#1
Hey all


First of all, I don't want to start another debate heh since I know there's been a lot about EMGs sounding sterile and etc.. but well, I need advice of

some people who knows them well.


I recently bought some EMGs for my Ibanez S470DXQM.

I know that a lot of people says mahogany + EMGs = **** but after a LOT of readings and listening to sounds and videos on youtube etc, I decided to go

for them. ( I can hear some people laughing from here )


So I ordered my EMGs, paid an huge 250$bucks for them for the KFK set ( because I wanted to try the +20dB boost switch - turns it's waaay too tight in the

electronic part of the body, especially since I added a second 9V battery in, to see if it solve my problem ).
I've been pretty damn deceived with the result, so much to a point it'S boring to play now ... I can't let my guitar like this for much longer.
The sound is actually so horrible and weak that I would appreciate some advice, since I can't beleive that THAT is EMG.


BTW like mentionned above, I run this under a 18V circuit, and I double checked with a multimeter all my connections, and also checked that I really DO have

18.5ish Volts at both pickups. According to the sound in general also I doubt it's a ground problem or something .. but yea well the palm mute and

harmonics are just too horrible - I really need to know now what's up with that anyway it's either I fix them, or I change them.


I got a few links below showing some example and a few of my old setup using my stock INF1/INF2 pickups. All the comparison are made with same guitar, same

string, same effect ... etc..( stock ibanez pickups INF1 and INF2 ), which sounded much better to me, even though they are more noisy obviously since they

are passive.
I would have love to have a comparison with my stock pickups for all of them if I knew I would run into this I would have one no doubt heh


First here's how some powerchords sound almost sound normal - even not too bad, even though there's much less bass then with my previous pickups.

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?yxytmgmzloy


Then here's a sample of Enter Sandman the weak palm mute are quiet noticable if you listen closely, and the string screaming is fairly normal.

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?nzncwwvvdtm


Here's a sample of Master of Puppet ( sorry for the lack of originality heh ). Excellent example of the weak palm mutes I'm talking about. BTW, all notes are

downstroke for the heavier possible, and of course my hand is as close it can be to the bridge to mute the strings.

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zzwjnhxdinj


Open string harmonics doesn't sound too bad ( dive bomb style )

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?itfodyzzjny


But fret notes are very hard to get to scream, also the biggest string even played open.
Here's me desperatly attempting to make my open E string scream like it used to. You can notice I'm really trying all the places it can scream when picking

- either closer to the bridge or neck - but the sound just totally lack of output and sustain ... horrible.

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zqmzla0w4dj


Now INF1/INF2 VS EMG81/85 pickups ..


This one is a mix of both. Starting with my stock Ibanez INF pickups, than it changes for the EMGs back and forth .. they sound much brighter and the

change is pretty noticable.

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?cziwndzxyy0


This one is Canon riff played with my INF pickups.

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?mnikzmnyiqz


And this one, is err an attempt to play this riff after switching for EMGs ... I really can'T get the same sound and like you see, I can't play it's

too weak and boring ...
After many try of recording it ( I didn't bother to get it perfect, and did it first try with my stock pickups ), I realized this would be more

representative of what I'm actually talking about heh

http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?zmxwjollzvw


I'm sure there's a lot of EMGs user ( and used to heh ), so .. I'd love to get some advice.


I am guessing either 3 of those ...


1. Bad or wrong installation ? ( missed ground or w/e, even though I doubt it'S the one I'm praying for though ! )

2. Bad equipment ? ( Guitar wood, Tube Amp ? )

3. Not the pickup for me ?


For those wondering, I'm using a pretty simple setup just plugged directly into my Zoom 505 II pedal, into my computer. Playing with headphones always.




Please, if anyone got any kinds of advice all of them are much appreciated.


Thanks !


Apologies for my bad english


**
I don't know how much times it stays on mediafire, but it should be long enough hopefully
#4
I really can't be fudged to read all of that, so heres my 2 cents, they're active pick ups, Replace the battery
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#6
Quote by schecter_r0cker
I really can't be fudged to read all of that, so heres my 2 cents, they're active pick ups, Replace the battery




Excellent advce.

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Quote by Scumbag1792
My God, this must be the smartest/greatest guy ever.
#7
Sounds like the batteries arent turning on, make sure you wired the output stereo jack right so that when you plug in a lead it turns on. My jack did that when i wiggled it, you'd be able to play, but it'd be weak as. When you wiggled it again it'd get way louder, punchier and sound like a real EMG

Hope i helped ^^
#9
whatever, actives are no good, they need more research before they can become something good.

It's like getting a solid state over a tube amp that are in the same category of power and tone ratings, the solid state will still sound lacking.
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#10
Quote by SG310user
whatever, actives are no good, they need more research before they can become something good.

It's like getting a solid state over a tube amp that are in the same category of power and tone ratings, the solid state will still sound lacking.


An active pickup is no different to having a regular passive, then running it through a low impedance preamp.. just it's all in one little box.

