. And its not unheard of for a new jack to bind up. Or in some cases be a bit to big for the hole then a little wood work is needed.
I am only using the EMG, the passive is dissconected , and I tested the guitar in the shop but I tested it only in clean and with some overdrive and it sounded nice , because i wanted to get home to test it, the problem is that in mi rig the pickup sounds with a lot less gain than with my old passive stock pickup.

Thanks for the answers, I'm going to remove the Jack now and test what happens.

See ya.
I have just removed the jack and it has two arms that make contact with the cable.

One arm is taller than the other, when I plug the cable the small arm touch that spot, thats when I hear all the gain in the sound , a lot of distortion , with some noise, and I can't control the volume.

When I plug the cable completely the taller arm touch that spot and the smaller ends touching the side of the plug and thats when the gain is reduced significately but I can control the volume. I can hear a little difference in the sound, It's a little easier to pick a pinch harmonic , but I still think that It isn't all the power that the EMG's can give.
The output is supposed to be connected to the tip the other shorter arm is for the battery to connect. If you can control the volume then sounds like its at least hooked up right. Did they put the 25k pots in as they were supposed to. They will be the smaller diameter pots or 16mm versus the larger 24mm.
But if the shorter arm is for the battery, why I can hear perfectly the distorted sound , and the clean but very low ?
I will be going to the store nex monday because I have a practice on sunday.

Thanks again.
yeah just let them sort it out. maybe they need to swap out a pot like said.

Quote by TNfootballfan62
Jenny needs to sow her wild oats with random Gibsons and Taylors she picks up in bars before she settles down with a PRS.

Set up Questions? ...Q & A Thread

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If the shorter arm is contacting the tip then your not plugging the cable in all the way. Sometimes it takes some effort with stereo jacks to plug them in. It will go away after awhile. Just try to plug it in all the way.

Edit: skipped a post from the OP. realized you already tried plugging it in all the way. Have you checked the battery yet? Maybe they put in a used battery that they thought was sufficient enough? Or maybe they forgot it altogether? Just throwing out ideas here.
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Last edited by MeanwiththeDean at Aug 30, 2008,
The battery is alkaline and new , I bought it by myself , I'm gonna try the 18V mod and see what happens.

The thing is that the output of the EMG plugged correctly is much less than my old passive pickup, so there has to be something wrong with the wiring, maybe the pots.

Ok, I have just checked all the wiring and everything is right, and all the soldering is good , also the input jack is wired right.

The problem maybe comes from my amp and pedal, I am using a Solid Metal tube distortion pedal with an SS amp, with the EMGs and the cable plugged all the way in , the sound looses a lot of distortion and gain, I had more gain with my old passive pickup, but when I just plug the cable half the way I have a lot of distortion but it sounds muddy and it's more difficult to get pinch harmonics so I dont know, maybe the pickup is not for my amp or maybe the pickup is broken.

Someone knows WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON???

Thanks for the help.
Last edited by Esti_Sonata at Sep 1, 2008,
hey ive recently baught emgs 81 aND 85 .. WIRED EVERYTHING UP .. ALL GOOD TO GO .. HAD A SCHALLER 3 WAY SWITCH with only 7 tags on .. not like in the diagram, all the connections are quick connect stuff really .. the neck and bridge postion sound exactly the same and the middle postion with "both" pups in sounds awful .... think i might have to get an 8 tag on like shown in diagram, also ... the jack socket ... i have to have my lead half way in to get ...ANY sound at all .. put it all the way in and nothing ...

please help guys, all volume and tone controls perfect