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To EMG or not to EMG
Old 23rd May 2016
  #31
Lives for gear
 

"Here is something you can't understand"

*How GOOD musicians can just get a good tone with EMG's*

They suck as much as you do. Now, that doesn't mean they are not the right tone for you. I go back and fourth. I'll think "geeee, I'd prefer passives on this" and then the next week be like "what was I smoking?" but in the end the "myth" that they suck/brittle/blah is just that, a myth.
Old 23rd May 2016
  #32
Steve Lukather used EMG's for decades did he not ? He's played on hundreds of great records and his tone is killer.
Old 23rd May 2016
  #33
Here for the gear
 

Absolutely love the EMGs in my ESP Eclipse, although I was a little confused to find that they put out a rather nasty clipped signal when you play too hard, noticeable if you're playing a really clean sound. Apparently that's normal, and people seem to do the "18v mod" to give a bit more headroom. Worked great for me, although you do end up with a seriously hot output! Having said that, I do use very heavy strings (13s for standard and drop D, heavier for a lower drop tunings), I guess that could play a part!
Old 23rd May 2016
  #34
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GeminIAm's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by VSTSlut View Post
Interesting. I love that Hohner Tele he had. Obviously he did too, coz he could have played any guitar in the world he wanted, but there is a silly amount of photos of him with it strapped across his neck. He must have been pretty fond of it.

I bought a Hohner bass for my girlfriend who decided she wanted to learn how to play one day. It had active pickups (doubt they were EMGs) and sounded earth shattering. It played like a thousand pound guitar and I got it for 50 quid second hand. Absolutely outstanding. I'm still trying to find one. It was a Status knock off I think (headless), but bang on with intonation and a real joy to play.

My gf was up and running within two months - she was good enough to join a band. I know she didn't realise how lucky she was to have such a magnificent instrument such as that, at first bat. It certainly inspired her. She couldn't put it down.

I must look a bit deeper into the story of that Hohner Tele. I'm sure there is more to it. Perhaps it was just a great guitar like my gf had, and sometimes we just stick with what we know works. Prince was flashy for sure. But he had that genuine earthiness about him, so it doesn't surprise me he stuck with a guitar that he had become best friends with. It's the player at the end of the day, and he certainly was no slouch.
I'm sure he bought due to the bridge pickup being so close to the bridge, makes it nice and spanky.

Ahh that bass was probably a Steinberger rip off. I had the guitar version of that (looked a bit like a headless Strat), it had EMGs that sounded pretty nice actually. It needed a lot of work that I couldn't be arsed with, but it played well. Sold it when I left my 80s band and figured I'd never play it again haha.
Old 19th September 2017
  #35
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David C.'s Avatar
 

I have EMGs in two of my guitars and my bass. Here's the thing with EMGs, I never find them inspiring while I'm playing, but I hand the guitar to another guitarist and the tone is amazing. I listen to recordings I've made and the tone is unreal. I've never tried the 81 (I hate most ceramic magnet pickups) but the 85, 89 and SAs are fantastic as is the SPC I have in a strat. I'd really like to check their newer pickups, all of mine were purchased in the late 80s, early 90s.
Old 20th September 2017
  #36
Gear Maniac
 
GrabtharsHammer's Avatar
I had two guitars equipped with EMGs and although I liked their tightness for palm mutes I couldn't stand the lacking note separation - power chords sounded more or less like one note instead of a chord consisting of 3 notes on 3 strings.

I have a PRS SE, too, and I installed a Seymour Duncan Custom Trembucker (bridge) and a Seymour Duncan 59 (neck). A difference like day and night compared to the stock pickups. The Custom is pretty tight but still has great definition and note separation.

One thing I learned on the Seymour Duncan forum is that instead of swapping pickups it can sometimes be enough to change their magnets. It's a matter of 5-10 minutes, super easy to do and costs only a couple of dollars. To make my Custom/59 combo absolutely perfect I changed the Customs magnet from magnetic to Alnico 8 (to add a little bit more warmth while keeping the output high) and the 59's magnet from Alnico 5 to Alnico 4 (to get rid of some low-end boominess while keeping the smooth and singing character of the pickup). I would highly recommend to read a little bit about magnet swapping. It can really help to bring the best out of the existing pickups.
Old 20th September 2017
  #37
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Zoobiedood's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrabtharsHammer View Post

One thing I learned on the Seymour Duncan forum is that instead of swapping pickups it can sometimes be enough to change their magnets. It's a matter of 5-10 minutes, super easy to do and costs only a couple of dollars. To make my Custom/59 combo absolutely perfect I changed the Customs magnet from magnetic to Alnico 8 (to add a little bit more warmth while keeping the output high) and the 59's magnet from Alnico 5 to Alnico 4 (to get rid of some low-end boominess while keeping the smooth and singing character of the pickup). I would highly recommend to read a little bit about magnet swapping. It can really help to bring the best out of the existing pickups.
I tend to do a lot of magnet swapping, but there are dangers...some are really stuck in there, and some companies either glue them in or they are surrounded by so much wax that it is easy to slip and break the coil. Just be patient, and experiment with the sound of very different magnets- they can really transform the EQ of a pickup.
Old 21st September 2017
  #38
Deleted 6ccb844
Guest
I've got a 1980's Kramer Pacer with a JB / 59 setup and a Washburn Parallaxe with EMG's, now in the bridge position it does sound thinner but crunchier and it's great for rock / metal when split it sounds just like my Kramer but a little tighter..

There's no real sign of sterile or any of the usual EMG descriptions.
Old 22nd September 2017
  #39
Registered User
Two of my guitar tone heros - Mark Knopfler and Dave Gilmour - and strongly associated with EMG pickups. Tone is as much about what you do after the pickups as it is what you do before them. As long as the pickups have a full range and are free of noise I'm happy. So EMG pickups make me happy.

If I wasn't so into hex pickups I would be into EMG - but I find the Roland GK3 to basically be like an EMG pickup, and pickup modeling can make it be anything.

Seriously - fit a GK3 to your favorite guitar and you can have any guitar tone you want. The 13 pin cable is a slight inconvenience - but being externally powered and not needing batteries makes up for that. I prefer the internal kit, not the ugly lump.

I like single coil sounds, but hate hum. In my experiments I found the EMG vintage stats to be absolutely amazing. With a GK3 and Boss GP10 (or my ATG1 which I just picked up which is even better) I can get all types of pickup sound - I sometimes like P90 or Lipstick, it's just great to have so many choices. Also great to be able to turn a guitar into a 12 string, not to mention extreme pitch shifting and synth stuff.

It took me decades to come around to it (the GP10 is apparantly Rolands 10th generation of synth guitar!) but I can't go back now. You can fit an internal kit to any guitar at all quite unobtrusively.
Old 25th September 2017
  #40
EMG's use 100k resistors into an 072 opamp. They do generate a bit of hiss the passive coils do not.
Old 25th September 2017
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
I like single coil sounds, but hate hum.
I'm surprised that with all your love of gadgetry you still haven't tried the Illich noise cancelling system. (The same thing Suhr calls their "SSCII" system.)
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