I don't get why people think that active pickups are full of trickery - it's just a passive pickup with a preamp.
#11
I don't have too much experience with actives, but did you wire them out of phase?


Errr I got a good basis knowledge in electronics, but what do you mean "out of phase" ? How would the wiring be to cause that ?


I really can't be fudged to read all of that, so heres my 2 cents, they're active pick ups, Replace the battery



Like Invader said, ( thanks for reading ) I got TWO batery in there, wired in series.

I also double checked at the pickup connector and both got 18.5ish Volts, confirming both batteries are full.


I'm at work right now I'll check this tonight and try to find what's wrong ( if something is wrong ) since some people says that EMG just sound like that lol - I still can't beleive that however will find out for sure.


In any case, I'll put an update as soon I did that.


Sounds like the batteries arent turning on, make sure you wired the output stereo jack right so that when you plug in a lead it turns on. My jack did that when i wiggled it, you'd be able to play, but it'd be weak as. When you wiggled it again it'd get way louder, punchier and sound like a real EMG


Mmm thanks I'll double check my jack I guess, I wish it was the problem but I doubt.

The reason is I did checked which of the 3 pin was linked when the jacked was plugged in, that's my 2 ground ( one from the battery, one grounding the rest of the circuit )

So the pin assignment should be fine, for the soldering I'll double check it.


Like mentionned in my post im suspectig maybe m Tone setup, it's wired like the EMG diagram, however my tone with my passive ( and all other diagram I found on the net ) wasn't wired like the one EMG provided.


In any case, I'm gonna check this out tonight ( at work right now ), hoping I will find something.

I'll give an update then. Thanks !
#12
It may be either a defective jack (I've come across a couple of those, they kill tone until you wiggle it and find the right spot and make good contact, and soldering may not be to blame, just the crappy jack) or you wired it wrong, like they said.

Out of phase just means that one of the pup's wires got swapped and 'hot' became 'ground'. You can have either wire as hot or ground, but it has to be the same for BOTH pups. So white is normally hot and black is normally ground for EMGs, but if you wanted, you could make black ground and white hot. As long as you do it to BOTH pups, it won't sound any different.

Basically I asked if you swapped one of the pup's connections by accident.

Quote by SG310user
whatever, actives are no good, they need more research before they can become something good.

It's like getting a solid state over a tube amp that are in the same category of power and tone ratings, the solid state will still sound lacking.

That's the most opinionated post I've ever seen. Tone is subjective, man. Actives sound like crap to you, but I like their sound. Same with SS amps v. Tube amps. They both have great tonal qualities.
#13
are you possibly using the old 500k pots instead of the packed 25k?
Shred Head
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#14
what the the pot rated? gotta use 25k.
also, check battery?

btw, i think your tone is very wierd sounding. sounds really lacking in mids. try raising your mids and maybe it will sound different....
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#16
Putting in EMGs isnt like putting a V8 in a yugo. There isnt this huge difference you dont put em in and your amp is 2 times louder. The ones I have in one of my guitars arent really any louder than the hot passives in another one. They do push the distortion more in my amp. And the 18v mod isnt going to make a huge difference in volume either, they tend to be less compressed is all. But the EMGs I have dont sound special at all in my 2 SS amps they only really have any life in my tube amp. But you do have to watch as the pots EMG supplies arent the best in the world and maybe disconnect the tone control and try em. Ive had trouble in the past with the tone controls sucking all the gain out in mine.
#17
Ok ! Sorry for the late answer I've been quiet busy lately.


Good news is I found the problem ! ( because YES there was one )


I think no one saw it coming, neither me, not even EMG themselve ( in fact they didn't help me at all.. )


For a short story, basically, the Volume pot doesn't like to have a pressure on it, not sure if it'S my pot or all of them ( I don't really feel like replacing it to try ).
When that happens, the more pressure there is on it ( from inside the guitar ), the more it kills the gain.

Having very little space in my guitar electronic compartment, when closing it with the cover it was putting just too much pressure on that Volume pot coming from the battery of course, which I had nowhere to put but there. Ironically, it'S the first battery that I thought of putting there, the second battery over the tone seems fine and doesn't cause any problem.
So all I have to do for now, is keeping 2 of the 6 screws not tighten, and it solve my problem entirely !

I found out the problem after double checking all my stuff, then trying it like that with the batteries outside - realizing it was much better


Now, I really wonder how many peoples quit the EMGs because of this heh, I was really coming to that end in a matter of days - and I think there's no doubt I ain't the only that faced that problem heh


So yeah EMGs are pretty nice to me now, whatever many people says, they are nois e free - but the biggest improvment is probably the harmonics - I never got them to sound as good than now, really seems like you can keep the sound alive forever sometimes
They actually do sound less bassy than my previous passive, but much more brighter and cleaner - and they are still heavy and solid even though they have less bass.

Well big thanks to you guys, very nice community I'll check it out more often


Oh and special thanks to georgakis187


you learnt your lesson...actives suck


Probably the most useful comment ever.


