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Buying New Guitar - Emg Vs Passive, HELP!
Bedlam
Aug 24 2008, 10:29 PM
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I'm looking at getting a new guitar and really like the ESP EC-1000 (http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/ESP-LTD-Deluxe-EC1000-Electric-Guitar?sku=516629). I've tried both the passive and emg versions and really like both of them, but it's hard to try out a guitar in the shop with all of the noise and I'm not at home playing through my Boogie... I tend to play heavier stuff - Opeth, Pantera, misc Death Metal, etc... I don't have any experience with EMGs, so I'm not sure what to do. I want to make sure I don't loose any clean sound...

Anyone have any advice? Thanks!

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This post has been edited by Bedlam: Aug 24 2008, 10:31 PM
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Bogdan Radovic
Aug 24 2008, 10:43 PM
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Well I don't know , for guitars I always voted for passive options..I just hate constant worrying about a battery that can die anytime and render your guitar useless...

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2mazzo
Aug 24 2008, 10:47 PM
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I got Seymore Duncan passive pickups in my ESP and EMG active ones in my Schecter. And in my opinion the different in the clean sound is that the EMG`s are more "sterile" sounding. If you play a lot of heavier stuff, I would go for the EMG`s.

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RIP Dime
Aug 24 2008, 10:48 PM
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EMGs clean up pretty good if you have a good volume pot. But I definitely prefer passives, for their more warm, natural, dynamic tone, and buying and replacing batteries is something I don't enjoy.

I'd say if you like solid, consistent, high gain tone, go EMG. If you prefer versatility, dynamics, and warmth over power, go passive.

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JeroenKole
Aug 24 2008, 10:50 PM
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both passive and active pickups have their pro's and con's.

I think it all depends on the sound/tone you want to achieve.

Passive pickups have only 80% clarity on average, but tone wise they are in my opinion the best bet.

active pickups are a lot clearer, but in my opinion they have a tendency to sound sterile. And everyone and their cousin is using EMG's.

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Hisham Al-Sanea
Aug 24 2008, 10:59 PM
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active EMG power full and good for power metal i tried it before.

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Bedlam
Aug 24 2008, 10:59 PM
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Thanks for all of the advice! Yeah, I don't want to lose my clean warm sound and if there is a sterile type feeling... I don't want that... It's not in my budget to have multiple guitars, so maybe the passive one is the way to go for now. I really don't want to limit my sound to all power crunch metal.

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audiopaal
Aug 25 2008, 12:09 AM
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I've got an ESP Eclipse II with Emg's and they're not particularly sterile sounding if you ask me.
It's all a matter of taste really, somethings better with EMGs and some other things are better with Passive Pups.

Emg 60 and 85 can make for some good cleans and the 81 is an all out riffing machine smile.gif
I've got passive Pups in my other guitars and I use them as well. Not sure what I prefer though, each guitar for different things I guess smile.gif

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Iron King
Aug 25 2008, 12:56 AM
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I would suggest putting an EMG in the bridge position (for some really screaming chords and solos) and a passive in the Neck position (for a nice and warm tone)

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Bedlam
Aug 25 2008, 03:53 AM
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Audiopal - How is the ESP for blues? Can you get that type of warm sound? This will be my only guitar sad.gif

Iron King - The EMG in the bridge position is a good idea. I guess I'll have to choose one then figure out what would fit my needs most...

Thanks for the great advice guys!

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Ian Bushell
Aug 25 2008, 06:43 AM
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Congatulations on your choice of guitar;D!!

Here are the 2 things that came up when i was trying out ESP's:
EMG's are awesome for distortion if that's all you going to play then go with the EMG's.
EMG's (to me) sounded terrible with clean tone they not designed for that.
So i went for the model that had the seymour duncans in which are way more versatile.

The LTD isn't a blues guitar but with the right pick ups, amp setting and heavy strings you should be able to get the right sound.

Brett Garsed is by no means a "METAL" guitarist, more fusion than anything else and he uses an ESP
(i even jammed on his guitar smile.gif) . Actually, now that i think of it he's an ESP artist.

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Noangels
Aug 25 2008, 07:35 AM
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QUOTE (Ian Bushell @ Aug 25 2008, 06:43 AM) *
Congatulations on your choice of guitar;D!!



Brett Garsed is by no means a "METAL" guitarist, more fusion than anything else and he uses an ESP
(i even jammed on his guitar smile.gif) . Actually, now that i think of it he's an ESP artist.



what was Bretts guitar like to play?I take it you played his new blue ESP and not his old ESP Tele.
I love his playing,he is never too far OUT when he solos unlike other Fusion lads!
I have his old vhs lesson and his latest DVD lesson,worth it just to see him play


Got to agree with the many above on passive pups.There great alrounders

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Juan M. Valero
Aug 25 2008, 07:51 AM
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QUOTE (2mazzo @ Aug 24 2008, 11:47 PM) *
I got Seymore Duncan passive pickups in my ESP and EMG active ones in my Schecter. And in my opinion the different in the clean sound is that the EMG`s are more "sterile" sounding. If you play a lot of heavier stuff, I would go for the EMG`s.


I agree, I'm gonna change my Dimarzio Evolution for EMG, so I guess I don't need to say anything more wink.gif
The fact is that for a really distorted sound the best are EMG, I tried my gear with my JEM and with a cheaper guitar with EMG and for it sound better with EMG, too much "destroyer" laugh.gif laugh.gif So I love EMGs !!!

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audiopaal
Aug 25 2008, 09:14 AM
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Well, If you get a EMG 60 in the neck position you can very well dial in some decent bluestones.
Of course, the amp will also have it's say on this matter smile.gif

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ZakkWylde
Aug 25 2008, 09:31 AM
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Don't go for passive EMGs! If you want their tone than go for a 81/85 combo but if you want to stay passive then buy dimarzios or Seymour duncans. Passive emgs are worse than stock pickups on a low end guitar

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Juan M. Valero
Aug 25 2008, 10:18 AM
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QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Aug 25 2008, 10:31 AM) *
Don't go for passive EMGs! If you want their tone than go for a 81/85 combo but if you want to stay passive then buy dimarzios or Seymour duncans. Passive emgs are worse than stock pickups on a low end guitar


Of course, I forgot to say that the EMG that I was talking about where the 81 and 85.

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audiopaal
Aug 25 2008, 10:55 AM
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Well, EMGs passive Pups are called EMG HZ if I'm not mistaken smile.gif
So all standard EMGs are active smile.gif

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Ivan Milenkovic
Aug 25 2008, 01:47 PM
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If that's what your style is, then yes - definitely go for active EMGs. They are great pickups and very well defined on distortion - no match for passive ones IMO.

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Bedlam
Aug 26 2008, 09:04 PM
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Hmmm. Sounds like I need 2 guitars biggrin.gif I play mostly with heavy distortion, but I don't want that to be the only thing I can make sound good. I do like the passive neck/active bridge combo idea. I might look into that, but for now I think the passive duncan combo will give me a wider range of tone. Maybe I could put together a project guitar in the near future where I can play around with a few different setups. Thanks again guys.

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Juan M. Valero
Aug 26 2008, 10:41 PM
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mmm I think is a bit risky to put both pickups, active and passive... maybe if you have 3 pickups you can put a pasive in the middle but a passive in neck and active in bridge IMHO is a bad option. When I play a solo I use bridge for legato and tapping and neck for picking and sweep, so I need two similar pickups if I want to change them while I play a solo.

It's my particular case, just think it carefully before doing anything.

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