But srsly thanks a lot to those who read my post, much appreciated and was much of help
#18
Great to hear you got this sorted!
I didn't contribute because I couldn't really offer anything :P
Good luck with your playing
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When I realized life was a game.
The more seriously I took things,
The harder the rules became.
#19
Oh wow, i used to have a pot that did that. I bought a new one, i couldnt stand my gain just dying every time i adjusted the pot.

Glad you've got it sorted ^^
#20
Get rid of EMG.......passive pickups always have some kind of specific sound....if everyone starts using actives everyone will sound almost the same.plus actives dont use the wood of the guitar so.....well at least im searching for new ones i have two EMG 81.if you wanna play riffs its ok but anything with soul fails.the guy said well that the actives are far from perfect maybe aomewhere in future.......i mean get rid off them buy yourself passive.. :-)
#21
Long story short... get SD Blackout- a million times better, believe me. I switched my EMGs for SDs when they came out and I would never go back! I disagree with actives having less soul! I play loads of blues and southern rock and i love my actives, and they sound way different from other people I know with actives.
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Last edited by racman92 at Sep 28, 2008,
#22
Quote by MANTAJAZZ
Get rid of EMG.......passive pickups always have some kind of specific sound....if everyone starts using actives everyone will sound almost the same.plus actives dont use the wood of the guitar so.....well at least im searching for new ones i have two EMG 81.if you wanna play riffs its ok but anything with soul fails.the guy said well that the actives are far from perfect maybe aomewhere in future.......i mean get rid off them buy yourself passive.. :-)


You've got no idea what you're talking about. Passive pickups are all wound on machines, so that every one of those model will be exactly the same. The same process happens with actives. Yes, EMGs generally sound the relatively the same, but they will sound different between guitars made of different woods.

As much as i havnt played a set of Blackouts, they are described to be much more versatile than EMGs.

EMG's are fine, thats all i have to say.
#23
Just a little tip, pickup height is very important when it comes to active EMGs. The output of EMGs is actually very low, it's just that there is a sort of internal preamp that creates such a powerful signal in the end. To optimize the sound try setting them as close to the strings as possible without the strings hitting the pickups when you play. (this is just a rule of thumb, it also has to do with preference ofcourse) If you get unwanted feedback, noise, 'sharpness' to the sound, you should try lowering them slightly.
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#24
Why don't you wagoners just shut the hell up and let TS revel in his success, huh?

Who gives a shit if he wants to use EMGs? It's not YOUR guitar, so what the fuck do you care?
#26
Have you joined the antibandwagon group yet Jim ? (sounds a little hyprocritical, it's basically a bandwagon against other bandwagons :P)

I forgot to join it when I found it, but it's a good group!
I don't remember where I was,
When I realized life was a game.
The more seriously I took things,
The harder the rules became.
#27
Quote by Invader Jim
Why don't you wagoners just shut the hell up and let TS revel in his success, huh?

Who gives a shit if he wants to use EMGs? It's not YOUR guitar, so what the fuck do you care?

smartest comment all day.

yes emg's are great. don't bag on them
Jackson RR5 ivory w/ EMG 81/85
Jackson DX6 w/ SD Distortion & Dimarzio Super Distortion
Fender Starcaster Sunburst
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ISP Decimator
Boss DD-6
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#28
**** the EMG if you waant to play metal you buy Bill lawrence l500xl the ones that dime used.....thats if you want true metal sound and if you want to sound like some black metal cold gothic cocksucking depressing scandinaian shit you go with EMG.the only buy that doesnt sound weak is zakk wylde and i doubt that you have hands like his so......
#29

**** the EMG if you waant to play metal you buy Bill lawrence l500xl the ones that dime used.....thats if you want true metal sound and if you want to sound like some black metal cold gothic cocksucking depressing scandinaian shit you go with EMG.the only buy that doesnt sound weak is zakk wylde and i doubt that you have hands like his so......


I would go for Seymour Duncans if I would swap them again, your the first one I see talking about those ..


If you suck too much too ****in bad for you.

I can get my EMGs sounding just fine ...


feels better now



Long story short... get SD Blackout- a million times better, believe me. I switched my EMGs for SDs when they came out and I would never go back! I disagree with actives having less soul! I play loads of blues and southern rock and i love my actives, and they sound way different from other people I know with actives.


Thanks for the advice, at least it is constructive unlike some others ...

I'm definitely looking forward giving a chance to SD one day, after a 250$ purchase I'm gonna stick withthose EMGs for a while however

Besides it's not like I feel the EMGs lack anything - at least for now.
Last edited by XenQC at Sep 29, 2008,
#30
MANTAJAZZ: *REPORTED*

I'm sick of looking at this shit, and I'm pretty sure everyone else is, too.

edit:

Quote by WH15P3R
Have you joined the antibandwagon group yet Jim ? (sounds a little hyprocritical, it's basically a bandwagon against other bandwagons :P)

I forgot to join it when I found it, but it's a good group!

Link? I'll happily join.